If you've ever lived or worked in the Duboce Triangle for any length of time, you most certainly know the legendary Courtney's Produce market at 14th and Castro. Chances are you met the store's husband-and-wife co-owners, Patrick and Lola Courtney. Chances are your devotion to the store's fresh-made sandwiches, fresh-squeezed juices, daily-delivered produce - and especially, its iconic peanut butter and jam treats - are key to the store's enduring operation for over five decades, earning it status as a "Legacy Business" in January 2020 with support from Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.
You may not know the sad news of Patrick's passing in November, 2022, We hope this account, drawn from a 2020 profile in the local newspaper Hoodline based on a timeline provided by Patrick's daughter Robin Courtney, can suitably hon- or our beloved neighbor.
Born in 1926 in County Kerry, Ireland, Patrick grew up in a very rural environment. "Everything they ate they grew as a family," his great-nephew Andrew Courtney told Hoodline. Patrick moved to New York
with his father in the1940s, where they worked for an Italian grocer.
Patrick came to San Francisco where he met his wife Lola in 1964. Together they founded Courtney's Produce in 1969 and moved the store to its current location in 1971. Andrew credits the people of the neighborhood for keeping Courtney's thriving: "With so many friendly and talented people around, it is easy to feel at home and happy here."
Andrew managed the store for Lola and Patrick in the mid 2010's before moving to San Diego and then to Ver- mont. Paul Xie, who has worked for Courtney's since
1992 and is the current store manager, agrees. "It's a fam- ily store," he told Hoodline. "We all work together."
As immediate neighbors and regular patrons of Courtney's since 1988, my family and I have had the privilege to know Patrick, Lola, Rob- in, Andrew and Paul well. I agree whole-heartedly with a message Robin sent me in July 2020 to assure me that her father was doing well after surgeries, even in the throes of the Pandemic: "He is a strong and beautiful per- son."
Indeed. This is certainly how I will remember Patrick Courtney.