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Neighborhood Mourns the Loss of Jake (Yacoub) Shatara, proprietor of Noe Valley Market

15 Jan 2024 12:15 PM | Robert Bush (Administrator)

It is with a heavy heart that DTNA extends its condolences to the family of Jake (Yacoub) Shatara, the proprietor of Noe Valley Market at 15th and Noe. Jake passed away last week. To remember him in happier times, the "Neighborhood Gem" article that featured Jake in the August September 2018 issue of the Duboce Triangle News is posted here.

Neighborhood Gem - Jake’s Noe Valley Market

Some neighborhood businesses are an anchor, so much part of the fabric of the community, that it seems like they must have always been there. Noe Valley Market at the corner of 15th Street and Noe Street has not actually been around forever, but it comes close. Jake Shatara has owned the market since 1974, but the market was already called Noe Valley Market when he moved to the neighborhood in 1968. Jake’s family and other Palestinian Christians were able to come to America as the result of the 1965 Immigration Reform Act, which allowed for family reunification – Jake’s uncle and two of his sisters had already left Ramallah and were awaiting him when he arrived. They first lived in an apartment at Noe Street and Henry Street, above what is now Amasia Sushi, but was then an ice-cream parlor.

Jake’s father, Jalil Shatara, owned J & L Liquors at Noe Street and Henry Street (now a LabCorp medical testing center), and Jake’s first jobs were working there and at Church Street Groceteria, still operating at 15th Street and Church Street. Jake’s longtime employee and the second anchor of Jake’s market, Leslie (Les) Justice, worked at J & L too. Les moved to the Duboce Triangle in 1971 when he was eleven years old, and has lived here ever since. He first lived on the East side of Noe Street in the middle of the block, and now lives above the store.

Both Jake and Les remember the neighborhood being much more ethnically mixed when they moved here than it is now. Les, who is Filipino and Welsh, said his friend group growing up represented the neighborhood, including black, Latino, Asian and ethnic white (Irish and Scandinavian and Arab) kids.

Jake’s original name is Yacoub Shatara. There were a lot of Yacoub Shataras in his family, because all of his many uncles named their oldest son after their grandfather. When Jake was taking a Heald College class with his cousin with the same name, the professor decided to call Jake Jake and the cousin Jacob, and it stuck. Jake also attended James Lick Middle School and Mission High. Les attended Dudley Stone Elementary school in the Haight neighborhood (which later became De Avila School), Everett Middle School, and McAteer High School.

Jake started steadily working at the Noe Valley Market when he was 21. In the past 43 years, he has taken only two 1-week vacations; one for his honeymoon (Hawaii) and one cruise (Jamaica and the Caribbean). Les has worked at J & L and Rosenberg’s, as well as Noe Valley Market, but he has been at Jake’s for over 30 years. He has been living upstairs from the market since Jake moved down the Peninsula in 1987. Jake married his wife Ghada in 1984, and they have 3 kids – Jalil (after his dad, family tradition), Leila, and Ramy. They all live in the Bay Area, although the oldest is out in Concord now.

Both Jake and Les feel a kind of familial affection for people from the neighborhood, especially the kids they have seen grow up here. Both have seen the neighborhood change a lot, both for good and ill, and they see more change coming in the future. Les is worried that it may become a place only, as he put it, for the “rich and richer”. He has seen some of his long-term customers, people he has known for a long time, move to the far reaches of the East Bay or even farther. Jake has a more positive spin; he sees lots of babies in the neighborhood and hopes they’ll grow up here and hopes maybe the Duboce Triangle can again become a family neighborhood like it was when he arrived.

Most of us first came to know and love Jake’s for the fact that it has everything from fresh fruits and vegetables, to staples, sundries, and indulgences (ginger beer!) as well. But in the end, it is the feel- ing of family that sticks with you, and the adoptive family of Jake and Les is the Triangle as a whole. We love you guys.


2261 Market Street, PMB #301, San Francisco,CA 94114

email: info@dtna.org

Phone: 628-246-2256



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