Although Companion Bakers and the heart of the operation, owner Erin Lampel, have been putting out the finest breads and baked goods in the Santa Cruz area for several years, Companion’s formal storefront is only one year young. In that short span of time, Erin and partner Jeremy have radically transformed the old Beckman’s facility into a cozy, modest yet enchanting retail space featuring an impressive array of delectable treats and breads that draws customers from all over the region. Just to name a few of their worldly accomplishments, Companion has received honorable mentions from the Santa Cruz Good Time’s magazine as well as being prominently featured in Edible Monterrey Magazine. No small accomplishment for a veteran bakeshop, let alone one that is just beginning its fruitful journey. Actually, their unique style of baking, variable yet dependable bread selection, attested recipes and graciously jovial staff has some arguing that Companion is the best bakeshop in town.
Companion is more than a bakery, it is also the only good coffee shop on the west side. In fact, it is highly debatable that they are better than most shops in town. The combination of professional techniques, high quality coffee, and a passionate staff has certainly made Companion a notable coffee destination. This reputation and caliber is not entirely the aim of the bakeshop. But one can’t complain; you are getting the best of everything under one welcoming roof.
While their unconventional ingredient combinations and unique spins on traditional favorites may deter some (especially regarding sugar on the buckwheat scones and the density of their superb coffee cake), for most others, this eccentricity is why Companion is their daily spot. Where else will you find fresh baked quiche with kale, caraway, tomatoes, and bacon every morning? Or Fougasse bread with peaches and Gorgonzola? Or a goat milk cappuccino? Who will do all that and do it well? Companion.
This last month marked their first year anniversary as a formal retail shop. Everyone on staff put together a little celebration to express our gratitude and show how much we appreciate the support of our customers, friends, wholesale partners, and the comminity. Music was abound, fresh treats were plentiful, and baby goats were just waiting to be loved and played with. Some of the special items we featured were our dark chocolate sea salt, ginger, and coffee peanut butter cookies paired with goat milk ice creams such as caramel salt, coffee, and lavender honey. Other treats included special peach black tea, the Semolina loaf, and an assortment of breads with goat cheese and house made apricot preserves, all served by our dedicated baking staff. To add to our excitement, owner Jeremy and his band played amazing live bluegrass throughout the morning. “We are infatuated with goats,” he once said. Funny, but true. Who doesn’t like goats? Especially baby goats? Local farmers and friends of the shop brought some of their beautiful baby milk goats to add a special touch to our morning of celebration. Everyone enjoyed them, especially the staff.
Thank you to everyone at Companion Bakeshop for working so hard and blessing the community with such wonderful food and a warm environment. Your passion, ethnusiasim, and creativity are an inspiration to everyone who calls Companion their home. Jeremy and Erin have earnestly dedicated themselves to putting out the best products simply because they love it. This care is reflected in everything in the store. Their professional passion has brought together the most sterling group of bakers, bread makers, and baristas, individuals who are beyond talented in their own right, into an almost literal family. I congratulate you on the first of many successful years of business and prosperity. Cheers and Bonzai.