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Amy’s Kitchen Is Shutting Down Its San Jose Factory, Eliminating About 300 Bay Area Jobs

Plus, the Wine Country bakery known for producing Oprah’s favorite English muffins is headed to the East Bay

Frozen burritos from Amy’s Kitchen. Amy’s Kitchen
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

It has been a very bad year for Santa Rosa-based vegetarian frozen food company Amy’s Kitchen. Earlier this year workers filed a complaint alleging unsafe working conditions at the company’s Santa Rosa factory, leading to calls for boycotts and at least three Bay Area grocery stores pulling the company’s products from shelves. Now the company announced Monday it will close its San Jose production center sometime in September. The Mercury News reports “inflation, skyrocketing materials costs, labor shortages and disruptions in the worldwide supply chain” are to blame for the closure. The 1885 Las Plumas Avenue facility began producing food for the company in March 2021.

Fred Scarpulla, acting chief operating officer and chief culinary officer, told the Mercury News the company suffered from staff turnover and labor shortages, and he estimated the facility has lost about $1 million a month over the last six to eight months. Interestingly, the interview with Scarpulla and the report, in general, glosses over any of the company’s labor disputes this year. Employees terminated due to the closure will receive either 60 days’ pay or, for employees with a shorter tenure, 30 days’ pay.

SFGATE takes aim at the city’s upcoming NFT restaurant and club

You may have heard of SHŌ’s inevitable descent into the Financial District, and ascent to the top of Salesforce Tower, but what the restaurant and club’s 2023 opening could mean for the city remains up for speculation. SFGATE took a shot at what the ultra exclusive (and ultra expensive) new business will look like for San Francisco. The outlet’s take? Too expensive, too elitist, and too outrageous.

Oprah’s favorite English muffins are coming to the East Bay

At the end of 2022, Napa Valley’s Model Bakery will open its largest location at 1315 North Main Street in Walnut Creek. The Chronicle writes this is good news for Oprah Winfrey and her fans; she’s placed the business’ English muffins on her “Favorite Things” list a record four times.

The East Bay is having an umeboshi moment

Chef Ayako Iino, who worked at Chez Panisse, Oliveto, and Boulette’s Larder, is putting pickled plums on the map with her business Yumé Boshi in Berkeley. Iino is not alone, though, as Nosh writes the Japanese-born delight is finally getting a proper Bay Area welcome. The moment is in part thanks to the East Bay’s renowned love of fermentation and pickling, a thorough understanding of both making for tasty umeboshi.

How this San Rafael bar stayed afloat thanks to live music

It’s a COVID story as old as time. Well, as old as March 2020, anyways. Adam Violante thought his more than 20 years in business with his bar, the Pint Sized Lounge, were through. But the Marin Independent Journal writes that teaming up with the Whipper Snapper, a California and Caribbean restaurant located next door, for live, outdoor events saved both businesses (and paid plenty of local musicians, too).