OAKLAND — It’s official. Famed chef and proprietor of Brown Sugar Kitchen Tanya Holland has closed her flagship West Oakland outpost and is selling the space to new owners.
While Holland has hinted at a possible sale for some time, it was about finding the right time to make the move.
“I spent 10 years there. Ten years of my life. That’s a long time,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s just time to move on as a chef.”
Holland mentioned there were several reasons for selling the business, such as delving into new projects that might be more challenging. She also tells Eater that the business hasn’t turned a profit in years. “I can’t charge $15 for a waffle here… I didn’t know the demand was going to be as great as it was, and this facility can’t service that kind of demand,” she elaborated.
But it’s clear that she’s not about to rest on her laurels; Holland already has several new projects currently in the works. As we’ve reported previously, she’s been plotting a move across the Bay to San Francisco since 2016, when she acquired the lease for the former Il Cane Rosso space at the Ferry Building. The new fast-casual version of the soul food staple is to be called BSKC, for Brown Sugar Kitchen Counter.
Holland is also opening another BSKC in Uptown in the 13,600-square-foot space formerly occupied by Picán and Ozumo on Broadway and at the new Warriors’ Chase Center Arena in San Francisco.
Holland said that the Uptown outpost should debut sometime next month, with the Ferry Building location launching shortly after.
As for the original location’s new potential owners, she would not divulge much, as the sale is not yet final, and only indicated that the buyers are chefs of color.
Moving forward, Holland has big plans for her new ventures. “My goal has been the same,” she told the Chron. “I want to be the Shake Shack of soul food.”