It was nice to get out of the office and go on a little field trip for work today. Instead of heading to the office, a few of us from the Marketing Team went to Alcatraz to check out Ai WeiWei's art exhibit to get some inspiration and a fresh breath of air. It was cool to see an art exhibit within a former state penitentiary and I appreciated the meaning behind each art installment. I think it's definitely worth it to take a visit to Alcatraz to see, hear, and read the artwork for yourself. My favorite pieces were With Wind and Stay Tuned. The art exhibit runs till April 2015.
Today for work we went out to Berkeley to check out some local vendors. To my surprise, there were so many local foodmakers and artisans just a few blocks of where I live! We first visited The Berkeley Kitchens, which is a food hub for food artisan makers. The Berkeleyside wrote an article about it and you can check it out here. Within The Berkeley Kitchens, we met the makers of Baron's Baking, Muffin Revolution, Living Hypothecary, Ruby Roast Coffee, Nuthouse Granola, Morell's Bread and Shrub & Co. As always, it was a neat experience being able to meet the people behind all the amazing food that is being produced here in the Bay Area. Besides tasting all the delicious food, here were some cool history facts I learned about each of the vendors:
- Baron's Baking - Tom, the owner, started the company about 2 years ago. He was a expediter in the restaurant business and personally loved baking so he decided to start his own company. He works really hard - 12 hour days, 7 days a week.
- Muffin Revolution - I'm not paleo, but Marirose and Christy, the founders, create amazing and delicious palo muffins and soon to come granola. They started their business after a local climbing gym, Ironworks, asked them to sell their muffins there. I can't wait for these muffins to be sold at Whole Foods. I can see myself eating them on the go after swim practice.
- Living Hypothecary - The owner started this company while she was a waitress (and still is) with another co-worker at the restaurant who was a mixologist. She creates great juices, kefirs and vegan milks. She's launching a tumeric almond milk which is soo good.
- Ruby Roast Coffee - A coffee roastery owned by 2 sweet ladies. They started their business through their pure love of coffee.
- Nuthouse Granola - These guys started their business after being in the hotel industry. The owner wanted to have a side business and when the hotel requested his granola, he started his company to sell to hotels and other retailers. He has a Orange and Fennel granola which is really unique and delicious!
- Moller's Bread - Eduardo is a self-taught baker who makes bread from whole grains. He had a Master's in Filmmaking and he always cooked to make money. He hopes to start a read subscription service and I'd sign up!
- Shrub & Co. - Their ginger shrub is the best shrub I've tried. A deep ginger flavor without any sugary aftertaste. The founders have background in the beverage and farming industry and are a power team!
After the visit at The Berkeley Kitchens, we walked a few blocks up to San Pablo to Jered's Pottery. I've driven by this place soo many times and didn't realize it's kind of a famous place. It's like a Heath Ceramics, but a different version and in the East Bay. They use local California Clay to make their pottery and all the pieces were lovely in this place! You should check out Jered's profile for his history - it's pretty cool. Plus, his wife Sarah is the poet laureate of Emeryville! One day I dream of having an entire dining set of Jered's Pottery!