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.
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 – Counter Server and Baker
In Emily’s words, she does “…aight.” Let us assure you, she does far better than that. But as is always the case, a degree of humility creates an attention to detail and commitment to hard work otherwise unachievable. Engaged, thoughtful, diligent – the kind of person who takes great notes and studies them afterward without any prompting – Emily possesses the attitude needed to serve and bake well.
Hailey – Counter Server
Hailey is a compassionate soul. Beyond regular check-ups on all of her co-workers’ emotional states, Hailey possesses a rare quality that invites guests to share their days. Staying present, genuinely engaged in these moments, while juggling Ben’s myriad side projects takes grace. In her free time, Hailey games with her boyfriend and tends to her expanding food forest.
Hollie – 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.
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 and Service Director
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 consummate service professional.
John K. – Baker
John grew up working on his family’s beef cattle farm, and wants to own his own butcher shop one day. Formerly the meat department manager for Earth Fare, John is not only nimble with a slicer, but works with an assuredness and discipline that only comes from the reservoir of confidence built from years of hard work. The craft of baking has many interesting similarities to the craft of butchery, and work at Uppercrust serves as a unique bridge to John’s dream.
Kat – Counter Server
Coming to back to Gainesville after her studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Kat has found a home at Uppercrust. We are beyond fortunate to have her grace our service floor. Kat is a talented artist and photographer; she is also indefatigably cheery, hard-working, good.
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.
Leannis – Baker
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.
Natalie – Baker
After recently 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. For proof of this, you need look no further than her expression when she learns she’s the morning pretzel baker. 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.
Parrisha – Counter Server and Baker
Parrisha is a joy. A natural hospitalitarian, Parrisha comes to Uppercrust after having impressive experience as a nutritionist at Shands and North Florida Hospital, and as a manager at Hardee’s. After mornings and afternoons with us, Parrisha completes her culinary degree from the Escoffier School of Culinary Arts with her four year-old (and sous chef!) Brycen.
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.
Zoë – Counter Server
Zoë won us over during her interview when she recounted a story about an umbrella. At risk of butchering it, on her way over to her bus stop one day, it started to pour. Not a few minutes later, a kind stranger pulled up and gave Zoë an umbrella to keep. Determined to make this a gift that keeps on giving, Zoë has since made it a daily priority to have a spare umbrella in her car to give to strangers when it’s raining on them. That’s enough to win anyone over, but Zoë possesses a quiet strength and dogged stick-to-it-iveness. These are the qualities – not gregariousness, or sycophantic shows thereof – that provide great hospitality during hour six of service when you haven’t had a break or enough water.