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-eight years have seen a lot of change in the bakery, but four principles have guided Uppercrust since its inception:
- “Close-your-eyes-delicious” food
- An experience that enriches the mind as well as the senses
- Continual improvement
- Trust in our guests’ good taste
Our 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 Jackie’s vision.
Becky – Baker
Becky comes to Uppercrust after an impressive academic and equestrian background. Becky works with a deep and abiding attention to detail and commitment to doing things the right way, no matter the time or effort. The result: sugar cookies with icing edge-to-edge, loosely mixed, crumbly scones, and prodigious amounts of cake batters, infallibly creamed and incorporated.
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 that newfound bluster. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mr. Rogers and Josh Ozersky are personal heroes. When not at the bakery (this is rare), Ben likes to watch documentaries and golf with his dad.
Christine – Counter Server
Christine is a consummate professional who aspires to be a political researcher and/or adviser. For now, Christine pours her ambitions and smarts into connections with guests and co-workers. Christine is also a ride-or-die Gator and Boston Celtics fan. Needless to say, it broke her heart when Al Horford was traded.
Cody – Baker
Cody is a thoughtful and excellent worker. Uppercrust is grateful to have someone with such breadth and depth of hospitality experiences, and such true feeling for great service. Cody takes care of details like well-folded linens and evenly applied croissant fillings so details like how regulars take their coffee are consistently remembered. When not at Uppercrust, Cody writes and plays Kendama, the Japanese skill game.
Emily – Baker
Emily sometimes (or, often) uses the phrase: “I’m here for it.” It’s great; affirmative, eager. Whatever we throw at Emily – new products, a process change, whatever – she’s here for it. Emily is a baker at Uppercrust, but is also an exceptional barista. When away from Uppercrust, Emily helps tend to her husband’s mushroom farm, and centers herself in time spent with friends, often involving more coffee.
Emily – Counter Server
Emily is an artist. An MFA from UC Davis, and recent transplant to Gainesville with her husband, Emily has a colorful and fun artistic style that says a lot about her warm, positive (and lovably quirky) personality. Emily is also a superb – SUPERB – barista who improves Ben’s afternoons regularly with espresso beverages. In her free time, when not drawing, Emily is a terrific knitter.
Jenni – Baker
Do you have that friend who does a really good job listening, and makes sure she understands *exactly* how you feel? Jenni is that kind of friend. Such admirable qualities translate to baking as well: she makes absolutely sure what she does uses proper technique, and achieves our intended flavor profile and aesthetic. Her precise, careful (i.e., full of care) professionalism is a calming influence over the whole kitchen.
Jef – Baker
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 B. – 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 these 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.
John H. – Counter Server
Do you remember the “Everything is Awesome!” song from the Lego Movie? That may as well be John, our chipper energizer bunny. But don’t let that fool you. He’s smart as a whip, and goes out of his way to get cups of water for guests who didn’t ask for them. A pro.
Josh – Service Manager
Holidays 2018, Uppercrust needed another hand on pastry – badly. We threw Josh into the deep end, head first, and he’s been crushing it since. You’d never know from Josh’s easygoing nature that his internal clock buzzes every 15 minutes, sounding the alarms over both shoulders: “urgency urgency urgency,” “efficiency efficiency efficiency.” You’d know it from the way he walks, though. It is purposeful, and fast. He’s taken that same attitude to our service team now, and has led the charge in our espresso craft. In the small amount of off-time we give him, Josh makes the most of his time with his daughter.
Kara – Counter Server
In assessing prospective college basketball recruits, coaches attribute consistently good hustle, effort and a commitment to defense as “a good motor.” Kara has a good motor. Perennially busy, any moment she is not serving guests is spent tidying shelves, organizing products, cleaning… productive things, all times and all ways. These are the kinds of things that standards, handbooks and managers are for, and it is incredibly gratifying when team members like Kara do them naturally. Kara is also a huge Harry Potter nerd, and is a proud member of house Ravenclaw.
Kelly – Counter Server
Ben told Kelly early how important cleaning is to him, and since that moment, she has thrown herself headlong into the endeavor. It’s an act that reflects her character. Kelly is conscientious, a *good* listener, and goes out of her way to make people happy. Before serving at Uppercrust, Kelly was a Junior Olympics (!!) and scholarship volleyball player. In her free time, Kelly and her boyfriend Pat bike to the prairie on their vintage Peugeot bikes when they’re not thrifting, playing Kendama or gaming.
Laura – Baker
A “classic Laura” in the Uppercrust bread room is when you do something that anticipates what a fellow team member needs, and already has it done. Like, pre-staging couches (bread shaping linens) and boards, setting a timer, or pulling a bin to the right place. As you might guess, Laura does this a lot. Soft-spoken, Laura leads by example. And her actions reflects her conscientiousness and intelligence.
Natalie – Baker
After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in Political Science and a minor in History, Natalie chose to pursue her love of baking at Uppercrust. In the future she hopes to go to pastry school. In her afternoons off, she enjoys kayaking, doing puzzles, making cookies and watching Seinfeld. Insider tip: ask if Natalie baked any cookies for the break room (it’s usually a once-a-week thing), and see if we haven’t devoured them yet. And a non-sequitur, but important: Natalie has incredible fashion sense.
Pat – Counter Server
Pat is a hospitality veteran, which is easy to see after one conversation with him. He is so comfortable in his own skin, and connects so readily with guests. You would also know from his love affair with, in his words, “abrasive” flavors. We love that; the idea that flavors can be so intense as to almost push the limit past comfort and even enjoyment. For those as lucky as we are to have three meals a day (and, okay, a couple snacks), abrasive flavors jolt us back into sensing and remind us of the joy of living. Pat gets it. In his free time, Pat hones his Kendama skills.
Sarra – Counter Server
After completing her degree in Communication Science and Disorders at FSU, Sarra has seen the light and begun her Master’s in Speech Pathology at UF. Uppercrust gets her on weekends! Smart smart smart, detail-oriented, and, by her own description, “a cleaner,” Sarra has been an entirely lovely member of our service team.
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.
Trip – Baker
Trip is a Gainesville native, and is making his bread baking debut with us (!). He earned his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Central Florida, and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in statistics. Trip is an avid soccer fan and a lover of books, and can often be found reading. He also enjoys cooking, and joined our team to learn more about the art of baking.