Business News – February 2017

Furniture merger:  KBM Workspace has merged with San Francisco-based Hogue to form KBM-Hogue, which is now the largest Knoll office furniture dealership in Northern California.  “Combining our larger geographic footprint and greater operating efficiencies, we become greater together,” said CEO Stan Vuckovich, SJDA’s current Board of Directors president.

Under Vuckovich’s direction, KBM Workspace increased revenue six times over the past seven years.  KBM started as Kennedy Business Machines in 1946. Hogue, which also has a dealership in Sacramento, opened in 1974.  Check

Black Arrow not headed far:  Black Arrow, now a part of Cadent Technology, will remain downtown, moving to 75 E. Santa Clara St. later this month.  Black Arrow had been located at 65 N. San Pedro St. in a former restaurant that will once again become a San Pedro Square
restaurant/bar called District.

Black Arrow now assists Cadent in its efforts to help  pay-TV monetize video delivered to any screen at any
time.  Check

Oh! le:  Tac-oh! has opened for weekday lunch and dinner and Saturday brunch inside the recently renovated Avery building at 399 S. First St.  Described by owners Angelo Heropoulos and Molly Adams as an upbeat, funky taqueria, Tac-oh serves Mexican comfort food with all fresh ingredients, tequila and custom cocktails.  Visit

Also at 339 S. First:  Avery Lounge opened in time for the holidays in the former Agenda upstairs at the corner of South First and San Salvador streets.  Modern dance sounds fill the air during most of the week and reggae takes over on Sundays.  Avery also has an app available that will generate discount points for regulars and keep them up to date on events.  All the info is on their Facebook page @AveryLounge.

Food as art:  The former South First Billiards at 420 S. First St. in SoFA is being transitioned into Forager Tasting Room and Eatery, an “accelerator of market-driven feedback” for restaurateurs, said Heinz Jones, curator.  

“Forager will have shareable kitchen spaces for chefs to test food concepts,” Jones said.  “Guests will support new businesses and get a sneak peek at the future of the food and beverage industry.”

Customers will also pair craft brews with dishes.  A good fit for SoFA, Forager has already hosted local arts and entertainment events inside the space.  Dave Johnson, who has 30 years experience in the restaurant business, will serve as chief operating officer and Bryan Chen will handle finances.

Jones, who has been active recruiting investors, plans
an intermittent opening that use the space for music and
cultural events, with tap room open, while permitting details for the restaurant concept are worked out with the city.  The grand opening event is Feb. 3.  Check

More LoCo:  Downtown’s newest artist space got an extended lease on life.  The owners of the formerly vacant space that last housed Ross Dress For Less agreed last month to let Local Color stay on for an extra three months.

Local Color is a project of the Exhibition District, best known for murals around downtown.  The group has partnered with yoga studios, artists and others for classes, paint nights, live music and more in the space.  Executive director Erin Salazar said the first month of the storefront was affirmational.

“We’ve discovered that our community considers unique arts and cultural offerings essential to the growth of San Jose,” she said.

Want to learn more?  Upcoming events are at

Zoom growing fast:  Zoom Video Communications started 2017 making quite a buzz. On the same day, CEO Eric Yuan announced $100 million in additional funding for the startup mostly from Sequoia Capital; the rollout of version 4.0 of its video conferencing software; that it has 450,000 customers, including Uber and SolarCity; and
that it finished 2016 with back-to-back cash positive 
quarters.  Zoom, located on the sixth floor of 55 Almaden Blvd., picked up coverage from Fortune, CNBC, Business Insider, Forbes and Yahoo Finance, among others. Yuan, a former engineer at WebEx and Cisco, who started the company in 2011, has added voice control, teleconferencing capabilities through mobile apps, and made it possible to broadcast webinars of up to 50 panelists to Facebook Live and YouTube, all the while protecting privacy.  Check

Leading librarian:  Jill Bourne was named Library Journal’s 2017 Librarian of the Year.  Bourne has directed San Jose Public Library since 2013, turning the financially troubled system around, implementing a number of Maker programs, creating the Teen HQ at the downtown library and making sense of the program to collect fines. 

 Library Journal, founded in 1876, is one of the oldest and most respected publications covering the library field.  It awards the Librarian of the Year to only one individual per year.  Check