Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Apr 15th
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

 

Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.