At Hush-Harbor Artisan Bakery in Atascadero, the action begins at 3:30 in the morning.
“We focus on our foods and our breads, pastries, that sort of thing, but I think that our goal is to make the best bread in this county,” said Donnie Monroe, owner of Hush-Harbor Artisan Bakery.
Monroe followed his heart and switched careers from aerospace to baking. This spot has been around since 2002.
“This is old-world baking that's not being done on a wholesale level; most of it's industrial baking, so we try to set ourselves apart,” added Monroe.
It’s all about precision and patience and nowadays this bakery is known for its sourdough, baguettes and croissants.
You can spot Monroe whistling throughout his beloved kitchen and in the storefront. You can see how he celebrates Black culture with photos of Dizzy Gillespie and Louis Armstrong.
“I’m a jazz buff, I've always enjoyed it, pretty much makes the theme there,” said Monroe. “We do musical events here and not all jazz, but that's kind of what that's all about, my daughter is a performer, so she performs as well. ”
In San Luis Obispo, Ebony is channeling some serious girl power.
“Ebony is founded by four women, two of my aunts and my best friend, so it's the four of us who kind of came up with the idea,” explained Feben Teffera, Ebony’s co-owner. “I decided to start Ethiopian food in San Luis Obispo, which is very unique because there's no Ethiopian food between San Jose to Los Angeles. ”
Sisters Helen Abraha and Martha Taezaz are in charge of the kitchen.
“You open up your injera on your plate, you put your sauces on it, and you tear a piece of the injera and you pick up your sauce with it, which I think is very exciting for a lot of people,” said Teffera.
Ebony has been around for a year, not only focusing on healthy organic, vegan food but also Ethiopian products.
“Because 99%, 98% of the shelved items I picked myself when I was in Ethiopia, so I can actually tell you the story of where I got it, who made it, and that, you know, that creates more of a connection to the consumer,” added Teffera.
An opportunity to bridge cultures through food.
“The fact that we're here, a lot of people, it's their first time experiencing Ethiopian food, so it's nice to have somebody walk in and they just have no idea what the food is, what they, you know, completely have no clue,” explained Teffera. “I'm always kind of explaining and I like explaining what Ethiopian food is, where Ethiopia is and the culture.”
February is Black History Month, an opportunity to celebrate and honor the contributions of our African American community.
If you want to support these businesses, you can visit Hush-Harbor Artisan Bakery, which is located at 5735 El Camino Real in Atascadero. It is open from Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Ebony is located at 4750 Allene Way in San Luis Obispo. They are open Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.