In our neighborhood, the meeting spot of choice for a post school drop-off coffee is Rustic Bakery.
Having a sinfully delicious bakery within walking distance from home can be a double edged sword…The smell of muffins baking as go about your daily routine is will-power defying, yet if you walk there and back, you've probably burned as many calories as you've consumed, right?
The assortment of breakfast pastries, is incredible to say the least. Despite all the choices, I always end up getting the same thing – an almond croissant – still warm and oozing with sweet almond paste wrapped in crunchy, flaky pastry. Soooo yummy 🙂
The bakery stays open until late afternoon and offers a small lunch menu of mostly sandwiches, soups and salads.
In the afternoon the freshly baked cookies and brownies make their appearance.
The bakery also offers several packaged items for sale in the store and on their website. One of the top sellers is their Vanilla Pecan Granola. Sprinkled on Greek yogurt with fresh berries, it's pretty much the Best Breakfast Ever (which is why I eat it every single day – but usually with Kashi Go Lean Crunch in place of the granola. But when I want to treat myself I have the Vanilla Pecan Granola 🙂
Their first products for commercial production were flatbread crackers. They are now shipped to gourmet markets across the country.
Rustic Bakery owner Carol Levalley, told me the most inspirational story about getting her start in the bakery business. She and her husband were previously in the fashion industry and after many years of enduring the ebbs and flows of that unpredictable business, they were looking for a way out. In her spare time Carol, enjoyed baking breads and crackers so her husband suggested selling her crackers commercially. She decided to call the Cowgirl Creamery – an award winning local artisan cheese maker (who I wrote about here).
Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes
They immediately agreed to sell her crackers – the perfect raft on which to spread their triple cream brie-style cheeses! Now she needed a commercial kitchen, since up to that point she had been baking from home. She heard about the Rustic Bakery space becoming vacant after a wine bar had moved out. The space included not only a fully stocked professional bakery kitchen, but a front-of-the-house restaurant space as well. She had to quickly make a plan about what to do. With her love of baking as her inspiration, The Rustic Bakery came to be.
What I love most about her story is that Carol, never questioned or agonized over the decision to purchase a restaurant despite a lack of professional background or even a life-long dream to open one. Instead she took a risk – jumped with reckless abandon – and four years later couldn't be happier.
The day I took these photos, I tried to be the first one at the bakery when they opened so I wouldn't be in the way. At some point in my conversation with Carol, she casually mentioned that the man sitting at the counter was the very first customer that walked through her doors four years ago and has come every day since! It was the sweetest thing! I just had to take their picture. I think his name is Bob.
What prompted me to write about Rustic Bakery (other than they totally deserve a shout out) is that they recently started selling their delicious buttery scones in the William Sonoma catalog and on the website!
Writing this post made me think about how special these little places are and how they can provide so much more to a community than just good food. When we're out of town, one of my favorite things to do is find the local coffee shop/bakery. It's a great way to get the vibe of the town or city.
Happy weekend to you!