Openings + Preview

January Openings on the Peninsula

By Katie Sweeney

Backhaus Bread 32 E. 3rd Ave., San Mateo;

Five years ago, Anne Moser walked into a book-store and purchased the cookbook Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. A native of Germany, Moser had recently moved to California and was working as a translator. Homesickness and hunger often go hand in hand, and Moser longed for the fresh-baked artisanal bread found in small bakeries throughout her home country. She couldn’t find the bread she wanted — so she decided to make it herself. Her hobby quickly turned into full-blown addiction. Later this month, Moser and her husband, Robert, are opening their first bakery, Backhaus, in downtown San Mateo.

“I never thought that I could start my own bakery business, but became obsessed with baking,” Moser explains. “I taught myself using books, blogs and a lot of trial and error. After about a year of baking for me and my husband as well as friends and family, I decided to give it a go and applied for a cottage food license.” This type of license allows someone like Moser to operate a small culinary operation out of a private home. Moser sold her country sourdough at farmers markets in San Mateo and Burlingame, soon developing a cultlike following. As the demand for her baked goods grew, Moser needed a bigger oven. She became a member of Kitchen-town, a local incubator for food startups, and was able to build the Backhaus brand from there.

“At first, I was still working as a translator and baking in our home kitchen, and my husband would deliver the loaves. After just a couple of months, the demand outgrew our tiny kitchen, and I started baking in a commercial kitchen — which, as luck would have it, is down the road from our house,” Moser says. “Since then, we’ve been steadily growing and are now selling our bread, pastries and pretzels at the local farmers markets.”

Backhaus also supplies bread to two local restaurants in San Mateo and hopes to add more clients with the opening of the bakery.

Shake Shack 180 El Camino Real, Palo Alto;

The Bay Area’s first location of Danny Meyer’s iconic New York burger joint, Shake Shack, is now open at Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center. Culinary director Mark Rosati worked with local producers like Manresa Bread and Dandelion Chocolate to craft custom frozen custard flavors. An exclusive burger, available nowhere else, is called the Golden State Double and features Angus beef, cheddar cheese, pickles, and smoked garlic mayo on a Tartine Bakery sweet potato bun. Enjoy this and all the Shake Shack classics like the bacon cheeseburger smokeshack, crispy fried portobello mushroom burger, and fried chicken breast burger with buttermilk herb mayo.

Aiken 855 El Camino Real, Suite 20, Palo Alto;

Shop for sustainable and fair trade clothing and accessories at the new boutique Aiken in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village. It’s Aiken’s fourth Bay Area boutique — you may be familiar with its sister stores in San Francisco and Berkeley (formerly known as Convert). Most of the items are made in America — think brands like Velvet, J Brand, Kato Denim, and Ilse Jacobsen, plus Aiken-branded items like men’s organic T-shirts. Local bridal designer Amy Kuschel recently debuted a ready-to-wear line, and her new pieces can be found at the Palo Alto Aiken.

BottleShop 2627 Broadway St., Redwood City;

BottleShop, a wine bar that pours difficult-to-find labels, is now open in Redwood City. Grab a glass of California red from a small producer and enjoy it with a plate of cheese or charcuterie. Owners Kristie Marie and Zu Tarazi are huge Champagne lovers and have stocked their new spot with plenty of bubbly. BottleShop is also just that: a bottle shop where you can purchase wine to go. There’s a club, too, with members receiving three bottles per month (for $75) of premium vintages and varietals that are meant to be sipped now. Cheers!

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