Mother & Daughter Team
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Celinha Moreira spent most of her twenties as a Montessori teacher. In 1985, at age 29, Celinha moved to San Francisco. She worked at first as a nanny, then for many years as a waitress at a Brazilian restaurant. Later she became a personal assistant.
Celinha raised her daughter Lya in the Mission District. Despite limited means, Celinha never permitted circumstances to limit her or her family. Lya attended the French American International school on scholarship and spoke four languages by the time she graduated; she received a full scholarship to McGill, one of Canada’s top universities. When Lya returned to San Francisco after college graduation, Celinha was preparing to open Bebebar, and Lya spent a year helping with the opening, staffing in the six first months, and creating & managing Bebebar's social media presence.
A Community Effort
Celinha, truly one of the most generous, positive, and welcoming people I know, naturally cultivated a close-knit group of friends over thirty years residing in San Francisco. And when Celinha found the perfect location at Dolores Park in the Castro for an açaí and juice bar, her community rallied behind her, providing the much needed seed capital to launch. Celinha opened Bebebar in March 2014, fulfilling a decades-long dream to own her own business.
“Bebebar” is a play on the word “Baby.” For Celinha, Bebebar represents a new beginning,— the realization of her dream to own her own business, one moored in health, authenticity, and her native Brazil. And the name is equally homage to the beautiful babies born to Celinha's San Francisco-based community in the years leading up to Bebebar's birth — to parents hailing from all corners of the globe: from Argentina, Brazil, Burma, China, England, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the US, Yemen, and more. Each açaí bowl, smoothie & juice on the menu is named for a Babe of Bebebar.
The American Dream in San Francisco
Bebebar’s story is about much more than Celinha. It is the story of the generosity of spirit, of community-supported business. It is also the story of the rich cultural diversity of San Francisco that still persists in spite of gentrification. It is a celebration of the authentic, ethnic multiplicity that maintains the city’s reputation as an international destination for tourists and immigrants alike. And it is the story of the American Dream realized, a dream that values health, creativity, and community over material wealth — a much needed story in America today.
Bebebar’s story is ultimately the story of the San Francisco we love — To diversity, locally-run businesses, supportive communities, health and happiness! This is Bebebar’s story. Please come by and enjoy a taste of Brazil and the best of San Francisco, right in Dolores Park.
— Jennifer Tyson, a friend of Celinha's for over 17 years