Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Mar 31st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

All in the Family

diningHome-delivered baked goods are all the rage, thanks to I Rise Bakery

If you were to drive by Redwood Pizzeria in Felton during the middle of the night, you might be surprised to see a person loitering in the empty restaurant. The sheriff certainly was, when he and some of his fellow officers recently confronted the mystery man who appeared to be robbing the business.

But instead of a thief, they found one Gardner Lund, covered up to his elbows in dough.

Affectionately referred to as “Papa G,” Lund is the founder of I Rise Bakery, Santa Cruz’s only bakery specializing in organic whole grain artisan breads and baked goods delivered right to your doorstep.

Redwood Pizzeria allows Lund to utilize its kitchen after hours in order to produce fresh-baked goods for his nearly 200 customers, who live anywhere from Boulder Creek to Watsonville.

It’s a sweet setup for Lund, who started the business as a side job in 1998, while working for Gayle’s Bakery.

“At that time, my children’s mother was working during the day and I was working at night at Gayle’s, so I was home with the little ones during the day,” Lund recalls. “So I started making bread with the kids for something to do. And whenever the kids’ friends’ parents came over, I’d give them a loaf.”

It wasn’t long before Lund was getting approached daily by parents on the school yard about the bread they’d heard so much about.

“At that point, I was making less than 10 loaves a week,” he says. “It was more of a fun thing, wherein I got a little bit of cash for gas or taking the family to the movies. For me, it was all about having real involvement in the community. It felt like I was feeding people outside of my family—it was a good feeling.”

I Rise has come a long way since its inception in Westside Santa Cruz, where Lund would bake in his own kitchen and ride around the five-block radius of his house delivering warm loaves of bread to neighbors with his children sitting in the bike trailer. But Lund is proud to say that the operation has remained family oriented, local, handmade with care, and authentic throughout its 16-year history. To this day, Lund bakes everything he sells—which includes bread, granola, scones and cookies—and only he and his son make deliveries to their customers. “It’s really grassroots and has an old-timey feel to it, which people like,” Lund says of I Rise. “It’s like a large extended group of friends.” 

Having worked in product development for several local bakeries, including Gayle’s, Kelly’s Bakery and Beckmann’s Old World Bakery, Lund has a long history of creating recipes that locals love. At I Rise, his focus has always been well-rounded nutrition.

“Our breads are different than everything else out there,” he says. “They’re naturally fermented, with no commercial yeast, and they’re naturally leavened. I use a lot of whole grains and everything is organic.” It doesn’t hurt that they also have a unique texture and flavor that keep customers coming back.

In addition to artisan breads, I Rise offers granola, which is made with organic oats and oils, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, local honey and real maple syrup. The moist scones feature zest and juice from organic lemons or oranges, as well as nuts and dried fruits. And, last but not least, the chocolate chip cookies are a must for those with a sweet tooth.

I Rise members pay $25 per month for weekly bread delivery, with a minimum two-month commitment to start delivery. Special deals are also available for customers who would like to pay for large blocks of time in advance. The bread flavor changes each week for variety, while the specialty granolas and pastries are available all month long.

While someday Lund says he might like to own a food truck, so that he can bring his baked goods directly to businesses as well, for now, he is perfectly content further developing his home delivery service around the county.

“I love the fact that it’s all local—it’s such a Santa Cruz thing,” says Lund. “I do everything by hand; it’s really a labor of love.” 


For more information about I Rise Bakery and how to become a member, visit irisebakery.com, call 818-1496, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Comments (5)Add Comment
Ben Lomond Glutard
written by Lish, February 27, 2014
I keep trying to convince someone to do the same with gluten-free baked goods....Anyone.....Bueler??
I-Rise customer
written by Susie Smith, January 30, 2014
I have been a customer almost from the beginning and always look forward to our weekly delivery of Gardner's "Proper Bread". Thanks for spreading the word through The Good Times!
...
written by Poppop, January 27, 2014
Great story, Great bread, Great guy. Yeah I'm prejudiced - he's my son.
Yaz Buddy!
written by Monkey, January 26, 2014
Gardner is the ultimate vermicious knid, keep on keepin' on, brother
Great story!
written by RayMill, January 21, 2014
Thanks to the writer for broadcasting positive news stories about hope and development. Thanks to the baker for providing wonderful bread for the area!

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals