A year ago, Bergin was a cottage bakery, selling bread and pastries baked in his home kitchen. He had been using the tiny space at 3712 West 32nd Avenue (formerly a gluten-free bakery called Bug & Belle) as a pick-up spot for his customers, and in May last year he moved his baking operations there, too. But his products proved popular, and by fall, he was baking at the kitchen's full capacity and selling out every day that the bakery was open.
"We've been at capacity four of the past five months," Bergin explains. "When we open, we have 75 to 100 people in line."
Bakery Four only opens Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so the demand was growing, but the bakery couldn't, with only 350 square feet of usable space. So Bergin signed a lease at 4150 Tennyson Street, with plans to reopen Bakery Four there this summer.
The new bakery will cover 3,000 square feet on the ground floor of the new Berkeley Hotel, a boutique hotel opening across the street from César Chávez Park. The kitchen will take up a third of the space, and the remainder will be dedicated to a full cafe, with coffee, sandwiches and other food and seating for about thirty guests. Bergin says his plan is to ramp up to four days a week at the current location before the move, and then Bakery Four will be able to open at least five days a week in the new space.
Bergin is planning to sell breakfast sandwiches, some filled with products from River Bear American Meats, in the morning, and heartier sandwiches, flatbreads, pizzas, tartines and toasts for lunch and into dinner. He says he hopes to be open by July or August, but it will depend on the city's permitting and inspection schedule.
In the meantime, you can still wake up early and queue up at the West Highland Bakery Four. And if you want to try a hand at baking your own bread, Bergin will even share a little of his sourdough starter with you.