…and a New Chapter of Flour & Co Begins

It’s with some tears and a huge dose of nostalgia that I share with you our closure as of Tuesday, January 31, 2017. We’ve loved being a part of our Lower Nob Hill neighborhood and your daily lives over the past (almost) four years. You’ve made us soar and the years fly, by giving us your business, friendship, and support. Thank you so very much for being a part of this amazing journey.

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flashback to pre-opening – oh how true this is…

On the other side of tears is some relief, excitement, and opportunity. With two little boys at home (8mos and 2yrs), my family calls. I’m so looking forward to spending more time with them and getting to know a work-life balance. This lovely city that we live in has been wonderful to us and we’ve seen so many successes and joys over the years, but it has also kicked the *flour* out of us a time or two. I’m ready for a little rest and variety beyond baked goods.

However, I’ve got to have some Flour & Co in my life. When one door closes another opens…this time in the form of an online Flour & Co shop. I’ll be doing it on the side (must get job), but I can’t wait to continue spreading the love. Our online shop will feature our Nutty Granola to start. If you haven’t had it, it’s a breakout star at the bakery, one that has depth, lots of nuts, and hugs the line of salty over sweet. Who knows…maybe you’ll see it in local stores too. We’ll see just how many doors open.

I also look forward to getting back into recipe testing, eating other people’s baked goods, and all of the baking-related things that got me here in the first place. I plan to blog about it once I take a little break, so follow our blog for the latest.

I, and my wonderful team, send great big hugs and thanks to all of you. We hope to continue the friendships that have been forged by Flour & Co even after this chapter ends.

Best wishes,

Emily Day

ps. please stay in touch  ~ eday@flourandco.com

The Bakery Life: It’s Starting to Look Like Flour & Co!

The construction sight at 1398 University Avenue in Berkeley is soon going to undeniably look and feel like Flour & Co.  We were seeing major hints of the warm colors and earthy tones this past week.  Wood seemed to be the week’s theme.

The big picture
The big picture

Our wood tables, bread shelves, and baked goods case were delivered by our carpenter extraordinaire, Pascal’s Workshop.

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Gorge maple tables
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Bread shelves minus warm out of the oven bread
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Picture it filled monkey bread, toasty tarts, and good old buttermilk biscuits

Ryan spent the majority of the weekend refurbishing wood tables.  We also sanded and sealed some long wood planks for a dining room design element (you won’t be able to miss it!).

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Sanded, oiled, and ready for dough
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you will have to wait and see

Garret at California Epoxy spent the last few weeks refinishing the floors.  They are looking dynamite!

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Oh, but that’s not all.  Lights are coming on, water is being plumbed, walls are being painted, the credit card is getting more exercise than it can handle, and we started interviewing our future teammates today.

With September approaching, we’re going to be intensely working the next few weeks to ready the space, people, and baked goodies.  Before you know it, you’ll smell cinnamon swirl bread baking in our ovens!  Can’t wait to share it.

~ Emily

 

The Bakery Life: Cool Caffeination on Tap at Flour & Co Berkeley

Does this not make you want to drink cold brew by the gallon??

The Growler of Cold Brew available in the near future at Flour & Co Berkeley
The Growler of Cold Brew available in the near future at Flour & Co Berkeley

I was excited when I opened the mail yesterday to find these.  We’ll fill them and refill them, on demand, with our oh-so-smooth Stumptown Cold Brew.  Okay — we have a ways to go before you can fill ‘er up, but when you can, it will be a beautiful thing.

Cold Brew

Need I say more??  Coming this fall at Flour & Co Berkeley.

Progress pictures coming next!

~ Emily

The Bakery Life: Breaking Ground on Flour & Co Berkeley

Lookie here…now doesn’t this look like a little old permit for which we’ve been waiting months!?!?permit

I (and probably you too) was starting to wonder if these coming soon signs would ever come down.

Coming soon...
Coming soon…

Wonder no more.  The ground has been broken!  But first…some pictures of the kitchen empty (after lots of sorting, moving, and trashing).  Phew!

Clearing the space out for construction
Ryan clearing the space out for construction

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And the retail area with lots of stuff (but not for long!)…

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Check out this progress!  Impressive for only a couple weeks.  Eeek!  This is moving quickly!  Exciting and terrifying!  So much to do.

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What’s next??  Well, with an early fall opening date, we’re diving into the project with details like ordering lights and tile to planning the logistics of baking in this kitchen.  Opposite ends of the spectrum, really.  Stay tuned for more on the play by play.

I’ll leave you with the cutest picture of them all.  Andy, helping us with the floor plans.

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Andy approves

We can’t wait to meet you all in the fall!  Oh – and we really can’t wait to share all of our baked goodies…warm and gooey out of the oven!

~ Emily

 

The Bakery Life: Guess What’s Baking in the Oven??!

November 1, 2014, will mark one year, six months, and twenty four days from the birthday of my first baby, Flour & Co.  Oh, how fast they grow.  And, how easy it is to forget the sleepless nights, the sacrifices, and the bad days.  You just have to look at the creation in front of you, the people on the inside and the outside who make it so rewarding, and unconditional love masks the rest.  Little did I know that Flour & Co would be a dress rehearsal for another very real life event.

Well, this other, even more profound, life event is just 2 weeks away.  November 1, 2014, also marks the due date of our real life baby, Baby (Boy) Day.  It’s funny that a year and a half ago, the suggestion of having a baby on top of the bakery would have been laughable (or cryable depending on the day).  However, as 2013 progressed and my mind and body got used to the emotions and work involved in owning a bakery, my husband and I agreed that having a baby just seemed like the perfect next step.  That “momnesia” that everyone talks about must have done its magic (on both of us).

37 weeks pregnant
38 weeks pregnant; +/- 2 weeks to game day

Needless to say, we are beyond excited to meet our little guy in a couple weeks (give or take).  We’re also looking forward to introducing him to our family, friends, and the neighborhood.  I’ve got a wonderful team who is ready to pick up my slack when the big day hits, and have already started in preparation.  My perspective will shift for a month or two as we come in for breakfast each day, as opposed to serving breakfast behind the counter.  This perspective shift will also allow me to work on other parts of the business that I’m not able to accomplish while behind the counter (a struggle that I’ve felt since we opened).  Most of all, we look forward to getting to know and spending significant time with our new baby.  We’ve waited a long time for this and don’t want to miss a moment!

Throughout the last nine months, everyone has been so supportive and shown tremendous care and concern.  It’s fun to know that our baby will have so many friends right off the bat.  We’ve got a lot of speculation floating around as to his birth date and weight, so we thought it would be fun to have people drop their guesses at the bakery.  We’ll be sure to announce the person who is closest when he reveals himself, as well have a little something special for having their finger on his pulse.

With my schedule dwindling down already, you may see me less over the next two weeks, but don’t fret.  You will be some of the first to know when he makes his way into this world.  We have a special treat planned to share, in his honor, when he is born.  We can’t wait to share the news with you!

~ Emily Day

Raising Dough: Flour & Co and Mary Elizabeth Inn

Last month at Flour & Co, we supported CUESA, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture for our Raising Dough Initiative.   With your help, we raised $70.  We’ll be matching that for a total donation of $140. CUESA is dedicated to cultivating a sustainable food system through the operation of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and through educational programs. We are so grateful to the guests of Flour & Co for continually joining us to Raise Dough for great organizations such as CUESA.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This month, we’ll be supporting The Mary Elizabeth Inn.  It’s a non profit organization that provides permanent housing, free meals, and varying services to 157 women in San Francisco. Mary Elizabeth Inn was opened 100 years ago and to this day, it is one of the few organization providing care specifically for formerly homeless and low income women.  It seeks to offer services that provide housing stability, emotional support, case management teams, food distribution and much more.  This month, Flour & Co will be supporting this neighborhood organization for our Raising Dough Initiative, as well as volunteering our hands-on help.   Thanks for helping us Raise Dough and stay tuned on facebook for the group volunteer date.  We’d love for you to join us!
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Subsidized housing, Property Management, and Support Services are provided on-site at The Inn and The Verona
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MEI partners with the San Francisco Food Bank to provide a weekly farmer’s market for our supportive housing tenants, and low income women and children in the community

The Bakery Life: Happy 1st Anniversary, Flour & Co!

April 8th, 2013 was opening day at Flour & Co.  Exactly ONE year ago today!  Yippeeeee!!  It’s like it was just yesterday, and an eternity all at the same time.  How fun to look back at our first year and enjoy the fruits of our labor.  Here’s what we were up to last year at this time:

The students
training on the espresso bar
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The exterior ready for the reveal
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finishing interior touches being put on
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the kitchen still in boxes
Marty's hand in action
Marty’s Sign Co hand painting our wonderful flour’s friends characters
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Matt from Martin Sign Co putting on the finishing touches after the hand painting
At the end of a long day, full of progress
after our open house, prior to opening

What has opening year been like?  Well, it has been amazing and wonderful, with little glimpses of fatigue, minor pains, highs, lows, and tears.  They say that when you have a baby, your brain discards the memory of birthing pain, and all you are left with is this wonderful little being in your arms whom you love and cherish day in and day out.  There’s no doubt that Flour & Co is my baby and, for the most part, my memory saves me from the nitty gritty painful moments (they weren’t that bad!) that go along with any opening or new business.  All that I’m left with is a fantastic team whom I work beside each day, wonderful neighbors, a great neighborhood, new friends, a place that I (and I hope lots of other people) can call home, and, of course, a plethora of tasty goodies that I still enjoy (too much) each day.

Here’s a quick glimpse of the past year:

the donation box filling up for Larkin Street Youth Services
our raising dough campaign, a monthly community outreach
The team on a Saturday - having some fun
The team on a Saturday – having some fun
Mmm...s'mores
Mmm…s’mores
The summer blueberry cream cheese toasty tart
The summer blueberry cream cheese toasty tart
team volunteering at the Raphael House
team volunteering at the Raphael House
The smoked salmon (lox) pretzel sandwich
The smoked salmon (lox) pretzel sandwich
Lunch time!
Lunch time!
Some of the kitchen team
Some of the kitchen team
Happy Halloween!
Happy Halloween!
Spiced Pumpkin Cake, Thanksgiving
Spiced Pumpkin Cake, Thanksgiving
Holiday cookie decorating
Holiday cookie decorating
New year's hangover cure
New year’s hangover cure
Family House SF team volunteering
Family House SF team volunteering

It seems only appropriate to do a little celebrating on this first anniversary, and we invite you to celebrate with us.  This Friday, April 11th, we will toast our opening year with:

~ Raffles!  A handful of prizes will be up for grabs from Flour & Co pie, to your next birthday cake, to 2 Flour & Co mugs with a bag of Stumptown beans, and finally a week of coffee drinks (one per day) on us.  Drop in on Friday to add your name to the hat.  Winners will be chosen over the weekend.

~ a Birthday cake!  What’s a birthday/anniversary without cake?!?  We’ll cut into the cake at 2pm, so stop by for a slice while there’s some to share!

~ free Coffee!  Follow us on facebook and twitter and watch for our ‘come and get it’ post – a few times during the day.  When you see it, stop in for a drink on us (we’ll specify the time period that we’ll be treating).

What am I most thankful for??  My team for one.  I couldn’t do it without them!  We did some celebrating of our own this past week and enjoyed reminiscing about the year.  Second, our neighbors and neighborhood.  We wouldn’t be where we are without the support and welcoming arms of the community.  So, thank you to everyone who has made this year one to remember.  To many more…

Hope to see you on Friday!

~  Emily Day

Journey Part 23: A New Journey (the good and the ouch)

I’ve found that I’m doing a lot of these lately…vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv.  Sitting down at my computer is an occupational hazard.  My eyes immediately close and my finger presses down on any given letter until I jolt awake.  I delete the jibberish and try to start all over again, usually with a similar outcome.  It’s just better if I stay standing.

This is the point in the journey when some may give up or take short cuts.  It’s where romantic ideas turn incredibly real.  There’s no romanticizing getting up at 2am, working until 10pm (with less than an hour sitting down) and then doing it all over again.  There’s nothing comforting about wondering if you’ll be able to meet payroll requirements in the first month (and probably the 2nd).

You’ve got to really love what you do (and maybe be a little foolish) in order to put yourself through such demands and stresses.  No pain, no gain.  Right?

It’s also the point that your team makes you or breaks you, and I have an awesome one. Team work is the only way to get through this.  My production manager, Jamy, is great at what she does and is willing to work side by side with me through the thick and thin (it’s thin ice most of the time these days) .  The rest of the team is on my side too.  Their commitment towards my/our common goal makes me smile every day.  I seriously couldn’t do it without them (check out my team’s profiles (more coming soon) on our website).

But, through this roller coaster ride of emotions, there’s also something incredibly exhilarating.  I mean, we are open for business for goodness sakes!  That’s what I’ve been planning for and working towards for months.  It’s the light at the end of the long tunnel.  It’s a light that I know will get brighter as we get on our feet.

What helps brighten the light?  Well, getting to know the neighbors by name is one.  It’s like making new friends in the first few weeks of school.  You know they’ll be a part of your life for years to come and it’s so nice getting over the awkward stage of asking them their names 3 times before you can call them friends.

Another light brightener is simply seeing my vision (and the work of some talented people) become reality right before my eyes.  It still makes me smile when I walk in the door.  ‘Is this for real’ and ‘is this really mine’ often goes through my mind…still!

Seeing people bite into a baked good and say it’s the best they’ve had or simply smile is another way to make the effort seem worth it.  Being recognized by some fantastic foodies out there (Tablehopper, Daily Candy, Thrillist…) also feels pretty good.  Relief is a word that comes to mind too.  Until unrelated people taste something that you created and like it, you just never know.

So, here I am at the fork in the road.  I’ve been on quite a journey just to get to this point.  Now, a change in direction leads me towards the light, as well as opens my eyes to new stresses and obstacles.  Let’s just say that life isn’t boring.

Case
The entry view
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The goodies
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Our neighborhood events and organization of the month

Journey Part 21: Preview of Flour + Co & Opening Date!

I should start off by saying Happy Easter!  I have to admit that I’m completely turned around on days of week and weeks of the month, but people were looking very pretty and proper out today.  Cute family shots on facebook were a big clue too.  I think a chocolate peanut butter bunny is in order.

Here at Flour + Co, it’s hard to believe it’s that time.  Our opening date is locked in for Monday, April 8th! Thanks goodness because we’ve had just about enough of painting, putting up baseboards, making and installing sound absorption panels, hanging things, breaking down boxes, taking trash to the dump, washing dishes and cleaning thoroughly after a very long day of baking (by ourselves)…..

I am so ready to get to the reason that I decided to open this business in the first place (besides the baking passion).   It’s all about the people.  The neighbors coming in each day, the tourists that are so excited to be in San Francisco and love the experience (any experience) that they have along the way, and the team that becomes family.  And so I say, goodbye construction and hello people.  Can’t say I mind eating the baked goods every day either.

This week is all about training and the last minute behind the scenes stuff. Of course, opening day/week always comes with some kinks to iron out, but I’m looking forward to having the chance to do just that, and hopefully we can avoid most of it with all of the upcoming team prep.

I should have more pics to share, but I forget to pick up my camera these days with all going on!  Anyway, here’s a peek…

The main entry - where it all happens
The main entry – where it all happens
A place to sit and enjoy the goods (will have seats soon!)
A place to sit and enjoy the goods (will have seats soon!) – see my stenciling project on the wall!?
At the end of a long day, full of progress
At the end of a long day, full of progress

Ps. Note the many flower arrangements around.  Friends and the neighbors that I’ve met have been so generous and thoughtful!  Thank you!

Pss. Our hours to start will be 6:30am – 7:30pm (monday through friday) and 6:30am – 5pm (Saturday & Sunday).  We may adjust after we see how this works, so don’t hate me if we miss you.  We’ll post hours as soon as we are sure of them.  Also, I’m still working on this little thing called a phone number.  Coming soon!

Journey Part 20: Signage

A monumental day, this 28th of March was.  We had our first day of training with our wonderful, new Flour + Co team.  Yay!!!  The Stumptown team (Greg & Travis) kicked things off right with coffee and espresso training.  I even drank my whole cup of coffee (ok – it was half of an 8oz cup).  But, I actually enjoyed it…and I welcomed the caffeine jolt this morning.  Funny how things change when sleep is a commodity.  I think the coffee had something to do with it too.  These guys know what they are doing.

Travis training our team
Travis training our team
The students
The students

While it’s super exciting having a team greater than two (go team Flour + Co!), there are also lots of other things going on in the sidelines.  One of these things on the other side of town is our signage guru, Marty and Matt and Martin Sign Company.  Marty and I go way back and he knows a thing or two about signs, plus he’s an artist.  Enter exhibit A…

the 'before'
the ‘before’

Rubber Design Co created an art piece for my feature wall.  Flour and her friends, of course, are the subjects.  Marty, being the artist that he is (and Matt too), is taking the design and hand painting it on this awesome piece of wood (supplied by Pascal’s workshop).  It’s a team effort.

While we have some other fun signage coming later this week (I’ll make sure to share), I want to show you the almost-live action shots over at Marty and Matt’s studio.  It’s pretty exciting and it’s going to look awesome on my blue wall!

step 1

Marty
Marty
Marty's hand in action
Marty’s hand in action
It's a team effort
Matt in concentration

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The ‘after’

Well, there you have it.  Only up to the minute news here at Flour + Co.  All while having a to do list that competes with Santa himself.  Some things are just more fun than others.  And, this is one that I couldn’t wait to cross off my list.

ps. I have to acknowledge Ian and team over at Gamut for creating my new website!  It looks fantastic – check it out when you have a chance.