The place many people, including myself, love is in trouble with the Sacramento County Health Dept. Give me a break, this ranks up there on my pissed off list with the whole Distillery debacle.
While I am on the subject, stop by and get some pizza dough, my wife and I gorged ourselves in it the night we picked it up and loved it.
This places oozes the culinary entrepreneurship we want to see, and are seeing a lot more of in Sacramento these days, esp in the central city.
From Tim Jordan at Old Soul:
Old Soul Co.
Where we’ve been, Where we are & where we’re going
This week, The Sacramento County Health Dept issued Old Soul Co. a Food Vending Violation Notice, instructing us to immediately stop selling food at retail without a Sac County Health Permit. This is our story, and we’re sticking to it....
We (Jason and Tim) set out to build a wholesale coffee roasting and bakery business in the heart of Midtown, where all the action is—to be in the middle of the burgeoning food scene, where the prospective restaurateur clients were making a name for Midtown Sacramento.
We found an unconventional space, and it struck us immediately that this could be a great fit. Two unknown guys, with no product or identity or background create an incubator on an alley—in an unimproved storage warehouse, where experiments in passion and collaboration of ideas come together to make great product and forge a solid brand identity.
How to do it? Hire the best architect (Ron Vrilakas), consult with the heads of the City Planning and Building Process (Ray Kerridge’s “Matrix” team), and bring in all disciplines and departments to make sure we were doing it right. Three and ½ short months after signing our lease, this terrific team made it happen, and we were officially cleared for business.
Back in July, we couldn’t quite imagine where we are now. Through a combination of hard work and tremendous support from the business and civic leaders of Sacramento, our wholesale business has exceeded our projections. The positive feedback and media coverage has been astounding (especially as we haven’t budgeted any PR time or $$ into our 18 hour days). And shockingly, people have either stumbled upon or embarked upon a pilgrimage to L-Cap Alley, to see why their favorite restaurants, cafes and grocery stores were supporting this new Old Soul Co. In doing so, an amazing coming together of wisdom and optimism has enlivened the space, as bon vivants and raconteurs rub elbows with the aforementioned bright lights of Sacramento’s food and political scene.
In trying to make sense out of the free-flowing chaos that ensued, we made some rules: come in if the door is open (no set hours), you can buy stuff if we have extra (always for $2), and by the way, “we aren’t retail” (no parking, door, HVAC, restroom access). Our come as you are and stay as long as you want policy resonated with those who scheduled their business, social and political gatherings at our space on an increasingly frequent basis.
Alas, unconventional doesn’t always work for everyone, and it isn’t always fair. You can’t count on us being open, you can’t get a mocha or anything “whippy” or with ice, we are OFTEN completely out of extra bread and baked goods (remember, we sell this stuff to our wholesale accounts, not retail), and you can’t use the restroom. It may not be right, but it is the way it is at Old Soul, and has been somewhat self-weeding to the community of people we fit. It also happens to run afoul of Sacramento County, who says if it looks, feels and smells like retail, it is retail—requiring adherence to all of the rules of Sac County Health, and the issuance of a Sac County Health Permit.
So, where do we go from here? First and foremost, Old Soul Co. wants to be a good citizen, to comply with the rules and to continue to be an asset to the community. It is our hope that we can quickly get there, building upon the work done by City and State officials to determine those few things needed to adhere to the standards set by the County. It may take a little outside of the box thinking to allow this unconventional business to thrive, but I’m convinced that Sacramento wants and really does have an Old Soul.