Oakland’s Arizmendi Bakery temporarily closes after death of longtime member Jose Cardenas

Also: a rave review for Just Fare; inequity in PPP loan distribution; more Quick Bites.

Jose Cardenas, a longtime member and worker at Arizmendi Lakeshore, died on June 12. Credit: Arizmendi Lakeshore/Facebook
  • Arizmendi Lakeshore is temporarily closed until July 6, it announced this week. According to the Oakland cooperative, it has shuttered to mourn the passing of Jose Cardenas, a member and worker at the bakery for the past 15 years. Last year, Cardenas was prominently featured in a KRON4 report on Arizmendi’s mid-pandemic efforts to support local food banks with hundreds of loaves of donated bread. “What’s happening with the bread is all part of the community, we’re just a middle man, our bakery relies a lot on our own community,” he said at the time. According to a GoFundMe organized to support Cardenas’ family, Cardenas was an Oakland native who graduated from the city’s Life Academy high school in 2003. He died on June 12, writes GoFundMe organizer Sara Rizik-Baer, and is survived by his wife, Ruth, and his three daughters: Maya (age 17), Naomi (age 6) and Luna (age 4).
  • According to analysis from the SF Chronicle, restaurants in areas like East Oakland were disproportionately denied Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, compared to businesses in ”higher-income or predominantly white census tracts” across the Bay Area. About half of the restaurants in more monied neighborhoods that applied for PPP loans were approved, the paper reports, but only a quarter of businesses in “tracts with a household income of under $75,000,” many of which are in the East Bay, were awarded those desperately needed funds.
  • The East Bay Times reports that Bay Area Indian fusion chain Curry Pizza House will open a San Ramon location in July. The nine-year-old company was founded by Gursewak Gill, a former truck driver who came up with the idea for his Indian-meets-Italian/American restaurant when “on those long highway stretches, he found himself ruminating on ideas of a food business.”
  • Old Salt Merchants, a Berkeley-based specialty seasonings company, is preparing to open a storefront in Temescal Alley, a spokesperson tells Nosh. Expect details like a floor mural from local artist Fernanda Martínez (here’s a peek of the work in progress) and a selection of high-end sugars, salts, teas, and more. Doors are slated to open “sometime this summer.”
Eve Batey is the Editor of East Bay Nosh Email: eve@eastbaynosh.org. Twitter: eveb.