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.
Alejandro – Kitchen Shift Lead
Alejandro is an empath. The first thing Alejandro did when he became one of our kitchen leads is ask team members what motivates them, and how they like to be positively reinforced. Brilliant. Alejandro is also the kitchen’s Swiss army knife, and we can count on high quality work from him across eight kitchen stations (!). Everyone loves Alejandro. After work, Alejandro cooks, plays video games, and continues being his adorable self.
Anya – Kitchen Shift Lead
Like running a 9 route and hitting high notes on the flute, some people just have a knack for it. Anya is a talented and dexterous baker with a remarkable work ethic to match. If you get specialty cake from Uppercrust, there is a great chance that Anya has personally attended to it. Our kitchen manager gets regular reports from Anya about how we can reorganize things, do things differently procedurally, and what spreadsheets she has made to make those things happen. Their reception is tinged with a degree of dread (the push-push-push of improvement carries communication and destabilizing implications), but a little fear is good. It reminds us that we’re alive. … Anya also loves her pit doggo and is a great sister.
Ben – Owner
Ben is excited to build upon Uppercrust’s legacy and place in the community. He thanks Alton Brown for initiating him into the world of feeding people. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mr. Rogers and Josh Ozersky are personal heroes. When not at the bakery (this is rare), Ben likes to watch documentaries, play fantasy football, and golf with his dad.
Cody – Kitchen Shift Lead
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 and product. Cody cares about details like evenly applied croissant fillings, and passes along those nuances during training with and feedback for kitchen team members. When not at Uppercrust, Cody writes and plays Kendama, the Japanese skill game.
Emily – Service Shift Lead
Emily is an artist and color enthusiast. An MFA from UC Davis, and recent transplant to Gainesville with her husband, Emily has a colorful, complex artistic style that feeds on positivity and the exuberance of life, while (if I may) simultaneously jabs at the powers that be. Emily brings her charisma, amiability, and deeply hard working nature to our service team. In her free time, when not making, Emily is a terrific knitter.
Jef – Maître d’Croissant
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. Jef 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 here.
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.
Liz – Service Shift Lead
Liz is a talented chef who opted for a change of pace in service at Uppercrust. Liz aims one day to have her own jewel box restaurant, cooking and serving personally meaningful, soulful food inspired by her relationship to her partner. Liz runs on coffee, and makes special mix tapes for her friends for her monthly mix tape group.
Megan – Office Manager
During the height of the COVID pandemic, most of our service team was quarantined from a possible contact for 10 days. It was also Valentine’s Week. Megan was our MVP, working 8 days straight, and *rough* hours. Megan was unfailingly, unflappably positive. Her delegation of work during an attenuated time was also truly inspiring. Performance like that doesn’t just happen. It is the product of someone who has decided to make a life of serving others, and takes work home with them because they want to; memorizing service standards and workflow prioritization because being hospitable just matters. As our service lead Liz says, “Megan’s the sh*t.
Mike – Kitchen Shift Lead
Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours to become truly expert at a task. Mike would fool you, though, so nimble are his hands, and quick is his mind. Mike is also spectacularly nice, extremely hard working, and fun to work with. Mike enjoys gardening, and hanging with his partner and dogs on his days off.
Tirsit – Service Shift Lead
Tirsit’s graciousness and steadiness are an example for all. Tirsit has been at the bakery for six years of good, great, and grueling services, and has not seen a coffee mishap or register malfunction that she cannot fix. Tirsit has finished physical therapy school, and spends her free time baking, doing aerial silks, and hanging out with her fiancé and cat.
Trip – Kitchen Manager
Trip is a Gainesville native. 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 initially to learn more about the art of baking. He’s gotten (and earned) significantly more than that in the bargain. Trip has a methodical, clear-minded approach to work and organization, and models and shares his techniques for both to our kitchen team daily.