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San Francisco Bakery, Famous for $18 Purple Bread, Broken Into and Ransacked Overnight

Written by George KellyPublished Nov. 08, 2023 • 10:02am
A shaven-headen man stands between tall metal shelf racks laden with dough and bread.
Azikiwee "Z" Anderson, owner of Rize Up Bakery, checks on inventory in an October 2022 photo. On Monday night, the bakery was broken into. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

A San Francisco bakery famous for $18 purple sourdough bread was ransacked in an overnight burglary that the owner says will cost him tens of thousands of dollars to put right.

Rize Up Bakery owner Azikiwee Anderson says he is recovering after burglars broke in on Monday night and stole equipment, including multiple iPads and cash boxes, a laptop with personal information, artwork and other belongings.

A police report was filed for a burglary at the bakery's Howard Street address early Tuesday morning, according to city records. The San Francisco Police Department said officers responded to the address, where its owner told them it had been burglarized overnight: "Officers collected evidence and during an initial walkthrough of the business, it was determined that several pieces of property had been taken in addition to U.S. [c]urrency."  

On Wednesday, Anderson told The Standard he is awed by an outpouring of community support as word of the break-in's impact spread. He estimates the cost of the theft and associated damages to be above $20,000.

a brown paper bag is seen next to a loaf of bread that has been sliced open revealing purple dough inside
The ube sourdough loaf is one of many items the SoMa-based Rize Up Bakery sells. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

"As a small business, especially in San Francisco, having 10, 15, 20 thousand dollars readily available is not normal, so it was a pretty big blow," Anderson told The Standard while driving deliveries of freshly baked bread to distributors after a driver called in sick.

Anderson said a large amount of dough and stock also had to be thrown away after the break-in to protect customer health. He and his co-workers pulled extra shifts Tuesday afternoon and late into the night to prepare for Thursday and Friday's scheduled deliveries and weekend farmers' markets. 

"To protect our customers and the health of everyone who has our food, anything that was open had to be thrown away," he said, estimating that loss at about 600 loaves. "Thousands of hours of work to make all that dough, just under a hundred hours of prep work to make all of the ingredients, and we had to start basically from scratch."

A shaven-headen man stands between tall metal shelf racks laden with dough and bread.
Azikiwee “Z” Anderson, owner of Rize Up Bakery, checks on inventory inside the baking space’s walk-in refrigerator. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

READ MORE: San Francisco $18 Bread: We Tried the Purple ‘Playful Sourdough’ Everyone’s Talking About

In an Instagram post, Anderson expressed gratitude and appreciation for that outpouring of support.

To that end, people have been contributing donations to the bakery's Venmo account.

"Yesterday, I was about as low as I could get, pretty sad and pretty frustrated. I try not to get angry, but I was upset," Anderson told the bakery's followers. "I always talk about community, wanting to be there for people and trying to make good things happen. The amount of togetherness that I'm feeling right now, I feel unstoppable."

A loaf of bread sliced half has purple insides.
The purple ube sourdough loaf from Rize Up Bakery goes for $18 at Luke's Local grocery store in San Francisco. | Source: Justin Katigbak/The Standard

In January, Anderson told The Standard about employing a staff of around 20 at Rize Up Bakery, and his effort to pay them a decent wage despite rising costs for ingredients and quality assurance. 

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