Many of us first discovered Brickmaiden Breads at one of Marin’s farmers markets or on a local restaurant menu. Point Reyes native Celine Underwood started Brickmaiden in 2000 when she took over the space (and brick oven) where Chad Robertson and Elizabeth Pruitt (of Tartine Bakery) were originally based. Today the sweet yellow farmhouse on 4th Street in downtown Point Reyes Station is now Brickmaiden Bake Shop & Café.
“The business grew up,” says Underwood, who started selling her breads when she was just 24 years old. “I originally started with a simple view of baking—nothing fancy—just two types of dough—mostly sourdough.”
Underwood describes how the bakery grew organically—but always with a vision to one day have a retail operation. After a couple of successful Kickstarter campaigns she was able to upgrade her equipment and eventually buy the building from the local Giacomini family (founders of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese).
With little fanfare, Underwood opened the doors in August to her efficient new café space that boasts plenty of loaves of bread (of course), a case filled with scones, cookies and pastries, a wood burning stove and a small counter and stools with just enough room for a few customers. An espresso menu features Andytown Coffee Roasters from the Sunset District in San Francisco and a gleaming stainless steel rack holds packaged items like granola and tea cookies to take home.
For now, the newest addition to Point Reyes Station is only open three days a week, but she has plans afoot to change that. Underwood also hopes to expand her menu offerings by adding lunch items including sandwiches and salads. Rustic and savory tarts are in the works and seasonal specials will reflect whatever is in season and fresh at the farmers market.
“The whole premise of this style of bakery is to be part of our community—that is what we are about—seeing people enjoying the space and hanging out—that is what motivates us,” explains Underwood, who appears quite happy with the café that she admits is still very much a work in progress.