Located in a quiet corner of San Francisco’s Noe Valley, Celia Sack sits in her chair, perusing stacks of new and vintage books. While her story may not seem different from most small business owners, she has developed a niche all her own: a bookstore all about food.
Omnivore Books opened in November of 2008, the brainchild of Sack, who co-owned a pet store around the corner.
“I’ve owned the pet store next door the last 11 years, so I’ve been in retail a long time,” Sack says. “I was a rare book specialist at an auction house. I was just combining my love of rare books, especially books on food, which I collect, with a retail sense of what would go well with newer cookbooks.”
Sack has a wide-ranging collection of books in house, with everything from the historical to the latest from world-renowned food writers like Ruth Reichl and Michael Pollan.
Cookbooks are an abundant part of her collection, as she has many books she picks up at antiquarian fairs, along with the latest from top “celebrity chefs.”
“I go through all my catalogs and look at what’s coming out from the different publishers. But I’m also on the hunt for older books,” Sack says. “I go to estate sales, antiquarian book fairs, auctions and things like that.”
Sack also uses the store as a place for food lovers to gather, coordinating a number of lectures, readings and book signings throughout the year. “Chefs from all over the world come and do talks here. It’s really nice and brings a lot of people in. It’s an interesting part of the business,” she says.
Sack says while the store has grown immensely, she has no plans to expand as she “likes her little space.”
Click here for more information on Omnivore Books.