Uppercrust is an artisan bakery. We make our products from scratch, with our hands, and present them the day they are baked. Uppercrust also showcases specialty products (food and otherwise!) made with the same level of care we lavish on our own. We take particular pride in our wine selection. Every bottle in our display is there because it bowled us over during tasting.
Uppercrust Productions was founded in 1981 by Jacqueline “Jackie” Dufty. She started a small bakery informed by her travels and experiences. By 1986, Jackie’s products and ebullient hospitality developed a following that outstripped her cramped quarters, and she moved the operation to its current location in The Gainesville Marketplace.
Thirty-seven years have seen a lot of change in the bakery, but since its inception four principles have guided Uppercrust:
- “Close-your-eyes-delicious” food
- An experience that enriches the mind as well as the senses
- Continual improvement
- Trust in our guests’ good taste
Jackie’s steadfast commitment to those principles for over 35 years explains the bakery’s long-standing place in the Gainesville community. We are grateful to honor and expand on her vision.
Brian – Counter Server
Brian’s laid back demeanor might fool you, but goodness is he a good co-worker. He is responsive, considerate and happy to do whatever (truly, whatever) is asked of him. Before working at Uppercrust, Brian baked bagels at The Bagel Bakery until too many 3am mornings put a strain on his Mathematics degree. Brian also has excellent taste in music.
Cecilia – Counter Server
Engaged and perennially up for work, Cecilia graces our bakery service counter during mornings when she does not have class. Cecilia finished her double-major in anthropology and psychology at UF this spring, and plans to study counseling psychology in graduate school. Cecilia is capable of some seriously incredible/crazy Cirque-de-Soleil-esque acrobatic dancing, and has never heard any Simon and Garfunkel jokes about her name.
Corrin – Counter Server
Corrin’s unfailingly cheery and generous attitude are infectious. A Francophile after our own hearts, Corrin studied French at the University of Florida (both undergrad and grad!), and has travelled extensively in France. In her free time, Corrin can be found listening to her boyfriend Logan’s band, Hedges and reading.
Hollie – Bread Baker
Hollie has always had a passion for food. Even growing up as a competitive swimmer, her teammates love to reminisce about her baking explorations (especially her batch of ‘diet’ cupcakes in which she forgot the sugar!). Hollie graduated from UF with a bachelor’s in Portuguese and a certificate in Latin American Studies after also studying French and Russian and completing a study abroad to Russia. Hollie met her husband while working for a polo club in Argentina, and they now find themselves back in Gainesville starting their little family. Hollie mixes and bakes bread for Uppercrust and doesn’t forget the sugar anymore.
Jake – Bread Baker
Like Bradley Cooper (pre Silver Linings Playbook, please), Jake pitches an all-too-elusive balance of unassuming and cool. And he really listens. These qualities serve him well on Saturdays, when his patience allows our bread to achieve its ideal darkly bronzed mahogany. A slew of injuries prevent Jake from playing his beloved soccer, but don’t stop him from watching Chelsea or from being really, really good at frisbee golf.
Jamie – Counter Server
Jamie’s easy manner and understated intellectualism make him a perfect fit for Uppercrust. After graduating from the Florida State College of Motion Picture Arts, where he wrote and directed five short films, he decided to pursue his interest in medicine. He has been accepted into the University of Florida’s Pre-Health Post-Baccalaureate Program, and plans to pursue medical school in hopes of becoming a neurologist. In his spare time, Jamie likes to read, write, and play the ukulele.
Jef – Croissant Shaper
Jef is our croissantiere extraordinaire. This position requires discipline, attention to detail and, above all, an all-consuming desire to get a teensy bit better at the same task every day (or every action, as is often the case). Jef possesses these qualities, and executes his work with enviable nimbleness and efficiency. Jeff is also a vegan who made 11,000 calls for Bernie. He would have told you those two things before mentioning anything about his Yoda-like croissant-making, and it would be irresponsible not to mention them.
John – Baker
John makes a prep list in neat all-caps every morning he’s with us. His list is routinely 20 tasks long and he completes them with awe-inspiring cogency. All this for our newest team member! John came to learn about bread, but quickly found a home in pastry instead. We are beyond fortunate to have him on his off-hours from his job at a local architecture firm.
John – General Manager
John is our resident problem-solver, wine-savant and general affirmer of the goodness possible in human beings. He finds time every day to address each team-member’s needs. While contemplating law school after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in criminology, John became transfixed by the craft of baking at Publix’s bakery section. Seeking greater challenges, John started to work at Uppercrust, and we are fortunate to have him here ten years later. When not at the bakery, John can be found beating his old college friends at fantasy football and lamenting the misfortune of being a Dolphins fan.
Ken – Counter Server
We are so lucky to know and work with Ken. Beyond his killer fashion sense, Ken does not fail – does not fail – to ask if every person in the bakery needs any assistance with anything before he leaves the bakery. What a charmer. Ken will complete his degree in Linguistics/TESOL at UF in a couple years, and already has native fluency in French.
Leannis – Assistant General Manager
Leannis is the bakery’s mama bear. She professes not to understand why, but her compassion and levity make her a natural confidante and advisor. And she makes absolutely delicious pastries. After graduating from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Performance Arts and a brief stint in New York City, she found her calling in the kitchen. If you hear showtunes during Uppercrust’s quieter moments, that’s Leannis. When she’s not baking at Uppercrust, Leannis bakes at home, unless she’s at Crafty Basterds winning trivia on Wednesdays.
Ben – Owner
Ben is humbled to build upon Uppercrust’s legacy. He thanks Alton Brown for initiating him into the world of feeding people, and questions what the heck he’s doing now with Cutthroat Ktichen and all that bluster. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mr. Rogers and Josh Ozersky are personal heroes. When not at the bakery, Ben can be found losing to his brother at tennis, playing an irresponsible amount of chess online, and golfing with his dad.
Megan – Patissiere
When you look up the word “sweet” in the dictionary, you’ll find Megan’s picture. Unendingly considerate, and the kind of person who will apologize profusely when you collide into her and it’s totally your fault, Megan endeared herself to everyone at the bakery from day one. Megan’s favorite food is pie (an objectively great choice) and would beat most people in a hip-hop dancing contest.
Raphaela – Counter Server
Erudite, sharp-witted and committed to solving problems, Raphaela is a dream server. She is finishing her masters’ program in Anthropology at the University of Florida this year, and we are so lucky that she is able to work on Fridays and Saturdays when she is off from class. In her minimal spare time, Raphaela can be found reading science fiction novels, preferably with a Strongtree Espresso.
Sam – Baker
Sam’s amiable nature can be misleading. Formerly the area’s best high school soccer defender, his work ethic and determination permeate all he does at the bakery. Good thing for us – Sam is our preppin’ weapon, doing most of the unseen tasks that make many of our products so exceptional. When away from the bakery, Sam watches his beloved Arsenal soccer team.
Sarah – Counter Server
Sarah is a proud ACR, incredible artist and an absolute force of positivity. After finishing high school at Eastside, Sarah completed her degree from Santa Fe in Nutrition Science, focusing on the psychological aspects of eating. She’s also pretty awesome at closing the store efficiently, cleanly and completely. Sarah “fitness-parties” with Zumba in her free time.
Savannah – Counter Server
Savannah personifies integrity. Completing her masters degree in library science from the University of Florida, Savannah’s quiet demeanor belies her intelligence and preternatural ease in completing all tasks asked of her. Savannah hosts many of our Saturday cheese tastings, and her lovely displays and generosity of spirit highlight the experience.
Tirsit – Counter Server
Tirsit’s humility, graciousness and steadfastness to work are an example for all. After graduating from Santa Fe, Tirsit has been at the bakery for four years, and has not seen a coffee mishap or register malfunction that she cannot fix. Tirsit will start PT school very soon, and the free moments she gets are spent with her fiancé, Daniel.
Victoria – Counter Server
Centered and calm, Victoria is an example for all her co-workers. Victoria majored in Russian at the University of Florida, and humors her co-worker Leannis’ broken faux-Russian ramblings. At the end of a long day, she has been known to eat pints of our apricot preserves with a spoon.
Wade – Bread Shaper
Wade grew up in the forests of Kentucky and developed an appreciation of culture and the outdoors. He is blessed by two lovely daughters and has lived in Gainesville for twenty years. In his words, his “pursuit of happiness has led to a career in culinary arts. I love making fresh, beautiful, and nutritious food for people.” Wade can be spotted shaping our breads daily at Uppercrust. We are so lucky to have him.