Maker’s Common: New Berkeley Spot


If you’re a fan of gathering with friends to enjoy a good cheeseboard and glass of wine, then you’ll love this new Berkeley hotspot. Maker’s Common just opened downtown by the team who gave us Mission Cheese in San Francisco, but with 4 times the space plus a full kitchen, they have created an eatery + market concept not to miss. And don’t forget about their catering…especially as the holiday season is fast-approaching. Keep reading to learn how their catering is unique, see the local and personal touches of the design of their space, and be happy that you don’t have to fly to Quebec to savor poutine when you need it!

I asked co-owner, Sarah Dvorak, a couple things: 

On choosing Berkeley: Lots of reasons. Esthetically, we loved the space inside and outside and it seemed to be a natural fit for our market + eatery concept. The change happening in downtown Berkeley is exciting! Density is increasing, thoughtful businesses are moving in and the community is so supportive…including our landlord and entire design/build team. It felt like the right home for a business that is about community and delicious handmade products.

On how Maker’s Common is different from Mission Cheese: It’s much bigger! Almost four times the space of Mission Cheese, Maker’s Common allows us to properly retail cut-to-order cheese, charcuterie and other delicious domestic products. It also has a full kitchen (Mission Cheese has a panini press and an oven) and a certified Meat Processing Facility for our house charcuterie program. So our ability to create food with amazing ingredients is much greater at Maker’s Common. The menu is more diverse than Mission Cheese, and we have brunch!

The space was designed by Berkeley’s Studio KDA. What local and personal touches can be found in the restaurant? There’s so much love infused in the space…here are the very personal touches:

Wall quilt – created by my mother-in-law (Oliver’s mom), Shelley Dameron

Mural connecting the agricultural bounty of the north with Berkeley – painted by Lori Damiano  (Oliver’s cousin)

Cheese line drawings in the bathroom – Alex Armstrong (Mission Cheese monger and master doodler)

Ceramic lights – Jered’s Pottery (Richmond, CA)

Bar stools – Josh Duthie (Chairtastic, SF)

Cheese/Charcuterie Boards – Jeff Burwell (neighbor of Mission Cheese who also did a lot of metal work in that space)

Heath and Fireclay tile – we personally tiled the under bar and POS areas…don’t look too close 😉

Exterior signage – New Bohemian Signs

On impacting the Berkeley brunch scene: Our hope is to bring high quality soulful ingredients to the brunch scene. We’re curing our own bacon and making our own sausage from Rancho Llano Seco pork. The cheeses we use throughout the menu are beautiful and directly from our retail case, and the offering will change with the seasons. As a result, we hope to be the most delicious based on the melding of the flavors of amazing ingredients.

About their unique catering: I believe the quality and uniqueness of ingredients is what makes us different and surprising. Every time we send out a cheese and charcuterie platter, we are always jealous of the people attending the party! The platters always include at least one house made meat in addition to house pickles and a unique selection of our American cheese assortment beautifully presented with dried and fresh fruit, nuts, and crackers.

Don’t leave without trying: You have to try a Farmer’s Plate highlighting cheese and charcuterie. It is the core of what we do and is the perfect start to a meal, snack, or lunch. Close seconds are the whey brined fried chicken or Eric’s house made sausage! Both are unique and the best I’ve tasted in their categories.

For more on Maker’s Common, go here

Images by  Molly DeCoudreaux


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