Kitchen Chat and more…
Kitchen Chat and more…
This week has been a soft opening for Taboon, a new bakery at Sixth and Minna streets in San Francisco, but you wouldn’t know it. The bakery has already had a steady stream of customers and has been selling out of its baked good each day.No wonder.
Considering the fact that the Bay Area only has a handful of kosher bakeries — and according to J Weekly, Oakland’s longtime Grand Bakery will be closing its doors for good next week — Taboon’s opening comes at an opportune time.
The team behind the new bakery are three friends from Israel: Isaac Yosef, Avi Edri and head chef/baker Yanni, who — like Prince, Beyonce and Madonna — prefers to go by one name only.
A fourth generation baker, the recipes come from Yanni’s great grandfather, Mosheh, who immigrated from Iraq to Israel and owned a bakery in Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market. Edri, a former diamond merchant, has known Yanni for 30 years, and as a school kid would frequent Avvi’s family’s bakery.
While Taboon, which takes its name from a traditional Middle Eastern clay oven, is already attracting customers looking for kosher offerings, Edri wants to introduce San Franciscans to their foods of their youth, too. That means sambusak, stuffed pastry pockets with a wide variety of fillings, like potato-chive and feta-green olive ($6.99-$7.99), or flaky puff pastries called bourekas ($1.99 small; $6.99 large), also featuring different fillings like cheese, spinach and potato. The bakery is also turning out about 1,000 pitas a day — available plain or with toppings like sesame, za’atar and finely diced onion with tomato sauce (99 cents-$3.49 each). On the sweet side, look for babka ($12.99 for a loaf), rugelach ($1.79 each), and just in time for Hanukkah, traditional sufganiyot ($2.79 each), which will be available year-round.
“All of my life, I was dreaming to open my own bakery. It’s a dream come true,” says Edri.
More offerings will be added in the coming weeks as the bakery ramps up, including fresh juices, espresso drinks and many other baked goods, including cakes and even more bourekas.
Busy week, isn’t it?
Holiday party on Wednesday. Family coming in on Thursday. Festivus potluck on Friday.
What we’re getting at: it’s holiday crunch time. And you’re going to want to be the kind of person who’s prepared for any festive gatherings that happen to cross your path.
Now seems like as good a time as any to let you in on a little secret…
You’ll smell it well before you arrive. Fresh, yeasty bread. Buttery pastry. A fantastic, herbaceous smell you’ll quickly place as za’atar.
That last smell hails from Israel, as do the three friends who are behind this place, which is named for a traditional Middle Eastern clay oven. There’s one sitting proudly behind the display case bursting with breads and pastries and pitas.
Start by eating something immediately. That oven is constantly working, meaning everything you see is still warm. Perhaps a sambusak, a savory pastry pocket filled with things like feta and olives.
Perhaps one of their rotating items like a box of sufganiyah (basically jelly-filled donuts) or a shareable-size loaf of fresh, airy challah.
132 Sixth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Owners: Avi Edri and Isaac Yosef
A new bakery will be opening its doors in the heart of the busy Sixth Street corridor later this month, occupying a corner storefront that has been empty for over five years. While San Francisco has its fair share of patisseries and bread shops, Taboon will be different: the new spot will specialize in savory pastries, and will be the first Kosher bakery in the whole city.
Entrepreneurs Avi Edri and Isaac Yosef both hail from Israel, but met in the Bay Area. Avi, a diamond specialist, and Isaac, who works in construction, united over their love of food. Despite both having full-time jobs, they teamed up to launch a traditional Israeli bakery.
Like many burgeoning San Francisco businesses, Taboon started off as a small operation to test the waters. At first, Avi and Isaac had the idea to sell donuts online during Hannukah. Despite only advertising on Facebook, they immediately sold out of their stock of 3,000. Using the money they made, they invested in a portable oven, and began selling savory pastries at farmers’ markets. This evolved into a popular Eat24 delivery business, and finally the pair realized they could make a go at Taboon in a brick and mortar space.
One of Taboon’s bakers found 132 Sixth Street on Craigslist, and Avi and Isaac contacted Urban Solutions to take a look. The large corner storefront has attractive windows on two sides, but was in dire need of repairs. It saw some heavy foot traffic back in 2014 when Supervisor Jane Kim ran her re-campaign out of the space, but in the years following it was hard to find the right tenant for the space. Its long vacancy and aging infrastructure meant the storefront would require both new plumbing and electricity, as well as building out a bakery kitchen and cafe space.
“It was the first place we looked at,” Isaac said. “But we knew right away,” Avi pointed out. “When Urban Solutions brought us in we just looked at each other, and knew this was the place.”
“We told Urban Solutions our ideas and vision, and they immediately said they’d help us with everything,” Avid said. The first, most important task was negotiating a five year lease with the landlord—which includes the option to renew for another five years. This means the bakery will be able to stay in the location for at least 10 years, which helps support the significant construction expenses. This is especially important today, as many small businesses are losing their leases due to rising rents.
Avi and Isaac putin a new floor and walls, and converted 70% of the space into a kitchen, which will enable them to take wholesale orders as well as serving customers directly. “Urban Solutions connected us with people who could give us loans to purchase all the equipment,” Isaac told us—which included three separate ovens for the different types of bread Taboon will be making.
“The folks from Urban Solutions would often call us just to see if we needed help along the way, and even connected us with other business owners along the street,” said Avi.”They’re always there for you, and I just recommend everyone to them. I’ve been watching this neighborhood for the past three years, and it’s amazing what their organization has done to positively change this street.”
“Urban Solutions is really delighted that Avi and Isaac are opening on Sixth Street,” said Lisa Zahner, the Executive Director of Urban Solutions. “I know they will be a great addition to the neighborhood. We are excited to see the positive impact of their business, together with their friends at ChabadSF, another Urban Solutions client that is opening across the street at 496 Natoma.”
Aside from inspiring other businesses to open on the corridor, Taboon plans on giving back to the community right outside its doors. “Everything we make will be fresh daily,” Avi said, “so we’ll be donating any leftovers to homeless shelters in the neighborhood at the end of the day.”
After 10 long months of construction Taboon plans to have a soft opening in late November, and hopes to be fully-functioning by the end of the year. Stay tuned – and Mazel Tov!
Monday - Thursday: 7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Friday: 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Sunday: 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
132 6th Street @Minna