On Tuesday, November 7, an emotional Azikiwee Anderson took to Instagram to put up a video. He begins by taking a deep breath. Then he launches into the tough information: His standard San Francisco enterprise Rize Up Bakery had been burglarized in a single day. Thieves had taken the iPads the enterprise makes use of to promote loaves of sourdough bread at farmer’s markets and the pc used to print its labels. The money packing containers had been gone, together with the restaurant’s financial institution field, used to make change for patrons. “It’s not the tip of the world,” he says, “nevertheless it’s undoubtedly a kick within the butt.”
Based on the Public Coverage Institute of California (PPIC), industrial burglaries in California turned extra prevalent through the pandemic, growing by 15.7 p.c between 2019 and 2022. The issue seems notably unhealthy in San Francisco; final 12 months, San Francisco County had the second-highest price of economic burglaries amongst California’s 15 largest counties, a PPIC evaluation reveals. Nonetheless, statistics printed by the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this 12 months present that in 2022, industrial burglaries within the metropolis of San Francisco returned to pre-pandemic 2018 ranges.
What all of the statistics can’t seize, nonetheless, is how a property crime impacts greater than only a single proprietor or enterprise. As a small enterprise baking loaves of bread for grocery shops and sandwich retailers throughout the Bay Space, the impact of a single housebreaking can ripple by way of the restaurant and meals communities. In an uplifting gesture, Rize Up followers and clients donated $19,000 within the three days following the housebreaking, and as of this writing, the staff has resumed its regular manufacturing schedule. Right here, Eater SF interviews Azikiwee Anderson, a Rize Up worker, and others within the Bay Space restaurant trade who had been impacted by this single crime.
These interviews have been edited and condensed for readability.
Within the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 7, an worker of Rize Up Bakery found that the bakery’s SoMa house at 1160 Howard Avenue had been damaged into. A burglar pried open the storage door, getting access to the enterprise workplace, bread manufacturing ground, and walk-in fridges someday after the final shift ended at 5 p.m. the day earlier than.
Azikiwee Anderson, founder and proprietor of Rize Up Bakery: Once I awakened at 4:30 a.m., I used to be met with textual content messages from our lead baker. “I would like you to name me straight away, that is an emergency.” I referred to as him and he’s like, “The door is broad open. It seems to be like anyone rummaged by way of our issues, the walk-in door was ajar.” I scrambled down there, and I ready myself on the drive: “You possibly can’t management something, it’s already completed. We’ll simply study from it and we’ll be okay. Everyone’s okay, that’s all that issues.”
I bought there, noticed what was gone — after which I began problem-solving. All of our iPads had been gone, the pc was gone; the pc is what we use to print all of our labels, and so I believed, “How are we going to do with out these items?” The staff began displaying up, and we began speaking about issues. We have to name the police. We have to name the insurance coverage. Actually from the second I bought there, I used to be on this daze. What do I have to do? Who ought to I name? What ought to I be doing? That, in itself, is annoying. On high of that, I used to be alleged to be engaged on the ground.
Regardless of the housebreaking, Rize Up tried to renew operations as regular, making deliveries to clients between 6:30 and seven:30 a.m., then baking bread and making new dough for loaves and baguettes.
Azikiwee Anderson (Rize Up Bakery): I used to be sitting in my sorrows and I believed, “I usually share all the great issues, I’m a fairly optimistic particular person.” The best way that I take into consideration Instagram is that I really feel like individuals are following my journey — after we get a brand-new oven, I present folks. I believed I ought to let folks know [about the burglary], particularly our clients. So I put it on the market, like, that is what’s happening.
The second I did that, our meals security marketing consultant noticed it and that began a complete chain of occasions. What I didn’t understand is, the second that somebody breaches a meals facility, something that you just can’t for sure say was not tampered with must be thrown away. Half of what we despatched out [for delivery] was wonderful as a result of it was packaged and sealed. The opposite half was our demi-baguettes and hoagies, so we needed to notify clients we delivered to that morning and allow them to know there was a risk of issues going flawed.
Realizing this, in idea, is one factor. Throwing away a whole lot and a whole lot of loaves which are alleged to go to clients who’re relying on you — that simply form of broke my mind. At first, I used to be resolute, after which all [of a] sudden, I bought actually unhappy, after which I bought indignant. I went by way of all six levels of grief without delay.
Erik Soderholm, ground supervisor at Rize Up Bakery: It was actually tough and hard. That was days of labor and sources simply wasted. It was fairly devastating realizing that we wasted time, and needed to make up for it on the similar time.
I used to be the primary particular person making an attempt to determine how a lot bread to make. We put in calls to the entire staff. Two folks got here into work later that day, which isn’t regular in any respect, different folks labored additional hours the next day. It was exhausting to really feel something since you didn’t actually know methods to finest transfer ahead.
As soon as the Rize Up staff discovered that the bread needed to be tossed out, Anderson made calls to purchasers, informing them in regards to the housebreaking and meals security breach.
Liam Bonner, director of meals companies at Berkeley Bowl: I noticed Azikiwee was calling me and he broke the information that that they had been burglarized the evening earlier than. The very first thing he did was apologize for not reaching out to me sooner, and the truth that was his first thought was unbelievable to me. The furthest factor from my thoughts was worrying about whether or not Berkeley Bowl was getting bread — my fundamental concern was the protection of him, his staff, after which additionally the product that he had misplaced. After I spoke with him, I went inside the shop to be sure that the loaves that had been doubtlessly breached had been pulled off the cabinets.
We get about 50 loaves a day that we promote for retail, after which on high of that, we use loaves for grilled cheese sandwiches that we do in-house and our housemade meatball sandwiches on Rize Up’s East Coast hoagie rolls. Once we’re not getting sure merchandise or all of them, it’s not solely affecting the retail, it’s affecting our manufacturing functionality. [That’s] about 30 sandwiches a day we weren’t capable of make.
Azikiwee Anderson (Rize Up Bakery): I’m making an attempt to not let anybody down, and in order that turns into a giant raise. Every thing that we’re making is on a shorter time-frame, and we now have to make loads of changes.
Rize Up purchasers had to decide on to simply accept loaves produced utilizing a shorter proofing course of than standard — a day and a half, versus the standard three days — which may lead to a distinction in high quality. The opposite choice: to go with out Rize Up bread in any respect.
Eric Ehler, co-owner and chef at Outta Sight Pizza: Z could be very, superb at placing himself on the market, however proper once I noticed the primary second [of his video], his facial features, I believed, “Oh, shit, one thing has occurred.” I messaged him straight away, and I stated, “No matter we will do to assist you, I don’t know what that will be, however we’re right here for you.”
When he referred to as me an hour later and let me know in regards to the wholesale situation, his voice was trembling. He was so upset, so many various feelings, however I assured him that if we don’t get [our bread delivery], folks can wait. There’s nothing on the earth that may rectify what occurred, however we as a enterprise can assist you. We’re gonna let our clients know this occurred, and if anyone would get upset that we didn’t have a product right here as a result of somebody bought robbed, they will go kick rocks.
We’re affected person, our clients can wait. Simply do your due diligence to take your time and get your shit collectively. However don’t really feel pressured. There are such a lot of totally different pressures already, simply to maintain your doorways open any day.
Liam Bonner (Berkeley Bowl): One factor I all the time take into consideration is the lingering results of burglaries on the general neighborhood or enterprise. Is that this gonna scare off a baker, are they now enthusiastic about getting a special job? Or are they scared to go to work every single day? As folks examine all these eating places and bakeries getting burgled, are they turning into afraid to go to those locations now? Is the entire trade affected? I feel the doom-loop protection is protecting folks away from sure areas [of the city], and for me, I get scared about what that is going to result in down the highway if this stuff maintain occurring and we’re not getting loads of outcomes or motion and assist from our leaders.
Again at Rize Up Bakery, the staff threw away greater than 360 loaves from the walk-in — plus specialty elements used within the bakery’s loaves, corresponding to ube halaya, scallions, cheese, and extra. In the meantime, staff started ramping up bread manufacturing, working additional time to assist make up for the misplaced product.
Erik Soderholm (Rize Up Bakery): In that 24-hour interval, I feel we had been shut to creating 1,000 to 1,200 loaves, which is double the max we’ve ever completed in a single day. So by including on a shift and including on a number of hundred loaves to regular bakes, with additional folks to assist out, we had been capable of catch up. Actually, the staff stepped up and we had caught up, at the very least bread production-wise, the subsequent afternoon [Wednesday, November 8].
A lot of the wholesale those who we labored with had been very understanding and really supportive. I noticed a number of posts on Instagram about what had occurred and the assist behind us. Individuals had been simply doing every little thing they may to again us up and simply be sure that everybody knew what was happening, so every little thing was clear. We had totally different eating places that we work with that introduced in workers meals for a lot of the week, so the assist from the neighborhood was nice.
Azikiwee Anderson (Rize Up Bakery): We’re a small enterprise and we had been doing first rate, however should you take every week’s value of labor that you just’ve paid folks for, after which you must do all of it once more whereas paying additional time, it mainly became two weeks’ value of labor to get three days’ value of gross sales. We’re on the place the place we’re doing nicely, however we could possibly be doing higher. And while you take twice the sum of money to do the identical factor — that’s unhealthy for any enterprise.
We might want to run our experiences based mostly on what we threw away after which what it took to make that again, to make our declare to the insurance coverage. Between the electronics, the cash, the money packing containers, and the entire thrown-away stuff that has already been paid for — then to do it once more — I’m considering we’re most likely slightly below $30,000 [in losses]. So a primary theft became a giant factor.
Per week after the housebreaking, as soon as bread manufacturing was again to regular, Anderson mirrored on what his staff achieved, the neighborhood, and his emotions following the break-in.
Azikiwee Anderson (Rize Up Bakery): I really feel very lucky, I really feel very cared about. I’m not a really non secular man, however one among my tenets is to deal with folks the best way that you just want to be handled, and in my life, I can’t all the time say that I’ve been handled as such. However this has confirmed to me and made me understand that every one that we’re doing actually does matter, as a result of the outpouring of kindness and respect and camaraderie and caring that has come again our course is every little thing I may ever hope for and extra.
Anger or hate is while you take poison and also you suppose it’s going to have an effect on anyone else — however all you’re doing is poisoning your self. I hear folks saying indignant stuff about this metropolis on a regular basis: They did this, they usually did that, and they need to have completed this. I reside in San Francisco as a result of I really like San Francisco. It’s a good looking metropolis and typically stunning cities undergo exhausting patches. I is perhaps struggling, however I’m not struggling alone; I’m struggling with all the opposite individuals who actually care about San Francisco and who received’t surrender on it. I imagine in right here and I wish to keep right here. So you may’t hate the town that you just reside in as a result of it’s not excellent for you — that’s entitled. I wish to be a part of regardless of the good is, I wanna be a part of the material.