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Biz Buzz: A gluten-free bakery that opens in Idaho Falls

Want to know what’s happening in the business scene in eastern Idaho? I’ve got you covered. Here is a summary of this week’s business news across the valley.

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Idaho Falls

Those closest to the late baker launch a bakery in his memory

A platter of goodies made at The Guardian Bake Shop. | Rhett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Idaho Falls – Randy Jensen, the beloved baker who owned Baker Dozen in Idaho Falls for many years, has spent his life serving home-made desserts to customers.

More than a year after his death, some of his closest colleagues continue his legacy by launching a bakery in his memory.

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The Guardian Bake Shop in Idaho Falls opened June 22 inside Teton Village at 2095 East 17th Street. His ex-wife, Gillian Metzger, co-owns the company with her two daughters, Samantha and Alyssa Matheson, and her husband, Daryl Metzger. Gillian’s son, Dustin, who works at a Costco bakery, is also involved.

Related | New bakery opens in Idaho Falls this fall

The bakery is exclusively dedicated to gluten-free desserts and serves customers five days a week between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Despite some initial uncertainty about opening hours, Jillian tells EastIdahoNews.com that the community’s response has been fantastic.

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

The menu includes a variety of cakes, cookies, and cakes – some of which are free of sugar, dairy, and eggs. Jillian says the old-fashioned cream donut is the bakery’s most in-demand ingredient.

Spicy cheese cornbread, a leftover piece from Daryl’s restaurant he owned in Swan Valley called Wagonmaster, is also available.

The decision to single-handedly focus on gluten-free items was prompted by Gillian’s sensitivity to gluten, which often made her sick or lead to adverse reactions.

“I ended up… I got a rash (sometimes)… that it was severe enough (I wanted to avoid it at all costs),” she says. “I started baking and cooking differently, and it was happening around the same time as our lives at Baker Dozen.”

Related | The beloved baker who “never stopped doing what he loves” dies unexpectedly

Read Randy Jensen’s obituary

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

Gillian and her daughters spent many years working alongside Jensen, inheriting his love of baking. The rolling pin hangs on the wall above the table where freshly baked cakes are displayed.

rolling pin
Randy Jensen’s rolling pin prominently hangs inside The Guardian Bake Shop. | Rhett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

“We’re going to paint (him) there on that wall,” Gillian explains.

Related | Idaho Falls’ iconic bakery returns to new ownership and offers free cakes

The company name and GNOME logo are also a homage to Jensen’s lover. Samantha says Jensen has been working long hours and will get angry at times. In those moments, she lovingly referred to him as an “angry old gnome”.

guardian logo
The Guardian Bake Shop logo decal. | Rhett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

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

She is planning a grand official opening of the bakery. No date has been set.

She would also like to start selling bread, cinnamon rolls and cinnamon rolls in her shop. Jillian hopes to offer a seating area to customers in the future as well.

“We had some clients who came the other day and asked if there was any place to sit. The atmosphere is just something you want to enjoy, and I imagine we’d do the same wherever we went,” says Gillian.

Jillian says seeing customers visit the bakery made this project “fun” and “endearing,” and she’s looking to continually improve her products over time.

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

Bread shop inside
Interior view from The Guardian Bake Shop. | Rhett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

Bit Biz

LDS Church buys property in Rigby

Rigby – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has purchased a 73-acre plot across from Rigby High School.

Andrew and Jorelle McClellan of Silvercreek Realty Group purchased Farmington Station, which surrounds Dansie Dental on ID Highway 48 in Rigby, in January 2021. They originally planned to convert it into a mixed-use development with residential housing on the back of 10 acres and commercial space occupying the remainder from him.

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

The project never progressed, but public records obtained from Jefferson County indicate that it was purchased by the church. It is unclear what you plan to do with it. Larry Fisher, a church representative in the Pocatello area, tells EastIdahoNews.com that Latter-day Saint leaders do not discuss these details with the public.

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