A report by Dana Eastland. The big news this week is a major merger of two of San Francisco’s biggest players in artisanal products: Blue Bottle and Tartine Bakery. The two businesses both trace their roots to 2002, when Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt opened Tartine and James Freeman started selling his coffee beans. Now, Tartine will become part of Blue Bottle, but will maintain its identity as an independent entity, with Robertson as CEO. Prueitt will remain executive pastry chef. In addition to the upcoming project in the Heath building in the Mission and the new partnership between the two brands in Tokyo, they will also be expanding to Los Angeles and New York (did you just hear the cheers nationwide?). In the coming months, Tartine will begin serving Blue Bottle coffee exclusively, and Blue Bottle will incorporate Tartine breads and pastry into their menus.
As for what this all means, obviously some are already concerned with what this kind of growth can mean for a place as artisanal as Tartine. But it’s also exciting to think about how two such quintessentially Bay Area companies can help each other grow and take our local values global. This also has the potential to be huge for Tartine employees, who will now have different opportunities to grow with the company that wouldn’t have been available before.
The other piece of exciting news here is that ~BAR TARTINE~ is being sold to head chefs Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns. Rather than try to keep the restaurant within the larger company, Robertson and Prueitt decided to sell to the pair, according to The New York Times. Congratulations to everyone involved, and we look forward to seeing how these businesses grow.
This being San Francisco, there is plenty more news in coffee land too. Hoodline reports that REPOSE COFFEE has opened on Divisadero. This is the second location for the café, which has another location in Sebastopol. They are serving Ritual coffee and a small food menu of salads, panini, and gluten-free quesadillas, with pastries coming soon. They also have beer and wine. Hours are Mon-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat 8am-6pm, Sun 9am-4pm. 262 Divisadero St. at Haight, 415-874-9110.
It looks like the PHILZ empire is growing, with a location in 5 Embarcadero Center. Hoodline reports that permits for construction have been filed for a space in the building, though no one at Philz is talking about the exact location or their plans, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on this one. 5 Embarcadero Center at Market.
Did you know that local chef Dennis Leary started roasting his own coffee beans? He did! His microroasting operation is called Aleph Coffee, and Sprudge has a fun interview with him on learning to roast; he even hints at a possible café someday.
Liz Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery and Manufactory. Photo by Eric Wolfinger.