Steven and Suzie Sullivan founded The Acme Bread Company in 1983 to bake bread for restaurants and stores who wanted to offer better bread than was generally available on the wholesale market at the time. Today the company is run by a group of six managing share-holders including Rick Kirkby, Doug Volkmer, Drew Westcott, and Claudio Rezende, along with Steven and Suzie.
Acme is principally a wholesale bakery but has two retail shops. One is Acme's original location at the corner of Cedar and San Pablo in Berkeley and the other is in San Francisco's Ferry Building Marketplace on the Embarcadero.
Acme supplies bread to dozens of restaurants around the Bay Area including Chez Panisse, where Steven began baking bread in the seventies, as well as to scores of grocery stores and retail locations around the Bay Area.
When the bakery started up in 1983 we made only four different kinds of Bread: Pain au Levain, Sweet Baguettes, Upstairs Bread, and Challah. Relying largely on the requests and suggestions of customers, as well on our own occasional inspiration, we have expanded our product list over the last twenty-some-odd years to include more than 100 different products.
Since we began operation all of our whole-grain flours have been organic but since the nineties, Acme has been incorporating as many organic and locally sourced ingredients as possible. Most significantly, in 1999 we made the switch to 100% organic flour. We use organic California olive oil from ENZO olive oil company. We use organic raisins, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds sourced by our flour provider, Keith Giusto.We use organic California sweet cream butter made by the Rumiano Cheese company.
Acme has also done several things over the years to incorporate environmentally friendly procedures and technology. In 2008 we covered our largest wholesale bakery in Berkeley with photovoltaic panels in order to generate much of our own electricity. We now fuel all of our diesel trucks (and diesel generators) with "renewable diesel". We purchase this fuel from Golden Gate Petroleum. It is produced from renewable sources (vegetable and animal fats) and burns very clean and efficiently. We also make an effort to donate all leftover bread to charitable organizations, schools, and non-profits, with the remainder going into organic livestock feed. Finally, we encourage our customers to minimize paper waste by offering a five-cent-per-loaf discount when they forgo all packaging on bread they purchase in our shops.