Berkeley Student Food Collective now open

\animated logo

A new food cooperative opened on November 15 in Berkeley. The Berkeley Student Food Collective is open to anyone, student or not. Both members and non-members can shop, members receive a discount in exchange for work hours. I’ve shopped there a couple times, and the store is quite well stocked. It’s just a small storefront, so don’t expect to get eight types of rice and thirty varieties of coffee, but they do have a fairly decent selection of produce, bulk, packaged, and refrigerated items.Stop by the store, 2440 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA.

In the early 80’s I was a member of Cooperative Connections at UC Berkeley, another small cooperative. We were in the basement of the student union, so we had a bit less public exposure. I wish them well, and encourage Berkeley folks to shop there, student or not.

Here’s an animated logo I created, showing the ’80’s and ’10’s logos morphing:

\animated logo

Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book

Update: December 2010: I have created a web site, uprisingsbakersbook.org, where I’m adding recipes and other pages from the book. I’m working on permissions from the publisher and bakeries, so I’m starting with bakeries that are closed. Look for weekly updates.

In 1983, the Cooperative Whole Grain Educational Association published Uprisings; The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book. The Foreword of the book is at the bottom of this page.

As a former collective member of Uprisings Baking Collective in Berkeley (one of the contributors to the book), I didn’t want this book and organization to just fade away. There were 32 collective/cooperative bakeries who contributed to the book, many of which are still in business. Collected below are a list of links to the bakeries that are still operating. If I missed any, please fill in the form at the bottom so I can update the page.

The book is a valuable resource for bakers and wannabe bakers. One of its strengths is the index—including the traditional categories of major ingredients and types of foods, but also including a special section on Recipes by Special Dietary Characteristics such as No Eggs or Dairy; No Dairy (but contains Eggs); No Eggs (but contains Dairy); No Wheat; No Sweetener, or Fruit-sweetened; No Added Oils or Fats (may contain high-fat ingredients); No Baking; and No Salt, or Optional Salt.

While Uprisings is out of print, many used copies are available. If you can’t find it at your local bookstore, try abebooks.com using the search box here. abebooks.com is a network of independent bookstores around the country, your independent alternative to Amazon.com.

Click this link to search for Uprisings on AbeBooks:0938432125

There is another book out there with the exact same name, but a different author. If abebooks doesn’t return any books using the ISBN number provided here, try a search for the title Uprisings Bakers to get the other book. I’m not sure if this is the same book, re-published by a new group of authors. If anyone knows about this, please let me know.

Map of Bakeries


View Uprisings: The Whole Grain Bakers’ Book in a larger map

Bakeries in Uprisings

NamePhoneAddress
Alvarado Street Bakery(707) 585-3293500 Martin Avenue; Rohnert Park, CA 94928
Arcata Coop Bakery(707) 822-5947811 I St.; Arcata, CA
The Bakery CafeClosed ??Albuquerque, MN
Blue Heron Bakery(360) 866-BAKE4935 Mud Rd.; Olympia, WA
Blue Mango RestaurantClosedDavis, CA (history)
Dharma Crumbs BakeryClosedColville, WA
Good Bread BakeryClosed ??Jacksonville, OR
Honey Bear BakeryClosedKalispell, MT
Little Bread Company(206) 365-719211740 15th Ave NE; Seattle, WA
Manna BakeryClosed ??Amsterdam, Netherlands
Millstone BakeryClosed ??Washburn, WI
Nature’s Bakery(608) 257-36491019 Williamson St.; Madison, WI 53703
On The Rise BakeryClosed late 90’s ??Syracuse, NY
Open Harvest Bakery(402) 475-90691618 South St; Lincoln, NB
People’s BakeryClosedSan Francisco, CA Cool photo
People’s Baking Company(612) 721-72051534 East Lake St.; Minneapolis, MN 55407
Rebel BakersClosedSan Diego, CA
Rising Star BakeryOpen, no longer a collective; 1-250-360-00914-956 Devonshire Rd / Victoria, BC, Canada
Slice of Life BakeryClosed 1984Cambridge, MA
Small Planet Bakery(520) 884-9313411 N 7th Ave; Tucson, AZ 85705
Solstice BakeryClosed 1999 ?Eugene, OR
Somadhara Bakery(607) 273-8213215 N. Cayuga St.; Ithica, NY
Summercorn Bakery(501) 521-93381410 Cato Springs Rd.; Fayetteville, AR 72701
Sunflour BakeryClosed ??Bloomington, IN
Sunrise BakeryClosedTallahassee, FL
Sweet Life BakeryClosedSt. Cloud, MN
Uprisings Baking CollectiveClosedBerkeley, CA (Some old Uprising’s bakers are now baking at Nabolom Bakery.)
Wildflour Community Bakery CoopClosed sometime 2000 (see comment below)See also: www.ypsifoodcoop.org. Ann Arbor, MI A screenplay including Wildflour.
Wolfmoon Coop BakeryClosedEast Lansing, MI
Women’s Community BakeryOpen in 1997, currently ?Washington, DC
Yeast West BakeryClosed in 1995Buffalo, NY

Other Collective/Cooperative Bakeries

NamePhoneAddress
Black Bear Bakery314-771-22362639 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, MO

Foreword from Uprisings

Welcome to Uprisings, the whole grain bakers’ book. Uprisings has been collectively compiled by experienced bakers from many small independent bakeries. If draws its inspiration from a number of uprisings—of grain, of bread, and of people. The most basic of these is the grain growing from the earth, nourished by the rain and sun. Wheat, rye, corn, barley, buckwheat, millet, rice—these are the fundamental ingredients of whole grain baked goods. Bakers, with a little help from yeast and other leaveners, create another uprising, as dough rises to produce fresh-baked loaves, filling our senses. The third uprising is the cooperative ethic of the bakeries we work in. There are no bosses, no employees. Instead we all do the work together, sharing the responsibilities and the rewards. Our businesses put priority on serving the needs of the community, not on making profits for a select few.
We think it’s a great loss that so many of us are unfamiliar with these uprisings. Few people enjoy the delights of eating fresh whole grain bread, let alone those of making it themselves. It’s also a loss that so few people have the satisfaction of helping to run their own workplaces, doing interesting work that meets real needs. Cooperative whole grain bakeries are part of a rising tide of people taking more responsibility for what goes on in our lives. We want more and more of us to regain power over our food, our work, our health and well-being—in short, our personal, social, and economic existence. To achieve this, we heartily encourage these and other kinds of uprisings in all areas or our lives.

Published 1983


ShopInBerkeley is closing

I’ve been running the web directory ShopInBerkeley.com for about eight years. My goal has always been to provide high quality, free and low cost web pages to Berkeley businesses. For the past year or two I’ve been evaluating the need for ShopInBerkeley.com, and have come to the conclusion that the value of the web site is less than the work I put into it (I’ve always made a bit of money from the site, but not nearly enough to live off of).

So, here’s a short (incomplete) list of reasons why I’m closing:

  1. It’s too hard to convice businesses that ShopInBerkeley wasn’t a scam. Many small business owners aren’t that “web saavy” and are confronted with many solicitations from web designers to create a web site and/or put them on a “free” directory. I come along with a free product that isn’t a scam, and they don’t believe it.
  2. It takes too much time to keep the site updated. While I received many updates from business owners and visitors to the site, many of the pages were just getting so old that the hours listed could not be counted on to be accurate. The nature of the site was that it depended on business owners to contact me with updates, and not enough did that.
  3. I’ve got too many things going on in my life; time to thin down. Teaching (my day job) can take up one’s entire life. I teach part-time in order to have some time left for me, but ShopInBerkeley was just requiring too much time to keep updated (see #2).
  4. There are many good alternatives out there. While none of them are quite the same as my site (see shopinberkeley.com/index.php/about/), having another directory out there also creates another site for small business owners to need to keep updated when their hours or other business details change.
  5. Business districts are too parochial and neighborhood-centric to see the value of a city-wide site. Berkeley loves its neighborhoods, and most seem to have their own neighborhood business web site. But what do you do if you’re looking for shoes in the Elmwood and can’t find a store that carries the kind you want? If you’re on the www.elmwoodshop.com web site, you’re out of luck. A well-designed city-wide web directory could return results in your desired neighborhood at the top, then more distant neighborhoods below (Yelp does a good job at this, I never quite got it implemented).

So, the next few months will include time to make redirects for the 800+ pages on ShopInBerkeley. These are important so links from other web pages don’t go dead (e.g. there’s a game producer out there whose web site links to Mr. Mopps page on ShopInBerkeley — they don’t have their own web site).

It’s been a great eight years, and I’m sad about letting ShopInBerkeley go, but I think it’s the right time.

-Lee

ShopInBerkeley undergoing major remodel

I’ve been running ShopInBerkeley.com since 2001, and it’s time for a face lift. I’m converting it to a WordPress run site, although getting all my pages over to WP will take several months. The new format should be easier to navigate, and be easier for me to update. It will also have the ability for visitors to make comments on the individual business pages.

Peets or Starbucks? An organic coffee review

[Note: This review is over eight years old. I hoped to update it, but haven’t got around to it]

Yesterday I stopped by my local Peets (Walnut and Vine, the original) to see if they had organic decaf beans (about 7:00 pm, very slow inside). The bean counter worker looked at the selection and said “No, not certified, but they’re all basically organic except for the certification.”

I said thanks and left the store, but a few doors away I was upset enough about his response that I decided to go back. I asked him what he had meant by “basically organic.” He said that they don’t really use any pesticides, that Peets is careful who they buy coffee from, and implied that therefore they used no/fewer pesticides. I asked if he could show me this in writing, and he went in the back to see. When he came out, he said they had nothing. I asked if the manager was in, and he went and got someone.

The shift leader (“I’m not the manager”) repeated his claim that all the beans are grown with “almost no pesticides.” I again asked if they had this in writing. She said no, but that was what they were told in trainings. (Peets website “Lean: How Coffee is Grown” make no mention of pesticides or organic farming practices.) I left with three of the workers there wishing me a good evening in tones that didn’t seem to convey any real sense of sincerity.

After this experience, I thought I’d see what response I got at the Starbucks down the street (Cedar and Shattuck, “Mortuary Mall” for those who’ve been in town a while). I asked if they had any organic decaf. The woman at the counter told me that no, while they had organic beans that were decaf, the decaffeinating process made them not organic. I said that the “Swiss water process” didn’t make it not organic, and she replied that Starbucks doesn’t use the water process, and she wasn’t sure why. We had a good, short discussion about how at least the beans were being grown in an organic matter, so it was better for the farms and farmworkers, even though at the last minute some chemicals got added to it.

I must say that I was pleased about the honesty I got from the worker at Starbucks. She said that she had convinced many people to get the chemically treated, formerly organic decaf beans, but was very clear on what made them non-organic.

By the way, both companies sell organic regular coffee, just not organic decaf.

So, bad marks for both companies for not carrying organic decaf. Peets gets serious bad marks for not even admitting that their coffee isn’t organic unless they can say so in writing, essentially trying to sell me that there’s no real difference except for the label, what I would consider deceitful marketing–and this all the way up to the top person in the store. Good marks to Starbucks for honesty and knowing what actually happens to their beans, and not trying to sell some that weren’t grown organically as “almost organic.”