Skyrocketing SF rent could force closure of beloved Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

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It may not surprise you when we say a growing number of homeowners are moving out of the Bay Area. 

Whether it’s traffic, lack of affordable housing, high taxes, or increasing rent, it seems like more and more people are cashing in and getting out. 

For the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown, skyrocketing rent could prompt the closure of the family-run factory, which has been in operation since 1962. 

“Even I don’t know the recipe,” co-owner Kevin Chan, whose mother and uncle founded the store, told the BBC. “It’s my mum’s secret.”

Chan told the BBC when his mother opened the store in 1962, rent was $900 a month. 

Three years ago, it was $1,400. 

Last year, the rent had more than quadrupled to $5,750 a month. 

Chan, who says he stays up until 3 a.m. writing the fortunes revealed in each cookie, says he doesn’t know how much longer he can keep the doors open.

His mother also still works at the factory, along with three other part-time employees. 

According to the BBC, it takes about 1.5 hours to produce one case of cookies, and staff work 8 to 9 hours each day and are paid minimum wage at $15. 

“I don’t think about the future. I just try and carry on as I can right now. You never know nowadays, the landlord could decide to kick me out and I’d have to go anyway,” Chan told the BBC. “But this is the heart of the factory, here on Ross Alley. No matter how much rent they charge me, I say ‘go for it’.

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