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Give Joy: Our Holiday Toy Drive is Here!

Toy Drive OrnamentThe air is crisp and the holiday cheer is here – our 4th Annual Bi-Rite Holiday Toy Drive is near! From Friday, December 4th, to Friday, December 18th, we will collect everything from Mr. Potato Heads to paintbrush sets to board games to soccer balls for low-income and homeless children and families living in the Mission and in the Western Addition.

We’re proud to continue our long-time support of community-based organizations to create a happier holiday for our neighbors. Donations from Bi-Rite Market Divisadero will go to the Western Addition Beacon Center, which supports local youth every day through arts and cultural programming, academic support, college prep, and sports activities. All toys from Bi-Rite Market and Bi-Rite Creamery on 18thStreet will go to Arriba Juntosa Mission-based community organization fostering self-sufficiency through occupational training and job opportunities for our neediest neighbors, for almost 50 years.


Sam’s love of Legos lives on.

This year, we’ve made new friends to double the impact of our Toy Drive. We’re teaming up with fellow mission-driven business and Valencia corridor staple Paxton Gate and their toy store, Curiosities for Kids. Paxton Gate will collect donations and bring in high-quality, educational and interactive toys, games, and projects for kids in need in the Mission. We will also partner with Children’s Book Project for all book donations. Children’s Book Project supports Bay Area children who have few or no books in their homes and attend schools and childcare facilities where children’s books are desperately needed.

We need your support to ensure that underserved kids in San Francisco have a wonderful holiday. We have four ways for you to #BeASanta and spread joy this holiday season:

  1. Donate in-store! Please give new and unwrapped:
  • Toys (for kids 12 and under)
  • Books (for kids 16 and under)
  • Sports equipment (e.g. balls, bats, gloves, skateboards)
  • Art supplies (unused)

From Friday, December 4th to Friday, December 18th, drop off goodies in the toy barrels at the entrances of:

Bi-Rite Market Divisadero:  9AM to 9PM
Bi-Rite Market 18th:  9AM to 9PM
Bi-Rite Creamery:  11AM to 9PM
Paxton Gate: 11AM to 7PM
PG Curiosities for Kids: 11AM to 8PM

  1. Party at a Parklet! Looking for extra fun? Enjoy a delicious Bi-Rite Creamery Christmas cookie or piping hot Dandelion European drinking chocolate in exchange for a new toy donation at our “Toys & Treats” event on Wednesday, December 16th, from 4:30PM to 6:30PM. Co-hosted by Dandelion Chocolate at their brand-spanking new parklet, we will welcome all generous souls with a free holiday photo booth, Four Barrel coffee and more treats! Paxton Gate will be on site with selected toys for purchase for all those who’d like to give on the spot.


    Last year’s SF MOMA donation was amazing!

  2. Swap Toys for a Treat! Find the Bi-Rite Community Team at Bi-Rite Divisadero on Wednesday, December 9th from 4 to 6PM. Shakirah and Sarah will be tabling outside, collecting toys from our neighbors, and sharing warm beverages and Creamery treats.
  3. #BeASanta with our Instagram Contest! Are you ready to spread some serious holiday cheer? Tag us (@BiRiteSF) in a photo/selfie on Instagram with your toy donation at our Bi-Rite barrel with the hashtags #BeASanta #BiRiteToyDrive. The most liked photo on Instagram by December 18th, 2015 at 12PM will receive a $50 Bi-Rite Market and Creamery gift card! #winning

Last year, we collected over 450 toys via the generous outpouring from our staff, guests, local businesses, and greater community. We want to double that number – help us do it again!

Excited? Have questions? Email Shakirah, Bi-Rite’s Community Programs Manager!

The 2015 Bi-Rite Holiday Toy Drive is in collaboration with these amazing partners:




Jon Fancey

Gruyere 1655 Makes Everything Better

Now through November, the Bi-Rite Market Cheese Department is celebrating one of our favorite European cheeses: IMG_6279Gruyere 1655. I spent a week in Switzerland last month and ate quite a bit of Gruyere. Originally, the cheese was made by two brothers in the town of Gruyere, Switzerland, and the cheese took on the city’s name after the year 1655, when a noble in the area had the cheese made for his family. There are so many reasons that you should come in to the Markets and grab your own piece of Gruyere 1655 to enjoy!

  • It’s the perfect everyday cheese–Breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, or dinner.
  • It’s delicious–A well-rounded flavor and an amazing texture make this one of the most memorable cheeses we sell.
  • It pairs well with all of this season’s flavors–Heirloom Apples from California, Seckel Pear and Vincent Family Dried Cranberries from Oregon, or the new Underground Meats Summer Sausage from Madison, Wisconsin are incredible when paired with Gruyere!
  • It melts like a dream—Perfect for grilled cheese, quiche, a gratin, or even macaroni & cheese. Be on the lookout for recipe cards in the Markets, like the one below.
  • It’s sturdy & satisfying–Perfect for a picnic in the park, a day hike, or a weekend camping trip.
  • It preserves traditional cheese-making–Wheels of Gruyere 1655 are handmade at Fromagerie La Cret and are lovingly aged by Fromage Gruyere SA. Both firms are committed to the heritage of Switzerland’s most important cheese.
  • It’s the best cheese for Fondue—Everyone loves a pot of melted cheese on a foggy San Francisco evening, especially when it’s Gruyere 1655 in the pot.

Please stop by either Market and ask for a taste of this great Alpine cheese!

Gruyere recipe card_GrilledCheese


Getting Figgy With It

Fig trees are one of the most common fruit trees in backyards throughout the Bay Area. You would think IMG_5393this would lead to them being a super popular fruit in the area, but this isn’t the case!  Figs are one those pieces of fruit that usually taste better the uglier they get – but a lot of consumers buy figs that are under-ripe, are still extra-firm, and are not that sweet.  At Bi-Rite we realize that the best tasting figs are the ones that sit on the tree longer to develop their sugars, and are harvested just when the jelly-like flesh of the figs is about to explode out of the skin with sugary goodness.  The fresh fig selection at the Markets changes every day depending on which varieties our favorite farms are harvesting and delivering to the Markets.

Black Mission Figs are the most common fig you see at grocery stores.  They have a thicker skin than most other varieties, which makes them a good crop for shipping long distances.  If grown to the perfect level of ripeness, their dark purple flesh makes them one of the sweetest varieties. The Brown Turkey Fig is similar to the Black Mission in appearance, but a little lighter in color with green skin next to the stem. Brown Turkeys are known to be the largest growing fig and have beautiful rose-colored flesh.

IMG_3004The green fig varieties bring a lot of excitement to Bi-Rite each season with their lime green skin and beautiful reddish pink flesh. These are usually the some sweetest varieties of the season and a perfect dessert fig.  Adriatic, Kadota, and Calimyrna Figs will all hit the Bi-Rite shelves between now and the end of September. I can’t forget to mention the Candystripe Fig with its yellow skin and green stripes – it’s always a main attraction in the produce department in August! The flesh is crimson-colored and they taste like raspberry or strawberry jam.

Throughout the month of August we will be celebrating all of these amazing figs and the local farms that grow them! From Bi-Rite Farm in the foothills of the Sierra, to the legendary fig farmers at Knoll Farm in Brentwood, each fig variety will bring a different flavor to the table.  We are also highlighting the awesome Point Reyes Bay Blue Cheese and have adapted a killer recipe from our book, Eat Good Food, combining figs, blue cheese, and prosciutto that is going to blow your mind! Shop for the ingredients in our Markets or directly from our online store at Instacart.com and have them delivered to your door. And if you don’t remember what a big, juicy, ripe fig taste like please come by either Market and ask for a sample.


Jon Fancey

Better Summer Living Through Cheese

Cheese isn’t just for the holidays or special events.  Serving a selection of cheese is a great way to impress your guests at your next summertime gathering, too! Whether you’re hosting a casual backyard BBQ, a spontaneous picnic at the park, or an extravagant weekend brunch –- don’t forget the cheese. Here are some of the cheeses we love at Bi-Rite that I’ll be sharing with my friends this IMG_2967summer:

Alemar Cheese Company’s Good Thunder – Keith Alemar started crafting cheese from organic milk in 2008 – and now his small creamery in Mankato, Minnesota is providing us with some of our favorite soft-ripened cheeses.  Good Thunder has been a work in progress for the past couple of years, and it now tastes better than ever –- milky, meaty, and just slightly pungent.  This little brick of cheese that’s washed in Surly Brewing’s Bender Oatmeal Ale would be perfect with any Olympia Provisions charcuterie and is a great option for any summertime cheese board.

Uplands Cheese Company’s Pleasant Ridge Reserve – Andy Hatch is one of our favorite cheese makers, and his stunning pasture on Pleasant Ridge in southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless region is one of our favorite farms to visit.  Pleasant Ridge Reserve is an Alpine-style cheese made with the milk of one of America’s most beautiful herds.  The wheels we’re selling right now in the Markets have been matured for a year and have deep flavors of toasted nuts and brown butter.  This sturdy cheese is perfect for picnics and day trips –- a great one to take to Sonoma to enjoy with just about any bottle of red wine.

IMG_1819Jasper Hill Farm’s Bayley Hazen Blue – Jasper Hill Farm is nestled in the rolling green hills of Vermont’s Northeastern Kingdom, and is committed to nurturing the region’s dairy and cheese-making traditions.  Bayley Hazen is crafted with raw cow’s milk, and has a delicious fudgy texture with flavors of grass and nuts.  It’s delicious melted on a burger or crumbled on a steak -– it can also be an easy dessert when served with the season’s best stone fruit and local honey.

Marin French Cheese’s Petit Crème – The folks at Petaluma’s Marin French Cheese are celebrating their 150th Anniversary this summer and we’re proud to offer their little bloomy rind button.  Crafted with cow’s milk from neighboring farms – this baby brie is mild, milky, and perfect for any occasion.

Cheese is a crowd pleaser for all of your summer events — come to the 18th Street and Divisadero markets and chat with our Cheese team!

Christine Mathias

Big Spoon Roasters + Bi-Rite = LOVE

We are thrilled to include among our amazing producers the wonderful Big Spoon Roasters of Durham, North Carolina. Where our products come from, how they’re made, and the quality and transparent sourcing of their ingredients are of paramount importance to our team of Buyers at Bi-Rite. What’s fantastic about Big Spoon is that Founder Mark Overbay is right there with us, and his philosophy that IMG_2238“food matters”–to our health, happiness, and planet–is in alignment with out beliefs.

Big Spoon makes handcrafted nut butters. These include Peanut, of course, but also Almond, Cashew, Almond Ginger, Chai Spice, Mission Almond, Peanut Cashew, and many more. Only the best ingredients are used, like fresh Runner peanuts from the Carolinas, organic Pawnee pecans, and raw wildflower honeys. Just as important is what is not added: these butters contain no palm oil, and no preservatives. Each small batch is roasted, milled, and packaged while it’s still warm, and made to order. So, how does someone even get started making what Bon Appetit called,“Some of the Country’s Best Nut Butter?”

Mark tried handcrafted peanut butter when he was a Peace Corps Volunteer many moons ago. While in Zimbabwe, he witnessed small-scale farmers IMG_2266harvesting and roasting fresh peanuts, crushing them with a mortar and pestle, and folding in honey and salt. It was a transformative experience for someone who had loved peanut butter his entire life. This was his point of reference a decade later when, in 2010 at his North Carolina home, he had the brilliant idea to recreate that delicious and simple recipe using ingredients sourced in his local area.

And Big Spoon works very hard to make a difference;  Mark says he created Big Spoon Roasters, in part, “as a response to the over-industrialization of one of the world’s simplest pleasures and most prevalent pantry staples–peanut butter.” North Carolina is ranked sixth in the United States in peanut production, and Big Spoon is proud to be able to invest in farmers who share Big Spoon’s ideals of delicious, nutritious food that is good for everyone IMG_2554involved in its production. Transparency and trust are key components of their relationships with local and regional farmers. And Mark has said that realizing the food supply chain is really a “link of human lives” informs everything Big Spoon Roasters does.

We are carrying several flavors of Big Spoon Nut Butter at both the 18th Street and Divisadero Bi-Rite Markets. Look for the displays in both stores, and definitely make sure you have a taste! We are thrilled to be involved with such a great company, and look forward to sharing their story and their butters with you. Mark Overbay and Big Spoon Roasters are the embodiment of the Bi-Rite mission of Creating Community Through Food.

Jon Fancey

Fresh Cheese Makes All the Difference

Burrata, Chevre, Fromage Blanc, Queso Fresco, Mozzarella–these are just a handful of the fresh cheeses available here at Bi-Rite Market. Fresh cheeses are the best expression of the milk that’s used to make them, and they are easy to enjoy every day! May and June bring a bounty of stone fruit, berries, and tomatoes so it’s the perfect time of the year to pair them up with these fresh cheeses crafted in California. Here are a few you can look out for when you’re shopping at Bi-Rite!


Andante Dairy Fresh Goat Cheese

Andante Dairy Fresh Goat Cheese – Soyoung Scanlan is a true renaissance woman: musician, biochemist, dairy scientist, and cheese maker. We sell a small selection of her cheeses at both Bi-Rite Markets, and her fresh rounds of goat’s cheese are the favorite of staff and guests.  Made one day a week in Sonoma County and delivered to the markets the following day, it’s always the freshest cheese in our case. Perfect with peaches and berries or a glass of rose.

Pennyroyal Farm Laychee – Boontling is a jargon spoken in one specific part of Northern California. Laychee means “milk” in Boontling and is an appropriate name for this fresh cheese from Boonville. It’s crafted from the milk of a small herd of goats that graze this Mendocino farm, neighboring the famed Navarro Vineyards.  It’s one of our favorite brunch cheeses — sweet, creamy, and spreadable – and pairs well with sparkling wines.


Burrata from DiStefano Cheese Company

Di Stefano Cheese Company Burrata – Mimmo Bruno started working in an Italian cheese factory at the age of 11, earning $1 a week. In 1993 the Bruno family opened the Di Stefano Cheese Company in Southern California and introduced Americans to Burrata!  These cream bombs of stracciatella wrapped in a delicate mozzarella shell are a much-loved specialty of Puglia, the region Bruno and his family call home. Serve it as an appetizer with crusty bread and charcuterie, as a side dish with grilled vegetables, or as a dessert with roasted strawberries and a glass of Moscato d’Asti.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Fresh Mozzarella – The Giaconmini Family has been operating their dairy from the rolling green hills overlooking Tomales Bay for more than 55 years. Their beautiful land and herd of cows produce amazing milk that’s easily tasted in this fresh mozzarella. A favorite of guests at both Bi-Rite Markets: this is the cheese to use with this season’s best tomatoes!

Please come by and ask our knowledgable and friendly Cheese Team about our incredible fresh cheeses. They can help with pairings, wine suggestions, and are a great bunch of folks who love to share tastes and knowledge. Looking forward to seeing you!


Bi-Rite and Bike Month in Full Swing!


PUBLIC Bikes + Bi-Rite Ice Cream = Righteous!

It’s Bike Month in San Francisco, and we’re celebrating with the things that we, our cyclist friends, and San Franciscans love—safe cycling, helping our neighbors, and ice cream (of course!).

We’re co-hosting our second-annual Bike to Ice Cream Day fundraiser with PUBLIC Bikes to raise money for Pedal Revolution, an amazing non-profit bike shop that, through their partnership with New Door Ventures, has provided local youth with job training and opportunities for 15 years. Bike to Ice Cream Day will take place at the Bi-Rite Divisadero Scoop Shop at 550 Divisadero on Wednesday, May 20th from 5pm to 8pm. You can RSVP to this Facebook event and invite your friends!


Ivy from Divis shows off the This Little Piggy Rode to Market Sundae!

The event will feature a special limited-edition sundae, called “This Little Piggy Rode to Market,” featuring Chunky Pig Bacon Caramel Popcorn with Bi-Rite Creamery Brown Sugar with Ginger Caramel Swirl and Vanilla Ice Creams, and our house-made Fudge Sauce. Folks who come with their bike helmet with get $1.50 off their sundae! We’ll also have a raffle featuring sweet prizes from Bi-Rite and PUBLIC Bikes—tickets are just a buck! This event and the special sundae will be at the Divisadero Bi-Rite Market location ONLY, and are not to be missed!

If you can’t make it to the fundraiser, any donation you make in May at the Scoop Shop at Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero will go directly to Pedal Revolution. It’s one of only a few bicycle shops in the United States providing employment, job training, and hope to young people.

Bike To Work Day Energizer Station

Bike To Work Day Energizer Station

And it wouldn’t be Bike Month without Bay Area Bike to Work Day! On May 14th, we proudly sponsored the Energizer Station at 17th and Valencia Streets. Anyone who rode by on their way to work got a perfect fair-trade banana or a cup of Bi-Rite Creamery Granola. We were so happy to be part of such a wonderful day and meet all the happy cyclists!

And that’s what Bike Month is all about, really — love of our City, love of cycling, love of the planet. Thanks for supporting Bike Month!





The team at Pedal Revolution ROCKS!

Jessie Rogers

Bay to Breakers is Here–Come See Us At Divis!


Must. Have. Ice. Cream.

Bay to Breakers is back in a big way on Sunday, May 17th and the event route runs right past our Divisadero Street Market. To make sure we have everything ready for runners and revelers, the Divis market will be open an hour later than usual, at 10am. The Bi-Rite Creamery Scoop Shop inside the market will open up at that time too, so we will be ready with everything you need to stay happy and hydrated and full of Cookies and Cream-y goodness. (Bay to Breakers won’t impact the 18th Street Market hours.) Bay to Breakers isn’t just the oldest consecutively-run annual footrace in the world, it’s also one of the biggest, craziest, and most fun days on the San Francisco summer calendar! The people-watching alone draws huge crowds to the race route.

Bi-Rite Market on Divisadero is the newer of our two markets and has embraced its part in the Bay to Breakers craziness since day one! We’ve had a great time the last couple of go-rounds and we’re looking to having even more fun this year.


We’ve got sandwiches!

We’ll be highlighting all of the snacks, sandwiches, beer, and water that you’ll need to enjoy the day. Grab an ice cream cone or sundae as a reward for all that hard running/walking/watching too! It promises to be a great day, and we’ll be there for you, with everything you need to keep fed, watered, and satisfied. See you on Sunday the 17th!


Beautiful and Sweet Treats For Your Valentine

No matter whether you have a Valentine, you don’t have a Valentine, or YOU are your Valentine's ChocolatesValentine– everyone deserves to feel special! This year I’ve hand-picked amazing chocolates, Trac has chosen fantastic wines, and Eleanor and our Floral Team have sought out beautiful blooms to make your holiday lovely. Most of these great gifts can also be purchased online through our delivery partner, Instacart.com, for arrival straight to your door in as little as an hour, so no excuses!

If you’re a truffle person, I’ve selected a 6-piece box from Michael Mischer, along with Neo Cocoa Wild Cherry Dark Truffles. For a traditional chocolate assortment, we have a wide range of artisan and handmade confections. Everything from decadent and elaborate boxes from Chocolat Moderne, a producer we love to bring in for their exquisite and truly special holiday creations, to three options from famed chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, and a lovely assortment from San Francisco-based TinyB Chocolates. We are also proud to continue featuring Oakland’s gate commes des filles, lovingly and meticulously created by one of our favorite producers, Alexandra Whisnant, using local, seasonal ingredients she forages herself. These hand-enrobed chocolates are best when enjoyed at their freshest. It’s a perfect excuse to dive right in after you give the box to your Valentine!

Valentine's CaramelsIf you love caramel, Sweet Revolution’s 12-piece Maple Honey Love Caramels box is for you, or you can go with Fran’s 7-piece Gray Salt Caramels in a pretty little pink box. We also have handmade toffee from Keke’s Kitchen that comes in a pretty white box and a super-cool Askinosie Chocolate Tasting Kit for the true chocolate fanatic. If you’re looking for something lovely but a little less formal, the Alma Lovebird Pop and Fran’s Dark Caramel Heart are delicious, beautiful, and perfect for any budget.

We are focusing on three special wines for Valentine’s Day this year. For the perfect pairing with dark gate comme des filleschocolate, try Petite Sirah from Forlorn Hope Wines. In the bubbles department, we have a classic Champagne J. Lassalle to quench your thirst, or a fresh “brunch bubbly” option with the Raventos i Blanc de Nit Sparkling Rose Cava.

And don’t forget the flowers! Seriously, don’t forget. Our talented Floral Team will be set up outside the markets on the 13th and 14th to make custom bouquets. You can also pick up any of the pre-arranged masterpieces we have on hand, or have them delivered from our store on Instacart; choose from Organic Tulips, California-grown Roses, or Farm-Direct Mixed Bouquets. We’re right here to help you impress your darling, even if your darling is you!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Jason Rose

Super Bowl = Food, Food, and…FOOD!

IMG_0120Food, friends, beer, and bone-crushing football. Even if your team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, it’s still a great opportunity to gather and enjoy each other’s company, the great commercials, incredible snacks, and festive food!

The Super Bowl Classic, of course, is chips and dip. We have house-made 7-Layer Dip, plus Bi-Rite Guacamole and Spicy Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip all made by our talented chefs. And we are so happy to now offer Nopalito salsas and chips, too, from one of our favorite neighboring businesses. There are also delicious salsa FullSizeRenderofferings from Santipapas and Papalote! And our chip options are killer: Casa Chicas, Primavera, Dosa Chips, and 4505 Chicharrones are all recommended for pleasing your crowd. We even have featured cheeses representing your preferred tea: Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar for the Seahawks fans, and Cabot Vintage Cheddar for you New England folks! Pair either with Rustic Bakery or Raincoast Crisp crackers for a perfect match.IMG_0118

And we’ve taken the hard work out of your heartier fare, too. Each Bi-Rite Market has a special menu of prepared items, perfect for a party, that are ready to pick up and take home.

                   Bi-Rite Market Divisadero Street Super Bowl Menu

                      Bi-Rite’s Barbecued St. Louis Ribs $13.99 per pound

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $12.99 per pound

Victory Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce,
Sesame, and Scallion
 $7.99 per pound

Pigs in a Blanket: BN Ranch Grass Fed Hot Dog
Wrapped in Puff Pastry 
$1.50 each

German Potato Salad $8.99 per pound

Pasta Salad with Seasonal Vegetables
& Red Wine Vinaigrette
 $7.99 per pound

Grilled Chicken Quesadillas $7.99 each

Bi-Rite Market 18th Street Super Bowl Menu

Bi-Rite’s Barbecued St. Louis Ribs $13.99 per pound

Buttermilk Fried Chicken $12.99 per pound

Victory Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce,
Sesame & Scallion
 $7.99 per pound

The Pig-Skin: Braised Pork Belly Sandwich
with Orange Mostarda & Chicory Slaw
 $10.99 each

German Potato Salad  $8.99 per pound

Winter Waldorf Salad  $10.99 per pound

Fried Falafel with Tahini  $5.99 for four

And don’t forget our amazing platters from Bi-Rite Catering! It’s not too late to get an order in for Sunday; you  have until Friday January 30 at 3pm to get it your Super Bowl yummies ordered and on their way.