Emeryville Arizmendi is close to beginning reconstruction of its bakery after a devastating fire and subsequent water damage. They’ve been closed since December 11th after a vehicle crashed into a gas line causing the fire and activating their sprinkler system.
Arizmendi had initially targeted a Spring reopening but this may have been a bit ambitious. “This process has been so much more than we expected!” noted owner-worker Aja Green through email. “Permitting, licensing, construction … all of that is a slow process, which we found, we have little control over.”
Arizmendi is taking the opportunity while closed to redesign and upgrade their interior space which hasn’t changed much since they opened in 2003. “The Community will start to see construction happening on the back wall sometime in the next few weeks. Once that is done, we’ll have power and can begin working on the inside as well.”
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Currently using the #konmarie method on everything we’ve ever used over the last 15yrs. Except instead of “does this spark joy?” it’s “is this smoke or water damaged?” ???? You don’t realize how many things you’ve accumulated until it’s all in a giant garbage dump pile and a huge truck has to take several trips to take it all. Who else started organized/clean their life so far? If not physically, maybe mentally? What sparks joy in your life?
Many community members have graciously reached out asking for ways they could support the owner-workers while closed. “When we first closed, we heard that our insurance company is covering living expenses, which eased all of our worries pretty quickly. But, as it turns out, working with an insurance company is a slow process, who knew?”
Arizmendi’s owner-workers have been reluctant to endorse a crowdfunding effort fearing insurance implications. Because of the pace of insurance claims, they are now reconsidering but want to do so with a clear goal. “We need to clarify our needs and decide how we want to proceed.”
Rest assured, Arizmendi will reopen and intend to come back better and stronger than ever. “Spring was our goal but it’s looking like possibly early Summer at this point,” Green added. “We’ve been going for 15 years and we want to be able to stay for many more beyond that!”
Feature Image: Arizmendi owner-workers gather to discuss their next steps (Photo: @ArizmendiEville via Instagram).