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Acme Bread--where to buy?

I've just discovered the Acme rustic baguette (took me long enough!), and I've been desperate to get more. Unfortunately, the SF and Berkeley locations are out of my way (other side of the Caldecott tunnel), and I don't have a lot of spare time to make the trip. I've heard that you can buy Acme bread at Andronico's and Whole Foods (Yes, I know it's not as good as direct from the bakery, but you take what you can get). Do they have the rustic baguette there? If not, what else is good to try?

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  1. The pain d'epis is the same dough as the rustic baguette, just a different shape. That's my second-favorite, after the levain.

    Some Costcos have a very limited selection of Acme, not including either of those.

    1. I may be wrong but I think the Acme herb slab is sold at Trader Joe's in TJ's packaging (as artisan herb foccacia or something like that). It tastes exactly the same. I love the herb slab. I'm not familiar enough with the other breads to spot it in different wrapping but it's possible TJ's carries some of their other breads.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Mmmonica

        Not quite the same. The Herb Slab is my all time favorite bread. The TJ's herb foccacia is their own version of it, similar, but not exact.

        I get my slab at Whole Foods or Ferry Plaza.

        1. re: Sebby

          Trader Joe's most definitely has some Acme knockoffs. I'm skeptical about claims that they have house-labeled real Acme. Here's a topic on that subject:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      2. Most Andronicos carry a selection of Acme breads. Availability varies from shop to shop. I love the Pain au Levain, which is pretty common.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Morton the Mousse

          I'd be surprised if Andronico's had a rustic baguette or pan d'epis. Usually, unless it's Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Mkt. or Pasta Shop, the selection is limited to regular baguette, sweet and sour batard.

          I'm not on board about the herb slab. I can't stand it, but I also don't like rosemary bread or stuff like that. Hey, call me weird!

        2. You don't mention where you sit geographically, but on the Peninsula, many of the "independent" grocers carry Acme. In Palo Alto & Menlo Park, for example, JJ&F, Piazzas, Mollie Stones, and Draegers all stock Acme. They typically carry 6 or 7 varieties which seem to vary quite a bit from store to store. Sweet and sour baguettes, Italian Batards, Italian long loafs, and herb slabs are almost always in stock.

          3 Replies
          1. re: doc

            Actually, the OP did say "other side of the Caldecott Tunnel" which I take to mean central Contra Costa county.

            As other people have said, Whole Foods and Andronico's should be your best bet. With Andronico's closing up shop in Walnut Creek and Danville, if you have trouble finding it you could always call or email them and ask if any of the other markets carry their wares.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Do Whole Foods and Andronico's, or any other stores mentioned here, actually carry breads made with Acme Rustic dough? The only place I've ever noticed any for sale outside of the bakeries themselves was Pasta Gina in Noe Valley, which carries Acme Rustic Sandwich Rolls. Usually I just see the Sweet and Sour baguettes, which are far inferior to the Rustic baguettes one can buy at the bakeries.

              1. re: nja

                I don't know. The last time I was in the bread aisle at Whole Foods I remember seeing that they had quite a few Acme breads, but I don't remember which ones. Probably best to call or email Acme and ask who might carry a specific product in a specific geographic area. As shown by the response the other poster got, they're quite responsive to customer queries.

          2. Lunardis' which took over for Andronicos' also carries Acme and also carry the Acme chive slab bread which is very tasty indeed.

            1. Acme is sold at Trader Joe's!! After this thread the other day I emailed Acme and asked them. Here is the response...

              Dear (Sebby)-
              Trader Joe's does sell quite a bit of our bread and the packaging has their name on it and not ours. Our attitude has always been that once someone buys our bread from us it is their property. When we first began, 23 years ago, many of the stores that sold our bread were much better known than we were and some of them put the bread into generic packaging or into packaging with their own names on it. The concept of a small, artisanal, wholesale bakery that should be trying to protect or promote itself as a brand was not really in existence at the time. When Trader Joes approached us about buying bread from us they asked if we required that it be sold under our name and, since, at the time, there were already other retailers (not to mention all the restaurants who buy from us) that used or resold our bread either unpackaged or otherwise not under our name we felt that it would be dishonest of us to insist that Trader Joe's conform to a standard that we did not enforce wit! h everyone else.

              Obviously, in retrospect, it's clear that we would have enhanced our name recognition to insist that such a large reseller use our packaging. But, in the end, enhancement of our name recognition is not what motivates us. In fact, I feel quite strongly that to put energy into making sure that every transaction we make benefits us to the absolute maximum in all ways would seriously detract from how we hope to operate the bakery.

              But thanks for your interest!

              Best wishes,

              Steve Sullivan
              Acme Bread

              5 Replies
              1. re: Sebby

                Interesting. Leaves open the question of which breads are Acme's.

                Some people thought that the organic sourdough was Acme's, and while it was the best bread I've ever gotten from Trader Joe's, it wasn't nearly as good as I'm used to from Acme.

                1. re: Sebby

                  Wow. My instincts were right. Thanks for looking into that, Sebby.

                  1. re: Sebby

                    Steve-

                    Will you ship bread by mail?

                    Thanks.

                    1. re: jonesp1

                      That was a repost of a letter the poster received. If you want to contact Steve Sullivan, email Acme.

                    2. re: Sebby

                      Thanks for posting this. I absolutely love when companies respond to inquiries. It makes me want to go out and buy their products :) I was already a big fan of Acme but now I'm even more so.

                    3. I believe that TJ's Organic Italian is Acme's Long Italian and TJ's Herb Foccacia is Acme's Herb Slab.

                      1. I either get Acme at Berkeley Andronico's (ok selection, not as fresh) or at San Francisco Costco (limited selection, very fresh).

                        1. Looks like they are pretty responsive to E-mail... why not drop them a line and find out where their closest reseller is.

                          1. Thanks for the responses. I stopped at Whole Foods in WC the other day and got the sweet baguette and the pain au levain. They didn't have the rustic baguette or the pain d'epis. They did have ciabatta, herb slab, olive bread, Italian something, and a couple other sourdoughs. I picked up a stick of Plugra butter to go with it. I'm still wanting some of that rustic baguette though!

                            1. I just went to Chow in Lafayette, and they sell Acme rustic, sweet, and sour baguettes in their little produce section. Hurray!

                              1. Acme has a stand at several of the farmer's markets in the South Bay. Dunno if they go to any of the markets in the East Bay, but might be worth checking.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tristan

                                  Note that this is a three-year-old thread that someone bumped to the top asking about mail order.

                                2. Anybody have Acme's email? I want to ask about the sourdough they reportedly bake for restaurants.

                                  1. I'm sorry to say that TJ ( Trader Joes) and Whole Foods only carry al fornaio, which is decent, but is not the same grade as acme. Their is something so rustic about the Italian Betards and Sweet Baguettes from acme, so fresh such great texture, I love the bread soo much I wouldn't mind working with them.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: calfoodie88

                                      This may interest you.
                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3423...

                                      1. re: calfoodie88

                                        In the Bay Area, some of Trader Joe's house-label bread is made by Acme. See the topic Melanie linked to.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                          Whole foods will order any Acme bread that you desire.Place the order the day before and they will save the fresh loaf for you in the back in the bakery the next day.

                                      2. You can buy Acme bread in the Napa area at Vallergas market on Redwood Road. You usually have to buy early as it sells out fast. The Trader Joe's not too far from there in Bel-Air Plaza has it also.Other than that I am not sure where you can buy Acme bread in the north bay.