ALBANY'S FARM TO BAKERY/CAFE



Clean, Fresh, Local Foods. Affordable, Seasonal Breakfasts & Lunches, Artisanal Loaves made with NY flours, From-Scratch Baked Goods and Desserts, all prepared in-house from responsibly grown, primarily local ingredients.

540 Delaware Avenue
Albany, NY 12209
518-463-1349

SUMMER HOURS

Wed: 6 & 8pm Farm to Chef Dinners (reservation only)

Thurs/Fri: 11am-7pm

Sat/Sun: 11am-5pm

(kitchen open from 11 to 5, limited sandwich menu available between 5 and 7pm)
Loaves, Baked Goods, Sandwiches!

Please visit our website for current menu and supplier information: http://www.allgoodbakers.weebly.com/

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Beginnings

Greetings Fans,

(Britin here.) We haven't kept up with the blog as much as we would have liked this season, but the lack of time to dedicate to this forum was thankfully filled with an incredible year of growth for AGB.  Opening our shop on Quail St. has widened our audience significantly, especially due to Nick's ability to transform simple, fresh (local) ingredients into incredible lunch fare.  Everyone who has visited the shop has been very welcoming and enthusiastic, for which we couldn't be more grateful. We've gotten to know a lot of regulars this year - one of my personal favorite aspects of our "job" (it's hard to call it that- we are both really enjoying living the dream).

We've also made much deeper connections with our neighboring farmers and other small food-producing suppliers (Farmer Jon's Produce, Mountain Winds Maple Farm, North Country Farms Flour, Bulich Mushroom Farm, Capital District Community Gardens, Our Daily Eats, Meadowbrook Dairy, among others); groups dedicated to promoting Real Local Food like the Chef's Consortium of the Hudson Valley, From Scratch Club and the Saturday Delmar Farmers Market; local food bloggers Steve Barnes (Table Hopping), Daniel B. over at Fussy Litte Blog, Greg & Mary at All Over Albany, and Christina D. at FSC. It has truly been an incredible year for us and it was all capped off with Nick being chosen as a Rising Star Chef with the Albany Wine and Dine for the Arts Festival (happening this weekend)! Major Woot!

When we began renting our kitchen on Quail in November 2010, it was for the sole purpose of executing our first Community Supported Bakery season. We didn't intend to open up for retail, but when our landlord (Mark Guido of Guido's Frozen Desserts) said, "You're paying all of the overhead, the lights are on - why not open?", we started thinking seriously about it.  Nick and I have worked in restaurants since we were both 15 years old, and met while working in one in '03. Virtually since that day, we started talking about what we would do if we opened our own place. Guido's suggestion rang in our heads all that winter and we took the plunge in April of this year.

Most people in the Pine Hills neighborhood & surrounding Albany have welcomed us with open arms. Business owners, families, neighborhood associations, organizers, beat cops - all of our customers have all been wonderful to get to know and we are grateful for the opportunty to do so. We have participated in every way we can to be good neighbors, highlight the great aspects of the neighborhood and to be advocates for changing what needs improvement. Unfortunately, limited parking, street trash, vandalism and sporadic violence plague the Education District.  Although some issues are being addressed, we reluctantly accept that meaningful change is likely to be a long time coming.

By late October, the reality started to sink in that our location on Quail St. just isn't the ideal venue for what we do, and we began entertaining the thought of moving the shop. One major reason is that our rent increased in December.  We knew it would happen, we just didn't realize by how much and there's only so much we can produce fresh in our tiny kitchen in order to support the extra overhead. Gatherer's Granola has continued to rent from us three days per week, and has been putting out an enormous amount of granola to local farmers markets and co-ops. They are growing, too, and are looking for a larger production space.

The retail area at 540 Delaware Ave., still small, but bigger than we have now!
We started working with the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region and contemplated a few spots for a new building.  The one that has been calling our names for years, 540 Delaware Avenue, was vacant, and offered a multitude of improvements: Three times the square footage, 10 parking spaces, a slightly larger retail area, reasonable rent, fully-installed fire-suppression system (with fans and hood - a huge expense!), better quality finishes, on a main thoroughfare, accessible to our Delmar customers (but still in Albany) and we could walk to work in good weather!  Just last week, we closed on a modest loan with the great folks over at the CLF (big thanks to Lissa, Joe, Walt and the Board!), and LAST NIGHT we signed the lease on 540 Delware Ave.!  We've lived in the DelSo neighborhood since moving here in 2003 - having our bakery here will be an absolute dream come true for us. We'll start acquiring equipment and navigating the city permitting process next week.  We're hoping to open sometime between mid-February and mid-March, and will operate on Quail St. until then.

We'll be open 5 days per week, add more lunch and breakfast options, hire two staff members, increase our loaf varieties & share programs, and hopefully grow some of our own produce in a kitchen garden out back. We'll continue to use primarily local suppliers, prepare everything fresh, maintain our low-waste practices and hopefully be seeing more of you! We hope making this move will bring positive, measured growth for our bakery and our family - and we couldn't be more excited!!

More detailed information will follow as we progress. We hope you share our enthusiasm!

Your bakers,
Britin & Nick

11 comments:

  1. Well, excellent! I hope you'll be open for breakfast; that's close enough to my route to be sensible on occasion, I think..

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  2. This makes my day!! The del ave area keeps on getting better! Welcome!!

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  3. Nice! I can stop by then go to Sparkill or Southern and be on my way to 787.

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  4. Wow! This is a dream come true for me as a consumer too. I'm so excited that I've decided to write in a blog for maybe only the second or third time in my life. You guys have added so much to the quality of life in Albany, even using that awful location on Quail St. And I appreciate you trying to make positive change in that neighborhood, but the Delaware ave neighborhood really deserves you. I grew up off Whitehall Rd, and you are adding to a neighborhood that has been seeing so many positive changes in recent years.
    Thank you for all that you do to make Albany and the Capital Region such a swell place!

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  5. very excited to have you guys in the neighborhood! welcome!

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  6. Thank you everyone! We are incredibly thrilled. @Ewan, we'll be open mornings and hope to increase hot breakfast items over time, but we'll always have our baked goods avail. Please let us know what you'd like to see. @Paul, that was such a sweet comment, one we will read over again and feel warmed. @everyone else, your enthusisam spurs us on! Thank you all for taking the time to comment.

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  7. While it's sad to see you leave a location where just having you there made the n'hood better, livelier and exciting, I can see why DelSo is an improvement for you. I hope someone steps into that location with so much to offer as AGB and ability to improve the livability of uptown/North Pine Hills. DelSo is easier for me so I'll be seeing you more often. Great job guys! So glad you succeeded but to grow? That's just fantastic!!!

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  8. Brit you were at the Farmers Market in Delmar when I first came in during December and chatted up Nick and Nicole about the Bakery and Phish!!. Ive been spreading the AGB word about the CSB and hopefully next share time myself and a neighbor will be purchasing. I'm gardening myself this year in a plot thru Capital District Community Gardens (Organic practices of course) so I know where I can donate my surplus herbs etc!! Id come visit in either location doing my swing of the HW COOP and Andy's on Delaware.

    Knock them off their shoes/crocs/birkies this weekend at the F&W festival.

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  9. This will be a great step for your business! Please keep us posted .. can't wait to visit the new shop!

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  10. So excited that you will be coming to my neighborhood! I will be a regular!

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