It’s the simple things in life that bring tasteful pleasures. Sourdough bread made with flour, water and sea salt – that’s it. And baked in a cast iron pot.  Olive Café and Bakery owner, Sarah Mattinson, a New Yorker who loved the whole shebang about deli’s, moved west and was determined to create the same from scratch.

San Diego’s Mission Beach dotted with sleek houses facing the bay, also has an area where college kids hang out doing what college kids do. In the middle of both, Sarah opened comfy Olive Café which became a beachy hit for breakfast and lunch. When she inherited a container of century old Alaskan Gold Rush sourdough, Sarah knew it was time to open a bakery.

sourdough starter

Sarah and her sourdough starter

The perfect location was close by the café and in her community spirit, she lined the walls with historical beach pictures. (It’s true, women did dress from head to toe while sunbathing back in the day).  Lovingly, Sarah dedicated a section to honor her great-grandmother by displaying her rolling pin, cookie cutters and coffee grinder.  This homey feel with bread rising and aromas of freshly baked bread in the air caused me to stop and put aside the wild outside world.

Items from her grandmother's kitchen

Items from her grandmother’s kitchen

Old fashion sourdough ferments naturally using flour, water, and salt, and no additional yeast is needed. With no artificial ingredients, those with gluten intolerance can give it a try. Sarah is committed to the Mission Beach community and actively assists with fund-raising events. The bread is aptly named, “Mission Beach Gold Rush Sourdough.” Saturday’s the bakery rolls out bacon sourdough and other times olive and walnut loaves.

forming bread loaves

Forming loaves by hand

Besides bread, I’ve been loading up on raspberry and cream Kolache rolls, coconut macaroons and cinnamon rolls. In these modern times of independent eateries disappearing, it’s good to support local businesses. Bakers like Sarah, put heart and soul into each bite.

Olive Baking Company

735A Santa Clara Place

San Diego, Calif

www.olivebakingcompany.com

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