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Boichik Is Selling ‘Bagel Futures’ to Fund That Big East Bay Factory

Plus, despite being accused sexual harassment Lowell Sheldon will be allowed to open a new restaurant (with some conditions) and more Bay Area food news

A spread of bagels, lox, and cream cheese spreads on a table from Boichik Bagels Lydia Daniller/Boichik Bagels
Dianne de Guzman is a deputy editor at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, upcoming openings, and pop-ups.

Bay Area bagels are no longer something East Coasters can sneer at, as the local scene has become a force to reckon with — and tour de force Boichik Bagels owner Emily Winston is looking to fuel this bagel boom even further with community help. Palo Alto Online has updates on Winston’s plans, first announced last year, to open a big bagel plant in West Berkeley alongside a wholesale business. She’s doing so in part by selling gift cards at a discount — which Winston charmingly calls “bagel futures” — and crowdfunding through the popular platform SMBX, which allows small business owners to reward backers by repaying them with interest.

Boichik’s crowdfunding is, as of this writing, at $306,000 of its $1 million bond offering after its launch on June 23, all of which will go toward the construction of the bagel plant. The plant will feature bagels sold onsite, as well as an assembly line expected to produce up to 12,000 bagels an hour, according to the article. And in potentially exciting news for San Francisco residents, Winston told Eater SF last year that she does plan to expand throughout the Bay Area. “We’ll be crossing bridges in the future,” she said in September.

Chef Preeti Mistry to join J Vineyards as guest chef-in-residence this summer

James Beard Award-nominated Preeti Mistry is joining J Vineyards’ “Shifting the Lens” dinner series August 18-21 and August 25-28 for a 5+ course dinner with wine pairings (naturally). They’ll be joining chefs Jenny Dorsey of Los Angeles and Shenarri Greeman of New York, who will each run their own dinners during the course of the next few months. Shifting the Lens highlights BIPOC chefs that “will facilitate dialogue about equity, representation, and culinary diversity,” 7x7 reports.

Embattled Sebastopol restaurateur allowed to open new restaurant — but can’t drink there

The San Francisco Chronicle is following the story on restaurateur Lowell Sheldon’s attempts to open a new restaurant and wine bar, on the heels of 11 former employees accusing him of sexual harassment between 2015 and 2021 as part of a Chronicle investigation. The Sebastopol planning commission approved an alcohol use permit for Sheldon’s upcoming restaurant with the conditions that Sheldon not drink on-site or supervise employees, at risk of the permit being pulled.

Lab-created beef may become cheaper thanks to new discovery

San Leandro’s SCiFi Foods announced it cultivated beef cells successfully — a more difficult feat than with chicken and fish — and this accomplishment could lead to alternative beef protein prices being on par with conventional meat, the San Francisco Business Times reports. The company’s first product is expected to be “a blend of plant-based and cell-cultivated beef” although the article notes there isn’t currently a release date scheduled as the company continues to work out scaling the results.

Hi Felicia in Oakland makes more Moves this week

We recently wrote about chef-owner Imana of Hi Felicia turning her upcoming wine bar Sluts into a temporary pop-up this upcoming Thursday, but the restaurant also announced the addition of a local chef to its crew: Selasie Dotse joins as chef de cuisine. Dotse previously worked as sous and pastry chef at Copas, as well as in the kitchens of Lazy Bear, Avery, and SPQR, eventually penning an Eater SF piece in 2020 on the challenges of being a Black chef in Bay Area fine dining. She also more recently ran a pop-up as Elade Test Kitchen, which explores Ghanian cuisine employing fine dining techniques.