When Wholesome Bakery opened in 2018, owner Mandy Harper didn’t know how tremendously successful she’d be in her inclusive baking venture. But more than five years later, she says the business outgrew its corner location. She rang in the last day of service at 299 Divisadero Street on November 30 to fully turn her attention toward the next chapter: A major growth spurt including a new location with a redesigned approach and menu. “We’re expanding,” Harper says, “and we’re super excited about it.”
Though Harper isn’t ready to announce which neighborhood Wholesome will head to next, she says she’s not only secured the location but has already begun designing the space. To accommodate all her hopes, like her swing at pizza sales at the original Wholesome location, she realized she would have had to pony up for a hefty remodel. Once she realized how costly that investment would be, she decided it’d be better to just relocate. The projected opening is slated for March 2024. “Let’s do it in a neighborhood where this works,” Harper says, “a space where we can really grow.”
The new location will keep all the pastries, bialys, pies, and cakes that made Wholesome a hit, but there’ll be a much larger focus on brunch, lunch, and drinks. So while Wholesome’s key offerings will all make the jump, new grab-and-go wraps, salads, and soups are joining the rank and file, too. At the Divisadero location, the Wholesome team sold from a single bake at the start of the day. But at the new location, the team will fire items multiple times throughout the day, lending to an emphasis on made-to-order fare and restocking of popular items. Harper says she’s excited to add Nutella crepes and jackfruit migas, a Texas egg and tortilla dish, to the menu.
She also plans to introduce a stronger beverage program. The business held a beer and wine license at the Divisadero location, but Harper says customers didn’t lounge with drinks due to a lack of seating. At the new space, Mommenpop natural spritz drinks will be on the menu alongside low-ABV and nonalcoholic cocktails (Harper isn’t a big drinker), beer, and wine. Otherwise Brewing, which just secured its taproom in North Beach, will be on tap.
The new headquarters will be marginally smaller; the old space encompassed about 2,000 square feet for both retail and making packaged goods. But production space won’t take up any room at the new location. Harper is securing more and more wholesale accounts, including national distribution through Whole Foods, and has moved that side of the business to a location in Wyoming.
With a new consumer-facing outpost, she wanted to spruce up the business’s look and feel. The old space was a bit industrial, Harper says, with a cute farm look. Now RJ Rabe is redesigning all the Wholesome packaging and the new space, to bring out vibrancy through a papaya orange and turquoise color scheme with pops of gold. White oak flooring, marble tables, and murals will run through the area. “I want locals spending the day with their best friends and sophisticated diners alike,” Harper says.
On leaving Divisadero, the founder says the decision was due to the layout and limitations of the space, but also a downturn in traffic through the Divisadero corridor. Two big locations, the Touchless car wash lot and the former Vinyl Coffee and Wine Bar corner location, remain lifeless. “It makes the neighborhood look crappy,” Harper says, “and since the pandemic, there’s just no one walking around.”
Wholesome Bakery’s new location will open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and on the weekends until 5 p.m.