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Farmers Market Finds: Meet Your Local Baker, Samuel Schwartz

Samuel Schwartz has always liked working with his hands. He became interested in baking when he lived in London and visited neighborhood bakeries and farmers markets. Now it’s a passion and has inspired Portside Bakery, where Schwartz handcrafts croissants, pastries and sourdough bread to sell every Thursday at the Civic Center farmers market .


Where did you learn your craft?
I started learning first out of cookbooks and then staging with bakers around the bay, including at Pizzaiolo in Oakland and Parkside Cafe in Stinson Beach.


Where do you do your baking?
We’re building out a new bakery kitchen space in Sausalito, and until that’s finished, we’re baking out of the makers’ space at KitchenTown in San Mateo.


It seems that your business is a family affair.
Yes, our wonderful and talented sales crew largely consists of my mother, my mother-in-law and my wife. In the kitchen, we’re a small crew, consisting of two bakers: my partner in the trenches and pastry chef, Kristina, and me, self-appointed bread-head and croissant guy.


Is it true that bakers work all night?
I’d say the border between day and night is just a little different for bakers. For me, 1 a.m. is morning, 9 a.m. is lunch and 7 p.m. is bedtime. Between 6 and 7 p.m., I reacquaint myself with my wife and cat before collapsing with my clogs on.


Do you have a favorite bakery you like to frequent?
I love this question. If you come to the market I can be found giving unsolicited bakery recommendations. One of my all-time favorites is Neighbor Bakehouse in San Francisco’s Dogpatch. Greg, the owner and head baker, has been making some of the best croissants and pastry in the Bay Area.


Where do you source your products from?
We source all of our produce from the Thursday Civic Center farmers market and all of our flour, grain and dairy from just over the county line, in Petaluma.



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