New bakery opens its doors

BY IAN MURPHY | APRIL 22, 2014 5:00 AM

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Rain might have battered the sidewalks and people, but it did not stop the succulent smells of scones and pastries that wafted out of the kitchen of the Golden Carrot Bakery.

The bakery has been at Public Space One for almost five weeks, but Monday was the grand opening.
David “Gus” Gustafson, the owner of Golden Carrot Bakery, located in Public Space One on the lower level of the Wesley Center, 120 N. Dubuque St., said he is excited about the new venue and looking forward to the future.

Public Space One is a nonprofit that serves area artists, providing them a space to display and practice their work. Gustafson said his art is his baking.

“I don’t feel like I’m very creative,” he said. “But when I make a croissant, I feel like an artist.”

The Golden Carrot serves cinnamon rolls, scones, croissants, quiche, muffins, and a variety of other items. It will also serve coffee and cater to those looking for something healthy as well as those looking to indulge on a tasty treat.

“On one hand, we’re going to make a croissant that is as much butter as it is bread, and then, on the other hand, we’re going to make a paleo muffin that’s delicious and extremely healthy,” he said.

Gustafson said he gained an appreciation for the good food during a high-school trip to France, where he ate a pastry so good he stopped dead in his tracks.

“Every bit of it seemed homemade,” he said. “I didn’t know things could taste so good … that’s what I like to try to do with my pastries — reproduce that feeling for other people.”

He started out making cakes and later branched out to pastries. The business started out as a pastry delivery service, putting fresh and hot pastries on people’s doorsteps each morning, which earned Gustafson the nickname “The Milkman.”

He sleeps from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m., then wakes up and starts baking. Currently, pastries are delivered to local businesses each morning, including Press Coffee Co., May’s Café, Caffe Crema, and the Brown Street Inn in addition to being available in-store.

“It’s a great place,” said Tim Schulte, a regular at the bakery. “It’s undiscovered.”

Schulte said his favorite pastries are the raspberry scones and the Elvis croissant, which contains peanut butter, bananas, and Nutella. The croissants take two days to make and have more than 408 layers.

“It’s been pretty amazing. My vision has always been to have a legitimate, self-sustaining business,” Gustafson said. “That was my vision from the time we sold our first pastry.”

Allison Cramer, a manager at May’s Café, said Gustafson has provided May’s with pastries since 2013.

“Gus, the owner, has been phenomenal to work with,” Cramer said. “He’s very bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:15 in the morning when he drops off the pastries.”

Kirstin Gustafson hopes to see her husband continue to succeed.

“He’s always got dreams and goals a step ahead,” she said. “Little by little, his dreams have become a reality.”

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