Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Apr 25th
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

 

We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise