Meet the Team

Meet The Noe Valley Bakery Team
Mary Gassen from Noe Valley Bakery

Mary Gassen


I have been in the food business since my first very job in high school selling kitchen equipment in Rockford, Illinois. I attended the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco after graduating from Macalester College in St. Paul Minnesota. I was only going to come to San Francisco for 16 months, but you can see how that worked out… Some of my favorite jobs have been Managing Partner of Il Forniao in Beverly Hills and Barbara Tropp’s Assistant at China Moon Cafe in San Francisco. I am passionate about being in the company of interesting women and am currently serving as the President of Les Dames d’Escoffier, San Francisco Chapter.

Your favorite NVB baked good: I love the blueberry pecan scone. I especially love the crispy part around the edges and eat them from the outside in!

Blueberry Pecan Scone from Noe Valley Bakery
Blueberry Pecan Scone
Perfectly golden baked daily! Noe Valley Bakery scones have long been a favorite of the neighborhood.
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Michael Gassen from Noe Valley Bakery

Michael Gassen

Chief Baking Officer

I started working in a bakery when I was 14 years old cleaning up. I quickly figured things out and traded in my broom for a mixer and I have never stopped baking! I've worked with some large baking companies, like Il Fornaio and Acme Bread, but decided that I prefer running a smaller retail bakery. I love the direct connection with my customers and my community. I love baking on site and having everything out of the oven fresh each morning so that the product quality is always its best.

Your favorite NVB baked good: Fig Bread. I used to spend time lying under my grandfather's fig tree eating figs. I created the fig bread to honor that memory and to eat figs year round!

Mission Fig Bread from Noe Valley Bakery
Mission Fig Bread
Eat your figs year round! Noe Valley Bakery fig bread inspired by Michael's grandfather.
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Saundra O’Day from Noe Valley Bakery

Saundra O’Day

Director of Bakery Operations

I was put on this earth to feed people, so I've been cooking professionally for 22 years in SF, the South of France, Park City, Atlanta, Las Vegas and around the Bay Area. For the past 6 years I've been feeding some extremely harsh critics (total PITAs), my daughters and it's been the most satisfying cooking of my life!

If you were stranded on a deserted island with one food and one drink, what would they be? Not sure how they would be cooked, but chicken thighs would be involved, fried, baked or grilled, all delicious. Midleton Irish whiskey on the rocks, that's easy.

Xavier Madarang from Noe Valley Bakery

Xavier Madarang

Director of Retail Operations

Born and raised in Fairfield, California before moving to Sacramento, California in the early 2000’s. Made my way over to the beautiful city of San Francisco to study Economics at San Francisco State University. My very first job was as a retail staff member at Noe Valley Bakery on 24th Street. I eventually took over as the General Manager of the Bakery in 2015. As the Bakery grew, so did my role, becoming the Director of Retail Operations. I believe our Bakery shares those same family values I grew up with, and am proud to be a part of it.

If you were stranded on a deserted island with one food and one drink, what would they be? White cheddar macaroni and coffee. I couldn’t go without either for too long, but likely wouldn’t consume them together. Coffee is a must, otherwise I would have to start swimming.

Sharin Mendelson from Noe Valley Bakery

Sharin Mendelson

General Manager,
24th Street

I have been in the food and hospitality business for over 30 years, working primarily, but not exclusively, in restaurants for most of that time. Before Noe Valley Bakery, I spent a couple years as the AGM at Oliveto Restaurant in Oakland, then moved on to become the GM at The Dead Fish in Crockett. After spending so much of my career in restaurants, I am very happy to have found a home at the little bakery on 24th street where I can share my love for people, bread, cake and cupcakes!

Your favorite NVB baked good: I have a couple of favorite NVB items, when in the mood for something savory I can’t resist the cheddar chive scone-it is just oh so tender! And being a chocoholic, a sweet pick up for me will always be that fudge brownie-it’s perfect with a glass of milk, and makes me feel like a kid again!

Cheddar Chive Scone from Noe Valley Bakery
Cheddar Chive Scone
Perfectly golden baked daily! Noe Valley Bakery scones have long been a favorite of the neighborhood.
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Bianca Lemaster from Noe Valley Bakery

Bianca Lemaster

General Manager,
West Portal

I am originally from San Diego, CA where I attended SDSU and worked in nightlife. I Moved to SF a few years ago and made the transition into food management.

Your favorite NVB baked good: I am obsessed with our mostest cupcake! I could eat the ganache with a spoon it's so good.

Mostest Cupcake from Noe Valley Bakery
Mostest Cupcake
Our classic chocolate cupcake filled with Bavarian cream and dipped in chocolate ganache.
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Interested in Joining our Team?

You can apply online on our website.

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