NEW BUSINESS IN TOWN! Petra Bergstein, President and Co-Founder of The Caviar Co.
The Caviar Co. is coming to Main Street
When Petra (pronounced PAYtra) Bergstein was growing up in Texas, the last thing on her mind was caviar. Now it’s usually the only thing on her mind.
The Strawberry resident is president and cofounder of The Caviar Co. on Union Street in San Francisco, and she recently signed a lease for her second retail store at 46A Main Street in Tiburon, a spot that sits just to the right of the parking lot entrance.
The Caviar Co. will be open in December only as a pop-up, selling bottles of Champagne and a limited number of its best selling caviars. It is offering free delivery to Belvedere and Tiburon customers throughout the holiday season, with prices ranging from $40 per ounce on up to $165 per ounce, depending on the type.
December hours are 12 noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. Website: thecaviarco.com. Petra can be reached via e-mail: Tiburon@thecaviarco.com.
The upcoming caviar tasting room will be closed all January to finalize its new interior construction with its grand opening planned for the first week in February.
The caviar available at The Caviar Co. comes from around the world, with products ranging from local White Sturgeon caviar to imported Russian Osetra, and pared with a variety of bubbly.
So, what is caviar? Caviar is unfertilized fish eggs, also called roe. Many locals have seen fishermen along our own shoreline, during the annual herring run, collecting roe. However, they are not harvesting caviar. Only the eggs that come from sturgeon are called caviar. Roe refers to all other fish eggs.
Once reserved strictly for royalty, caviar is a luxury treat that tastes like nothing else. Its health benefits are numerous and include an excellent source of protein, omega-3, fatty acids, good cholesterol, calcium, magnesium and iron. It also has Vitamin A, B12 and D. In the past, it was prescribed for treatment of depression, plus much more.
Over the years, Petra has become very knowledgeable about caviar and roe, and she hopes to spread that knowledge to the Tiburon population at her new shop. “We’re small but mighty, and we’re growing,” she says.
After graduating from Texas Tech University with a major in speech language and hearing, Petra spent the summer with her aunt in Carmel. Enjoying California, she and her older sister, Saskia, decided to move to San Francisco together – neither had a job nor a place to live, and each owned a large, Bernese Mountain dog.
Against all odds, they both lucked out and found lodging and work – Saskia in wealth management and Petra with a caviar company. Gradually, working at the company’s caviar farm near Sacramento, she learned all aspects of the caviar world, from processing and spawning, to packing, marketing and sales.
Four years ago, the two siblings took all their savings and opened their own caviar business in a San Francisco office filled with lawyers. “We didn’t have any other investors or outside funding,” Petra says. “Saskia did the accounting and inventory, and I did the marketing and sales.” They named their business The Caviar Co.
“We bought a huge commercial refrigerator that was beyond noisy,” Petra says, and they started selling caviar wholesale to restaurants and chefs and then branched out to invite passersby to come in for a tasting.
This was so popular, it led to moving into a retail store on Union Street, next door to Perry’s restaurant. “I think all the lawyers were glad to have that loud refrigerator gone,” Petra says, laughing.
In 2013, Petra met Alex Higby, a professional sailor who was on Team New Zealand, here for the America’s Cup. The two spent the next year traveling around the world as Alex was on a crew for the Volvo Ocean Race, known as “the toughest sailing race in the world.”
Back in the states, Petra became the sole owner of The Caviar Co. when Saskia married and moved back to Texas. Petra and Alex married in 2018 and are now the parents of one-and-one-half-year-old daughter, Adriana, and they look forward to being an integral part of the downtown Tiburon community.
Petra says her goal for The Caviar Co. is to make it fun and approachable. So, grab your mask and come on in.
The Caviar Co.
46A Main Street