Berkeley’s Boichik Bagels plots big Bay Area expansion

Bake Sum’s big opening boom; raves for black curry; more Bites.

Boichik Bagels founder Emily Winston stands in front of her massive new North Berkeley production space. Credit: Boichik Bagels.Facebook

Boichik Bagels, the Berkeley bagel shop that since its opening in 2019 has been drubbed by an Oakland financial planner and heralded by the New York Times, is in expansion mode: As first reported by J., Boichik owner Emily Winston has signed a lease at a 18,000 square foot Berkeley building a block away from popular spots like Urban Adamah and Covenant Winery. Winston says that the new location will primarily serve as a prep facility for Boichik’s Elmwood bakery; it will also sell bagels and schmears to be enjoyed in an outdoor patio space. Eventually, Winston hopes to use the building to serve wholesale accounts (think grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes), launch a bagel shipping program (per SF Gate) and could even enable her to open more retail locations, reports the Daily Cal. Silicon Valley reports that the new Boichik outpost is still in the design phase, with a tentative opening timeline of some time next year.

New Oakland food truck operation Soul On A Roll received a bounty of press in recent days: Oakland North, KPIX, KTVU and the SF Chronicle all covered its launch at the corner of Seventh and Campbell Streets, where it served up fried and mock chicken sandwiches. The rolling restaurant is notable for its model as much as its menu, as it’s a project supported by nonprofit group Oakland & the World Enterprises (OAW), an organization founded by former Black Panther Party leader Elaine Brown to help formerly incarcerated people launch their own businesses. With financial support from the Oakland A’s, the OAW helped Soul On A Roll’s four owners (Sarah Germany, Keshia Evans, Howard Harrison and GaQuayla LeGrone) open the business, which will appear at various spots across Oakland (follow its Instagram for locations). “This is a business that is owned cooperatively by mostly formerly incarcerated people who would otherwise not have an opportunity to even make a dime working on a food truck,” Brown told KTVU. “But now they won the food truck.”

Bake Sum’s opening weekend was a wild scene. As previously noted, the cult-favorite bakery opened to walk-in customers on Sept. 18, with a sweet lineup of pastries. Reports from the scene say that patrons wound all the way down the block, and the bakery said via email that “we were completely blown away by the level of interest and excitement” at their opening, and that “we prepped and baked and prepped some more but it wasn’t enough.” Bake Sum sold out of every item within hours of opening, leaving many who were still waiting in line without a single treat. Bake Sum asks anyone who “found yourself in line and not able to pick up anything” to “please drop us a line and we will send you a small thank you for the next time you stop in” (their email for that effort is bakesumpastries@gmail.com). For now, the Bake Sum retail space at 3249 Grand Ave. will be open on Friday and Saturday only, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dela Curo, the Japanese curry spot East Bay chef Chikara Ono opened in Swan’s Market in June, just had a pretty big couple of weeks: Its black curry was featured on KQED’s “Check, Please! You Gotta Try This!” as a favorite of local singer-songwriter Fantastic Negrito’s, then scored a rave review from SF Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho, who said it “coats the palate like a fleece comforter.”

Update Sept. 22, 2021: This article originally included a reference to a Bay Area News Group article published on Sept. 21, 2021 regarding a delay in the Bay Area’s commercial Dungeness crab fishing season. That article has since been removed from the East Bay Times website, and an official with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that the information in the BANG piece was not accurate. Nosh regrets repeating BANG’s error.

Eve Batey is Berkeleyside's interim Nosh editor. Email: eve@berkeleyside.org.