The 916: Sacramento Nice

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When a friend who recently relocated to Sacramento from the Bay Area told me she thought the people here were much friendlier than where she came from, I was skeptical. “It’s true,” she insisted. “The people at the grocery store I go to are always so helpful. And the wait staff at restaurants are so nice to me and my kids. I’m not used to it!” She was almost giddy about Sacramento’s friendly factor. 

Could it really be true that Sacramentans are nicer than people in other cities? I decided to ask around. Turns out those who do business in Sacramento, especially in the hospitality, tech and creative realms, believe the city is nicer than average, especially when it comes to helping out someone in their industry.

“People in Sacramento are very friendly about getting together and sharing ideas,” says local startup guru Laura Good. “What I’ve found here—and I’ve lived in Silicon Valley, Orlando, Salt Lake City—is that people will meet with you even if there’s nothing in it for them.” 

Good claims she is not alone in her experience. “I’ve found a number of people have said the same thing—that Sacramento is different in that way. People are friendly and willing to carve out some time for you.”

Benjamin Schwartz, who founded bespoke shoe company Benjamins Shoes in Sacramento in 2014, says he’s received nothing but love from locals. “We’re lucky to have so many creative people living in our city who really want to take that risk and go off on their own venture. When you do that, people in town are incredibly supportive,” says Schwartz. “I don’t think that’s common in every city.”

He cites collaborations between his company and Insight Coffee Roasters as evidence of the professional camaraderie among small businesses. “We sent small bags of coffee to our customers while they were waiting for their order with a little note thanking them for their patience,” says Schwartz. “Those kinds of things I get really excited about because I get to help another business that’s local. Plus I got an email from a customer in New York who really loves the coffee.”

Dan Murphy, who owns Twelve Rounds Brewing with his wife, Elle, has been heartened by the generosity and support that the local brewing community has showered on them. 

“My wife and I sat down with Glynn Phillips from Rubicon when we first had the idea of opening a brewery. He gave us a bunch of advice and was super cool,” recalls Murphy. “And we got a lot of advice from other brewers, like Dave [Gull] at New Helvetia, who I met at a brewing class.”

Twelve Rounds has even gotten hops, which have been in short supply, from a half dozen or so fellow brewers. “Rather than being in competition, we kind of all work together,” says Murphy. “It’s just been amazing.”