Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where do we source our meat?
A: Preferred Meats (chicken, beef & ribs) and Zoe's Meats (bacon & sausages)
Preferred Meats is a family owned company based in Oakland, founded in 1986 with a single goal in mind - To provide the highest quality meat products available. To develop this goal, owners Bala & Peggy Kironde have focused on working with a network of farmer producers to acquire the highest quality meat products available, and then maintaining that quality. To accomplish this, Preferred meats has gone to the growers and producers of our fine products to learn how their products are raised, handled, what they are fed and how they are processed.
Zoe's Meats (located in Santa Rosa) are abundantly flavorful, but what they seek to deliver is much more than that. They named their company after Zoe, George's eight-year-old daughter. Their vision is to provide their families and yours better food options through an environmentally and community friendly company.
Q: Where do we get our dairy and eggs?
GreenLeaf has been at the forefront of the Bay Area's local food movement. People are paramount, and they nurture their relationships with their purveyor's, customers and employees with equal care and dedication. GreenLeaf sources worldwide to find the best of class products available, while continuing to emphasize the excellence, sustainability and value that buying local provides. GreenLeaf represents integrity, quality and great service, just as it has for more than 35 years.
Q: Where do we get our produce?
A: A majority of our produce is purchased through one of three farmer's markets in the East Bay. Throughout the year, we purchase seasonal vegetables from a rotating source of vendors; but we regularly pick up our collards, kale, beets and lettuces from Riverdog Farm or Blue Heron Farm from the Tuesday market on Adeline or Thursday market in North Berkeley. We get our apples as well as the best apple cider (Bernie's Best) and apple cider vinegar from Pomo Tierra Ranch from North Berkeley market. When in a pinch, what we can't get from the farmer's market, we make a dash for it at Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market.
Q: What kind of frying oil do we use?
A: We use rice bran oil for pretty much everything (in addition to frying, we use it in our baked goods, house dressing and for cooking). We source them from a small production facility named Golden West Specialty Foods located in Brisbane. The benefits of using rice bran oil is superior over most other oils...check it out!
Q: What about our whole grain flours?
A: We buy all of our flours from Giusto's which has a dedicated gluten free facility for the flours we use at Grease Box.
Q: Is everything really gluten free?
A: Yes. All of our employees (none of whom are gluten free) are also frequent customers of ours and don't feel the need to bring their own glutenous food from the outside world simply because they enjoy the food. In addition to having a gluten free kitchen, we are also soy free!
Q: Why the heck did we name ourselves Grease Box??
A: Let's face it, no one wants to admit that they have to eat gluten free, let alone eat "healthy"...unless they're bragging about it in yoga class. We knew when we started out that we wanted to produce food that was comforting, unapologetic and not at all "preachy". We didn't want our food to be associated with any "restrictive diet" because that's never been our motivation or focus. At the risk of alienating the delicate palates of fine diners in the bay area with a name that started out with GREASE, we knew there would be an audience out there who might respond favorably to our bold name and approach it with the kind of excitement it would create in the south. We believed there would be people who will try out our food because they trusted that we would not skimp on the flavor. The bonus - hence, the irony of our name - is that our food is in fact, quite healthy. Whole grain, sustainable, local and hand made...It's kind of a win-win situation for everyone.
A majority of our customers (comprised of neighbors living and/or working in the area) are actually unaware or are indifferent to the fact that our food is gluten free. This serves as a bonus to those who do come for the gluten freeness of it because for once, celiacs and folks with varying allergies don't have to ask a million questions before placing their order. Downplaying the gluten free aspect of our food is important in this way: our gluten free guests can enjoy a meal without feeling like that "annoying customer" who has to "field their server" in order to avoid getting sick later. There is no better satisfying feeling than to provide an ordinary dining experience for the few who have to worry about their shared dish getting cross-contaminated with someone's utensil or rogue bread crumb. We've had whole families afflicted with celiac disease who have visited us from all over the country to feast at grease box; there are even small families with kids who had their first waffle ever.
Q: So...ok, what exactly ARE the things that we make from scratch?
A: In a word, EVERYTHING. Between two temperamental ovens, we crank out baguettes, bagels, brioche loaves and buns. In the pastry department, we make our own muffins with seasonal fruits, dairy-free olive oil cakes, fruit pies, bread pudding, donuts, chocolate chip cookies and cornbread. On the savory side, we make our own queso, hot sauce, pickled veggies, ricotta cheese, apple butter, ranch, mayo and vinaigrette. The only thing we don't make in house is the ketchup, because Heinz. #Sorrynotsorry. All of this with a staff of three part-timers and we're open six days of the week. MMMMMK?