May 23, 2017
Situated picturesquely on marble-laden countertops, the irresistible daily array of mouth-watering goodies strategically greets all those who enter the store. Dense slices of orange olive-oil cakes or cardamom-almond twists are sure to please the epicurean palates of many upscale residents. The flexibility of the constantly-updated menu caters to anyone’s delight, as the healthier chopped salads do not demand any sacrifice in flavor.
In contrast to the dinner-plate sized soft cookies and gooey peanut butter chocolate fudge bars, Rustic Bakery is commonly known as a place to find a decent salad or light lunch. According the Vanessa, the afternoon cashier and product stocker, it is all about what is ordered that makes it healthy;
“It depends on what you are going to eat. If you are going to eat a salad, of course it is going to be good for you! But if you were going to eat, maybe, a grilled cheese and chocolate cake, then, of course you won’t be very healthy. I think that’s a good place to be; in the middle ground. We give you options, it’s all about the customer here. They get to decide what they want, and it will always be tasty”
All of the food at Rustic Bakery’s is handmade, and uses organically sourced ingredients for wholesale and on-location eating. The various options for breakfast, snacking, lunch, or dessert leave Rustic uncategorizable on a nutritional scale, but high on the popularity chart.
Vanessa, the afternoon store manager at the Kentfield location, described how sudden influxes and decreases of customers have created a predictable rhythm for her day;
“It gets really busy around 11 o’clock. In the mornings, people come and
like to have a coffee, latte, mocha, and then grab a pastry. We are basically operating a coffee shop, so it’s not about the big breakfasts here.”
Once the morning rush is over, more than “half our cookies have disappeared,” Rustic transforms from a morning coffee shop into a trendy lunch spot. “Not until at 12o’clock people like to come and like to eat the salad and sandwiches,” Vanessa explained. “The grilled sandwiches are really really popular. The asian chicken salad and the mediterranean salad too; everybody loves those.”
Although the popularity of the cafe does mean that she is able to “meet lots of friendly people,” Vanessa notes how her job can grow stressful, especially working in a high end establishment; “I have to be the cashier, run the food bar, restock the store, and run the coffee sometimes all at the same time. When I am being here taking orders, people they want it fast. The customers here, in Kentfield, are more, picky. They are very ‘strict’ with their orders.”
Once just a small, exclusive artisanal coffee shop, Rustic Bakery has expanded to become one of Marin’s favorite places to grab a quick gourmet bite. True to their name, Rustic Bakery consistently provides an overflowing array of freshly baked breads, gourmet candies, and signature pastries daily. Once beyond the morning breakfast and coffee rush, Rustic’s infamous salads and gourmet hot sandwiches elicit lines out the door. The exponential success of the businesses grocery-store line and future plans to increase cafe expansion, Rustic Bakery proves that when good flavor, service and quality meet, the possibilities are endless.