Basic Brown Bear Factory in San Francisco

One is never too old to stuff their own bear.  And today, I stuffed my very own at the original Basic Brown Bear Factory.
The bear factory was founded by Merrilee and Eric Woods in the year of 1976 in Berkeley, California.  It is now located in San Francisco at The Cannery in Fisherman’s Wharf.  It is the level of details that they strive to undertake in this business that leaves a lasting impression.  From the paw marks leading you up the stairs to the bear factory at The Cannery to putting a heart into the bear is just amazing.
When I walked into the factory, I was surrounded by bears in all shapes and sizes.  On the left of the entrance is the factory where the bears are stuffed, groomed, bathed and dressed.  To my right are large containers filled with diffrent types of bears to choose from. 
I chose the Basic Brown Bear, which is the first bear ever made at the Basic Brown Bear Factory. It comes in three colours, honey (the original and the bear of my choice), blue and brown.  I took my bear which is still flat and empty inside to the counter, and it is a great pleasure that Merrilee Woods, the founder of The Basic Bear Factory happened to be there and she stuffed, groomed and dressed my bear!  She took my bear to the factory and begins the process of stuffing the bear.  This is accomplished by using a stuffing machine that has a pipe and a pedal .  You can choose to stuff your bear with either cotton or beanies.  The cotton comes out through the pipe and into the bear’s body starting from the head, then the arms, tummy and legs by pushing the pedal.  Once the bear is stuffed, Merrilee sews up the back of bear to prevent the cotton from falling out.  The bear is then groomed using some kind of a device that resembles a mini eletronic pizza cutter.  Grooming involves trimming the bear’s furry body so that it looks neat and well groomed.  Once the gromming is completed, the bear is given a bath with a kind of water spray attached to a machine.  The last thing to do is to dress up the bear with the costume of your choice and put the bear in a house made out of a box.
I never thought that I would have so much fun making the bear since I am already in my mid twenties, but it is the sense of ownership, the level of attention taken to stuff the perfect bear and most special of all, putting a heart into my bear.  This bear will be joining the rest of my furry creatures at home and I know it will be able to fit right in.
More pictures of The Basic Brown Bear Factory to come and if you happen to be in the bay area, consider popping by this place and pick up a bear.  Every bear needs a home. 🙂
Basic Brown Bear Factory
2801 Leavenworth Street
San Francisco CA 94133
Store Hours:
Monday thru Saturday 10-6pm
Drop-in Hourly Tours 10-5 pm
Sunday 11-6pm
Drop-in Hourly Tours 11-5pm
Special Thanksgiving Hours
Friday & Saturday 10-8pm
Special Christmas Hours, Dec 16-23
Monday thru Saturday 10-8pm
Sunday 11-6pm

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