A Day in the Life of Midtown Maven Valerie Safran

The local entrepreneur spills her favorite sips, spots and indulgences.

If there’s anyone whose goings-on we want to know, it’s entrepreneur and queen of Midtown Village Valerie Safran. As if co-owning nine businesses — Open House, Lolita, Verde, and Barbuzzo are among them — isn’t enough, she’s also in the throes of building a new business venture, American restaurant Bud & Marilyn’s. Here, she shares her favorite things, from vintage haunts to secret hideaways and everything in between.

Safran's favorite sips, spots and goods | All photos by Courtney Apple

Safran’s favorite sips, spots and goods | All photos by Courtney Apple.

“I’m up every day at 7 a.m., about an hour before Marcie [Turney, her partner] wakes up, and I brew a pot of (1) La Colombe coffee. After that, it’s steel-cut oatmeal from Grocery, with flaxseed.

“I work nonstop from about 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, so (2) Helios Natural Pure Relief Spray is great to relieve stress in my neck and shoulders.

“At Franky Bradley’s, you can sit in the corner and hide from the world. I love their (3) Heming-way daiquiri. If we don’t want to leave the block, we sneak to Table 30 behind the bar at Jamonera—we live upstairs—to hide away in one of our own restaurants.

“I have zero time or interest in shopping for myself, so usually I make three or four big buying trips to J.Crew a year and I’m done. I wear jeans and Danskos every day of my life.

“Marcie and I are about to purchase our first house/building, so we’ll be buying furniture for ourselves as “grown-ups” for the first time. Cella Luxuria will be the first place I go when we’re ready to purchase furniture.

“When we were first opening the shops, I was a lot more serious. Now I just get what I like. I attend about 12 to 15 trade shows a year. I just picked up the (4) History + Industry jewelry line for spring.

“With Bud & Marilyn’s, we’re constantly on the hunt for mid-century modern items—the Mid-Century Furniture Warehouse has been great. I follow (5) Jinxed on Instagram. You have to act fast if you want something they post.

“I order whatever new (6) baking cookbooks come out. (By the way, I was the one who thought of the budino pops and the budino-filled doughnut!) I love the Cook Book Stall in Reading Terminal Market. Marcie buys the savory cookbooks. I buy the sweet ones. Someday I secretly want to sell off all of our businesses and just open one little pastry shop.”