Famed Bakery Tartine Opens Own Coffee Roasting Operation Dubbed the Coffee Manufactory
BY ASHLEY RODRIGUEZ
There is probably no more important rite of passage to being a true San Franciscan than waiting in line for bread at Tartine, a world-renowned bakery in the Mission District. Opened in 2002 by Chad Robertson and Elizabeth Prueitt, the Tartine name has extended far beyond the small bakery on Guerrero Street, encompassing a nearby restaurant, a handful of cookbooks, and now a full-on coffee program and café based out of their newest space, the Tartine Maunfactory. Originally, Tartine was partnered with Blue Bottle in their coffee service, and after parting ways, Tartine lacked a specific direction for its coffee program.
In steps Chris Jordan, formerly of Verve Coffee and Starbucks. Chris had been working with Tartine to advise them on their coffee program, and eventually suggested that they should roast their own coffee.
And so they did. And they didn’t just decide to roast their own coffee ”they decided to launch a comprehensive wholesale program. œEveryone is doing a really good job here in San Francisco, says Maja Vojnovic, Director of Sales and Marketing for Coffee Manufactory, the coffee branch of the Tartine conglomerate. œWe’re not trying to do anything different and we’re not trying to be everywhere. We want to be approachable and customizable.
Their inspiration comes from the ethos of the larger Tartine brand ”make simple, delicious products with the best ingredients you can find. The Coffee Manufactory aims to build relationships with farmers and source the best coffees they can; currently they buy their coffees from Red Fox Coffee Merchants in Berkeley, but hope to one day source their coffees directly. œWe all know what we want our coffees to be like, says Maja, and the emphasis on quality is apparent from their menu choices (there are only a few options, but the baristas will happily make whatever you request) to their retail bags.
Maja greets me with ink on her hands. œI’m sorry, I was just stamping bags. The retail bags are simple and without adornment. They simply say their name and are marked with a number; 00 through 03. œThe numbering system was a way to emphasize the utilitarian use of every coffee. We want people to always be able to grab a bag and know that they’ll like it even when a coffee from a region is no longer available. 00 will always be decaf, 01 will always be the espresso blend, and 02 and 03 will be Latin American and African offerings, respectively. œIt’s just like bread, says Devin Chapman, Director of Retail. œThere are just a few choices, but they’re all done well.
For now, Coffee Maunfactory is doing all their roasting out of the Bay Area CoRoasting space, but they have plans to inhabit their own space plus a training center in the next few months. And for right now, their wholesale program is small but it’s important to Maja to concentrate on building partnerships. œWe want to work with people who we’re friends with, she says, and cites their first partner, Golden Voice, the company that puts on various music festivals, including Coachella. For now, you can find their coffee at the Tartine Manufactory, which is an all-encompassing bakery + bar + coffee shop highlighting the same dedication to craft and quality as the original bakery has. Inside, you can order bread, various food options, coffee, and a cocktail, all done with the highest standards. œIt’s inspiring to see some of the bakers who have been here for over ten years, says Maja.
When asked about the future, Maja looks excited but calm. œI hope I get to be doing exactly this, she says. œWorking hard, building relationships, and making great coffee. I think all of us feel like we’ve found our place and we’re excited to see where it goes.
The Tartine Manufactory, where you can drink delicious coffee and snack on amazing food and experience the same essential SF experience of waiting in line for bread, is located at 595 Alabama Street in the Mission District. The space has just opened to the public this past Wednesday, and hours are currently 7-5.