Toscana Bakery Co. produced delicious sourdough french bread in Oakland, California. The bakery began operations in 1895. The bakery was formerly located at 939 3rd Street, but in 1927, the company obtained a building permit to construct a bakery and apartment building at 40th and Market Streets. This building, identified as 3924 Market Street, is currently occupied by Atthowe Fine Arts Services.
Toscana's direct competitor was the Colombo Baking Company that also baked sourdough bread starting in 1896.
In 1984 the San Francisco French Bread Company combined both Toscana and Colombo, along with two other San Francisco sourdough french bread bakeries, Boudin Bakery (est. 1849) and Parisian Bakery (est. 1856). Following the purchase of Toscana and Colombo, the San Francisco French Bread Company overhauled the traditional hearth ovens that had been used to bake the handmade sourdough bread and replaced them with high capacity ovens.
Interstate Brands Corporation, the largest wholesaler of baked goods, including Wonder Bread and Hostess snacks, bought out the San Francisco French Bread Company in 1997.
Links and References
- The Rise Of San Francisco Sourdough Epicurean.com
- Wonder Bread Swallows S.F. Sourdough Bakeries San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate
History of California bread Wikipedia
- The Story of Sourdough Bread SallyBernstein.com
- A Sourdough Quest FlavorNotes.com