On July 31, Flour & Co — an American bakery previously located on University Avenue — closed its cafe after opening 10 months ago.
Flour & Co operated a cafe and kitchen located several blocks from campus and will continue to operate its kitchen in Berkeley. Emily Day, owner of Flour & Co, said the cafe shut down because of a decrease in customers.
“We closed because there’s not enough traffic,” Day said. “It’s just that area.”
Flour & Co first opened in San Francisco in April 2013 with a menu featuring pastries, brunch and lunch items, such as homemade muesli and seasonal pies. According to Day, Flour & Co chose to open a new location in Berkeley to accommodate a kitchen space, which is around 2,500 square feet large.
The Berkeley kitchen is currently being used for catering orders and to prepare materials for orders to be used in the San Francisco location. Day said products sold in San Francisco, however, are baked in-house.
“We use organic all-natural seasonal ingredients,” Day said. “We have a cozy atmosphere and great food — that’s why people like going to our bakery.”
Bay Area local and former UC Berkeley student Robin Noda said she was drawn to the cafe by its gluten-free options. She added that she had been to the cafe twice, and the employees were friendly and helpful when addressing her questions.
Eric Wong, El Cerrito, California, resident and UC Berkeley alumnus, frequented the cafe four times. He praised the cafe’s pastries and the breakfast sandwich but added that he found the prices to be high.
“I just thought they were expensive,” Wong said. “For the price they were asking, you’d want a little bit more.”
Several customers also cited the location as detrimental to the cafe’s business. John Bajek, owner of nearby Johnny B’s Cafe, said he had also received complaints from his customers about parking availability.
Wong believed that with its location, the cafe would rely mostly on members from the nearby community for business. Day said many customers who came to the cafe were locals who lived in the neighborhood, adding that this customer base was mainly composed of professionals and families rather than students.
“I would’ve gone back had I been in the area again,” Noda said. “It’s just not an area I go walking around in very often.”
In the future, Day hopes to expand Flour & Co to be sold in grocery stores. The Berkeley kitchen will also eventually be used to prepare wholesale products.
Day currently does not have plans to open a new location.
“Best of luck to them; hopefully the San Francisco location is still thriving,” Bajek said. “It’s a tough business to be in. They provided a good service to the neighborhood.”
Contact Lillian Dong at [email protected].