Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baking for Good

Bake Sale for Japan took place in some 40 locations nationwide this Saturday.  Half of these events were in California.  I hit four of them in the San Francisco Bay Area and will report back with more verbage later. For now, a mostly-photo journal.

Stop No. 1: Berkeley 
Gioia Pizzeria
Assorted cookies donated from The Berkeley Institution.  
Creamy and vibrantly flavored Genuto, a dairy free, nut cream based gelato in mocha, chai vanilla latte, mango, pistachio, and chocolate. Where else but Berkeley would you find vegan gelato?  Okay, okay, maybe in North Oakland or the Mission.    
Pre-bake sale preparations: Organizing the mountains of donated goods.  On right, Mike Espinoza, who also works at the Pop-Up General Store, with two other friendly, hardworking do-gooders.
Safe for gluten-free diets: chocolate covered macaroons.
Hawaiian-Japanese treats with ingredients and recipes.
One of many gigantic boxes of cookies donated from Hopkins Street Bakery.
Meticulous packaging and creative cakes and cupcakes from recreational baker, Trucy, who pounced on this opportunity to bake up a sweet storm.  Her cute blog is

Stop No. 2: Oakland
Among the four locations I went to, this place had the works, the largest crowd, and the most generous quantities of treats. This could have been due, at least partially, to the time I was there, which was 10:30AM, and the general location of Pizzaiolo, which has a lot of pedestrian traffic. In any case, this location left the biggest impression on me. Of course, it didn't hurt that the Bake Sale food extraordinaire was there!
Check out the line behind Chef Samin Nosrat! They were all waiting to see more goodies inside!
Here was an origami crane-making booth.  Samin's goal was to collect 1,000 cranes to send to Japan.   As anyone who has made these knows, making a good crane requires fine motor function, precision and concentration.  Go ladies!
Cherry blossom cookies.
Sweet and savory treats from Peko Peko.  I bought the grapefruit jelly, below.


Stop No. 3: San Francisco
Bi-Rite Market

The scene outside of the market.
 Lots of American treats at this location, at least at around noon.
 Art for sale with proceeds going to Peace Winds Japan at 18 Reasons, across the street from Bi-Rite.
An origami table at 18 Reasons.

Stop No. 4: San Jose Japantown
 By the time I got here, after 2pm, the bake sale was officially over.  The place was still full.

Volunteers Paige Bayer and Grace Duffy (second and third from the left) told me that the place was mobbed during the peak of the sale.  As I got there, Roy's Station was getting ready for a ukulele concert which was beginning at 3:00PM. Proceeds from this concert were also going to the earthquake fund.

Man, I wish I'd gone also to SPQR's location.  Click here for photos.  

More soon.

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