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February 28, 2011
Several years ago, New Resource Bank customers Will Pacio and Fred Tang had a vision about creating a restaurant blending authentic Asian cuisine with classic French culinary techniques—while employing sustainable business practices. The result is Spice Kit, an eight-month-old San Francisco eatery that’s bringing something fresh to the financial district’s typical midday fare of burgers and BLTs.
Their goal, according to Pacio, is to introduce people to Asian foods they won’t see on typical menus. “We are serving food that is authentically Asian—and doing it in a way that is really accessible to customers who may have never tried a Vietnamese sandwich or kimchi before,” says Pacio.
Marriage of convenience blossoms
Spice Kit’s relationship with New Resource started as a marriage of convenience. “New Resource Bank is our next-door neighbor, and we were already working to be a green business, so it made sense that we would partner with them,” says Pacio.
They soon learned that New Resource was much more than a repository for their money. “New Resource has been instrumental in our success, and has helped us to be a sustainable company,” says Pacio. “The week we opened, Marielle [Horan] walked us through all the ways we could be sustainable—including helping us identify what types of packaging would be best.”
Spice Kit strives for sustainability in all aspects of the business, Pacio says, from serving naturally raised meats and organic vegetables to using corn-based plastics and compostable packaging.
Team is poised for success
The business partners certainly have the right background to create a new restaurant concept. Pacio, a Stanford grad,studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York before taking a job with Thomas Keller, first at his Michelin three-star restaurant Per Se in Manhattan, and then with the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville. Bay Area native Tang grew up helping out at his family’s restaurant in Orinda, Hsiang’s, and later trained at the California Culinary Academy. He spent several years cooking with Ron Siegel at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco before teaming up with Pacio on Spice Kit.
The Spice Kit team has been wowed by what New Resource has brought to the table. “I’ve never had a relationship with a bank where they were proactive in helping you build your business,” says Pacio. “The people at New Resource have not only helped us with sustainability practices, but have also helped promote our business to their clients. They truly want to see us succeed, and I think that’s unique.”
Photo: Fred Tang, executive chef (at left) and Will Pacio, founder/CEO.