Berkeley Bowl Founder Glenn Yasuda Dies
Glenn Yasuda, founder of the famous-for-their-produce Berkeley Bowl stores in California, has died at the age of 85.
According to Berkeleyside.com, Glenn and his wife, Diane, opened the first Berkeley Bowl close to their home in 1977 in Berkeley, Calif. The Yasudas opened a second store, Berkeley Bowl West, on Heinz Street in 2009.
The stores earned an international reputation for their produce assortment, with best-selling food writer and author Michael Pollan calling Berkeley Bowl “heaven for omnivores.”
According to Berkeleyside, Yasuda would start work around 2:30 a.m. when the wholesale markets in San Francisco opened. Every morning, Yasuda drove across the bridge and began his tours to find the crème de la crème of produce. He’d then drive back to the East Bay to work at the stores. Until a year ago, Yasuda would hit the wholesale markets up to three times a week, and then put in additional hours in the evening at the two Berkeley Bowls to prep for the next day.
Produce manager Cisco Rojas, who has worked at the main store since 1999, told Berkeleyside.com that Yasuda was “an excellent mentor with a clear vision.” Berkeley Bowl human resources director Rosalinda Nava said that Yasuda always had her back whenever she felt people were giving her pushback for being a young woman. “All my motivation and willingness to do bigger and greater things at Berkeley Bowl are because of him,” Nava noted.