Flour & Co is opening a bakery in the former Bread Workshop space on University Avenue in central Berkeley. Owner Emily Day said the plan is to create a similar spot to the original Nob Hill bakery, with classic American pastries and cookies on offer, made with the highest quality ingredients. The bakery will also have breakfast and lunch menus, and it will be serving coffee from Stumptown, a cult roasters out of Portland, Oregon.
Designs, by Berkeley architects Abueg Morris, have already been drawn up and, if the build-out goes according to plan, Flour & Co should be open in June, Day said. The Bread Workshop, an eco-friendly wholesale bakery and café, closed in 2013 after 20 years in Berkeley.
Day opened the Hyde Street bakery two years ago, though she had been dreaming of running her own bakery for more than a decade before then.
“There tends to be an emphasis on French pastries,” she said Tuesday, “but our concept is American baked goods made with organic, all-natural and seasonal ingredients.”
That translates as biscuits, cookies, muffins, sticky buns, “toasty tarts” (a riff on Pop Tarts), coffee cake, brownies, as well as a selection of cakes and pies. Breakfast might mean their popular breakfast sandwich which consists of egg, cheese and bacon or ham (or not for the vegetarians) on an English muffin; yoghurt Parfait with muesli; or savory oatmeal with bacon, Parmigiano, and scallions. The lunch menu usually includes a vegetarian soup, six or seven different sandwiches, and deli-style salads. (See the SF bakery menu.)
Day said they would be offering a handful of wheat-free options, including the English muffins.
She said the Bread Workshop space is ideal as she was looking for a bigger kitchen (she describes the SF one as “miniature”), and much of the infrastructure is already in place. Two-thirds of the 3,700 square foot space will be taken up by the kitchen and the rest will accommodate the retail side, including seating for 35-40 customers. The plan is to continue baking at Hyde Street, but the larger kitchen in Berkeley will allow Flour & Co to do more recipe testing, and “bring in more than a 10# bag of sugar at a time,” as Day puts it on her blog, where she chronicled the opening of the original bakery, and continues to write about the business day-to-day.
The design will be “warm modern” and “cozy,” said Day, who chose Marites Abueg and Keith Morris after seeing their work at Nopalito. Abueg Morris also designed Homeroom in Oakland and Comal in Berkeley. More recently, they worked on Verbena in San Francisco, the second restaurant for the founders of Berkeley’s Gather, and are the chosen team for the Comal owners’ new restaurant in the Elmwood. They have secured permits to change the façade of the corner store, according to Day.
Day said she’s excited to be opening in Berkeley. Although she lives in San Francisco, her sister lives in the neighborhood of the new bakery, so she’ll likely be sleeping on her couch for a while to see the new spot open and before she appoints a full-time manager.
She said Flour & Co is “very neighborhood-oriented” — the SF bakery regularly give money to local charities through its “Raising Dough” project — and she’s looking forward to getting to know her new one.
Flour & Co. will be at 1398 University Ave. (at Acton). Connect with the bakery on Facebook and Twitter, and follow Emily Day’s blog for updates on their progress.
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[Editor’s note: The neighborhood designation for this new business was updated after publication.]