It all began in 1988, when Chris’ father, Roger Hillyard, broke the glass insert of his French press and couldn’t find a store that sold replacement parts. Roger scoured San Francisco for a space to open a coffee and tea paraphernalia store and settled on 1315 18th Street on Potrero Hill. He named his new shop after his grandfather, Jack Farley, who disappeared without a trace in 1921. Despite his disappearance, Farley’s dapper silhouette, taken from the only photograph Roger has of his grandfather, became the Farley’s logo.
After one year in business, when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit San Francisco in 1989, Potrero Hill was one of the few neighborhoods with power and water. People were home from work, wondering how to fill their days, and Roger decided to open early to provide a place for the community to gather. From that moment on, Farley’s firmly established itself as more than a place for a cup of joe, but a place for the neighborhood to gather, a place for “Community in a Cup.”
In 2008, Chris and his wife Amy decided they wanted to carry on the Farley’s tradition and bring Community in a Cup to Oakland. They took a risk on the fringe neighborhood of Uptown and opened in 2009. Farley’s East was a catalyst to the once ghost town, now thriving neighborhood of Uptown in Oakland. Through its doors and outside on the parklet (Oakland’s first) you will find a pulsing cafe deeply supported by its community. Farley’s East humbly serves its cadre of proud Oaklanders seven days a week and is committed to making Oakland a better place to live and work.