‘Oakland Gift Box Lady’ Tracey Friley Creates Gift Boxes to Bring Business to Distressed Restaurants in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) – These days, Tracey Friley calls herself the “Oakland Gift Box Lady”, but she’s much more than that. Friley is the mastermind behind the ever popular Best Food in Oakland Instagram Account and blog, and had a gift shop in Uptown Oakland for 13 years.

“I had plans for the future and future success,” Friley said. “I had plans for new businesses and then you know COVID happened.”

Like so many others, the pandemic has taken away his passion.

“On September 30th, I closed my store for good and it’s still a strange thing to say.”

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With the extra time at her disposal, the self-proclaimed foodie used her Instagram platform and thousands of followers to help struggling Oakland restaurants.

“It was always trying to get business to the Oakland food companies, that was the goal,” Friley continued. “It always has been and always is. I thought well, I would like some kind of gift card or gift certificate or some kind of box, you know, just a random, random thing from the universe that I got. invaded. “

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Friley’s random idea turned into instant success. His first set of gift sets included little Oakland-themed goodies and, more importantly, items to drive people to restaurants. Everything has been given. To Friley’s surprise, she sold herself.

“When I did the math, I realized. I sold 105 boxes,” Friley continued. “There are 10 certificates of 10, restaurants, bakeries, caterers inside, or 1,050 food transactions.”

The next step for Friley is Oakland’s black box. It will showcase black-owned restaurants in the city.

“I’m going to be the box lady, I guess, but I’m excited,” Friley said.

From every box sale, $ 5 goes to the Alameda County Food Bank. For more information on the Oakland Gift Box, click here.

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