We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Arnsdorff and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Following my natural artistic and creative passions make me feel more alive. I’ve always been almost equally creative and analytical, and early in my career in financial services, I really leaned into that analytical side. But over time, when I started to lose that passion, I found I enjoyed using my analytical brain to help me make better creative decisions and found a great balance of strengths. I’m almost always analyzing our products at Flour & Branch, thinking of ways to make us better, and then leaning on my creative side to solve for x.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

Right up to the week that I filed for Flour & Branch’s LLC, I had a career in financial services and marketing. I was responsible for launching the financial services and loyalty products for Forever 21 and eBay America. I’ve given presentations to thousands at a time, created a concert series for my cardholders with headliners like Dua Lipa, created a video campaign with Giuliana Rancic, and designed programs for brands that in some instances literally drove billions in revenue. I’m incredibly proud of all that, and when I reflect on that period of my life, I do mostly remember how hard I fought for that responsibility. It was a fight to advance my career, deal with bullies, be taken seriously as a young woman who looked even younger than I was, and to design programs that I believed in.

By the time I got to eBay, I realized that the only way I could truly design a program I believed in would be to design my own brand. As I lost the zest for corporate, the fire I always had to build my own brand just got bigger, and louder. So that’s what I did. I built Flour & Branch, and designed it to be different from any brand I’d seen, and to have a far better culture than any I had ever worked in. I learned to take all the good with all the bad, because when you decide to “play in the arena”, you choose a life with more struggle, more pain, and higher stakes. If you want more from life, you’ve got to welcome that pain and learn to be better every day.

Flour & Branch is virtually my life’s work – my memories, recipes, brand vision, and vision for customer experience and company culture. I built my brand during the pandemic, and despite all challenges I’ve built Flour & Branch into an in-demand bakery shipping baked goods Nationwide and was featured in Forbes, The Food Network Online (twice!), Reader’s Digest and more. And I’m most proud of this work.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Fun! *This is a real itinerary for San Francisco*

Day 1 – Friday:
– Breakfast, coffee, and pastries at Flour & Branch, then walk to the ballpark (Oracle Stadium) to either catch a game, do a walking tour, or just walk around and take in the view along the waterfront. Take a stroll down the Embarcadero and stop at New Belgium Brewing for a drink. Take a nice little walk to Dumpling Time for an early dinner.

Day 2 – Saturday:
-Take a stroll or bike ride down the Embarcadero and stop at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market around 9AM. Grab a coffee at Blue Bottle, gluten free bagel or pastry at Mariposa, a porchetta sandwich at the Roli Roti truck, and prop yourself by the water to enjoy. Shop the markets and stores before taking a ferry over to Sausalito. Try to get yourself a spot on the deck. It’s peaceful and a great photo op. Once you get into Sausalito, you’ll find lots of bars, restaurants, bakeries, and shopping. Take a stroll along the water or rent bikes near the ferry landing to get a full tour of the area. Take a ferry back to San Francisco (Ferry Terminal) and head to either La Mar or Coqueta for dinner. I recommend the patio seating for La Mar!

Day 3 – Sunday:
(Wear good walking shoes) Start at the bottom of the Greenwich steps, and take all the stairs up the cliffside, and all the way to Coit Tower. Be sure to stop at each level to turn around and enjoy the view. You’ll see views all the way to both bridges and all over the city, along with flowers, dragonflies, and butterflies. It’s magic. If you go to the base of Coit Tower, walk back down one level, and find the staircase that leads you down to Washington Square Park in North Beach. Grab brunch at Park Tavern. Visit the hat shop next door, take a stroll through the park, up and down the streets of North Beach / Little Italy, and maybe grab a slice at Tony’s (world famous).

Other spots to hit:

Walk by and into Grace Cathedral, because it’s just stunning. Nearby, visit the spectacular InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotel, where you can have drinks and snacks on their top floor which overlooks the whole city. Make your way to the top of Lombard Street, and head to Ghirardelli Square. This square has much improved over the last couple years. Here you’ll find dim sum and drinks at Palette Tea House, Latin food and cocktails at Barrio, along with a beer garden and of course, dessert at Ghirardelli.

Walk and / or bike Golden Gate Park, visit the Japanese Tea Garden, take a paddle boat on the lake. Visit Hook Fish Co or Outlerlands for lunch / brunch and walk down to Ocean Beach. Dig your toes in the sand, relax, then take a walk to Shell Beach and the Sutro Baths. The Lands’ End is also such a beautiful walk.

Walking tour beginning at Alamo Square: Grab a coffee at the stand and sit on the hill next to the glorious Painted Ladies. Grab breakfast or lunch at Brenda’s Meat & Three, and then walk to the ‘Full House’ house a couple blocks away. From there, stop at the Mrs. Doubtfire house and all the pretty parks you see along the way. Stroll through the shops and cafes on Fillmore St, walk through the main center of Cow Hollow (Chestnut St.) and all the way down to the Marina. Take a stroll along the water, admire all the stunning houses and harbor, and walk through the Palace of Fine Arts.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband is the unsung hero of Flour & Branch. He’s supported me in every way possible, been my sounding board literally every day since I decided to go for it. He told me I should go for it, and without him, I wouldn’t have the privilege of bringing Flour & Branch to a new storefront in SF. He’s also the official taste tester of Flour & Branch. 😉

Website: https://www.flourandbranch.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/flour_and_branch/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-arnsdorff-b70b2350/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/flourandbranch

Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/flour-and-branch-san-francisco

Image Credits
Flour & Branch

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