Companion was created in 2006 with the help of a supportive community and out of the love of hearty sourdough. In the early years Erin spent long days in the kitchen hand-mixing all of the dough, baking, packing and working the famers markets. The work of those long days was made lighter by the many hands of many friends. It seemed no one owned Companion, it was led by the few of us that had the vision to see it through. You could say that Erin was the last one standing —literally with dough up to her elbows. Early relationships were formed with local farms to put lofty loaves of sourdough in CSA boxes and slowly a solid, loyal customer base was built. Today we still see the faces of our first customers. Companion thrives now because of this great foundation.
A self taught baker, Erin loves a kitchen with aromas of cinnamon, butter and the tanginess of sourdough. She holds a degree in Agriculture & Fruit Sciences from Cal Poly State University. She continued her education at UCSC completing the CASFS (Center for Agro-ecology & Sustainable Food Systems) program. It was during this program that she brought her love for agriculture to the kitchen.
In 2008 Erin met Jeremy and they fell in love over bread and avocados at the farmers market. Jeremy is the main reason Erin continues to bake. Not only does he love baked goods, but he has a love for great coffee. Jeremy brought caffeine to the business and he is the passion behind Companion’s coffee bar. Most importantly he is the grounded, loving business partner that was needed for Companion to thrive. Jeremy spends his time co-managing Companion, working full time as a registered Dietitian and helping to raise their sweet daughter Annie Rye.
In 2010 Erin & Jeremy found a home for Companion and opened the Bakeshop doors on the Westside of Santa Cruz. Much to their surprise the Bakeshop has been greeted with happy lines of customers that come back every day. These days, Companion is still run as a family; meaning the business has grown from 2 people to over 20 employees. We still can’t believe it! Our employees are the butter to our bread. They have become the soul of Companion. Together, we work hard for our community, our food system and our love for turning great ingredients into delicious pastries and sourdough breads.
For us, Companion Bakeshop is a love story. It is the story of a business that has so much heart and soul that it seems an anchor to our community. It’s not often that you hear of a collaborative beginning like this, but we are thankful for ours and we open our doors each day ready to share it with you.