From Fillmore to Union

Photograph of Moe Salimi, owner of Juicy News, by Lucy Gray

Photograph of Moe Salimi, owner of Juicy News, by Lucy Gray


When Moe Salimi moved Juicy News from its longtime home at Fillmore and Jackson down the hill to Union and Fillmore in 2015, he was expecting a completely different neighborhood, even though he’d moved only a few blocks. But he didn’t find it.

“There are more similarities than I would have thought,” Salimi says from his perch in the bright front window of his newsstand at 2181 Union. “Only generational differences are apparent, with a younger demographic found on Union and more established families shopping in the old location.”

Unable to renew his lease on Fillmore, Salimi moved his magazine, newspaper and book shop at a time when many small businesses in the city were struggling — especially bookstores and newstands. Many owners would have given up and moved on to another challenge, but Salimi persisted.

“I felt I offered something people wanted and needed — a place to share their interests and meet up with other like-minded folks,” he says. “I’m happy to say both neighborhoods are supportive of a business like mine because of my inventory of literary magazines, papers, books and gifts for all ages.”

The approach that worked well during his years on Fillmore is garnering new fans in Cow Hollow. He estimates that 75 percent of his Fillmore clientele followed him when the shop relocated. Many new neighbors have also found the shop. “The Union Street neighborhood was instantly supportive of my concept,” he says.

It may be a boon for his business that Salimi easily converses on most any subject and is also passionate about food, wine, soccer — and of course literature.

“I was interested from a young age in history, even reading the complete collection of The History of the French Revolution,” he says. “I was 11 or so and it took me a year to complete. That did it. I was hooked on reading and knowledge.”

Unlike many people, Salimi sees the digital world as no threat.

“Contrary to popular belief, print is not dead and never will be,” he says, and neither is neighborhood shopping.

“People are social animals,” he says. “They crave the face-to-face experience that retail provides. My observation is that customer interaction in the retail setting will always be in demand.”

He adds: “I wanted my shop to be a gathering place for the community to share thoughts and ideas, as well as support the printed word.”

Customer preferences drive his selections when Salimi puts together the collection of titles in his shop. His offerings include magazines covering interior design, fashion, travel, food, business and finance, with pop culture in the mix. “I use no industry algorithms to make my selections,” he says, instead relying on his own observations of what the public is interested in reading.

The inventory changes often, and his loyal fans include visitors as well as neighbors.

He likes to tell a favorite anecdote.

“Two customers unknown to each other — one from the west coast, one from New York — were both attending a garden tour in Dublin,” he says. “As they became acquainted, they found they had one thing in common: Both enjoyed their visits to Juicy News.”

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