Fournée bakery opens in Berkeley… finally

The baskets of pastries were emptying quickly on opening day at Fournée at 2912 Domingo Ave. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Just a few hours after it opened its doors today for the first time, Fournée, Frank Sally’s new bakery and patisserie opposite the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, was running low on raspberry scones, Ceylon sticky buns and classic baguettes.

The baskets of pastries were emptying rapidly as a steady stream of customers entered the neat, airy space with its exposed brick wall and wooden shelves of loaves and — invariably — greeted the staff with a hearty “welcome to the neighborhood!”

Those who live nearby have been waiting for this day for some time. Berkeleyside first spoke to Sally, formerly at the San Francisco Baking Institute, in August 2012. At that time, he was hoping to be launched by November — or at the latest for the pre-Christmas season.

Fournée (it means the batch of bread baked in an oven in French) is next door to Peet’s on Domingo Ave. Photo: Tracey Taylor

The delays were long and prompted by myriad obstacles — permitting issues, another task that needed to be executed in order to satisfy the city inspectors, unwelcome discoveries requiring more work during the remodel. Needless to say, Sally doesn’t want to dwell on them now that opening day has finally arrived.

He will, however, give a shout-out to the late David Morris, owner of The Bread Garden which served the neighborhood from this locale for 39 years before uprooting to Paso Robles. Morris alerted Sally to the fact that the lease was available, walked him through the place before relocating, and kept in touch. Also instrumental to the bakery coming together was Dan Austin at Berkeley’s Rocket Restaurant Resource, who, said Sally, was incredibly helpful in helping him with the design and outfitting of the space, his first business.

It’s been a long journey but we are very happy it’s over now, said Sally.


Marie (right) and another employee serve customers on opening day. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Fournée offers a range of breads — baguettes, levain, whole wheat, sunflower rye, walnut, Provençal — cakes and tarts, and pastries. Some of those on offer today included Kugelhopf, gougères, Caneles, Meyer Lemon shortbread, Noisettes and chocolate chip cookies.

Sally also plans to start using his bread oven to make pizzas soon. He toyed with the idea of offering sandwiches, but realized the neighborhood was already quite well served in that area, not least Rick and Ann’s and Fresh and Best within spitting distance.

Staffer Marie, who was helping Sally keep the supply of baked goods coming today as the shelves began to clear, said it was a good thing the baker had such a calm temperament. “There were people outside the door at 6:45 am waiting for us to open at 7am,” she said. “It’s been good to see.”

Breads include baguettes, large levains that can be bought in sections, and walnut bread. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Fournée is the first business for Frank Sally, who formerly taught at the San Francisco Baking Institute. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Baskets stacked on shelves at the back of the bakery are used to hold dough when it is rising. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Fruit tarts, French style: Sally intends to use whatever is in season. Photo: Tracey Taylor

Fournée is at 2912 Domingo Ave. (next door to Peet’s), Berkeley 94705. Opening hours: Tues-Sat. 7am-7pm; Sunday 7am-3pm. Closed Mondays.

In memoriam: David Morris, owner of The Bread Garden [04.12.13]
New Berkeley bakery Fournée to source locally [11.28.12]
Pastry chef to open new bakery in Bread Garden space [08.14.12]

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  • Charles_Siegel

    La Fournée (it means hearth or oven in French)

    Four means oven. Fournee (according to my Petit Larousse, roughly translated) means the quantity of bread that one cooks at one time in an oven.

  • Charles: You’re right and I knew that — I bungled the photo caption! Thanks for spotting the error, which is now fixed.

  • guest

    Time to eat some pastries, and bike up Tunnel and down Claremont, and get more pastries to take home.

  • Cindy Tsai Schultz

    My husband and I walked by this morning around 6:45 on our way Peet’s. We were a bit disappointed to see the shop wasn’t open until 7:00 (my husband had to be at work at 7:00). But Marie was so gracious and let us in before the shop officially opened and we bought a croissant and an apricot almond pastry. Incredibly light and flaky, the apricot pastry wasn’t overly sweet (finally!), perfect with my coffee. We’re looking forward to trying everything! Thank you Marie for letting us be your first customer. We live in the neighborhood and we’ll be there tomorrow and we promise not to get there too early.

  • Sharon Jue

    So excited La Fournée is open! Can’t wait to go and try everything. I have had the pleasure and honor of taking bread classes with Frank Sally at SFBI. He is a super talented baker with an amazing amount of knowledge and incredible skills. Plus, he is a really wonderful person. Yay!

  • B2B

    I am so sad they are all they across town from me. Though I love ACME, they don’t have true french pastries. I will make the trek across town soon to try!!

  • Bill N

    YUMMM. I’ll have to get over there and try it out. Of course, I SHOULD ride my bike over but well….

  • theDeer

    Ok, one more day before the no wheat products.

  • B-Reader

    Why, in such appetizing article, would you use the phrase “within spitting distance”?

  • BerkeleyMom

    Nice photos Tracey. I love the one with the bike in front of the window. will hop over to try the new place tomorrow.

  • Chris J

    Huh. Great! Unfortunatelimundo, the location isn’t really my neighborhood so I don’t think that I will get over there anytime soon. I’m sure that this place will do fine with the locals. As for such a bakery near me five minutes walk from me near Berkeley BART (north), is there a bakery providing such French treats? I don’t think so–plenty of bakeries, but not much in pastries other than nice cafes with delivered goods.

    C’est la vie!

  • Bill N

    Nice photos Tracey. I hope you didn’t sample to many!

  • Elmwood_Neighbor

    Have now been there twice (two days in a row!). My favorite thing so far is the walnut coriander scone – very different and delicious. And coming in a close second is the apricot almond pastry. Looking forward to trying more things next weekend.

  • dt

    no sandwiches? I certainly would never buy one at the other places they mentioned. A simple baguette with jambon et fromage would be nice

  • Kathy

    We hope Fournee will also serve milks in cartons and an old fashioned cup of coffee to go with those amazing baked goods! It’s a complete treat to get the beverage and the goodies in one stop.