A Bakery Grows Up
Semifreddi's celebrates 25 years of crafting artisan breads for the Bay Area
Steven J. Epstein
It has been more than 25 years since artisan baking pioneer Semifreddi’s opened inside a tiny store in Kensington. And while the bakery’s products are now carried in nearly every grocery store in the Bay Area (growth that led to the bakery’s move last year to a new state-of-the-art Alameda headquarters), Semifreddi’s has never lost track of its artisan roots.
The majority of its more than 50 types of baked goods are made with few more than Semifreddi’s signature sourdough baguette ingredients—flour, salt, and water—and do not contain trans fats or preservatives. While the bakery has mechanized some processes, Semifreddi’s primarily hand-molds its bread and allows it to cool and settle naturally (no refrigeration or “sacrilegious” freezing), and ships out fresh each day.
“We’re pretty much doing things the same way,” says co-owner Tom Frainier of Moraga. “This sounds corny, but it really is made with love. It’s like a human being: It responds to gentle handling.”