The Emeryville Arizmendi recently announced a new target reopening date via Instagram. The popular neighborhood bakery has been closed for over a year after a vehicle collision with a gas line led to extensive fire and water intrusion damage. They initially targeted an ambitious spring 2019 reopening but soon realized the difficulty of navigating an insurance claim and reconstruction.
It’s been a long and frustrating experience for the team of bakers, but the the strong community support has kept them going and they are looking forward to rejoining the community. “It’s been so amazing to receive so much support from the community,” noted Arizmendi Baker/Owner Jacob Sadowsky through email.
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Our new service counter is coming along. New drawers and shelves…and we dug our espresso machine out of storage to build around it. It sure looks good, in my opinion! Hit us up on the gram, Facebook, or at our email address firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our email list for more in depth updates. Still looking like late January or possibly early February til we reopen #bakery #pizza #cooperation #coop #remodel #espressomachine #emeryville #eastbay #seeyounextyear #seeyouin2020 #oakland #absencemakestheheartgrowfonder #arizmendi #newyearnewme #update
Reopening Challenges Explained
After beginning the rebuilding process, they soon realized the challenges of dealing with a claims adjuster and the many hoops they would need to jump through. “We had a very hard time collecting reimbursement from our insurance carrier,” they noted was Travelers. “They seemed to work as hard as possible to hinder us from collecting the compensation outlined in our policy. Their agents seemed to do everything possible to prevent us from receiving the compensation we were entitled to including payroll, equipment, and continuing expenses like health insurance.”
Things got so difficult for the bakers, that they were forced to hire a public adjuster to advocate on their behalf. “He helped us receive what we needed to reopen, but his services were quite expensive.”
They even set up a GoFundMe campaign to help offset some of their losses and stay afloat while closed. Some of the members had to pick up work elsewhere to get by. “Some members picked up some other work, but the majority of the members worked diligently to get the bakery back up and running. Finding new equipment, projecting cash flow, and battling with Travelers. Coordinating reconstruction all took a ton of time.”
Another enormous challenge was coordination between their large group of worker-owners and the many stakeholders of the project including their insurance carrier, the property owner, property management, their contractor and PG&E. “There was so much outside of our control, and while we did everything possible to get back as soon as we could there was just so much that had to happen that was not up to us.”
Hoping to come back stronger than ever
They’ve taken the opportunity while closed to revamp and upgrade their interior space which hasn’t changed much since they opened in 2003. “We hope to create a better flow for our customers, as well as a better flow for our bakers. We are reworking our production schedules as well so there may be some small differences in our products (hopefully for the better!).”
Customers may also notice that the prices of their baked goods will be a tick higher to accommodate rising expenses. “Around 25 cents for the most part, sometimes a bit higher though we tried our best to keep items affordable (and still darn cheap!).”
And what about a reopening date? They are estimating that construction will be complete the week of Jan 19th and can begin stocking ingredients and supplies as well as testing out new equipment and workflows. They are cautiously optimistic they could reopen soon after. “Maybe one week more, maybe 10 days, maybe less….we really can’t say at this point,” they noted, weary of pinning down an exact date.
They also noted the likelihood that they will only initially be open five days a week as they ramp up production. After this “soft re-opening” they intend to resume a 6 days a week schedule remaining closed on Mondays with Sunday being a half-day. They are also actively looking to hire one, possibly two bakers. Interested applicants can read more and apply online.
Follow Arizmendi on Instagram or send them an email for their most up to date information on their opening. “We are all looking forward to seeing all of your sweet faces once again. Thank you everyone for continuing to hold space for us in your lives and in your hearts!”
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New oven and walk in refrigerators installed this week. The first picture is of the crew lifting the cooling unit up onto the roof, and then it’s the oven coming off the truck. A few bumps in the road but we are still cruising and hoping to be ready in January 2020. Send us email email@example.com or a message here to be added to our email list, in addition to these Instagram updates we will be sending out more detailed messages starting soon! Thanks y’all for your tremendous support this last year ❤️❤️❤️#cooperation #emeryville #bayarea #bakery #bread #coop #remodel #arizmendi