After 21 years in Point Reyes Station, Brickmaiden Breads and the building it occupies are up for sale. Owner Celine Underwood has decided to take a step back from the lifestyle that her bustling business demands to reassess her personal goals.
“The baker’s life is beholden to a heavy amount of labor at early hours and for long hours. I’m at a point where it’s time to shift from that place,” she wrote in a letter to the editor last week.
The business’s name, brand, furniture, fixtures, equipment, recipes, menus, cash flow and goodwill are priced at $450,000. The building at 40 Fourth Street is listed separately at $1.35 million and includes an upstairs residence, a garden, and the bakery and café.
Lynsey Kayser, the broker for the property, says Ms. Underwood leaves the building in better shape than she found it in. “It would be easy for someone to come in and pick up right where Celine left off,” she said.
Ms. Underwood said her ideal buyer will inherit Brickmaiden in its entirety and keep her on as a consultant for several months. “I can just hope that the right person comes through,” she said. “I am taking the time to find somebody that is a good fit for the town, but also realizing that I only get so many choices.”
Ryn Longmaid, the broker for the business sale, is an expert in sustainable enterprise. “With restaurants, it is rare that the operator owns the property. In this instance, Ms. Underwood owns the building. The ideal buyer will purchase both, and those interested in buying both will get precedence,” she said.
Ms. Underwood’s success can be attributed to her deep care for the village, Ms. Longmaid said. “Brickmaiden operates on what is known as a triple bottom line, the most efficient way to operate a business. This means that Celine not only cares about financial value, but also the value that comes from social equity and environmental sustainability,” she said. From using sustainable goods and ingredients to thinking of the livelihood of her staff, she has earned the community’s support.
For Ms. Underwood, the sale of Brickmaiden Breads is a community matter. Years ago, when she was first getting started, she observed what she called more localism in the village; over time, that has dwindled in the face of increased tourism and rising costs. But the stories she tells from her years at the bakery center around her staff.
“Baking bread has a communal aspect that people are always trying to define or romanticize,” she said. “Throwing parties and then having to go bake bread in the morning, working with friends, standing shoulder to shoulder—this place is built on relationships.”
Ms. Underwood, who was born in Orange County, spent her late teens at the S-2 Ranch in Marshall, where she got her first taste of baking bread from oven-builder Alan Scott. After college she worked at the Bovine, then traveled the French countryside for a year, eating baguettes and gathering inspiration.
She rented a bakery space downtown in 2000 and purchased it in 2012. Two years later, an all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign raised $20,000 for a modern wood-fired oven, changing the way she did business. In 2019 she opened her retail space, with espresso, counter service and a large-paned window for visitors to view the inner workings of the bakery.
With that era ending, Ms. Underwood said will “take a break as long as I can. But I am not saying no to anything.”
Questions regarding the sale of the business can be directed to Ryn Longmaid at (707) 503.9335; those interested in the building can call Lynsey Kayser at (415) 897.4422.