Kevin Bohlin is working with a veritable Avengers-esque team to bring Juniper, a new bakery (still in the Saint Frank family), to the former Spinnerie location that currently hosts the ongoing Saint Frank pop-up on Pine Street. The menu will focus on choux pastry put together by Andrea Correa, a superhero in the fancy food world with a resume dotting Noma, El Bulli, and the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. “If Saint Frank is coffee with pastries as an accent,” he says, “We want to pursue the culinary engagement where, maybe, that’s the inverse,” Bohlin says.
Juniper will open in October if everything goes well. Bohlin says the bakery won’t focus on fine dining, but rather on bringing the same culture and approach of Saint Frank Coffee to food. Think sourdough buckwheat English muffin breakfast sandwiches (which is already available at the pop-up), sweet and savory choux, croissants, and, eventually, a full brunch menu. The milkshakes, paired with Saint Frank coffee options, are an example of what to expect, too. “And sparkling wine,” Bohlin adds. “Big fan of champagne. I love that bubbles pair with sweet and savory.”
While Correa is “essentially a consultant” on the project (she won’t be cranking out the pastries each morning herself) the team does include a few other all-stars. Bohlin met Joshua Kim, his partner at Juniper, at a business impact conference and he says that, over a series of meetings, the two felt they should launch a project together. Andrew Wolpa, who worked back-of-house for a long time at spots like Acquerello, has “new breath in his lungs” as a barista and is working on the Juniper menu, as well. The menu is still being finalized, but, so far, Bohlin is a big fan of the blueberry muffin with lemon curd and a choux of yuzu and basil that is, he says, “so fun.” (He’s still figuring out a way to incorporate juniper berries into an item.)
The MIRA Tower location of Saint Frank is still happening — those pesky supply chain issues delayed an important oven — but Bohlin thinks that will be on the books for November. The name for the new project comes from a side character in Saint Francis’s archives, Brother Juniper, one of the original followers of Assisi and known as a generous goofball. “Juniper and Mira happened side by side,” Bohlin says of the fall’s upcoming openings. “In those quiet two years, there was a capacity for new things.”
Indeed, it’s been a good pandemic for Saint Frank, all things considered. The business lost its De La Paz spot to the pandemic, but that gave Bohlin the opportunity to find a new roasting facility and headquarters in Potrero he’s excited about. He also formalized Saint Frank’s longstanding green coffee buying relationships into a formal business, Bonaventura. Ryan Brown, an early Ritual Coffee buyer and author of Dear Coffee Buyer: A Guide to Sourcing Green Coffee, just joined the company as head of product.
“The other side of the last two years was the space to dream,” Bohlin says of the company’s future. “We’ve had a big roll of energy.”
Juniper (1401 Polk Street) will open in October with final hours to be determined. Currently, customers can catch Saint Frank’s pop-up 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.