Situated on the corner of Mission and 29th Street, the Coronitas Bar and Grill served as one of the Missions’ local watering holes. Unpretentious. Unassuming. Just a place for nearby residents to enjoy and unwind. This was always Jorge Esparza’s dream, to own and operate a friendly bar down the street from where he was born and raised.
San Francisco changed and so did the neighborhood.
The Latino-centric Coronitas Bar and Grill wanted to stay relevant in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, but business started to slow. Beer bottles didn’t Instagram as well as overpriced cocktails. Jorge thought about closing the bar and starting over elsewhere, but his family had been in the community for over 20 years, working tirelessly. This is home. He was determined to continue serving the city he continues to call home.
And so it was time to change. Time to evolve. Jorge listened to his patrons and their interests, their complaints, and their wants. They all talked about cannabis. They told Jorge about their ailments and what cannabis had done to improve their lives. They told him about how they enjoyed its benefits. Jorge listened.
During this time, Jorge connected with his old friend and high school classmate, Jose Pecho, a seasoned commercial real estate expert. Jose introduced Jorge to Brian Mitchell, a pioneering cannabis entrepreneur. Together the three of them would transform the Coronitas Bar into La Corona Wellness, the Mission’s home for cannabis and wellness education.
With La Corona Wellness, Jorge continues to carry on the same mission as before - to serve the community around the Mission by having a dispensary that is reflective of the diverse community. For Jorge, Jose, and Brian, this means to hire local, source local, and buy local. It means to reach out to pillars of the community, including the Mission Language Vocational School, The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce, The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, United Playaz, MEDA, HOMEY, and others, to seek their advice and listen to their input on what they want to see from a dispensary. It’s to keep the investments in the community and grow in unison with the community. The Mission has always been home.
In June 2018, La Corona Wellness obtained its permit to operate from the City of San Francisco to officially open. Jorge, Jose, and Brian are grateful for the opportunity to responsibly serve the greater Mission Community of San Francisco.