San Mateo’s Backhaus bakery is coming to Burlingame, with a second, larger location for the popular bread and pastry maker recently approved by the city for 261 California Drive.
The expansion will allow for a greater variety of baked goods, including cakes, with more kitchen space and a mill room. Sit-down dining options will also be offered, with seating both outdoors and inside on a second-level mezzanine. It is the current location of Basecamp Fitness, which is moving next door.
“We are very excited to get this location to just be more of a presence in Burlingame,” founder and co-owner Anne Moser said. “We are very much connected with the community here.”
Moser opened Backhaus with her husband in 2019 after outgrowing her previous operation selling loaves and pastries at the Burlingame farmers’ market and baking in startup-focused KitchenTown, a shared commercial kitchen in San Mateo.
The menu at the current location includes specialty loaves, savory and sweet pastries, pretzels and coffee and espresso drinks. Moser said she has reached the space’s production limits, given they make everything on site from scratch —down to the fillings in the pastries — and the new location will only expand the possibilities.
“It’s a new step, learning how to work with really freshly milled flour that we mill ourselves,” she said. “And learning about the process and getting even more in touch with the ingredients that we use.”
Moser, from Germany, says she was inspired to begin baking after moving to the Peninsula and missing German bread and the small bakeries common in the country.
German for bake house, the bakery’s name is inspired by communal bakeries dating back to ancient Rome when such facilities were shared for efficiency and safety and became go-to gathering points for “breaking bread.” Moser said her uncle, who lives on a farm in rural Germany, had a similar bake house where neighbors would gather to socialize.
“I felt like that is really what we wanted to build here, that connection to the community,” Moser said.
And while the pandemic has presented its share of challenges, Moser said it’s that community connection that has allowed the business to thrive and expand. She chose the Burlingame location — not far from the San Mateo bakery, with that in mind.
“We think of ourselves as being an impact-driven company, so we want to have a deeper impact on our local community rather than spreading ourselves over the Bay Area and just reaching more people but more superficially,” she said.
Baking classes, she said, will also be part of the expansion.
The new location, she hopes, will be open late 2022 or early the following year. The site once housed Burlingame’s first movie theater that opened in 1912.
The building will undergo extensive renovations for the new use, including bumping out the building’s facade for more indoor room, a lift to the second level and adding windows and skylights.
The bakery’s San Mateo location is located at 32 E. Third Ave. and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(650) 344-5200, ext. 105