Marla Bakery Announces Their Last Day
November 4, 2021
We’re sad to share that Marla Bakery’s last day at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is Saturday, November 6, as they turn their focus to their bakery and community in Santa Rosa. Marla Bakery first popped up at the Ferry Plaza in late 2014, with their wood-fired breads, bagels, pastries, and cookies made with organic and local ingredients from our farmers. But their market roots ran deeper, when Amy Brown and Joe Wolf were chefs at Nopa shopping the market together every Saturday. They were also early vendors at Mission Community Market.
“I was already a huge fan of both Joe and Amy, long before there was even a Marla Bakery in existence,” says Lulu Meyer, CUESA’s Director of Operations. “So when they did finally join forces to start a business of their own, we were thrilled to be able to offer them a spot at our markets. They were both already so committed to the farmers, and the community here, and it felt like a natural fit. I feel so lucky to have been able to watch them evolve that business, and grow their own family as well in the meantime. I’ve shared their amazing creations with my own family through holidays and celebrations, and their thoughtfulness is always evident in everything they make.”
We will miss seeing Marla Bakery at the market, but we’re excited for them to immerse themselves in their community up north in Santa Rosa. Join us in thanking and wishing them the best this Saturday (while enjoying one last delicious treat!), and be sure to visit their bakery in Windsor and stay in touch! Amy and Joe shared these words of gratitude:
How do you say goodbye to a place that occupies a part of your heart? Not easily, that’s for sure, but we need to, nonetheless. So we’re saying goodbye. This Saturday, November 6, will be our last Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
This farmers market has been a part of my [Amy’s] professional life and personal life for over 20 years. I remember going to the market when it was at the lot on Green Street, in between a Saturday morning pastry shift at one restaurant and my graveyard baking shift at another, even though I was exhausted, because it was where I wanted to be, inspired and nourished by the abundance and beauty.
I remember, while working at Boulettes Larder, seeing farmers come in to talk with Amaryll and Lori and being so awed by them. They were like superheroes to me with their almost mythical origin stories: The farmer who started farming organically in the ’70s with no mechanization, just horses, and was still farming. The farmer who had the most amazing sudachi limes—here, smell this—from seeds they smuggled out of Japan. The farmer who was taking on Monsanto. They were Titans in my eyes.
I remember going weekly as the pastry chef of Nopa to the market and forging relationships with the farmers I was so awed by, meeting them, and hearing their stories. As I got to know them as people and not superheroes, my respect only deepened. Their stories are no less powerful and inspiring. I learned to read California seasons through the food they grow—getting excited for the first blood oranges in late January, anxiously awaiting the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it arrival of sour cherries, pestering a farmer in fall for news of my favorite Smyrna quince.
Also, during these market trips, I first met the man who became my husband, Joe Wolf. He was helping on market trips as a cook at Bix and I knew the chefs, so we’d stop to chat every Saturday. I wouldn’t say the sparks were flying right off the bat (he remembers my laugh being so loud he could hear across the market, and I used to call him Angry Joe), but when Joe came to work at Nopa, he volunteered to join me on market trips. These trips opened up a friendship between us, grounded in and nurtured by our love and excitement for food, and then the friendship became much, much more. It’s not a unique story—this market has fostered so many amazing relationships—but it’s our story. Who we’ve become, our family, Marla Bakery—it all started here.
When we began Marla Bakery in 2013, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market was always the market we were striving towards, and when we were accepted as a vendor, it was such an honor to us. We’ve been at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market now for 7 years, and it still is an incredible honor to be a part of this community. That said, our lives have changed and our home has changed, and we need to put more energy towards to the community we are building in our new home, as well as the two little humans that have joined our family. At the end of the day, Marla Bakery is not so big, and we need to focus on where our efforts go and grow. This is why we’re leaving Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
But our feelings about this market, about the people who make up this amazing weekly gathering and who hold it together (still superstars in my eyes, all of them), that’s unchanging. We owe this market so much. We are so grateful to be a part of this vibrant, integral community. We are so lucky for the experiences we’ve had here. This place is magic, it’s working magic, and the work that goes into keeping it alive is extraordinary. CUESA, the people of CUESA, you are amazing. The work you do is amazing—from herding all of us cats every Saturday morning, to your outreach into schools and the community, we wholeheartedly salute you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you thank you to all of the “Titans,” the farmers and producers, who inspire, feed and connect us. You continue to be superheroes and we continue to be in awe of what you do.
Last, but definitely not least, thank you to those of you who have supported us through the years at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Markets. We have loved feeding you every Saturday (give or take a few), we have loved building community with you, we have loved, as so many of you do too, being part of the Saturday Morning Dance. It’s an amazing place, full of amazing people, making and growing amazing food. We’re lucky to have been a part of the dance and we’re going to miss it. Keep supporting the market and come visit us up North when you get a chance!
With love and respect,
Amy and Joe
Marla Bakery & Catering