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Celebrating SF Made – Part II!

booze displayyyyyyyyyyyyyWith the Fancy Food Show in town, Raph took some time to tell you about some of the fantastic local, artisanal food products that he’s highlighting at our Markets. To accompany them, we’ve also got a wide selection of great spirits and beer that are proudly crafted right here in San Francisco. Here are a few that I’m particularly excited about this season.

 

Sutton Cellars Vermouth – A thicker-bodied, grapey vermouth that tastes beautiful all on its own over ice. Crafted from a base of Sonoma white wine and infused with botanicals, including rosemary from the bush near the winery.

No. 209 is a San Francisco gin distillery owned by the Rudd family (owners of Rudd Oakville Estate Winery and Dean & DeLuca). They pride No. 209 on being a “handcrafted, unique and intriguing spirit that is truly artisanal in quality”.

Junipero Gin, which was given the “Best Gin in Show” award at the 2012 NY World Wine and Spirits show, is made by hand  in a small distillery in the Potrero Hill section of San Francisco. Anchor Distilling Company, which produces Junipero Gin, also produces Anchor 18th Century Spirit Whiskey, hand-crafting from a mash of 100% rye malt.

Legendary San Francisco brewer Anchor Brewing, an affiliate of Anchor Distilling Company, produces Anchor Bock Beer, a fine seasonal offering that’s dark, strong, refreshing and perfect for the onset of spring in San Francisco.

Junipero

Speakeasy Betrayal is a seasonal release from this San Francisco brewer. It’s an Imperial Red Ale with flavors of caramel and malt and hints of tropical fruits. With its rich mouthfeel and full body, it pairs well with stew steak.

Almanac Biere de Chocolat is a collaboration between nomadic farm-to-barrel San Francisco brewers Almanac and our friends at the phenomenal San Francisco chocolatier Dandelion Chocolate. The result is this rich, decadent, dark and smoky beer.

You can find all of these local products in our Made in SF display at Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero, and just ask for them at 18th Street and we’ll be happy to help you out. We hope you enjoy these products from our friends and neighbors as much as we do!


Raph

Celebrating SF Made!

 

Display 1It’s that time of year! The Fancy Food Show is back in our beloved city by the Bay. As food-lovers, we consider ourselves fortunate that this premier event for specialty food makers comes to San Francisco every year. And as the Grocery Buyer for Bi-Rite, it’s always a thrill to try new products from outstanding food artisans, and to welcome them to our stores to meet our staff and peruse our shelves.

Those shelves are stocked full of delicious foods from great local producers, and to celebrate all the visitors from near and far to the Fancy Food Show, we are highlighting some of our local favorites this month. Visit the displays marked “SF Made” and you’ll see why!

Boozely'sBoozely’s Pickles are made by Brad Boozely, one of our neighbors on 18th Street. Brad comes from a long line of picklers and his love for the art shows in the crisp, tasty crunch of his pickles. He supports local farmers with his selection of produce.

We Love Jam is a two-person operation where literally everything, from recipe development to cooking to graphic and web design, is done in-house. The owners have forty years of combined experience experimenting in the kitchen, and work directly with local family farms to source the best fruit possible for their amazing jams.

Hey Boo 1

Hey Boo Coconut Jam, one of our most popular “SF Made” products! Coconut jam, also known as Srikaya in Indonesia, has been consumed for hundreds of years in Southeast Asia. Hey Boo’s San Francisco version is slow-cooked in in small batches using high-quality natural ingredients. It has a silky smooth texture with a golden color and a rich creaminess that is achieved by cooking the ingredients according to traditional Srikaya-making techniques.

Dandelion Chocolate are neighbors and great friends to Bi-Rite Market, and are a favorite among our guests and staff. From their location in the Mission District, they operate a bean-to-bar chocolate factory where temper small batches of beans and then mold and package each bar by hand. They have close relationships with their cacao growers and have prioritized sustainability since opening in 2010. Stop by for a visit while you’re in the neighborhood!

Kika's 2

Kika’s Treats, another neighbor, was founded in 2006 by Cristina Arantes, who produces pure chocolate-covered confections using a variety of alternative sweeteners and is committed to using the finest locally-sourced ingredients to make her delicious treats. She also gives back to the community through in-kind donations to local non-profits by donating 5% of net profits to La Cocina, a non-profit food incubator in San Francisco that helps low-income entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.

All of these products will be highlighted at both of our Market locations, so stop by for a look, chat and taste. We look forward to sharing these products from our friends and neighbors with you!


Shakirah

Tis’ The Season: Support Our 2nd Annual Toy Drive!

Kids with Santa at the Arriba Juntos Holiday Celebration

Kids with Santa at the Arriba Juntos Holiday Celebration

Help bring good tidings to families in need this December! Be a “local Santa” and support the our 2nd Annual Toy Drive, starting Friday, December 13thThis year, we’re expanding our reach and collecting toys for children and families living in the Mission and in the Western Addition. Donations from Bi-Rite Market Divisadero will go to the Western Addition Beacon Center (WABC), which inspires youth daily through arts and cultural programming, academic support, college prep and sports. All toys from Bi-Rite Market and Bi-Rite Creamery on 18th Street will go to Arriba Juntos, a Mission-based community organization that has been fostering self-sufficiency through occupational training and job opportunities for our neediest neighbors, for almost 50 years. Both organizations work incredibly hard to support local, disadvantaged families every day; we need your support to ensure that our neighbors have a great holiday.

We’re looking for new and unwrapped:

  • *Toys (for kids 12 and under)
    *Books
    *Sports equipment (e.g. basketballs and soccer balls)
    *Art supplies

You can drop off these goodies in the toy barrels at the entrances of:

Bi-Rite Market Divisadero: December 13th to December 18th, 9AM to 9PM
Bi-Rite Market 18th: December 13th to December 20th, 9AM to 9PM
Bi-Rite Creamery: December 13th to December 20th, 11AM to 10PM

Last year was a great success and the neighborhood came out in full force – we collected everything from jewelry making kits, baseballs, stuffed animals, classic children’s books, board games, and remote control cars to walkie-talkies, crayons, markers, one awesome twisty skateboard, and a Mr. Potato Head. Tis’ the season and help us do it again!

Excited? Have questions? Email Shakirah!

Cool toys from our generous guests!

Cool toys from our generous guests!


Shakirah

Going Hyperlocal: Supporting Mission High’s Urban Farm

 

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Rachel, Wyatt, Mission High student-farmers and Matt!

Meet our new favorite farm-direct relationship: Mission High School! We’re proud to feature student-grown and harvested produce from Mission High’s new urban farm in our Deli case and in our Produce department.

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Bi-Rite staff touring the Mission Youth (MY) Farm

The Mission Youth Farm (MY Farm) project is a 7,900-square-foot plot and outdoor education space situated on the northwest edge of the Mission High School campus, nestled next to the Mission Bears’ football field. The urban farm represents a tremendous collaboration between students, faculty, families, neighbors, business and community partners and city agencies to improve the food system within the Mission community and promote healthy eating within the school. Under the instruction of Mission High Food and Agriculture Coordinator Rachel Vigil, students in Mission’s new Urban Agriculture  CTE (Career Technical Education) Pathway Program receive horticulture, leadership, entrepreneurism and activism training in the areas of food justice, environmental stewardship and sustainability. “This is an exciting opportunity for Mission students to truly see how food gets from seed to many tables,” says Rachel. Through the farming, cooking, marketing and distribution of the produce grown on their land, students are primed to become young leaders in the good food movement.

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Learning how to sell great produce!

In just a few short months, the student farmers grew and harvested tender Red Russian Kale, spicy mizuna, fragrant dill and basil, vibrant rainbow chard and fresh herbs. Over the past several weeks, Bi-Rite staff toured the urban farm and youth kitchen, paying the same attention as we would with any new producer. Bi-Rite’s owner, Sam Mogannam, tasted through the fresh vegetables and declared that all of the produce “is in exceptional shape, [has] great flavor and would go head to head with any of our great farmers”.

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John shows students how to generate an invoice

This week, MY Farm students returned the favor and visited Bi-Rite as first-time vendors, bringing fresh greens and herbs for our produce buyer, Matt and market chef, Wyatt. After learning the proper ways to merchandise produce for a retail setting, they discussed upcoming Bi-Rite dinner items to make their offerings shine (mizuna salad with roasted Warren pears and walnuts, anyone?). Before heading out, students also met with our bookkeeper, John, and learned how to properly create and submit an invoice to get paid in a timely manner. The students will receive market rates for their incredible produce and are happy to join an illustrious group of producers. “The students were beaming about their first delivery; one student told me she felt legit, like a real professional,” says Rachel.

mission high school my farm salads

Find Mission High produce on our dinner menu and in our produce case!

You can help us go hyper-local in the ‘hood and support these amazing student farmers! Check out our daily dinner menu and produce case, exclusively at Bi-Rite 18th Street.  Look for the “Mission High School Farm” tag for produce harvested within hours, and fresh, seasonal dishes inspired by the students and created by our chefs. Your support helps MY Farm raise necessary funds to purchase garden equipment and seeds, and install a rain catchment and irrigation system.


Daphne Zepos Teaching Award

Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr./The New York Times

Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr./The New York Times

Bi-Rite is once again mobilizing to support the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award (DZTA) and we need your help.

Followers of this blog will recall last fall’s announcement of Bi-Rite’s commitment to the funding campaign for the DZTA. Our own Sam Mogannam co-founded the award with a group of cheese retailers and educators from across the country to commemorate and honor Daphne Zepos and her immense contributions to cheese-craft in San Francisco and throughout the wide world of cheese. Daphne co-owned The Cheese School of San Francisco and lived in San Francisco’s Mission District, so the palpable absence left by her death last July has resonated for us professionally and personally. Before she passed, Daphne conceived of an award to help a selected cheese professional travel and share knowledge at the annual American Cheese Society conference, and beginning in 2012 the cheese community has worked to make Daphne’s vision of this award a reality.

L'Amuse Gouda

L’Amuse Gouda

The founders of the Award set an ambitious fund-raising goal of $250,000 by the end of 2012, and Bi-Rite resolved to support this goal with a portion of our cheese sales. These sales, combined with an in-kind donation from Sam himself, allowed Bi-Rite to contribute $5,000 to the campaign. But the effort to commemorate Daphne and her contributions to the cheese-making and cheese-educating community goes on, so this fall we are reigniting our campaign in support of that effort – and by working together with our marvelous cheese vendors and amazing guests, we believe we can exceed our contribution from last year. During October, November and December of 2013, we will donate 25% of our sales of Essex St. Comte and L’Amuse Gouda (both cheeses that Daphne selected, imported and introduced to our selection) to the campaign.

Comte: The first cheese Daphne imported through Essex St., hand-selected from among the 60,000 wheels slowly and coolly aging in the caves at Marcel Petite Fort St. Antoine. Herbaceous, fruity and kissed with deep, heavy cream, it’s delicious in sandwiches or simply served with fruit, nuts or bread.

L’Amuse Gouda: This two-year-old aged Gouda, made at the Cono cheese-making facility in the Netherlands, is a great example of the flavor that comes from aging at a higher temperature (as opposed to a cooler one that suppresses bacterial activity). It’s also a stirring testament to affinage, the art of gracefully bringing a young cheese to mature ripeness.

Essex St. Comte

Essex St. Comte

Since the DZTA campaign began last year, we have opened a second market location on Divisadero Street, and with twice the cheese-selling capacity, we’re excited at the prospect of exceeding our contribution goal. But we still need your help! Please stop by either  of our Market locations to taste these fantastic cheeses. And if you would like to honor the memory of one of the greatest cheese educators in America but can’t make it in to our Markets, please consider donating online. We ensure that 100% of your money, minus credit card fees, will go to the endowment, which is managed by a President and Board of Directors from the cheese industry. All funds are safely invested and their annual returns fund the scholarship.

Thank you for sharing these wonderful cheeses with us, for your continued enthusiasm and support and for helping us to commemorate a great individual and the professional community to which she contributed so much. We’ll see you at the Market!


Casey

Final Days: Laura Parker’s ethereal exhibition “ROOTS”

It’s not surprising when a child stuffs a handful of dirt in her mouth. As soon as she discovers that she has a mouth that can taste and arms that have hands and fingers that she can control—in goes the dirt. In goes a pile of sand, food off the kitchen floor, and anything else that piques her curiosity. As adults, we might reprimand this little girl, brush off her hands and rinse out her mouth while saying things like “Yuck!” or “Dirty!”. But San Francisco-based conceptual artist, Laura Parker, encourages us all to re-consider this thinking with her installation piece, Taste of Place.

Laura Parker has worked in the realm of food and agricultural art for over 20 years. With Taste of Place, Parker offers “soil tastings” much like wine tastings, allowing people to smell, look and savor the soil while also tasting the food grown in it; sharing their findings and noting complexities. Parker’s installation asks two questions: How does soil touch our lives and affect our food; and why does it matter?

laura parker rootsBorn from a similar intent as Taste of PlaceROOTS: a solo exhibition by Laura Parker currently on view at 18 Reasons through May 30th,  encourages us to contemplate the microbial world below and aims to stimulate public dialogue about food production. Parker says,

“Like most people when I think of landscape I think of trees, plants and sky. But what of the world below—the one I can’t see? Everything we see is dependent on what we do not see: the soil, the roots, and the microorganisms. Our world, and that includes us, could not exist without the soil.”

Parker’s paintings are haunting and ethereal, earthy and tactile. Stories of the “world below” are etched the surfaces.  In one, ink cuts across acrylic naming microbial compounds. In others, ink cuts across wood transcribing excerpts of a Welch farmer’s notes on the soil from the 1930s; his observations in line with current conversations of soil—he, ahead of his time or us, behind. The surfaces of Parker’s paintings match the complexity of their subject matter and inspiration.

Parker’s ROOTS exhibition blends aesthetic pleasure with education to incite dialogue and awareness of the world below. Join us and let your eyes feast while learning little known facts. One interesting tidbit? Some roots of native perennial grasses can provide up to 80% of the organic matter that regenerates rich prairie soil; some of these grasses develop roots reaching 12 to 15 feet deep! Take on the Laura’s soil experiment yourself – gather some friends and arrange your own microbial tasting experiences.

When mind, heart, and palate have been awoken to what lies below and the necessity of its health, we may begin to ask our children with mouths stuffed full of dirt, “how does it taste?”

Exhibition Details

“Roots” by Laura Parker

In the 18Reasons Gallery: April 5th – May 30th

Open Gallery Hours: Saturdays 12-4pm

3674 18th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110