Let's talk about bread. We're lucky to have so many options in the Bay Area. Organic, artisanal, rice flour, quinoia, gluten-free, cage-free. (Just making sure you're paying attention with that last one.) It's hard for a bakery to stand out from a stellar lineup, and yet, in Alameda manages to do just that.
The first time I tried a slice of Feel Good bread was at a friend's house in Oakland. Chewing on that perfect crust I mumbled, “Where is this from? This isn't Sem...”
“It's from Feel Good. Good, huh? They're right across the Park Street Bridge,” she interrupted.
The bakers take extra care using organic, stone-ground flour and fermenting the dough for two to three days. And that's just your regular ol' loaf. The bakery is famous for their Wholey-Moley, the chewy loaf that's simple and flavorful. Just three ingredients are needed to create the magic—whole wheat flour, water and sea salt—with an occasional sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Rick Kellner and Jackie Riley, the husband and wife team that own Feel Good, try to bring a little bit of New York City (Kellner's home town) and a little bit of Paris to their shop.
On the New York side, there is thin crust pizza loaded with the perfect amount (think lots) of cheese and a range of ingredients, from classic pepperoni to walnuts and caramelized onions.
The French inspiration is evident from the croissant flakes melting on your tongue and the sweet almond paste that fills this classic pastry. Another specialty of the shop is French macaroons. These are made following an authentic recipe and come in flavors like raspberry, mocha and pistachio.
Feel Good Bakery is located in the Alameda Marketplace—a Ferry Building-like market hall right here in the East Bay. The bakery is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Freshly brewed Blue Bottle Coffee is served to help you consume as many delicious pastries as possible.
If you can't make it to the Island, check out Feel Good on Sundays at the Temescal or Jack London Square farmer's markets in Oakland.