All Good Bakers opens its doors in the Pine Hills
By: Jackie Abukhalaf
ALBANY, N.Y.-April 1, 2011-All Good Bakers, a bakery that uses local and organic ingredients is expected to open its doors next week on Quail St., one block north of Mary Jane Books. All Good Bakers has made a name for itself as a community supported bakery which delivers baked goods such as breads and cinnamon buns to customers in the area.
The owners take pride in using mostly New York State organic ingredients such as white and whole wheat flour and fresh eggs from local farmers. Owners Nick and Britin Foster said the use of New York state ingredients is the focus of their business and the foundation of the idea behind All Good Bakers—an idea that is eight years in the making.
“We want people’s health to be benefited,” said Britin. “The ingredients are local and it’s not going to make them sick. That’s really the biggest thing we want people to know, that the food is healthy. It may be indulgent at times but the food is good for you. There really aren’t any other bakeries in Albany that are currently doing this.”
New York State suppliers for the bakery include: Champlain Valley Milling in Westport, Meadowbrook Farms in Clarksville, Adirondack Farm in Fonda, Once Again Nut Butters in Nunda and eggs from a variety of local farmers in the greater Albany area.
The Fosters have been running a Community Supported Bakery serving the Albany area since last November. Similar to a Community Supported Agriculture model, All Good Bakers brings shareholders sustainable bread, baked goods and ingredients each week at various pick-up locations and farmer’s markets.
“My boyfriend and I decided to join the community supported bakery after we sampled some of their goods at a harvest festival in Washington Park,” said Christine Hmiel who joined All Good Bakers last fall. “We loved their creative spin on the community supported agriculture model and that they use local, organic and top-quality ingredients. We love supporting independent businesses and we had never heard of anything quite like Nick and Britin’s CSB. The price was fair and the breads were delicious— so we signed up!”
“We have about 50 weekly customers who pay in advance at the beginning of the season and pick out which bread and baked good they want each week,” said Britin. “It’s been going great and has helped us develop relationships with the community that’s made it possible to open this store front.”
Several customers of the Foster’s community supported bakery are excited about the opening of the retail store and hope their philosophy of fresh and local ingredients spreads throughout the Pine Hills.
“The storefront bakery is incredible. Their customers from the farmers markets and the CSB already know how valuable Nick and Britin are to the community and now more people will get a chance to try out their baked goods and support the business,” said Hmiel. “It will be a perfect place to grab a cup of coffee and a slice of foccacia or to pick up loaves of fresh bread for a dinner party. I can’t wait until it’s open.”
The bakery is also serving as a shared or co-op kitchen for other bakers in the area who don’t have a space to call their own. Currently, the maker of Gatherers Granola shares the kitchen with All Good Bakers and is an important element to the success of the business.
“Our initial aim for the bakery was to make it a co-op kitchen,” said Britin. “The difficulty that we had finding a kitchen to rent is what prompted this idea. There are a lot of small producers around here that need a place they can rent out affordably a couple of times a month; we wanted to offer those services.”
Representatives from the Pine Hills are particularly excited about several new businesses that have opened their doors in the neighborhood recently.
“We are fortunate that a number of such businesses have sprung up over the last few years. These help keep the neighborhood pedestrian friendly and vibrant,” said Pine Hills Neighborhood Association president Todd Hunsinger. “One of the things that make Albany and the Pine Hills neighborhood special is the presence of unique small businesses.”
Much like businesses of the past, the bakery’s execution of a co-op kitchen and bartering tactics mimic life in the 19th century. In an ad from 1879 December issue of the Albany Mirror featured below, confections and baked goods were an important staple in Albany then as they are today. All Good Bakers channels this early American baking philosophy by using wholesome, local ingredients that were executed in 1879. The Fosters also understand this philosophy goes hand-in-hand with environmental awareness—something that is more of a concern in 2011.
Sustainability is extremely important to the Fosters, from the recycled furnishings in the store to the plans of eliminating excess waste; the proprietors of All Good Bakers plan to promote environmental consciousness and hopes their customers will also embrace this school of thought.
“We’re environmentally and socially conscious. We plan to have customers bring their own cups for coffee which will only cost $1,” said Britin. “We donate loaves to Catholic Charities and hope to get involved with the social justice and environmental student groups. We like to be involved in the community and hope to engage the student population.”
“It’s so important for businesses to follow down the path of sustainability the way Nick and Britin have,” said Hmiel. “From the quality local products that they use, to their packaging choice and their sourcing of second-hand furniture for their bakery, they really live their beliefs. I think this philosophy is becoming more popular and Nick and Britin are definitely leading the way in Albany.”
To enjoy locally harvested scones, cinnamon buns, breads and more, visit All Good Bakers located at 160A Quail St. It will be open weekends throughout the summer and plans to be involved in various community events in the Pine Hills and the greater Albany area.
All Good Bakers is open Friday from 11-6pm, Saturday 11-4pm and Sunday from 10-2pm. For more information about All Good Bakers please visit allgoodbakers.weebly.com or visit their fan page on Facebook.
“I think our community would benefit if more businesses operated with the philosophy,” said Niki Suto, a customer of All Good Baker’s community supported bakery for two years. “They are dedicated to creating quality products and their dedication to finding ingredients that are locally sourced is important in sustaining local economy.” -30-