Welcome back to Good Taste, a weekly look at the Bay Area food world. Today, we’re sharing Rize Up Bakery’s efforts to grow into a new space, which could use a little help from the public.
When Azikiwee Anderson won a year of free retail space for his Rize Up Bakery back in April, he told San Francisco Business Times that he started baking sourdough bread in his San Francisco backyard as an therapeutic outlet after George Floyd’s May 2020 murder.
By October 2020, Rize Up was fulfilling bread orders from Anderson’s front steps and attracted the attention of writer Leena Trivedi-Grenier, who profiled the pandemic baking business for San Francisco Chronicle. I wasn’t leaving the house much around that time, but that article sent me scurrying to Anderson’s front door for his Louisiana hot link sausage-stuffed 9th Ward loaf, a nod to his hometown of New Orleans. I took dozens of photos of it held aloft like the Lion King.
These days, you can still order straight-up sourdough, but Anderson’s got a lot of playful flavors available in pan loaf and round shapes. There are technicolor purple ube loaves, gojuchang-spiked K-Pop options, a cardamom and berry laced bread appropriately called Cardi B, and bright yellow Masala loaves developed with Trivedi-Grenier.The Black-owned sourdough specialist that started in a backyard needs ovens for its new space.These days, you can still order straight-up sourdough, but Anderson’s got a lot of playful flavors available in pan loaf and round shapes. There are technicolor purple ube loaves, gojuchang-spiked K-Pop options, a cardamom and berry laced bread appropriately called Cardi B, and bright yellow Masala loaves developed with Trivedi-Grenier.
In the two years since my first bite, it’s been wonderful to watch as Anderson has grown this business from the backyard to a commercial kitchen space, hired his first employees, plant roots at local farmers markets, and pick up a growing list of retail partners such as Rainbow Grocery and Berkeley Bowl. His forthcoming retail space and bakery operation is inside the headquarters of a startup called Raydiant in SoMa, and he needs to purchase new ovens to help him scale up into the new spot.
That’s where Anderson’s request for some additional help from the public comes in, as he elaborates in the above Instagram video. A donations page accepts contributions in any denomination and offers a chance to help get those new ovens fired up by buying subscriptions for a year of bread delivered to your house either weekly or monthly. Think of it as carbs for a cause. Rize Up is a genuine story of success and love to be taken as a hopeful sign of the future here.
Tamara’s site California Eating has more stories about inspiring foodmakers.