Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi Rite Market, Bi Rite Creamery, and 18 Reasons, is a native San Franciscan who grew up working in Bi-Rite when his father owned the store. He started working there when he was six and vowed not to return when he was 18. He decided to pursue becoming a cook, and opened a restaurant in 1991 in SF’s FiDi (Rendezvous du Monde), at the age of 23. He took over Bi-Rite Market in 1997 and reopened in 1998, then opened the Bi-Rite Creamery with two partners, my wife, Anne Walker, and Kris Hoogerhyde.
In 2008 he started a mini-farm in Sonoma to supply the market with great produce and to learn more about the challenges of growing food organically, and also cofounded local not-for-profit 18 Reasons, designed to bring our community of guests and staff closer to the producers of our food. Sam keeps bees for honey on the roof of Bi-Rite and on the farm in Sonoma. He is working on a cookbook and market manual with Dabney Gough, to be published by Ten Speed Press in the Fall of 2011. Sam is the father of two amazing girls, aged 2.5 and 6.5, and loves what he does.