Biz Buzz: Opening a gluten-free bakery in Idaho Falls

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SALES BUZZ

IDAHO FALLS

Late baker’s closest associates launch bakery in his memory

A tray of goodies made at the Guardian Bake Shop. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS – Randy Jensen, the beloved baker who owned Baker’s Dozen in Idaho Falls for many years, has spent his life serving his homemade treats to customers.

More than a year after his death, some of his closest associates are perpetuating his legacy with the launch of a bakery in his memory.

The Guardian Bake Shop opened in Idaho Falls on June 22 inside Teton Village at 2095 East 17th Street. His ex-wife, Jillian Metzger, co-owns the business with her daughters, Samantha and Alysa Matheson, and her husband, Darrel Metzger. Jillian’s son Dustin, who works at the Costco bakery, is also implicated.

RELATED | Opening a new bakery in Idaho Falls this fall

The bakery is dedicated exclusively to gluten-free desserts and serves customers five days a week between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

“Customers who come really like (the hours). They like the possibility of being able to stop after work, but also to come a little earlier in the morning”, explains Jillian.

The menu includes a variety of donuts, cookies and cakes, some of which are also sugar-free, dairy-free and egg-free. The old fashioned sour cream donut is the bakery’s most requested item, says Jillian.

Chili Cheese Cornbread, a leftover from a restaurant Darrel once owned in Swan Valley called The Wagonmaster, is also available.

The decision to focus solely on gluten-free items was prompted by Jillian’s sensitivity to gluten, which often made her sick or caused adverse reactions.

“I ended up…getting breakouts (sometimes)…to the point that it was bad enough that I (wanted to avoid it at all costs),” she says. “I started cooking and cooking differently, and it was happening at the same time as our life at Baker’s Dozen.”

RELATED | Beloved baker who ‘never stopped doing what he loved’ dies unexpectedly

Read Randy Jensen’s obituary

She refined her recipes over the years, and after Jensen’s untimely passing, she saw the opportunity to open her own boutique.

Jillian and her daughters spent many years working alongside Jensen, and they inherited his love of baking. Her rolling pin hangs on the wall above the counter where freshly baked donuts are on display.

rolling pin
Randy Jensen’s rolling pin is prominently displayed in The Guardian Bake Shop. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

“We’re planning to do a mural (of him) over there on that wall,” says Jillian.

RELATED | Iconic Idaho Falls bakery returns under new ownership and offers free donuts

The company name and gnome logo are also a loving tribute to Jensen. Samantha says Jensen worked long hours and got grumpy at times. At such times, she lovingly called him a “grumpy old gnome.”

guardian logo
A sticker with The Guardian Bake Shop logo on it. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Jillian started crying when she explained that “The Guardian” has a double meaning that implies that Jensen’s spirit is the guardian of her bakery. At the same time, it is an expression of his desire for the company to be a guardian of people’s health, as Jensen’s death was health related.

She is planning a grand official opening for the bakery. A date has not been determined.

She would also like to start selling bread, rolls and cinnamon rolls in her store. Jillian also hopes to offer a lounge area for customers in the future.

“The other day, customers came to us asking if there was a place to sit. The atmosphere is just something you want to enjoy, and I imagine we would do the same wherever we go,” says Jillian.

Jillian says seeing customers visit the bakery has made this business “fun” and “endearing”, and she looks forward to constantly improving her products over time.

The Guardian Bake Shop is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

indoor bakery
An interior view of The Guardian Bake Shop. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

BIZ-BITS

LDS Church buys property in Rigby

RIGBY — A 73-acre parcel of land across from Rigby High School was recently purchased by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Andrew and Jorelle McClellan with Silvercreek Realty Group bought Farmington Station, which surrounds Dansie Dental on ID Highway 48 in Rigby, in January 2021. They originally planned to turn it into a mixed-use development with residential housing on the rear 10 acres and commercial space occupying the rest.

RELATED | Biz Buzz: New development project in Rigby is getting mixed reactions from the community

The project never moved forward, but public records obtained from Jefferson County indicate the church purchased it. We don’t know what he intends to do with it. Larry Fisher, a Pocatello-area church representative, told EastIdahoNews.com that Latter-day Saint leaders don’t usually discuss such details with the public.

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