The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Please help the SFBI keep its doors open

Floydm's picture

Please help the SFBI keep its doors open

 The San Francisco Baking Institute (SFBI), one of the premier baking schools in North America, needs your help convincing regulators to allow them to keep their doors open while they jump through a few new regulatory hoops. Here is a letter from SFBI staff members explaining what is happening.

Please take a moment to sign this petition in support of the SFBI.




Pizza Vacuum's picture
Pizza Vacuum

As someone who has attended two week-long courses at SFBI and would like to enroll again in the future, I urge people to sign the petition and ask friends to do so as well.  In addition to its many wonderful classes, SFBI, through the generosity of its founder, Michel Suas, has supported artisan bakers both individually and as a whole through substantial donations of time, infrastructure and money.  

Shutting down SFBI while the bureaucracy twiddles is an existential threat to SFBI.  You can probably imagine the problems:  no revenues, refunds to students, continued real estate and instructor costs.  If they can't get permission to operate during the review, the financial burdens imposed may be unresolvable.  

Michel has always been around to help people and this is his time of need.  Please help by signing the petition and urging friends to do so.  SFBI is a shining example of the good that can evolve from the work of a genius.  The thought of it closing due to the indifference of Government is intolerable.

Thank you,

The Vacuum



OldWoodenSpoon's picture

As one of the many here on The Fresh Loaf that has attended a weekend workshop or week-long baking course at SFBI, I want to add my voice to the rest to encourage all of you to respond to this situation.  SFBI is, in my amateur opinion, one of the very best opportunities available to those of us that are amateur, but aspire to bake at a more than amateur level.  This is professional-level training available on a size and scale that is accessible to us in a form that is at least rare, if not exclusive.  SFBI offers us the opportunity to study under accomplished and acknowledged professionals.  It offers us the chance to work in a professional environment and to interact on a personal level with others of similar mindset.  If the State of California is successful in forcing this fine enterprise to close it will be a loss to all of us.  It will also be a huge personal blow to the SFBI team. 

Please do what you can to help:  sign the petition.  Send an email of support.  Do whatever your heart tells you to do.

Thank You,

LindyD's picture

SFBI's situation is a essentially a bureaucratic matter as a result of government incompetency and while signing a petition may have some benefit, California state legislators should also be called and informed of what's going on, especially as shutting down SFBI will further strain an already sinking California economy.   If a business is forcibly closed, it can't pay taxes and its employees will file for unemployment compensation.    One would hope that the politicos would see the light and step in, if they have any common sense, that is.

If I was a California resident, I'd also be calling Governor Jerry Brown and the local media - including radio, t.v. and newspapers.   After all, SFBI has been in business for 25 years, excels in what it does, and the only thing that has changed is California code.   This is really unconscionable on the part of the bureaucrats.

Ruralidle's picture

Sorry LindyD but the words "politicos" and "common sense" should not be used in the same sentence - unless "common sense" is preceded by "no". That applies to the UK as well as the US.

Zoologuy's picture

Received today from SFBI, good news:

Dear SFBI family!


Thank you so much for your overwhelming support! Due to the pressure of everyone the Bureau has agreed to let us reopen today!


Thank you to Leeza, an analyst at the BPPE, who has agreed to work with us and let us continue to operate while the application finishes processing. This does and will mean a few changes around SFBI but we will continue to bring the baking world and our students the best training possible.


Although I would love to thank each person individually and let them know the great news, I would like to express in this letter how very grateful I am for each one of you who have expressed support, written letters, signed our petition, spoken to media and government on our behalf, and encouraged us through your calls and emails. All of your voices made me realize the importance of SFBI in many levels on everyone's life, personal or business and I could not let it go. It amazed me the group of people from all over the world who reached out for support because we all have the same goal, "Baking good products".

We thank you and 2013 is going to be a good year with lots of new support from SFBI. This little bump made me realize the importance for SFBI to keep supporting innovation and education and realized from all your emails you are counting on SFBI Team and really appreciate what we do.


SFBI team and Thorough Bread and Pastry are joining me to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your action and wish you a happy new year.


                                                                                Best Regards,




                                                                                Michel Suas

                                                                                Owner and Founder

linder's picture

Hooray!  Glad they will be staying open.  It would've been a shame for them to close.  SFBI offers a great service.

dstroy's picture

That is excellent news!!!

winstonsmith's picture

This is wonderful news. My wife is an educator in NY and we understand well intented but poorly implemented regulation. Congratulations, and perhaps in the long run adverse circumstances will result in an increased positive visibility. Have to find that silver lining :)

yy's picture

YAY! That is all.

BurntMyFingers's picture

A shout out to Leeza, the analyst at the regulatory agency. I've frequently found that there are creative individuals in these agencies who are willing to help California individuals and companies manage apparently ridiculous legislation.

dmsnyder's picture

Congratulations are in order to TFL, the BBGA and the entire bread baking community who expressed support for the SFBI. It's really a collective victory.

I'll bake a bread in celebration.


dabrownman's picture

Me too!  Just got some bagels going that my apprentice has already named 'SFBI Bagels" out of her heartfelt respect for what they have done for the bread baking world.  Such great news that made our day!

LindyD's picture

Hats off to all who supported SFBI, including the BBGA and those folks in California who contacted their legislators and media.   

It's nice to see injustice reversed.

Well done, bakers!

Wild-Yeast's picture

In a word - "Organized"...,


rossnroller's picture

Sometimes people power does work! Thrilled at this result, and to have been a tiny part of it. I've been signing online petitions relating to various causes dear to me for a long time, but this is the first in which the response has been so prompt and direct.

Hurray for the SFBI and the bread community!


SallyBR's picture

Exactly my thoughts!  I won't repeat your words, but want to say "I second that"   ;-)

Floydm's picture

Thank you everyone who stepped up and helped the SFBI!


(I'll unsticky this post tomorrow AM, after a few more folks have had a chance to see it). 

hanseata's picture

I signed the petition when I saw it on facebook.