8 Rising-Star Bay Area Food Artisans

High-end donuts, heavenly green tea, killer granola and more local passion products that are catching on right now
April 7, 2014
by Tamara Palmer

The Bay Area is a world center for amazing, artisanal products made with love in small batches. From whimsical donuts to the finest sipping matcha tea, these are the up-and-comers you need to know now. Have a favorite locally handmade product that didn't make the list? We'd love to hear about it in the comments.   

Breakaway Matcha

Why we love them: Founder Eric Gower aims to source the highest-quality Japanese matcha on the planet, which he then custom blends with the same attention that a winemaker would give to a fine Bordeaux. Breakaway takes the entire tea drinking experience into account, offering ceramics and teaware specially designed for its green tea products.
Signature item: Blend 100 Sipping Matcha
Where to buy: Try after dinner at Benu and Meadowood or order online.

Bespoke Doughnuts

Why we love them: Sweet and savory sinkers with beautiful inclusions and garnishes that look like they were tweezed on top. Reilly Meehan (who creates these beauties with partner Brian Christie) comes from a hospitality-centric family; his father is the owner of Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz.
Signature item: Cookie butter and chocolate donut, herb potato and kale savory donut
Where to buy: Saturdays, 9 AM to sell out, at Melange Market, Sundays, 1-4 PM, at Beaux.

Sōw Juice

Why we love them: In a city of stiff competition, these juices manage to stand out for luxurious mouthfeel and taste. Owners Luisa Alberto and Derek Castro, former Blue Bottle employees, don't focus on juices cleanses but instead make delicious blends out of market-fresh produce, using a cold press.
Signature item: The Prescription: a blend of apple, orange, celery, kale, mint and parsley
Where to buy: Saturdays at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market or order online from Good Eggs.

Sinto Gourmet

Why we love them: Delicious fermented kimchi and cucumber pickles with a conscious mission. HyunJoo Albrecht's two-year-old company donates a portion of proceeds to rights organization Liberty in North Korea.
Signature item: Mild White Napa Cabbage Kimchi
Where to buy: Try with lunch at Onigilly or purchase at Good Life Grocery or Haight Street Market.

Authentic Bagel Company

Why we love them: A rare sighting of East Coast-style bagels in the Bay Area is always appreciated. Brothers Jason and Mark Scott are Rhode Island expatriates who started the company in 2012 after going to culinary school and working together at East Bay cafes like Berkeley's Rick & Ann's.
Signature item: Sourdough rye bagel
Where to buy: Try at Authentic's cafe in Oakland, Actual Cafe or Arlequin.

463 Second St., Oakland; 510-459-1201

Sosu Sauces

Why we love them: Organic, local and seasonal tomatoes, chiles and garlic are used in sauces that are silkier, smoother, healthier and more flavorful than the market's rooster-stamped standards. "Chief Sauce Officer" Lisa Murphy originally developed her signature item after friends challenged her to make a better ketchup.
Signature item: Srirachup
Where to buy: Bi-Rite Market, Rainbow Grocery.

King Knish

Why we love them: The traditional Jewish dough balls are made to be even more homey (beef brisket) and adventurous (chocolate-dipped wasabi potato). Chef Ramni Levy previously operated a now-defunct San Francisco restaurant called Bistro 1650 and then a catering company before dedicating his focus to knishes in 2012.
Signature item: Classic Potato Knish
Where to buy: Try at Oakland First Fridays or order online.

Worthy Granola

Why we love them: Cereal that's made with 100% organic ingredients but still manages to taste like a sinful treat. Founder Jeanne Norsworthy is a certified nutrition consultant who uses low-glycemic coconut sugar for a superior sweetness.
Signature item: Original Love Granola
Where to buy: Try at Saint Frank Coffee Bar or Front Cafe or order online from Good Eggs.