Small Biz Saturday, San Mateo Style

While Black Friday is often a rush to the malls and Cyber Monday is all about internet shopping, thank goodness the Saturday after Thanksgiving is focused on small businesses! Small Business Saturday was created five years ago by American Express to help support small businesses during the busy holiday shopping season.

From the cafes where we draft our start-up business plans to the boutiques where we buy baby clothes, local small businesses enrich our lives. So, shop small this Saturday, November 26th. Not sure where to start? Take a cue from our local itinerary to make the most of your San Mateo small biz experience!


Grab a quick coffee and bite to eat at Three Bees Coffee or bring the whole family to KitchenTown Bakery & Café. Enjoy a good cup of coffee, and nosh on pastries, scones, cookies, or empanadas, all baked fresh at KitchenTown. Shop for goods from local makers, including a loaf of the best hearth bread in the bay from Pain Bakery. You might even get to peek in on one of the local food artisans who are manufacturing their products the commercial kitchen.



See what all the buzz is lately about the happening scene in San Mateo’s downtown. There’s so much here. We could go on, but we’ll highlight just a few of the very special local, small businesses that dot the downtown:

B Street Music: For over 30 years, they remain one of the largest independent music retailers in the country with thousands of instruments and accessories in a unique 4 story building located right in the heart of downtown.

Plato’s Closet: A locally-owned and operated recycling retail store, specializing in clothes for teens and twenty-somethings. They buy and sell the hottest brand name fashion in gently used clothing and accessories for girls and guys.
Appelblom Jewelry Co.: Since 2012 they have rapidly grown to become the preferred Diamond & Bridal Jeweler on the peninsula. Whether you are shopping for yourself or a loved one, pick the perfect setting to create something uniquely yours.

B Street Books: Pick up a vintage copy for the book lover in your life at one of the best bookstores in San Mateo. This is your one-stop shop for used books of all types and subjects.

Atlas Skateboard Store: Atlas offers stylin’ skateboard gear and wear in bright, contemporary digs – perfect for holiday gifts.

Baking Arts: Register for a Holiday Cookie Tray class because seasonal cookies should be as delicious to the palate as to the eyes. Make and take an assortment of cookies, served dipped, sandwiched and sprinkled.


With stomachs grumbling, time to put down your bags and fill your bellies. With San Mateo’s crowning as Rand McNally’s Best Small Town for Food, there are options for everyone. Log on to San Mateo Best Food to get the skinny.



Scribble Me Happy: Dart over to this art studio dedicated to celebrating creativity to encourage the kid in all of us. Plus, you’ll find one-of-kind gifts from local makers.

Art Academia: Book an art class for at this European-style art school founded upon classical teaching principles passed down from master to master since the early Renaissance.

Talbot’s Cyclery: For the Millennial on your list or simply for those that like to stay active, check out. With San Mateo tops for bicycling, you’ll want to pick up all your pedal gear at Talbot’s.

Nine Rubies Knitting: Let the pros help you navigate the skeins and needles to find the perfect gift for the knitter in your life.

You’ve done your part for your local economy! Now treat yourself to something sweet after your San Mateo excursion. A great smoothie or some satisfying bubble tea will offer the perfect pick-me-up to satisfy your sweet tooth. rates Bay Meadows high on the list for walkable locations to live on the San Francisco Peninsula and for good reason! Why? Because we are steps from shopping (Hillsdale Center), groceries (Whole Foods), parks, a farmer’s market and an easy bike-ride from downtown San Mateo with its burgeoning restaurant scene. San Mateo’s shared Bay Bikes are on-site, so no need to own your own. And Caltrain is a quick stroll from anywhere in the neighborhood. Learn all about connecting the dots for your many transportation options with Connect San Mateo.