Trudy and Mo Kalisky are native New Yorkers who came to Davis, California as graduate students in 1970. It didn't take long for the couple to realize that there wasn't a decent loaf of bread to be had in the (then-) rural Central Valley town.
Mo began baking French-style baguettes at home, bringing an academically scientific experience to bear upon the age-old traditions of bread-baking. For years, Mo continued to experiment with new formulas, processes and techniques. In the mid-1980s, the entrepreneurial couple decided to rent a small baking facility and started providing artisan breads to Davis- and Sacramento-area restaurants, specialty food shops, and farmers markets.
With the bakery serving dozens of farmers markets from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe, Trudy became known as “the bread lady” by many market-goers throughout the region. She could often be heard repeating her mantra: “Thank you and eat more bread!”
"EAT LOCAL BREAD!"
In 2016, Mo and Trudy’s son, Lorin, returned to Davis after having lived in Paris for more than 14 years, and took over much of the day-to-day operations of the bakery. Lorin brought new energy and focus to the business, and a renewed effort to source ingredients from Yolo County and Northern California family farms and agricultural producers. Today, our mantra is “Eat local bread!”
Today, The Upper Crust Baking Co. remains one of Northern California’s premier artisan bakeries, as well as one of its oldest. We make a wide variety of unique breads, as well as a few outstanding sweet things.
We bake with local ingredients and support local agriculture in Yolo County and Northern California. Our flours are milled just up the road in Woodland, using wheat from the Sacramento Valley. We use Mariani nuts from Winters, raisins and honey from friends we made at farmers markets, and our chocolate is from Ghirardelli. Our sourdough levain is from a pure strain of Lactobacillus sanfranciscensis sourced from the UC Davis Food Science and Technology department. The Upper Crust Baking Co. is an enthusiastic supporter of the California Grain Campaign and Slow Food Yolo.
Our birdseed loaf won a national award for best raisin bread. And if you like cheesecake, our recipe is straight from the Claremont Diner in Montclair, New Jersey — the same cheesecake on the menu today at New York's famous Carnegie Deli.
You can find our products (and sometimes Trudy and Mo, their children, or their grandchildren) at farmers markets throughout Northern California.