Tag Archives: Berkeley Bowl

$750K grant may bring big changes to South Berkeley

The Adeline Street planning project is picking up steam. Image: Google maps
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The city of Berkeley is hoping to dramatically rethink many elements of south Berkeley, thanks to a $750,000 planning grant it received from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in May.

South Shattuck Avenue and nearly 1 mile of Adeline Street in South Berkeley might see more affordable housing, pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhoods, more park areas, a new theater, mass transit improvements, and more.

Those are just some of the ideas that have been proposed so far. Before any plan is adopted, officials will hold community meetings and do other outreach to gather ideas from residents, businesses and local groups and institutions. The grant will also permit Berkeley to do an environmental study, the city said earlier this year. (That study would “allow streamlined CEQA review for future projects on Adeline and south Shattuck Avenue,” according to project materials.) … Continue reading »

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Shopping Berkeley Bowl with a professional chef

Carucci knocks the cantelope to check for a hollow sound. Photo: JP Fernandez.
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Are you confident about choosing a cantaloupe? Do you have an appreciation for apricots? Need a refresher on freshness?

If you’ve ever wondered what a professional chef looks for when choosing produce, come along with local caterer, teacher and cookbook author Linda Carucci as she cruises the aisles of Berkeley Bowl West in search of ingredients for her roasted chicken salad with raspberry vinaigrette.

To save time in the store, Carucci keeps her shopping list organized by area: Perishables are always on the sides of the store and non-perishables in the middle. (Tip: Any time you walk into an unfamiliar store looking for milk, you can figure that it will be on one side or the other, where the power sources are.) … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Bowl regular remembered for his kindness

Peter's Memorial
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A makeshift memorial was erected on the sidewalk near the Berkeley Bowl on Oregon Street last week to mark the passing of Peter, also known as “Pee Wee,” a 78-year-old man who locals remember as being a fixture in that spot — a “sweet” man who invariably could be found sitting on a milk-crate with his nose in a mystery novel.

Berkeleyside reader Peter Moore, who shared the photo above, said Peter was always reading books, although ready to engage in conversation. “I’ll miss him,” … Continue reading »

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Man caught after 3 tries stealing beer from Berkeley Bowl

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Berkeley police officers arrested an Oakland man after he tried three times in a single night to steal beer from Berkeley Bowl, and struggled with loss prevention officers until police arrived, authorities said.

On Monday at about 8 p.m., Berkeley Police officers were called to the grocery store, at 2020 Oregon St., for a report of a shoplifter, who later was identified as Christopher Lichty, 32, of Oakland.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer Coats said Lichty first visited the store at 7:17 p.m., when he entered Berkeley Bowl and attempted to steal beer. Loss prevention officers tried to stop him and he dropped the beer and ran, said Coats via email. … Continue reading »

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‘We’re going on a Berkeley business scavenger hunt’

By Pete Rosos

You may know Pete Rosos as 2812 Photography; you will almost certainly have seen many of his photographs on Berkeleyside, including his wonderful Snapshot series, in which he takes the pulse of some of the most interesting, not necessarily high-profile, people of Berkeley, accompanied by gorgeous photographic portraits. Last weekend, Rosos embarked on an interesting Berkeley scavenger hunt orchestrated by Looking Glass Photo. He picks up the story:

It didn’t come as much surprise to me when my daughter of 10 started jumping for joy after I asked her whether or not she’d like to join me on a little scavenger hunt. What did raise my eyebrows was her reaction when I told her that it was a photo scavenger hunt. She has never really expressed much of an interest in photography before but, after explaining the details of the hunt, she was bounding across the house to ask her mother if she could borrow her digital camera. I had found out just a couple of days before that Looking Glass Photo was putting together the hunt to help drum up attention for Small Business Saturday. … Continue reading »

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Marc Kelly dishes on the story behind Berkeley’s Soop

Red lentil soupL In demand with new moms
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As mid-life crises go, Marc Kelly’s was a pretty productive one — with a little spice thrown in for good measure.

Seeking change after a 20-year career in the fruit and vegetable export business, Kelly was keen to open a food joint of his own. Something modest and manageable, a takeaway place that satisfied his culinary aspirations and cravings.

That’s how Soop, one of the original anchor businesses in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden, came about.

Kelly, a self-taught chef, determined that soup was an unexplored market niche in the edible landscape. He sensed an opportunity. Six years into serving up soup every day, Kelly’s enthusiasm for the comfort food he sells is still apparent.

He has a loyal band of regulars — Kelly sees them coming and knows which ladle to reach for. And his years of global travel inform what he sells: every culture has a soup tradition and on the road he learned the universal language of soup. … Continue reading »

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Gilman Street Gals cook up sweet treats in Westbrae

Another holiday favorite: Clarine's Florentines
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In a teeny tiny, dark commercial kitchen on a small shopping strip on Gilman Street in Berkeley’s Westbrae neighborhood, four full-time, female food artisans, and a few part-timers too, are turning out sweet baked goods that have earned them mad props in the Bay Area.

Think of these enterprising edible producers as the Gilman Street Gals. In the cast: Clarine Hardesty, of Clarine’s Florentines, who holds the lease to the kitchen, which is co-owned by Bob Kelso of Toot Sweets down the block. Joining her behind the stoves: seasoned wedding and specialty cake maker Carolyn Wong, whose signature style is simple, elegant, and artistic. Also in the mix is Anastasia Widiarsih, herself no slouch on the designer cake front, whose main focus these days at Indie Cakes & Pastries is baking scones, cookies, and cakes for wholesale café clients, including Saul’s Delicatessen + Restaurant. Relative newbie in the kitchen crew: Christine Falatico Frey of CiCi’s Italian Butterhorns; her sugary, buttery, cinnamon walnut cookies are featured holiday picks in the December issue of Diablo magazine – along with Clarine’s Florentines and June Taylor‘s christmas cake. … Continue reading »

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Everyone deserves to eat: Andre Green’s kitchen wisdom

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Andre Green’s mission is both simple and heartfelt: no one should go hungry. It’s a mantra that has worked for him in his more than seven years serving food to the homeless and poor.

After a long stint in the kitchen at the East Oakland Community Project, Green began cooking for Berkeley’s most vulnerable residents on Valentine’s Day this year, as the new food services coordinator for Berkeley Food & Housing Project. The non-profit group serves hot meals to homeless men, women, and children from food purchased from the Alameda County Community Food Bank and wholesale grocery stores, along with donations from individuals, organizations, and businesses. … Continue reading »

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Andronico’s files for bankruptcy

Andronico's on Telegraph Avenue will close
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Andronico’s Markets, the 82-year old supermarket chain founded in Berkeley, filed today for bankruptcy in Oakland. Four of the seven existing Andronico’s stores are in Berkeley: on Telegraph, Shattuck, University and Solano (the original store, founded in 1929).

Berkeleyside reported on the financial difficulties of the chain in May, and on a short-lived recapitalization plan.

The company’s announcement quotes CEO Bill Andronico today: “This is a bittersweet moment in our history. We have struggled mightily to keep … Continue reading »

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Bartlett’s Coffee closes its doors

Many students studied at Bartlett's on Kittredge
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Bartlett’s Coffee, a small café in the Library Gardens on Kittredge near Milvia, has shut its doors.

The café, which served as a social hub for many Berkeley High students, is not going completely out of business, however, according to Benjamin Bartlett, who owned the place with his family. It is looking to move to a new location.

“Yes, we had to close the café,” Bartlett wrote in an email. “We thought long and hard about it, but an … Continue reading »

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Slow restaurant finds fast following

Kyle Anderson, executive chef/owner and Rose Grabow, general manager of Slow./Photos: Sarah Henry.
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Kyle Anderson opened his first restaurant, Slow, nine months ago. The skinny slip of an eatery resides in an emerging food corridor on University Avenue, home to Chocolatier Blue, eVe Restaurant, OctoberFeast Bakery and New Amsterdam Coffeeshop. (Anderson is an alum of acclaimed eatery Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, as are the owners of eVe, and Christopher Blue, who owns the gourmet chocolate shop next door.)

While Anderson comes from a fine-dining culinary background, the food he serves at Slow is simple, rustic comfort fare, albeit with high-quality, mostly organic, ingredients and thoughtful taste pairings like free-range chicken salad with golden raisin, toasted almond, and sorrel, or potato salad with radish, apple, caraway seed and whole grain mustard vinaigrette. All made from scratch and dished up fast at affordable prices. … Continue reading »

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Produce for the people at Berkeley Bowl

Nick Christopher
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Nick Christopher moved out West in the early 90s, drawn to the punk-rock scene here he toured with a band and hung out with Green Day.

These days Christopher spends more time thinking about perfect produce than the perfect tune, as an organic produce buyer for Berkeley Bowl. He started at the Bowl as a dishwasher, and quickly worked his way through various departments, including the deli and bulk section, before rising to supervisor status.

Owner Glenn Yasuda personally trained Christopher in the fine art of selecting fruits and vegetables. The Bowl has a reputation for its large and extensive produce selection, including exotic finds like durian, carambola (star fruit) and horned melon. … Continue reading »

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Jam maker turns hobby into thriving local business

Dafna Kory at Local 123 Cafe./Photo: Sarah Henry
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Dafna Kory discovered the delights of jalapeňo jam during pre-dinner nibbles at a Thanksgiving gathering. She went out to buy a jar, couldn’t find the mighty spicy condiment anywhere, so she began experimenting with making her own. It became an instant hit among her posse.

At first, the self-taught preserver thought her D.I.Y. hobby would just make nice gifts for friends and family. The she moved from San Francisco to South Berkeley, saw the abundance of plums, apples, and lemons growing in her new backyard, and a jamming business was born.

Kory foraged fruit in a hyper-local fashion. She made batches of jam in her home kitchen. She personally delivered by bike. Demand for her jams grew by word-of-mouth.

Friends who had friends who owned stores began encouraging her to branch out beyond her inner circle. So she started shopping INNA jam (the name is, indeed, a playful pun) to places like Local 123, Summer Kitchen, Rick and Ann’s Restaurant and The Gardener.

About a year ago, with orders coming in a steady stream, it became clear that Kory, now 28, needed to either gear up and focus on turning her after-hours pastime into a fully fledged business or scale back and remain a hobbyist. She decided to take the plunge.

A freelance commercial video editor, Kory hasn’t looked back. She began working in a commercial kitchen in North Berkeley, selling her pickles and preserves at events like ForageSF’s Underground Market and the Eat Real Festival, and offering workshops for other D.I.Y.ers.

The UC Berkeley graduate now spends nine months of the year working full-time on her budding food business, and supplements her income in the winter months with editing gigs.

In a year, she hopes to devote 100% of her work day to INNA jam. Kory also pickles though that product line is on hiatus while she ratchets up production to meet demand for her increasingly popular jams. She delivers locally by bike, ships interstate, and offers an annual, seasonal subscription (a 10-ounce jar retails for $12). … Continue reading »

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