Culture

Meet Forma Bakery, a new French-Mexican pastry shop in Oakland


In a homecoming of sorts, Jackson Schnetz — who grew up loving the flavors at his dad’s restaurant Doña Tomás in Oakland’s Temescal District — has opened a new bakeshop on the same block, Forma Bakery.

Forma opened in late May at 4920 Telegraph Ave. next to buzzy spots like Roses’ Taproom and Poppy Bagels. Right now it’s offering a small menu of baked goods with French and Mexican influences, plus coffee drinks like cappuccino and olla latte, made with cinnamon piloncillo and star anise.

There are viennoiseries of traditional croissants with seasonally rotating flavors, like a poblano-cream croissant with potatoes and chayote squash and a strawberry-flan croissant. There are also plant-based viennoiseries, like a croissant with corn, tomatillo and mushroom.

Another specialty at Forma are conchas, or Mexican sweet bread with a crunchy and sugary topping. Here they’re made from corn and come in flavors like vanilla, apricot jam and rich TCHO chocolate. And soon, the bakery plans to begin offering sourdough and other kinds of breads.

“My bakery is a new venture where I seek to combine my baking experience with the flavors I grew up with from my dad’s Mexican restaurants — Doña Tomás (which used to be on the exact same block where Forma now resides), Xolo Taqueria and La Esquinita,” says Schnetz, whose father Thomas Schnetz cofounded Dona Tomas with restaurateur Dona Savitsky before it relocated as just Doña in 2019.

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“I have always liked the Temescal neighborhood and have envisioned opening a bakery there for a long time,” says Schnetz. “I believe it is a fantastic place with wonderfully receptive neighbors, who would support an artisan bakery dedicated to bringing forward the best product it can with interesting flavors.”

Schnetz’s baking experience includes time at Berkeley’s beloved Fournée bakery, opened by Frank Sally, an award-winning pastry chef and former teacher at the San Francisco Baking Institute. So why’d he decide to depart from strictly traditional French baking for his new endeavor?

“I think it is important to do new things and be creative with baking, because as bakers you dedicate your time to technique and seeking the perfect croissant or bread or …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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