It’s a beautiful spring for bakeries in the Bay Area, as Sagehouse Bakeshop takes its meat pies to Highway 1 and pies of every stripe descend upon Oakland’s nightlife scene thanks to Edith Pie. Next up: Farmers market and cafe-supplying queen Saltwater Bakeshop will open its first permanent location at 5901 Geary Boulevard in the Outer Richmond in late summer 2023.
Owner and chef Brittany Dunn-Holden says fans can expect passion fruit kouignoù amann and seeded sourdough loaves, but also a full coffee bar and loads of indoor and outdoor seating at the 1,400-square-foot shop. Dunn-Holden’s pastries and breads use ingredients from fellow farmers market purveyors, so she says this opening feels like a community effort. “This is the space for me,” Dunn-Holden says. “And the community for me, and for what the bakery is going to be.”
Rather than baking at the San Mateo facility she’s used for years, she’ll move all of Saltwater’s operations to the new Richmond District location. Seven days a week the shop will hope to serve various sandwiches and other items, but Dunn-Holden says those items are still in the research and development phase. She’s yet to settle on a coffee roaster for the shop, too, as re-flooring the space and painting the walls has been the main focus so far. The bakery pops up at the Clement Street farmers market each Satuday — in addition to the North Beach farmers market and Ferry Building and Fort Mason on Sundays — so a lot of the bakery’s fanbase is right there in the neighborhood. And this new location has always been a bakery; Chinese bakery Wirth Brothers Pastry Shop held the lease for years prior to a 2020 purchase of the building.
The SoCal-raised pastry chef has been looking for a storefront for years, but the pandemic put a hold on all that. She opened Saltwater in 2018 after years of leading the pastry team at the Tenderloin’s Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, opening locations for the cruffin-inventing shop in Los Angeles and South Korea. She even consulted for King’s Hawaiian before she realized she could take the leap into her own venture. The business stocks pastries for cafe superstars including Snowbird Coffee and Excelsior Coffee and bread for restaurants including much-adored Fiorella. But, at this new shop, Saltwater’s seasonally-focused pastries themselves will be the main attraction. “I’m over the moon,” Dunn-Holden says.
Saltwater Bakeshop will open its first permanent location at 5901 Geary Boulevard in late summer 2023.