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 – Baker
Alejandro is one of our primary croissant bakers, up before 3am so the Gainesville community has freshly baked croissants each morning. It takes a special kind of work ethic and person to wake up consistently at that hour, to structure your life to set yourself up for success during those hours. Alejandro, his gracious self, is grateful for the opportunity to do something that makes people happy.
Alex – Counter Server
Alex joined us after weeks of seeing him daily. “Well,” he figured, “if I’m here every day anyway, how about I try working here?” We’re thrilled this was his thought process. Alex is a joy. Watching him connect with guests so genuinely, so warmly, so easily… it’s special. Alex is a full-time student when not at Uppercrust, and is an avid traveler.
Ali – Counter Server
A talented jazz musician, and seer of beauty in nature and people, Ali and her ebullient spirit are a feature of Uppercrust on the weekends and Mondays. Have you ever had a conversation with someone from Uppercrust at the store or over the phone, and thought, “Wow, that was exhilarating?” Good chance Ali was on our end. Ali studies and practices music education at Santa Fe on her days off.
Anya – Baker
Anya throws her entire being into pastry with the discipline and high standards fostered by her military experience. Uppercrust is very lucky for it all. 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 superb work ethic to match. Anya also loves her pit doggo and is a great sister.
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 – Kitchen 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 demonstrates remarkable empathy during training with and feedback for kitchen team members. 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 – Baker
Emily is an artist. An MFA from UC Davis, and recent transplant to Gainesville with her husband, Emily has a colorful, complex artistic style that says a lot about her warm, positive personality. Emily brings her sense of beauty to our bread program. In her free time, when not making, Emily is a terrific knitter.
Fred – Baker
Fred and I met at a Buffalo Wild Wings fantasy football draft meetup. We became better acquainted when he scored an absolutely sweet trade of my Mike Evans for his Kerryon Johnson. Bad call by yours truly. Bad call. As the old adage goes, keep your friends close… In all seriousness, Fred is a serious minded baker and co-worker committed to integrity and improvement. Monday is our “easy” day, and he always uses it to chase “the perfect bake.”
James – Counter Server
James, bastion of calm to any team member in need. If it wasn’t clear Uppercrust has a lot of type A-ers on board, and James keeps us in line. James has a compendious and staggering breadth of knowledge and interest in music. The pastry pals also had the pleasure and privilege to attend James’ wedding to the lovely Allison. James and Allison are the caretakers of many cats and dogs.
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. 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.
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 – Service Lead
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 and handbooks are for, and it is incredibly gratifying when team members like Kara model them naturally. Kara is also a huge Harry Potter nerd, and is a proud member of house Ravenclaw.
Liam – Server
Liam is a good listener and makes deeply considered decisions. After you say something to Liam, he often takes a moment (just a moment), and glances slightly away. That information is now in there, locked and ready to be applied. Liam is also a devotee of ethics. That can and should be interpreted broadly, and also narrowly: Liam enjoys competing in Ethics Bowl, wherein teams make evaluations and arguments for ethical courses of action. Liam is our resident Francophile – say “Bonjour!” when you see him!
Liz – Counter Server
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 – Service Lead
Megan, a thoroughbred hospitalitarian, graces the Uppercrust service area after working as housekeeping supervisor for Hotel Indigo, a manager at TCBY, host at Bahama Breeze AND getting her degree in Hospitality Operations at FGCU. Megan loves a good operational system, and she has a lot to sink her teeth into at Uppercrust as we ask her to uphold and refine ours daily. Megan is also really… nice. A good person, through and through.
Melissa – Baker
Melissa recently got her MA in Gender Studies from UF, and she is excited to go on to PhD work. For now, Uppercrust is lucky to have her as she throws herself headfirst into baking. She loves coffee and scones, and she often mentions that she’s a Capricorn. She adores her little dog, Luna, and her longhaired cat, Moosa. She left part of her heart in the Netherlands, for better or worse.
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 – 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 in the kitchen to our team daily.