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Monday, September 27, 2010

William Werner's Tell Tale Preserve Co. Sets Up Cafe Cases, Monthly Bags

Posted By on Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 12:36 PM

William Werner's pastry case at Coffee Bar.
  • William Werner's pastry case at Coffee Bar.

William Werner's Tell Tale Preserve Co. is projected to open on Maiden Lane in mid-November, but some of the chef's pastries are already appearing in small, discreet boxes at Coffee Bar (1890 Bryant) in Potrero Hill, and starting next Monday, Sightglass Coffee (270 Seventh St.).

Werner, who made his name as the pastry chef at the Ritz-Carlton at Half

Moon Bay, then traveled around the world and spent a year as the pastry

chef at Quince, is about to open the city's highest-end pastry shop since Citizen Cake. His production kitchen in Dogpatch was ready to go several months ago, but there was a delay in readying the retail shop and cafe. So Werner launched a monthly "society bag" containing a selection of preserves, treats, and confections ― October's contains black fig-chocolate-sangria jam and blueberry-matcha nougat. The deadline for ordering this month's bag is Oct. 1, and the pickup location is Coffee Bar.

Of his decision to begin supplying the Potrero Hill cafe with pastries, Werner says, "Luigi [Di Ruocco] from Coffee Bar

has been invaluable in terms of advice. So when the

opening of the Maiden Lane store was delayed, he said, maybe you could

sell some product here? I developed a menu for him, trying for

something a little different ― not just the same ham and cheese


Cheese and ham pound cake.
  • Cheese and ham pound cake.
Werner constructed a small, two-foot case, which he stocks with things like custard-filled sugar buns, plum bars, and ginger-pluot scones, changing up the selection between morning and afternoon. His savory pound cake is an exquisite surprise, with the buttery, tender crumb of a lemon loaf, but flecked with ham, pockets of melted cheese, and fresh thyme leaves; another variation contains bacon and corn.

He just finished constructing a second case for Sightglass, which will be filled with similar goods come Monday. Werner has no plans to build a wholesale business ― he says he'll stop there ― but he will continue to do pastries for both cafes after Tell Tale opens.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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