New upscale bakery / restaurant on First Street in Benicia is gaining ground – Times-Herald

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It’s the kind of place you’d expect to find in San Francisco or Napa, people say, but One House Bakery is home on First Street in Benicia and is packed with just about everything. time, owner Hannalee Pervan said.

The bakery / restaurant, which occupies a former movie theater, has been open for about five months, after a renovation process that took about two years, Pervan said.

Originally from Canada, Pervan said her husband was a sports writer for cbssports.com, covering the NBA, specifically the Warriors. The couple and their parents live in Martinez, having immigrated from Canada both to put some space between them and a family tragedy, and to help Pervan make his dream come true.

Hannalee Pervan, chef / owner of Benicia’s One House Bakery on First Street, is seen sitting at one of the tables by the patio door, under one of the works of local artists displayed on the walls. (Rachel Raskin-Zrihen – Times -Héraut)

“We drew a two-hour circle around the Oracle Arena (in Oakland) to find a location,” Pervan said. She didn’t want to compete with the iconic bakeries in some Bay Area towns and eventually found Benicia. While they couldn’t find a reasonably priced home to live in in the city, they found the perfect space for the business, she said.

“Benicia is everything you imagine coming from Canada what a small American town would be,” she said. “It’s very cute. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was 10 years old. It was perfect.

The name – One House – refers to the concept of a restaurant business from the front and back – two separate areas of work that rarely communicate well, Pervan said. His idea was to merge them – so that everyone would know and do all the necessary parts of the work. A house.

“I wanted a house where everyone tips and everyone does every job,” said the Cordon Blu-trained pastry chef and business graduate. “My parents, who are co-owners, work here. I cook, I serve, I clean the dishes and so do my parents. In Canada, Pervan said she has competed and won gold medals for her pastry at the local, regional and national levels.

There are 53 full-time and part-time, mostly local, staff at One House, she said.

One House Bakery on the first street of Benicia is already becoming one of the most popular places in the area. (Rachel Raskin-Zrihen – Times-Herald)

The old brick / wood / metal themed space includes a specially designed open cooking / cooking area to provide full transparency, Pervan said.

One House produces fresh, mostly organic produce including breakfasts, breads, pastries, all from scratch with ‘clean’ ingredients, ”she said. “No stabilizers, additives, chemicals or artificial colors.”

They will grind their own flour.

“It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do in my entire life – be a baker and feed people,” Pervan said. “I used to cook with my grandmother – a native of Ojibwa – and she baked bread with us, and my mom baked fresh bread while we were growing up, and that instilled a love of the well cooked food. “

At 33, Pervan said she and her husband had agreed to produce the ‘Before Baby Bakery’, but One House seems to be doing so well, who knows? That averages out to 600 transactions per day, she said.

“We started running and we didn’t stop,” she said. “It’s so amazing.”

The decor is difficult to categorize; with worn brick on the walls, old smashed measuring spoons on the balcony counter, crystals and copper hanging from parts of the ceiling. There are works of art for sale by local artists, which change every month, and they built the back patio around an existing giant acacia tree.

“We planted tomatoes, edible flowers, beans, passion fruit and lavender,” Pervan said.

Just inside the back door is a basket full of comfy blankets and pillows for anyone cold there, she said.

“I tried to think of everything you could want in a restaurant / bakery, and have it,” she said. “There is a space for children there, and it also accepts dogs. We also make our own organic dog treats, so they have something to share.

Benicia residents Francie McInerney-MacMillan and Wendy Komori Stager, pastor of the Vallejo Community Presbyterian Church, who were at One House on Wednesday, said they liked the place.

“It’s such a gift for this community, from toddlers to 90s,” said McInerney-MacMillan, a retiree from St. Patrick-St. Vincent High school teacher and current Vallejo Together volunteer. “The food is delicious, the staff are friendly. A happy place for our city.

Stager said she has frequented the place since it opened.

“I have organized meetings with people here. I like being able to say it’s someone’s dream come true, ”she said. “That the owner did everything to make it work. It’s like seeing artists at work. It is a creative and inspiring place for me.

These comments, and others like them, are music to Pervan’s ears.

“I work 18 hours a day and we’re not making any money yet, but I cherish every minute here,” she said. “It’s awesome.”

One House Bakery, 918 First St., Benicia, is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

For more information call (707) 361-5919


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