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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lefty's Store For Left-Handers Says All Is Right

Posted By on Wed, Mar 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

click to enlarge The right stuff -- for real!
  • The right stuff -- for real!

You would think a novelty store catering to the needs of left-handers would be the sacrificial goat left before the tyrannosaurus of the Great Recession. Well, you'd be wrong. San Francisco has proven itself not just a left-wing city, but also most amenable to left-wingers of the literal variety.

The folks at Lefty's on Pier 39 -- the real-world equivalent of Ned Flanders' Leftorium of Simpsons fame -- have announced a move to a new shop on the pier three times the size of the previous iteration. It seems left-handers have not only left their hearts in San Francisco -- but also their money.

Manager Kelly Kempczenski -- yes, a left-hander -- credits the store's success to its novelty. "One of the reasons we're doing well in this slow time is that no one has seen these kinds of products."

The business' strategy is remarkably simple: Set up shop in a high-concentration tourist area; hope that the 10 to 15 percent of the population you're targeting wander through; and count on them uttering "holy shit!" when they see products they never knew existed.

The biggest sellers, says Kempczenski are scissors, notebooks -- the spiral is on the right side "so your hand won't get caught" -- and pens. Wait, left-handed pens?

"They have fast-drying ink," notes the manager. That way, ink stays on the paper and not on lefties' hands.

But, owner Margaret Majua notes, the store does not carry any left-handed smoke shifters.

'Tis a pity. Your humble narrator was sent to find one as a first-year Boy Scout in 1986. My hunt continues.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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