The Cheese Board Collective, Berkeley’s beloved, worker-owned bakery and cheese monger, will eventually expand to take over its neighboring grocery store The Produce Center, whose owner, Sam Hort, is retiring. Staff will get the keys to the new space on Christmas, and Hort will be leaving the space by the first of the year.
What will the Cheese Board use the space for? Cathy Goldsmith, a Cheese Board representative, says she’d like to know, too. “There’s a lot of work that has to be done to that space, the buildings aren’t really at the same level, there’s a lot of ADA [compliance] that has to be done.”
At least part of the space will serve as a commercial kitchen “because we’re using up every inch of our current space,” says Goldsmith, “but beyond that, we’re not really sure what we’re going to do.” A committee, naturally, is working on that question.
The Cheese Board was formed in 1971, located in the Gourmet Ghetto area of Berkeley at 1504 Shattuck Ave. Its next door sibling, The Cheese Board Pizza Collective at 1512 Shattuck, is known for its daily-changing, line-generating vegetarian pizza, served by the slice (plus extra slivers for good measure). The Berkeley Produce Center is the Cheese Board Collective’s other next door neighbor at 1500 Shattuck.
“When we started the pizzeria, we didn’t know what we were going to do with that space, either,” Goldsmith recalls. “We were already making pizza a little bit, but it just evolved organically.” So it could be the Produce Center space.
Stay tuned for a timeline and details as they’re decided opon — but for now, just know that there’s more Cheese Board ahead.