The origins of Community Grains can be traced back to the moment when founder Bob Klein decided his restaurant, Oliveto, needed to source the wheat for its freshly made pasta with the same degree of care it already applied to meat and produce. When his search for a local, sustainably produced flour yielded no results of high enough quality, Bob created the Oliveto Grain Project, which brought together bakers, farmers, plant breeders, scientists and food activists to help create the foundation for a robust local grain economy. Community Grains emerged as a solution to sourcing local, whole-milled grain. The company works in partnership with grain farmers, a highly advanced whole-grain mill, and a grain-obsessed team to produce incredibly delicious, wholesome food.
As founder of Community Grains and co-owner of Oliveto restaurant in Oakland, Bob has spent the last 6 years working to rebuild our local grain economy in Northern California. Besides being a prominent restaurateur, Bob has been a broadcast executive producer, a national program consultant, and developer/syndicator. He has produced hundreds of television programs including Bay Area Backroads. He is the recipient of the DuPont Columbia Award, the IRIS award, and several Emmys. He takes delight in strengthening his community by connecting people together through good food.
Heather Crawford has over 20 years of business expertise and a love for sustainable food system ideas – making her a natural fit for Community Grains. After completing her master’s degree in Economics at CalTech, Heather held leadership roles in IT and business development at healthcare and food companies such as Blue Shield, Healthnet, and Treasury Wine Estates, a global wine company. It was at Treasury that she began to understand the connection between the product, the customer, and the land — a connection whose issues hit closer to home when her son was born. It felt right to her to join Community Grains to help elevate the quality of food for everyone.
Jaclyn began her career on Obama’s initial presidential campaign, where she ultimately directed a voter outreach program in the general election. After the historic campaign victory, personal health concerns ignited her passion for food (and, unavoidably, food systems), driving her to earn an MPH at Columbia University. She became an early employee at Good Eggs, where she was responsible for community development and support, and spent spare moments teaching cooking workshops and catering small gatherings. At Community Grains, she oversees major initiatives, including branding and business operations. Jaclyn is an avid ceramicist and continues to develop recipes and share her stories at www.villagecookshop.com.
Alex has a deep-seeded love for food planted by his grandmother’s culinary prowess. Cooking became a source of pleasure at Stanford, where he earned a degree in Management Science and Engineering. After graduation, he followed his passion, working in acclaimed kitchens throughout the Bay Area and Los Angeles. He now combines the best of both worlds, applying his knowledge of management science towards sustainable food systems, keeping the flour flowing from field to market. In his spare time, he makes food inspired by the seasons and his Mexican heritage, which he documents on his website at www.alexangarita.me.
Brooke moved to San Francisco after earning a degree in Southwest Studies from Colorado College to pursue her interest in environmental conservation. She spent several years fundraising for a local land trust and becoming familiar with the open spaces and farms of the Bay Area. Her love of nature and locally and sustainably-grown food pair well together at Community Grains – where she is educating retailers and customers about the important role that whole grains play in a healthy lifestyle and diet. When she’s not introducing people to the world of whole grains, you can find Brooke overplanning dinner parties, biking around the Bay Area, and camping.
Ivy, German Shepherd
Ivy is an old dog with a young heart — her spirits are ever buoyant! She only stops smiling when she’s sleeping. Ivy’s job is to greet everyone at the door by jumping on them (she’s just that happy). She also likes to sit (when asked to), find out what we’re eating, and, since she’s spatially challenged, lie in the perfect spot to block the doorway or directly behind or under our seat. She just wants our attention, and we love to give it to her. Her love of food began as a young pup, and it’s still going strong — maybe too strong.