Boudin Bakery: 
An Anecdotal Chronology

We’ve been baking San Francisco’s favorite bread since the days of the Gold Rush—and a lot has happened since. Get a sample of some noteworthy events below.

1849

The Boudin French Bakery is established. San Francisco’s population swells to 20,000 by the end of the year.

1848 Gold in Them Thar Hills

The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Fort set off one of the largest mass migrations in history. People who became known as 49ers rushed to the area to mine for gold. It’s believed that Isidore Boudin received the mother dough from one of these 49ers.

1852

Boudin French Bakery moves to 319 Dupont (now Grant Ave.) in North Beach.

1868

Boudin commits to mother dough. Despite the introduction and widespread use of Fleischman’s cake yeast, the Boudin family continues to use the time-honored method of leavening the bread with a wild yeast starter: our mother dough.

1869 San Francisco Cable Car Born

Wire-rope manufacturer Andrew Hallidie witnessed a team of horses and its cartload of passengers slip and tumble down a steep hill in San Francisco and vowed to invent a more humane mode of transportation. In 1873, he took his cable car out for a test run. Operated through a pulley system of underground cables, it was able to climb San Francisco’s hills with ease.

Isidore Boudin

1873

Isidore Boudin and Louise Erni marry at Notre Dame des Victories, San Francisco. Together they continue to grow the already famous Boudin Bakery.

1873

Boudin bread is home-delivered by horse-drawn wagon. Customers added a nail to their front door and the baker would slam the loaf onto the nail, thus annoucing the bread had arrived.

1890

Louise and her daughter Lucie continue to run the bakery following Isidore’s death in 1887. The bakery moves to a new location at 815 Broadway to meet the bakery’s ever-increasing popularity.