Tag Archives: The Bread Workshop

Bites: What’s new in East Bay food XXIX

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ALCHEMY CAFE COLLECTIVE Berkeley’s Alchemy Café Collective is moving at the end of August to a new space at Alcatraz and Ellis. Right now, co-owner Chris Myers tells us, the shop is too small. (It’s located in a small storefront next to the Firehouse Art Collaborative in the Lorin District.)  He said they have had to get city permits as a mobile cart because they didn’t have running water or electricity — it was all run out of a counter. In their new, bigger space, they’ll be able to run a slightly bigger operation and add a food menu (sandwiches, granola, maybe soups). Alchemy was opened in 2012 by six baristas, who want to be their own bosses and hire no employees. The collective raised $10,000 on Kickstarter to help launch their business, and they are turning to Kickstarter again to raise the money they need for the equipment at their new space. Read our August 2012 profile of Alchemy. … Continue reading »

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Shop Talk: The ins and outs of Berkeley businesses

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INSTITUTE OF MOSAIC ART After eight years at 3001 Chapman St. in southwest Oakland, the Institute of Mosaic Art has moved to Berkeley and will open July 6. Students Isle Cordoni and her daughter Sophia Cordoni recently purchased the organization from mosaic artist Laurel True, who founded it in 2005. The new Berkeley location, at 805 Allston Way between Fifth and Sixth streets, will provide more studio space and allow the new owners to offer a larger inventory of art supplies for sale. According to information released by the institute, it is the largest and oldest mosaic school in the United States.

GROCERY OUTLET Although its Berkeley store will stay where it is, the headquarters of Grocery Outlet will soon move from its space at 2001 Fourth St. in West Berkeley to a bigger location in Emeryville, at 5650 Hollis St. According to the San Francisco Business Times, the retailer has been growing in recent years and adding corporate jobs, and desperately needs more office space. … Continue reading »

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Ravenous: Dayna Macy faces her food obsessions

Author Dayna Macy/Photo: Victoria Yee
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For much of her life Dayna Macy has had a complicated relationship with food.

An overeater who sought comfort in cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie, Macy watched as her weight began to balloon as she aged:  she went from being a size 10 as a young adult to a size 18 in her 40s.

She felt increasingly uncomfortable in her body, began experiencing weight-related health problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and danced around what she refers to as the “f” word.

The communications director at Yoga Journal didn’t like what was happening to her and wanted to figure out why food had such a powerful hold over her and what she could do about it.

With her longtime background in yoga —  she started studying the discipline in 1995 — Macy searched for balance on food matters. When she began writing for Yoga Journal’s “Eating Wisely” column; the irony was not lost on her: she ate too much and weighed too much.

True to her Berkeley roots, though, Macy ate good food — just lots of it. Dry-cured Moroccan olives, triple-cream French blue cheese, well-marbled, sustainably-raised sausage, fruit-infused bonbons with dark chocolate ganache. These are Macy’s go-to foods. (Locavore alert: She has subscribed to a CSA for years.)

Two years ago she decided something had to shift. So she spent time with farmers, food artisans, butchers, a Zen chef, a forager, and a chocolatier to better understand where her food comes from, why she obsesses about certain foods, and how nostalgia and tradition impact her food choices. … Continue reading »

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Garden teacher Kim Allen offers youth space to grow

Kim Allen at the Bancroft Community Garden/Photo: Sarah Henry
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For four years Kim Allen has served as garden program manager for Berkeley Youth Alternatives (BYA), which provides a minimum-wage, internship program for socio-economically challenged adolescents ages 14 to 18. Some come to the garden through word-of-mouth from family or friends, others as part of mandated community service.

During the school year Allen’s youth garden crew, typically a group of six to eight, work and learn alongside her in two community garden plots in West Berkeley. There’s the half-acre Bancroft Community Garden, which the BYA shares with two dozen community gardeners on Bancroft Way, and the smaller Community Orchard garden on land the nonprofit owns on Bonar Street. The fruit tree garden includes many heirloom varieties, donated by Trees of Antiquity — among them citrus, apples, and pluots. The Bancroft Garden boasts typical farmers’ market fare.

In the summer, BYA offers an eight-week program for a dozen youth, who put in about 20 hours a week. The organization runs a small Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) during peak harvest season. It sells flowers and whatever is in abundance in the garden to Bill Briscoe, who owns The Bread Workshop. Briscoe puts surplus fava beans, sunchokes, garlic, and other vegetables to good use in his in-house soups. BYA youth harvest about two to four boxes of produce a week for The Ecology Center’s Farm Fresh Choice program, which serves low-income residents. Every other week the garden provides perishables for a local food bank pick-up point. … Continue reading »

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Dense, airy, crusty or soft: Berkeley’s best baguettes

Baguette ranking
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As a child growing up in Berkeley, I’ve only tasted pre-sliced bread twice. When I was younger, my family traveled to Europe and I got to eat real French baguettes. Today, we live a few blocks from a bakery and get fresh bread every morning, like many Berkeley residents.

Our city is filled with world-class bakeries ranging from La Farine in north Berkeley to the Bread Garden near the Claremont hotel — and everything in between.

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Berkeley Bites: The Bread Workshop’s Bill Briscoe

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William (Bill) Briscoe has been in the food business for more than 30 years.

He started as a dishwasher, went on to work as a short-order cook in a steakhouse, then did stints in five-star restaurants around the Bay Area and attended culinary school. In 1989, he decided to open a wholesale bakery serving mostly restaurant clients.

The Bread Workshop, which moved to new digs on University Avenue in 2004, now includes a cafe that’s open for brunch, … Continue reading »

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