New & Notable

Hayes Valley Bakeworks: A bakery and cafe with a conscience

The bakery and its wares Photos: julie mitchell

San Francisco is home to many upscale bakeries, teashops and other specialty food purveyors, but most of them are simply out to provide good food. At Hayes Valley Bakeworks, the mission is two-fold: source local ingredients to create rustic, artisan fare onsite and provide employment/training for people with disabilities.

The bakery and cafe is a project founded by Toolworks, a nonprofit, human-service agency founded in the City in 1975 and dedicated to providing the tools and resources that promote independence, equality, and personal satisfaction to individuals with disabilities. As part of Toolworks, Hayes Valley Bakeworks employs and trains those people as well as those who are homeless or at-risk.

This light-filled, eco-friendly cafe in the heart of Hayes Valley features multiwood cabinetry, plenty of window counters, and a whimsical wall display of antique rolling pins. Materials used include recycled barn wood, GreenGuard- and GreenSpec-certified ceiling tiles, and LED lighting. The bakeshop uses only serving materials that are either compostable or recyclable.

But let’s not forget about the food. At Hayes Valley Bakeworks, you can find delectable pastries, sandwiches, salads, soups, daily pizza specialties, Four Barrel coffee — and if you’re gluten intolerant or vegan, there is something for you as well. All menu items are prepared in-house using ingredients from local producers.

Breakfast baked goods include gluten-free raspberry “Pop-Tarts,” an indulgent maple-bacon cinnamon roll, a Tcho chocolate brioche twist, vegan morning muffins, and cream scones. You can also order an egg torte with market vegetables, a multigrain porridge bowl, house-made granola, or yogurt and fresh fruit.

Lunchtime and early supper feature pizza with a potato-quinoa crust by the slice or whole, several salads, and sandwiches on the bakery’s house-made brown-butter Parker House rolls or focaccia. The rotating selection of soups is crafted both by the bakery’s chefs as well as local foodie celebrity chefs. If you’re still craving sweets, there are a variety of cookies, some gluten free and vegan, as well as cakes, tarts and puddings. And to go along with your treat, order drip-brewed or pour-over coffee, Silk Road tea, or a smoky chai. Cold drinks include fresh “ades” in flavors like lemon and hibiscus, and iced coffee, tea, chai, or Revive kombucha on tap.

Pick up something yummy at Hayes Valley Bakeworks and support the community, too.

Hayes Valley Bakeworks: 550 Gough Street, 415-864-2688,; Monday–Friday 7 a.m.–7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

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