Tag Archives: Country Cheese Coffee Market

Obituaries

Paul Raxakoul, longtime co-owner of Country Cheese, dies

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By Christine Staples

Paul (Phouthalak) Raxakoul, longtime co-owner of Country Cheese on San Pablo Avenue and Country Cheese Coffee Mart on Hopkins in Berkeley, died in his Berkeley home on Thursday, Dec. 27, surrounded by his close, loving family. Paul was 41 years old and had been living with colon cancer for 2 ½ years.

On most days, you could find Paul holding court at the deli counter at the back of Country Cheese on San Pablo, where he chatted and gave out free samples to everyone. He was a super friendly, generous guy, non-judgmental and kind.

“What I hope people will remember about my brother is what a loving person he was,” said his older brother, Pete (Phithak). … 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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