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The Original Sourdough French Bread - 
Boudin Bakery a San Francisco Destination


26,000-Square-Foot Facility to Include Demonstration Bakery, Restaurant,
Museum and Market Founded in 1849, Beloved Icon
Is City's Oldest Ongoing Business

SAN FRANCISCO (March 17, 2005) - Boudin Bakery, creator of the Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread and the city's oldest ongoing business, has announced the May 2005 opening of the company's magnificent new flagship, Boudin at the Wharf.  Located at Pier 431/2 on the city's famed Fisherman's Wharf, the new facility will serve as an exciting new San Francisco destination, featuring a demonstration bakery; Bakers Hall market; Boudin Café; Bistro Boudin, a full-service restaurant with private dining room; and the Boudin Museum & Bakery Tour.

"The history of San Francisco and the story of Boudin Bakery have been intertwined since the Gold Rush," noted Boudin co-chairman Lou Giraudo.  "Boudin at the Wharf is our way of celebrating that connection."  

"Our goal," added co-chairman Sharon Duvall, "is to create an exciting new destination that presents a unique look at the colorful history of San Francisco from the perspective of one of its oldest icons." 

Boudin Sourdough French Bread has been a San Francisco culinary treasure for more than a century and a half, sought after -- and often carried home -- by visitors from all over the world.

It all began in 1849 when members of the Boudin family arrived in the city that had been recently known as Yerba Buena, with a pre-Gold Rush population of approximately 1,000 residents.  The Boudins were for generations the master bakers in their hometown of Champigny-sur-Yonne in the Bourgogne region of France.  They knew how to take simple ingredients -- just flour, water, and salt -- and create the classic loaf of French bread:  soft and light in the center with a golden, crunchy crust.  

But in order to bake bread in their new home, they had to create a levain, or "mother dough."  Prior to the invention of packaged yeast, all bread was leavened with wild yeast, which bakers had to "catch" from the air and cultivate.  Each region has its own type of wild yeast, and each type imparts different qualities to the finished loaf of bread.  The Boudin family remained dedicated to their old-world techniques, but because they were baking with new-world yeast, a San Francisco yeast, the results were very different.  The biggest surprise was the distinctive tangy flavor of the soft center.  It was an entirely new loaf of bread -- it was San Francisco sourdough French bread.

Today, Boudin Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread is still baked fresh daily using the same recipe that enticed Gold Rush-era San Franciscans who flocked to the Boudin bakery each morning (by the end of 1849, the city's population had swelled to 20,000).  Every loaf is made with a portion of the original Boudin "mother dough" that has been carefully preserved over the decades -- and heroically saved by Louise Boudin during the Great Earthquake of 1906.  

For the past 30 years, residents and tourists have enjoyed watching Boudin bakers craft fresh, piping-hot loaves of bread at the Boudin Bakery near Pier 431/2.  With the opening of Boudin at the Wharf, thousands more will have a chance to observe this San Francisco tradition in the new 5,000-square-foot Demonstration Bakery, plus enjoy the many additional attractions of this inviting new destination at the north end of the city's famed waterfront.

Bakers Hall, featuring a full-service coffee bar and the Boudin Bake Shop, where visitors can purchase fresh-baked sourdough loaves, will boast a market bursting with culinary treasures from throughout Northern California.  From Boudin Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread to fresh artisinal olive oils, handcrafted cheeses and gourmet chocolates, visitors are sure to find a perfect gift or memento.  The market is also an ideal one-stop shop for picnickers.  Boudin will offer picnic baskets, coolers, drinks and tasty lunch treats for sale in Bakers Hall as well as maps with directions to the city's best picnic spots.  

The Café at Boudin at the Wharf will provide both a new attraction and, with its array of delicious menu items and visitor services, a welcome way station for sightseers.  With heated outdoor seating, an outdoor fireplace, and San Francisco classics such as clam chowder in a bread bowl, the Café will serve as an ideal location for casual Bayside dining.  

Visitors wishing a more leisurely meal can adjourn upstairs to Bistro Boudin, a full service restaurant that also features panoramic views of the Bay.  A cozy Private Dining Room, where guests can relax by the fireplace while taking in a charming waterfront view, will also be available with advance booking.

Through an array of historic photos, artifacts, and interactive exhibits, the Boudin Museum & Bakery Tour will provide a unique and engaging overview of the history of San Francisco through the lens of a company that has evolved with the city since its earliest days.  The art and science of Boudin baking will also be demonstrated, with opportunities to discover how ingredients, microbiology, and San Francisco fog all play essential roles in the creation of each loaf of bread.  A glass-walled catwalk will provide full views of the working bakery, and each tour will conclude with a visit to the tasting room, where each visitor can sample oven-fresh bread.

About Boudin Bakery:  Headquartered in San Francisco, Boudin Bakery is world-famous for its Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread, which is baked with the same "mother dough," or sourdough starter, used since 1849.  Born in the Gold Rush, Boudin Bakery is the oldest continuing business in San Francisco.  Boudin bread can be purchased at Boudin Bakery, located at 10th Avenue and Geary Boulevard, as well as at the 20 Boudin Bakery & Cafés located in Northern and Southern California.  In addition to Boudin's signature sourdough bread, the cafés sell coffee and espresso drinks, sourdough bagels, pastries, hearty sandwiches, salads, soups in a bread bowl, and sourdough pizzas.  Boudin Bakery also operates growing wholesale, catering, and gift catalogue businesses.

 Andre-Boudin Bakeries, Inc.
221 Main Street, Suite 1230
San Francisco, CA 94105-1929
Also See: Some London Restaurants Clamor for Gourmet French Bread Costing 10 Times the Average Price / November 2002
San Francisco CVB Describes the Ingredients to a Top Tourist Destination: Fisherman's Wharf / Feb 1998

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