Tag Archives: Berkeley artisanal foods

Alice Rosenthal: Expert beekeeper, swarm catcher

Rosenthal with three of her hives in Oakland. Photo: Melati Citrawireja
Print Friendly

This is the sixth article in our series on expert craftspeople in Berkeley, written and photographed by Melati Citrawireja, a summer 2015 photography intern for Berkeleyside. Don’t miss her stories on textile designer Amy KeeferSt. Hieronymus Press, the workspace of David Lance Goines; Klaus-Ullrich Rötzscher and the Pettingell Book Binderycoppersmith Audel Davis; and ethnobotanist and natural fabric dyer Deepa Natarajan.

In many ways, Alice Rosenthal is like the honeybees to which she tends: hard-working, gentle and charismatic. She is a jack-of-all trades type of gal, using her construction skills to rescue wild bees from inconvenient locations, while also looking after more than 150 hives of her own that are interspersed throughout the East Bay. This is her life, and also a thriving business called Bee Happy Solutions. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

How to start, and sustain, an artisanal food business

susie - credit Laiko Bahrs
Print Friendly

The only time Susie Wyshak had parental sanction to play hooky from school was to go see Julia Child do a cooking demo; which is to say she grew up in a food-loving family in Los Angeles. So perhaps it is no wonder that, some years ago, she thought about launching her own artisanal food product.

She had fallen in love with forbidden black rice and started experimenting with roasting it to transform it into a crunchy, savory snack. But, right away, she faced seemingly insurmountable challenges; not least the fact that everyone thought it looked like mouse poop.

Wyshak was in the process of looking at roasting drums and considering having a co-packer produce it for her, when she realized the cost of getting the ingredients to the co-packer was prohibitively expensive. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley couple make rillettes at artisanal start-up

Brian Johnson and Julie Gordon at the kitchen
Print Friendly

Just six months ago, husband and wife team Brian Johnson and Julie Gordon started Wooden Spoons – a small business conceived at their kitchen table that makes rillettes using only locally farmed meats, fish and organic produce. The couple live in Berkeley with their kids and cook at a commercial kitchen in the city. Berkeleyside NOSH sat down with the pair to get the skinny on the artisanal start-up.

When and how did Wooden Spoons get started?
In the Spring of 2012, with our older son happily settled into his first year of college and our younger son needing us less and less, we started serious kitchen-table discussions about wanting to bring cooking and food into our lives in a way that could be fun, profitable and that would allow us to spend more time together. We love to cook for friends and family and have been making rillettes for many years – it’s long been the in-demand appetizer around the house. A jar of rillettes is an exciting thing to be able to pull out of the fridge for a special treat, and when we looked around us it became clear that this was something that no one else was approaching it in the way that we had in mind. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,