Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Food & Drinks
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Published on March 22, 2024
Bernal Bakery Rises Up with New 'Bernal Basket' Location in San Francisco's Bernal HeightsSource: Instagram / @bernal_bakery

Bread lovers of Bernal Heights rejoice. The humble origins of what once was a pandemic-era, pulley-powered bread distribution system has finally settled down into its very own brick-and-mortar location, with Hoodline reporting that Bernal Bakery's new spot "Bernal Basket" will open its doors at 521 Cortland Avenue. Ryan Stagg and Danielle Banchero, the culinary duo behind the project, started out by selling their signature loaves from their home kitchen after being laid off from their chef jobs, but their artisanal bread game has since gone viral.

The new outlet fills the space once occupied by Little Bee Baking, a local favorite, in a move that seems to promise continuity in community-loved baked arts — with all due gratitude to Stacie Pierce, former pastry chef at Chez Panisse, who expressed her support for locals to take over the space. The move is a full circle moment for Stagg and Banchero who first launched their bread-making venture roughly a mile from the new digs, easing into fame with their unique delivery system, "really sparked everything that we have today," Stagg told Hoodline.

The menu, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, reads like a carb lover's dream, boasting everything from their original crusty, custardy sourdough to new savory creations like the 'scallion scroll.' On the sandwich front, the options are just as enticing with delicious combos such as prosciutto with stracciatella cheese or jambon beurre, all nestled between slices of fresh, sourdough bread.

Expanding beyond their well-known loaves, Bernal Basket is set to feature a range of baked novelties including the same pudgy cinnamon rolls that won over farmers market crowds and now, Roman-style pizza—a skill Stagg honed at the now-closed Pollara Pizzeria in Berkeley. From a dense olive and za'atar focaccia to a hypnotizing swirl of croissant dough masquerading as the 'scallion scroll,' the place is poised to dish happiness, slice by slice, as expressed on their Instagram page, with an invitation extended to all for their grand opening event, this Saturday from 7 a.m. until the fresh bread runs out.

As Bernal Basket warms up the ovens for its grand entrance, it retains the grassroots charm and commitment to community that first turned a neighborhood's pandemic blues into moments of joy, bite by delicious bite. It seems the story of Ryan Stagg's and Danielle Banchero's resilience through bread has not just fed but also nourished a community, and now sets a permanent foundation, one loaf at a time. To witness the rise yourself, head over to Bernal Heights for a taste of what's baking at Bernal Basket.