Foodie Roundup: Local Bakers, Makers, Producers and Artisans
Andytown Coffee Roasters
Founded in 2014 by a pair of passionate baristas, Andytown is now touted as having some of the best coffee in the Bay Area. Hours may be limited at the roaster’s Outer Sunset locations, but you can get your fix online. Check back frequently for its holiday (big and small) offerings. San Francisco
What started out as a gift to a sick friend has become a whole lot more. Dubbed Bouchées, the nutty snack mixes come in four different flavors, each deliciously nutritious and allergen-conscious. 8 Nightingale Lane, San Rafael
Board at Home
What is better than having cheese delivered straight to your door? Board at Home curates local, artisanal cheese boards complete with charcuterie and accompaniments, all available for next-day delivery. Five percent of proceeds go to the Lee Initiative to provide emergency assistance to independent restaurants and their workers.
After 16 years living and working in Japan, Eric Gower went in search of the country’s best matcha producers. San Anselmo–based Breakaway Matcha is the result. We love the 18 matcha blends and the perfect matcha-making accessories.
One part tavern, one part rustic market, Che Fico does more than live up to its name (“that’s so cool!” in Italian). The eatery, owned by a hospitality expert and a world-traveling chef, has a line of sauces and spreads that allows you to bring the restaurant experience home. While you anxiously await the return of the brunch menu, order pickup or delivery from the website. 838 Divisadero Street, San Francisco
With locations in both Point Reyes and S.F., Cowgirl Creamery is the favorite stop for a quick bite or to stock up on its famous cheeses. Grab the bestselling Mt. Tam, whose name pays homage to the rocky peaks of our county’s iconic landmark, or join the monthly club for more variety and home delivery. Point Reyes Station and San Francisco
Farmhouse Lab’s salad dressings don’t just add flavor to your favorite greens, they are also leading the way in the plant-based revolution. With five vibrant flavors, one of which is designed to help children try new foods, it won’t be long before the whole family will want a subscription.
Four Star Seafood & Provisions
Since March, co-founders and chefs Adrian Hoffman and Ismael Macias have been offering their seafood, meal kits and more for delivery in Marin or pickup in S.F. The way we see it, Four Star deserves five stars. 1315 Egbert Avenue, San Francisco
Hanson Organic Vodka
Hanson vodka is the first of its kind — organic and non-GMO and grape-based. The family-owned company will even deliver prebatched cocktails or do-it-yourself kits so that you can enjoy your favorite tipple from the comfort of your own home. 22985 Burndale Road, Sonoma
Hog Island Oyster Co.
Oysters grown in Marin and shipped directly to your door? Sign us up! Hog Island prides itself on its sustainable aquaculture practices, so ordering its oysters feels as good as it tastes. The grilled cheese and signature Bloody Mary aren’t so bad either. Larkspur, Marshall, Napa and San Francisco
You can’t really go wrong with a classic doughnut or fresh cinnamon roll, can you? Not only are these mouthwatering treats made on site throughout the Bay Area, but Johnny Doughnuts also has a food truck and delivery service to test your staying (away from sugar) power. Marin Country Mart, San Rafael and San Francisco
When it comes to buying teas and spices, flavor is oh-so important — as is knowing where it came from. At Local Spicery, spices are milled just a short trip away in Gold Country for maximum freshness. Stop in the Victorian-themed shop or pick among 250-plus items online. 80 Main Street, Suite F, Tiburon
Love + Chew
Love + Chew has made the seemingly impossible possible, developing plant-based protein cookies that are as chewy and delicious as your grandma’s baked goods. Reward your body with what it deserves, and feel good about it — a portion of the proceeds go to local organizations like Oasis for Girls in S.F.
Marin French Cheese Company
This is the longest-operating cheese company in the United States, and we get to call it our own. Marin French Cheese’s store and beautiful grounds, complete with a pond and grassy meadows to picnic on, have even remained open amid Covid. 7510 Point Reyes – Petaluma Road, Petaluma
Founded in 2015 by the Igersheim brothers, Marin Kombucha is known for small-batch fermented teas, Marin-inspired flavors and locally sourced ingredients. Find its kombucha at retail locations across the Bay Area — or, better yet, order a couple of cases from the website and never go without.
The Marshall Store
While the Marshall Store prides itself on its oysters, it stocks so much more — meats, veggies and gelato — so even non-seafood lovers can enjoy a visit to the property in Tomales Bay. The variety, great service and waterfront view make the hour drive from Central Marin well worth it. 19225 Highway 1, Marshall
M.H. Bread and Butter
The key to staying happy and sane during the shelter-in-place order was knowing where to go for comfort food, and M.H. Bread and Butter was on the top of our list. From its Breads & Butters assortment to baked eggs and seasonal soups, this artisan bakery and cafe does it all. 101 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo
Since 1978, Mr. Espresso has been doing good. Support a local business and its philanthropic efforts against Covid, racism and poverty by sipping on irresistible authentic Italian espresso. 696 Third Street, Oakland
Whether or not you are a superfood addict, Navitas’ collection of healthy snacks and recipes makes it impossible not to find something you’ll love. Even better, each powder or latte mix is made in Marin and supports small family farmers around the globe.
Nicasio Valley Cheese Company
There’s nothing quite like a family business and award-winning cheese. For three generations, the Swiss Lafranchi family has perfected the art of making cheeses with 100 percent organic cow’s milk. Order an individual cheese or sample several with a gift box — you can’t go wrong either way. 5300 Nicasio Valley Road, Nicasio
Oaktown Spice Shop
Oaktown Spice Shop owners John Beaver and Erica Perez opened in 2009 after noticing that foodie friends were buying produce at the farmers market and meat at the butcher shop, but not putting much thought into where they got the spices they were seasoning their food with. Oaktown knew it could change that for the better and did. 546 Grand Avenue, Oakland; also Albany and Castro Valley
One Ocean Seafood
In 2012, Patrick Guyer had the idea to deliver the freshest top-quality seafood to homes in the Bay Area. Most of the fish, which is sold in San Francisco, Oakland and the North Bay, is caught locally and filleted that same day. Have it delivered or pick it up at Pier 45 in San Francisco.
Patagonia clothing company founder Yvon Chouinard was alarmed when the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported that if the world continues to degrade its soil at the current rate, it only has about 60 harvests left. He decided to sell Patagonia-branded food, which uses only regenerative organic farming practices to yield large crops while building healthier soil. A must-try for your next camping trip.
Ponsford’s Place Bakery & Innovation Center
This German-influenced organic neighborhood bakery operated by Craig Ponsford and Hanna Noel runs kind of like a pop-up (subscribe to the mailing list online for menu and schedule info) with pre-orders. The menu features bread, savory and sweet items, but favorites include a cream-cheese filled pretzel, pizza and croissants. 117 Shaver Street, San Rafael
As certified extra-virgin olive oil sommeliers, Janell Pekkain and Erin Ridley were bound to take it to the next level. And after they met in San Francisco and became friends, 2020 was the year they finally did it.
Prohibition Spirits Distillery
After falling in love with Sonoma in 2008, husband-and-wife team Fred and Amy Groth eventually relocated from Colorado and started making their award-winning Limoncello di Sonoma. They now have 30 different products, including gins, brandies and rums. Their daughter Isabella even got in on the act, making olive oils and balsamics. 23592 Arnold Drive, Sonoma
The ever-popular Rustic Bakery grew from a modest sourdough cracker producer into the Marin institution we know and love today. Stop by one of the four cafe locations for breakfast or lunch, and don’t forget to try the seasonal offerings. Larkspur, Novato and Tiburon
Sonoma County Bee Company
Get on the waitlist for Sonoma County Bee Company’s ethically harvested local honey or schedule a virtual honey tasting to enjoy four different wildflower honeys from the comfort of home. The honey comes from responsibly managed apiaries and is available when beehive surpluses allow.
Some of founder Trent Blodgett’s favorite childhood memories were of cooking with his dad and family trips to little-known restaurants and markets in Mexico. His goal is to share the best spices from around the world and make sure the farmers are fairly paid. The company also gives back by cooking 600 meals a month for those in need through The City Eats.
Tamalpais Beverage Company
This Marin-based business launched in 2019 after its founders took organic super-fruit juices, full-spectrum hemp and adaptogens such as turmeric, ginger and L-theanine into a test kitchen and, after several iterations, realized they had created something special. The five different flavors they make incorporate natural ingredients to boost mood, body and function.
Tomales Bay Oyster Company
TBOC is California’s oldest continually run oyster farm, having gotten its start in 1909. The low water levels in Tomales Bay make it ideal for oyster cultivation, as anyone who has sampled these bivalve delights knows. There is no picnicking allowed at TBOC, but grab your cooler and fill it up with oysters to enjoy at any of the nearby beaches or parks. 15479 Highway 1, Marshall
Ugly Pickle Co.
When food justice worker Kayla Abe and chef David Murphy met at San Francisco’s Ferry Plaza farmers market, they decided that they had to do something about food waste — namely, the food that gets discarded because it doesn’t look perfect. They decided to rescue “cosmetically challenged” produce and make it into pickles, which you can now find at local markets. Beautiful!
Valley Ford Cheese & Creamery
A true family affair, Valley Ford is run by Karen Bianchi-Moreda and her son Joe Moreda Jr. In 2008, Karen built a cheesemaking facility on their property, where she eventually created the famous Estero Gold cheese. Try it and more at their charming Sonoma store. 14390 Valley Ford Road, Valley Ford
Vella Cheese Company
Vella Cheese started in 1931 when a group of Sonoma dairymen asked Gaetano (Tom) Vella if he would use his cheesemaking talent to product cheese from the high-quality milk they provided. Success soon followed and, in 1981, Tom turned the operation over to his son Ignazio “Ig” Vella, who now heads the family-run business.
Wild West Ferments
Maggie Levinger and Luke Regalbuto started Wild West Ferments to promote farmers and the health of the local community. They use wild indigenous yeasts and bacteria to create gut-friendly foods like sauerkraut, kimchi and chile paste. The company ferments in ceramic crocks (never in plastic), which is one more thing to love.