Plain Talk About Food: Breads rising and baking in Felton
by Colly Gruczelak
Jun 12, 2014 | 2500 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
My La Cloche dome bread baker has been relegated to the garage ever since the smells from I Rise Bakery’s owner, Gardner Lund’s sourdough wheat bread reached my nostrils as I was passing Felton Feed Store a few days ago.


How can this be? I wondered, as I followed my nose a few doors down to the window of the Redwood Pizzeria. Pressing my nose to the glass, I saw a lone figure of a man in the kitchen pulling loaves of delectably smelling bread from the hot pizza oven; a beautiful sight to behold.


Dough waiting to be shaped into loaves before their second rise covered the table’s surface along with scones filled with ginger, almonds and apricots, all ready for their turn in the 400 deg. oven. Tables filled with cookies, sweet breads and special granolas, baked and paper-wrapped, were waiting to be delivered to homes of monthly subscribing customers. All of this happening in a kitchen where only a few hours prior, dough for pizzas had occupied those tables.


Within minutes I was inside this “duo bakery” and shaking hands with bread-baker, Gardner Lund who has been turning out thousands of loaves of artisan breads since 1997.


During those early years, Gardner (also known as Papa G), could be found working nights as a baker for a prominent Santa Cruz bakery and days, caring for his four children while their mother worked her day job. Moving on, Gardner spent several years as Product Developer and Health/Food Safety Manager at Beckmann’s.


Taking advantage of those “at home hours”, Gardner began baking breads, focusing on mastering the art of making real sourdough bread, incorporating lots of whole grains and omitting the sugars, fats, preservative and conditioners that store-bought breads contain today and which contribute to health problems, the latest being the gluten scare.





In order to accomplish his goal, Gardner had to figure out how to process whole grains in the bread in a way to get their maximum nutrition. By using the highest quality organic whole grains and incorporating them into the earliest stages of the process and letting them rise a long time, is one of Gardner’s methods. Gardner does not use commercial yeast in his loaves.


Grains, worked into the sourdough process at the earliest stage, get broken down in a way that unlocks all the vitamins and minerals, and makes them available for our bodies to assimilate very easily, while still keeping all the fiber and other benefits of the complete grain.


Gardner’s breads coming out of the oven are filled with a variety of nutritious whole grains, seeds, and/or nuts. Have a slice of toast and you’re getting high-density nutrition without even thinking about it.


Beginning in Santa Cruz in Gardner’s home, these prized breads were only available among Gardner’s friends in a few of the neighborhoods nearby, where they were being delivered by bicycle; real small town stuff.


By sharing a kitchen that normally sits quiet during the nighttime hours, Gardner’s dream of turning out completely organic breads and other bakery goods became reality.


Today, with a dedicated and growing customer base (many who know each other and are enjoying his weekly home-delivery service by Gardner’s son), Gardner’s business has expanded to a booth at the Boulder Creek Farmers’ Market where his goodies “sell out” each week.


Gardner takes great pride in the fact that his breads “sell themselves.” Friends and their neighbors spreading the word about this incredible bread has led to

more bread being baked and more space needed.


Gardner Lund’s dream of a full service bakery with breads, cakes, pastries, the works, located here in our valley, is taking shape; all Gardner needs is the right space. As Gardner says, if you have the space for it…”let’s talk!


For additional information on I Rise Bakery and to purchase these bakery products, call (831)818-1496 or email I Rise website:



Gardner Lund’s recipe for Summertime Bruschetta


Into a bowl mix:


1½ cups tomatoes, peeled, cored and diced.

1½ cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced.

½ cup minced red onion

8 minced Kalamata olives

2 Tbsp. minced capers

½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

2 Tbsp. ea. roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley and oregano.

1 tsp. lemon juice

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 deg.


1 loaf artisan bread (preferably I Rise) sliced ½ in. thick. Brush with olive oil and toast bread until lightly browned around edges. Rub ea. slice with halved garlic cloves; add topping and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

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