A lunch at Stone and Embers


This restaurant, located on the western edge of the Anderson Valley on Highway 128, about 25 miles from the Pacific Coast, serves the finest pizza west of the Mississippi River. I come from the Bronx where “Italian” means “old world”, authentic and spare. Dough, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, combined to make a savory blend, greater than the sum of its parts. I dropped in with Joan a couple of Sunday’s ago on a wine tasting trip, something we rarely do, being surrounded by great wineries, you seem to take them for granted.

Lunch was pizza and a draft, a North Coast Pale Ale from Fort Bragg’s North Coast Brewery. We sat at the bar, on high stools and watched the preparation of our pizza. The stone oven registered 900 degrees. Black Valley oak embers glowed in the oven. Sweet basil tickled my nose. The dough was spread, tossed just a bit and laid out on a wood panel board, covered with a right amount of tomato sauce, blobs of fresh buffalo mozzarella and slid into the oven. About four minutes later it was in front of us, bubbled up crust with carbony tipped edges just made me think of those days back in the Bronx in the 50s when the only pizza you could get was called a “pie” or a “beitz” and it came whole, not by the slice. It was “old country” just like the one we finished off at Stone & Ember.

A perfect Ten!

 – Paul Katzeff
Co-Founder & CEO


Find out more about Stone and Embers online at:


Customer Stories: Yorkville Market

by Marchelo Bresciani, Marketing Coordinator

Yorkville Market signIf you find yourself headed inland along Highway 128, your first respite from the winding road will be the Yorkville Market, and it is not to be missed. Those who have been to the Market in the past know that it needed a lot of renovations, but more then that, it needed someone with the passion to take on the challenge of making the Market a vibrant part of the community again. That someone is the new owner and Yorkville native, Lisa Walsh.

Lisa fondly remembers going to the Market for ice cream sandwiches as a child. She left home to attend UC Santa Cruz, and then moved around a bit over the next 10 years. When she heard that the Market was up for sale, she dreamed about buying and fixing the place up, but it seemed “too far away to be a reality.” That all changed after she moved back to Yorkville. With the help of her mother, she bought the Yorkville Market, and with the help of her husband and two brothers, she has restored the Market to its former glory- and then some!

The Market now has a whole new kitchen and concrete flooring, with more exciting features on the way. There are fresh muffins made in house, and the deli serves up sandwiches with bread from the Fort Bragg Bakery. During the renovations, Lisa made a point of saving as much of the original building as she could. One great example is their new wine bar, which was made with redwood salvaged from the old walls.

Yorkville Market features some of the best locally made goods from around the county, with everything from honey, soap, and wine. Lisa even has plans to offer a “rent a picnic” service so her customers can enjoy the gorgeous landscape with their lunches.

When I asked why she chose to serve our coffee, Lisa told me “Thanksgiving Coffee has always been a part of the Yorkville Market. The cupping experience was transformational. Discovering the flavor varieties from one coffee to the next was really eye-opening.”

We are so pleased to continue to be a part of the Yorkville Market story, and can’t wait to see the rest of Lisa’s plans come to fruition.

Customer Stories: Bovine Bakery

by Marchelo Bresciani, Marketing Coordinator


Point Reyes Station location


Petaluma location

On a cold morning, few things go together better then a hot cup of coffee and a fresh pastry. It’s the kind of simple pleasure that can get your whole day going in the right direction. We take for granted the ease with which we can acquire this simple pleasure nowadays, but about 27 years ago it was a joy that downtown Point Reyes was without. So when Bridget Devlin asked herself the “What could this town use?”, the answer was clear: a bakery!

It began as a “what if” at first. Bridget was tickled by the idea of making a living doing something she enjoyed, so she began to investigate what it would take. Each step along the way led to the next. She enlisted the help of her friend Kelly (of Kelly’s French Pastries), secured a starter loan, and before long she was in business.

Bridget soon discovered that when you open a bakery, everyone has a suggestion for which coffee you should serve. Overwhelmed with feedback, she decided to host a blind taste test. She invited about 10 people over, set out numbered cups with samples from the coffee contenders, and the response was unanimous. One coffee stood out from the rest, and she has served it ever since- Thanksgiving Coffee.

Not long after the tasting, Bridget met with our staff to create a custom blend for her to serve. The Bovine Bakery Blend is a rich, smooth, full-bodied coffee that is remarkably well balanced; and they brew it good and strong. Pair one of her fresh pastries with this fine cup of coffee, and it’s no wonder the bakery has become quite the local hangout.

BovineBakery-03About four years ago, Bridget opened a second bakery in Petaluma to keep up with the growing demand. Run by her stepdaughter, Carolyn Williams, the Petaluma bakery has been well received by the community. Last year they added an espresso maker to satisfy those cappuccino cravings, and the reviews have been stellar. Whichever location you choose, you’ll to find that simple pleasure of delicious pastries and quality coffee.

More info at: www.thebovinebakery.com

Customer Stories: Comal

by Jonah Katzeff, Bay Area Account Manager

Comal located at 2020 Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley, CA. is a wonderful restaurant housed in a single story building that features a stunning secluded rear patio with a full bar, covered dining area and an open air beer garden with a fire pit. Executive Chef Matt Gandin’s dishes are inspired by cuisine from throughout Mexico, but with special emphasis on Oaxaca and neighboring coastal regions. The cocktail menu includes house-made sangritas, paired with a curated collection of spirits, and a diverse section of local beer and wine on tap.

Comal has received great praise from a variety of press since its inception. The acclaimed food critic Michael Bauer selected Comal as one of the Bay Area’s top 100 restaurants in 2014. Additionally, bar manager Matthew Perry has received high compliments for his innovative cocktails.

The owners are Andrew Hoffman and John Paluska. Andrew became familiar with Thanksgiving Coffee during his years working for the Chow Restaurant group, which has purchased our coffee since 1997. He is a big supporter of Thanksgiving because of our commitment to sustainability and delicious coffee. We at Thanksgiving greatly appreciate his loyalty and are looking forward to working together for many years!

More info at: comalberkeley.com • 510.926.6300

Customer Stories: 955 Ukiah

by Marchelo Bresciani, Marketing Coordinator at Thanksgiving Coffee Co. 955_Ukiah-entrance

In the heart of Mendocino there is a gem of a restaurant that takes its name from its address: 955 Ukiah Street. After a short walk down a quiet path from their sign you’ll find yourself at a restaurant that might have fallen right out of a dream. The atmosphere is somehow cozy and spacious at the same time. The service is top notch, and the food might be the best meal you’ve ever had (a comment they frequently receive from their customers). Owned and operated by Peggy and Jamie Griffith, this husband and wife team met in Tillamook Oregon and moved to Mendocino in 1975. When they first arrived, Peggy helped Jamie’s brother run a taco cart, and Jamie ran the kitchen at Toad Hall. They were active in the fight to preserve the natural beauty of Mendocino, and had petitions to save the Big River from logging on the taco cart. 955_Ukiah-interior_2 Back then, there was no TV, and the radio cut out after 7pm, so the live music scene at Toad Hall was the place for young folks to hang out after dark- and it was here that they first met Paul and Joan. Peggy and Jamie are the epitome of hard work paying off. Making it in Mendocino took everything they had. They worked seven days a week and lived in three different houses on Main Street, all while raising their four daughters. It got to the point where they had to start their own restaurant just so they could see each other! So in 1984, they opened their first restaurant in Little River. They have been serving Thanksgiving Coffee ever since. 955_Ukiah-interior_3 They built up savings over the years until they could afford a space in Mendocino, where they moved into Emmy Lou Packard’s old gallery (this is where the ‘spacious’ quality comes from). The walls are covered with local’s artwork, which is for sale should you fall in love with one during your meal. Surrounding 955 Ukiah is a lush garden from which most of their produce is sourced, Peggy grows it, and Jamie cooks it. The combination of these two wonderful people, and their hard work, results in a meal you won’t soon forget. Find them online at 955restaurant.com, or call 707-937-1955

Customer Stories: Café Jaavy

by Marchelo Bresciani, Marketing Coordinator at Thanksgiving Coffee Co.

Located in Fort Bragg off of Highway 1 next to CVS, Downhome Foods, and Los Gallitos- Cafe JAAVY is a recent and welcome addition to the area’s breakfast cafe scene. They opened for business in April, but this family owned business has deep local roots. Owned by Margarita Valenzuela and her husband Efrain who is known by locals as “Red”, the name “JAAVY” is an acronym for the names of their three children: Jessica, Adam, Andrew, with the V and Y signifying their last name ‘Valenzuela’ and Margarita’s maiden name ‘Yanez’.

The family has owned and operated Los Gallitos restaurant for 8 years. The popular destination for great authentic Mexican food is frequently filled with happy local customers, so when a space opened up nearby, they jumped at the opportunity to expand. Cafe JAAVY serves authentic Mexican breakfasts, along with more traditional breakfast items and smoothies, at a very reasonable price for the quality. I recently ate there with my wife, and a full breakfast for the two of us was only $20 including the tip! I thoroughly enjoyed the French Toast which was covered with fresh local berries, and she polished off the breakfast sandwich before I could steal a bite, it was that good!

Andrew (Margarita’s oldest son) was our server, and he makes a delicious cappuccino. Our Roastmaster, Jacob Long, personally trained him to make the coffee drinks, and he tells me that Andrew picked up the barista work faster than anyone, and is one of the best in the area. They serve our Guatemalan Song Bird coffee, and this flavorful brew was a perfect pairing with the meal. They are open from 7:30am – 1pm six days a week (closed on Sundays), so stop in and break your fast with some quality local food and coffee.


Here is a link to Google Maps with their location.

Customer Stories: Laurel Deli & Desserts

by Marchelo Bresciani, Marketing Coordinator at Thanksgiving Coffee Co.


Laurel Deli & Desserts is a family-owned Fort Bragg favorite. They are known by locals and tourists alike for their hearty meals, prompt courteous service, affordable prices, and of course, for the restored locomotive that greets you in the dinning hall. Located a stones-throw from the Skunk Train station and decorated with railroad relics, the Laurel Deli is the place to grab a meal after a ride on the famous “Ole’ No. 45” steam locomotive.

Before the Laurel deli, owner Scott Orey was a delivery driver for Thanksgiving Coffee Company. He tells me it was his favorite job before the deli, and has championed Thanksgiving’s quality local brew ever since. Keep an eye out for Paul who still stops by for lunch on occasion.


Scott’s son Brian began bussing tables for the deli at the ripe old age of 11, and recently began working as the Deli’s manager. He loves the responsibility of management and clearly has a passion for the business. The morning crowd of local regulars has become his second family.


Their full coffee bar is open until 4pm daily, so be sure to stop by for their delicious pastries which are made fresh in house- a perfect companion for the Thanksgiving coffee they serve.

Learn more at Laurel-Deli-and-Desserts.com

Visit: Farmer Joe’s Marketplace

by Jonah Katzeff, Bay Area Accounts Manager

Visit Farmer Joe's

Farmer Joe’s Marketplace has been a family run business in Oakland, California since 1994, serving customers in the Bay Area for close to two decades. They have two locations in Oakland. Little Joe’s, in the Laurel District on MacArthur Boulevard and Big Joe’s in the Dimond District on Fruitvale Avenue.

Farmer Joe’s carries a large selection of organic products and naturally raised meats, and is a member of the Bay Area community, sponsoring numerous charities, organizing neighborhood events, and donating to local schools, churches, and homeless shelters. They feel that building community relies on both interacting with neighbors and contributing to local programs. We couldn’t agree more!

We’re proud that Farmer Joe’s features a large selection of Thanksgiving Coffee at both of their locations. Little Joe’s is located at 3501 MacArthur Blvd, and Big Joe’s is located at 2426 Fruitvale Ave. Please support this great supermarket if you live in the neighborhood, and pick up a bag of our coffee while you’re there!

Learn more at FarmerJoesMarketPlace.com


Meet the Baristas: Erica Koenig

A guest post by Mandy Johnston, Six Degrees Coffee Distribution & Service

Erica KoenigSix Degrees Coffee was thrilled to sponsor Chico’s Erica Koenig for the 2013 Western Regional Barista Competition this April. She had the opportunity to work closely with Thanksgiving Coffee Company roaster Jacob Long to develop “The Contender,” an espresso blend featuring coffees from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Guatemala and Peru.

“Being able to blend an espresso to what my ideal shot should taste like while getting the opinion of key players like Amy Louis, Jacob Long & Paul Katzeff was incredible.”

Before the competition, Erica perfected her espresso shots & cappuccinos and developed her signature drink, featuring The Contender, whipped coconut cream, cardamom and her grandmother’s apricot jam made with fruit grown on her family’s farm. Erica’s presentation drew from her farming background to showcase the connection between the land, the coffee, the farmers and the baristas. While she didn’t place, Erica’s presentation scored in the hearts of the judges, audience members and fellow competitors.

“Since the competition, I feel like I have a better sense of what makes the world go ’round, and how we can improve the whole industry. Even being in the same room with Paul gave me a deeper appreciation for everyone who is involved in making that cup of coffee come to fruition. Now I see how the chain needs every one of us to do our best in order to do right by the coffee.” –Erica Koenig

Visit: Chow Food Bar

by Kim Moore, Director of Business Development

Chow Food BarSince 1997, fans of comfort food have flocked to one of Chow’s four locations to experience San Francisco cuisine, reflective of the City’s Italian and Asian heritages. Whenever possible, Chow uses fresh and organic ingredients, from community, local and regional farms. Wild-caught seafood, along with free-range organic poultry and natural pork, center a cuisine that, for 11 years in a row has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants.

Chow Food BarChow’s wine selection features small-lot producers, offering choices that are varied, unusual and fun. Beers are on tap, and  desserts are made for all four Chow locations in the Danville location’s Bakery. Fresh-squeezed/pressed juices and coolers are memorable.

And –surprise– Chow features its own proprietary blend of rich and smooth Thanksgiving Coffee and Espresso. Chow serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner during the week, and Brunch, Lunch and Dinner on the weekends. Menus change frequently and seasonally. Get thee to Chow, where friends (old and new) and neighbors gather, and are graced by warm and cordial service.

Visit one of Chow’s four locations in San Francisco, Danville or Lafayette. Learn more at ChowFoodBar.com

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