The Bi-Rite Family of Businesses
When Sam Mogannam took over Bi-Rite Market from his father and uncle in 1998, he brought a chef’s perspective from years of running his own restaurant: treat customers as guests in your own home, pay meticulous attention to detail in how you prepare and serve your food, and search never-endingly for the finest ingredients from the bounty available to us in Northern California. Our kitchen is our beating heart, right in the middle of the Market so everyone can hear and smell the action as it’s happening. We roast our own porchetta for sandwiches, smoke our own salmon, whip up hummus from Mom Mogannam’s recipe , and make risottos from scratch for dinners to-go.
People wonder what makes the food at Bi-Rite so good. We think it’s the fact that we care– that every product on our shelves has been chosen for the story behind it, and more importantly because it tastes great. When it comes to looking for products to put on our shelves, we seek out the fanatical farmer who swears that the best tasting tomato should be dry-farmed, the rancher who believes that a more mature grass fed cow tastes better, and a winemaker who feels great wine should be a natural expression of a grape and a season rather than a manipulated consistency. We prefer to establish direct relationships with these producers, because we want to know the whole story right from the source.
At Bi-Rite Creamery & Bakeshop, we churn our own ice cream in small batches using milk from Straus Family Creamery, just 40 miles away. We make our own marshmallows for our Rocky Road. We roast organic bananas for our Roasted Banana. We harvest honey from hives on the roof of the Market for our Honey Lavender. We use fruit from small local farms in our sorbets, home baked desserts and pastries. Ice cream brings out the kid in all of us–we love bringing back the memories of old favorites!
In order to better understand where our food comes from, and the work that farmers and ranchers do to feed us, we operate our own organic farms in Sonoma, Placerville, and San Francisco. At Bi-Rite Farms, we harvest fruits and vegetables ourselves because we love the way a tomato vine smells in the sun, and the way a tender eggplant tastes in our hot dinner meals. Bi-Rite’s shelves are stocked with our own apples, tomatoes, peppers, figs, cucumbers, eggplants, lettuces and much more. Mom Mogannam makes our homemade jams from the fruit she grows in her Placerville orchard. The Creamery uses our Sonoma Farm concord grapes for popsicles, and 18 Reasons serves produce from our Farms at many of its sit down dinners. Our Farms allow staff to explore food production and share it with our guests. Through this hands-on experience, we are in the unique position of being the farmer, producer and retailer all in one!
We combine the delicious fresh ingredients we sell at Bi-Rite Market with sweets from Bi-Rite Creamery and produce from Bi-Rite Farms to create our Bi-Rite Catering menus. From full-service events like weddings and corporate parties, to a la carte platters to go, our catering department will do the work for you so all you have to do is enjoy your guests’ company.
At our community education center, 18 Reasons, we use the motto “Learn. Think. Do.” to bring people together to deepen our relationship to food and each other. At a dinner with a local farmer, a hands-on workshop, an art exhibition, or a family food swap, we build community through interaction with the people and ideas that feed us. We believe that by offering this thought provoking, fun programming, we inspire action and foster collaboration toward creating a just and sustainable food system.
Together, the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses strives to serve and have a positive impact on our community every day.