{Sweet San Francisco} The Society Bag: Tell Tale Missive One


Smoked almond brittle from the November Society bag.

What’s a pastry kitchen with a not-yet-open storefront to do? You could start supplying local coffee shops with morning comestibles. You could also start a monthly sweet subscription service and provide people with a veritable bag of goodies to enjoy and hopefully become addicted to.

I think the Society bag is a cute idea and smart strategy: it serves as a tangible focus for the kitchen staff as they break in the new kitchen space, and works as a way to give the public a preview of things to come – while building a customer base. Food-based subscriptions are certainly not new, but I think in a way the success of CSA boxes and their like has primed food lovers’ appetites for increasingly sophisticated collections of artisan food products. Chocolate of the month club may be old hat, but the potential of a monthly showcase for a patisserie is, I feel, not yet fully explored. Enter the Society bag.

I like the contents of the bag change every month, and that they reflect the seasons, which is part of Tell Tale’s philosophy: a bakery’s offerings should not be static but showcase the best of what is available at the moment. (oh, except for things like pain au chocolat, which I think should always be available). You can visit the society page to see previous months’ offerings.

I really like what Tell Tale makes. For those of you yet unconvinced, I hope the below pics of some Society bag items may serve to sway you:


Oak bourbon caramels.


Carrot cake with cocoa and ginger.


Coconut brown sugar shortbread.


Pear pate de fruit. (urgh, ok, I think I botched a test batch of these the other weekend but Chef William was nice enough not to throw me out of the kitchen. Hopefully I redeemed myself by taking a glamour shot of some properly made ones).


A jar of fig, chocolate, and sangria jam from last month’s bag. There is no jam this month, but instead some apple praline butter and some Valrhona chocolate marshmallows.

If you’re curious for a taste of what I’ve been tasting, or really if you have a sweet tooth in general, do sign up for Tell Tale’s November Society bag – orders taken through this Friday (please note they do ship out of SF). Oh – and if you get a bag, drop me a line tell me what you think.

P.S. For those of you e-mailing about pastry internships and how to get one, I used to refer to my old post but I can now direct you to an excellent post written by fellow blogger/writer/baker Garrett at Vanilla Garlic. Garrett just finished an internship at Grange Restaurant and his writeup has some really good advice!



  1. 1


    Anita, thanks for the shout out. Also, OMG, what an amazing idea. A monthly CSA-style dessert. How is it this hasn’t been thought up before?!

    Also, totally going to try to whip up some bourbon caramels now. They just sound too damn good to pass up.

  2. 4


    wow, this looks freaking amazing! and what a good idea to get the word out about your shop…i love reading your blog. i have this distant dream of opening my own shop one day, and you have such good ideas! so thanks, i am taking note. :)


  3. 6


    The Society Bag is a great way to bring good pastry and confections to the masses! I understand the botched pate de fruit. Done it myself now and then.

  4. 7


    Ahh, all of these treats look wonderful. I am especially drawn to the oak bourbon caramels. This is a great idea and I wish you the best of luck with Tell Tale!

  5. 8


    These look delicious. I don’t know if you had a chance to see “Kings of Pastry” but definitely an exciting documentary on 16 French chefs who are competing to be named Meilleurs Ouvriers de France for Pastry. check out http://lenotreblog.blogspot.com/ for article and videos for FOX News on the story.

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