Daily Driver opens to serve bagel-starved San Franciscans at a huge new retail cafe and production facility on June 15. But classic wood-fired bagels aren’t the only local rarity to be found at the 7,000-square-foot, 130-seat Dogpatch space. Daily Driver also brings San Francisco its only cheese-making creamery, churning fresh European-style cultured butter and cream cheese ideal for smearing atop fresh bagels.
It was dairy, not bagels, that came first for Daily Driver. Partners Tamara Hicks and David Jablons own Toluma Farms and Tomales Farmstead Creamery in West Marin, where Daily Driver partner Hadley Kreitz is head cheesemaker. At Daily Driver, customers can watch her churn Jersey cow milk, producing everything from cream cheese to ricotta, ghee (clarified butter), and quark (a German-style cheese similar to to Greek yogurt). Daily Driver will also sell goat cheese from Tomales Farmstead Creamery, and more retail items from neighboring Dogpatch businesses like Nana Joe’s granola.
Industrial designer David Kreitz, Hadley’s husband and a partner in Daily Driver, designed and built the clean, minimalist Dogpatch space. He also designed the bagel recipe, with a goal to produce about 7,250 per day. That should be enough to fill plenty of cafe orders and wholesale accounts, too.
Fortunately for locals, Kreitz says there’s “zero truth” to claims that New York’s water is somehow the secret to great bagels. A few local contenders, like Wise Sons in San Francisco, Oakland’s Beauty’s Bagels, and forthcoming Boichik, might already prove that point.
Still, they’re no easy feat to produce. “When we talk about bagels, everyone talks about them as a low cost, blue collar food product,” says Kreitz. “But to make them properly is a pretty expensive process.”
Daily Drivers’ bagels are hand-rolled, fermented overnight, boiled, then baked in one of two Woodstone firedeck ovens. Finally, they’re flipped onto a chute and stashed in rotating yellow bin. Ones that don’t get eaten become bagel chips or the basis of matzoh balls for soup.
Aside from bagels, bagel sandwiches, and yes, even bagel dogs, Daily Driver chef Martin Siggins (Nico) has a full weekday cafe menu and extended weekend brunch menu for dine-in customers. With sweet and savory quark bowls, buttermilk vinaigrette salad dressings, and whey-cooked bulgur wheat tabbouleh, Siggins will take full advantage of Daily Driver’s dairy production.
While a combination creamery and bagelry is a new offering for San Francisco, Daily Driver is right at home in SF’s still-industrial Dogpatch neighborhood, where it’s a tenant of a former can factory called the American Industrial Center. And if the smell of fresh-baked bagels doesn’t lure customers into the space, the scent of roasting coffee might: Oakland-based Red Bay Coffee occupies a corner of the space, roasting beans on a big Probat machine to fuel the cafe.
Outside their lives on their West Marin farm, Daily Driver partners Jablons and Hicks are also San Francisco residents eager for good local bagel options. Jablons is a surgeon at UCSF, and Hicks a clinical psychologist. The whole foursome — Hicks, Jablons, and Hadley and David Kreitz — are also passionate car restorers, hence their business name. A “daily driver,” like the 1975 Ford Ranchero that Hicks uses around her farm, is a go-to, everyday vehicle — what Daily Driver hopes to become for its regular customers. And, in a more literal extension of their theme, a portion of Daily Driver’s sales will support Project Wreckless, a Bayview body shop that teaches car restoration skills to underserved kids.
Starting June 15, Daily Driver will be open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, with an extended brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday. Evening pop-ups and events are on the horizon, too.