Azusa Pacific’s Bakery Moves to Glendora

by Rachel White

Weekday mornings at 4 a.m., while Azusa Pacific students are fast asleep, the university’s new bakery in Glendora is preparing fresh breads, cookies, pastries, and pizza dough to be shipped by the truck load to APU’s 11 campus dining venues throughout the day. APU moved its bakery from East Campus to the new, larger location, the site of a former bakery, this summer.

Plans are underway to open a retail space on site by November. Called the Glendora Café and Bakery, located at 229 West Foothill Blvd., the store will feature a small dine-in space and an assortment of bagels, croissants, and breakfast sandwiches in addition to cakes, pies, and other baked goods to take home, all made from scratch.

“Moving our bakery off campus to Glendora enables the university to better serve our growing student population, while also serving our community and generating revenue for the city,” said Roger Hodsdon, associate vice president of university services. Hodsdon is also working with local businesses to develop a wholesale component to the bakery.

APU’s head bakers, Bruce Blair of Glendora and Dean Gotto of Covina, have a combined 76 years of experience as professional bakers, skills that they share with the APU students they hire to work in the bakery. The greatest lesson they impart is one of quality.

“We don’t take shortcuts,” Blair said. “We don’t use cheap ingredients or preservatives. Our recipes are simple—real butter, flour, sugar, yeast, and eggs.”

Each week APU produces 650 dozen large muffins, 650 dozen hamburger buns, 600 dozen sandwich rolls, 250 dozen loaves of bread, and 800 dozen cookies. In addition, the bakery creates special occasion desserts such as fruit tarts and gourmet-style cupcakes for campus events and meetings.

According to Samuel Samaan, APU’s executive director of hospitality services, the bakery and all 11 dining venues are run entirely in-house, something that sets APU apart from the majority of other local universities who use an outside food management company. Azusa Pacific also employs 500–600 students who work along side food service staff under the direction of 10 culinary chefs. Many student workers are training for a career in hospitality management.

“By keeping food service in-house, the university can control quality, providing fresh ingredients, many bought locally, and made-from-scratch recipes,” said Samaan. “We offer our students a variety of eating options from sushi to barbecue. We also feature vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menu items.”

The university’s East Campus venues include the 1899 Dining Hall, Mexicali Grill, Cougars’ Den Cafe, Cornerstone Coffeehouse, and Paws ’N Go Convenience Store. West Campus venues include Canyon Grill and Deli, Hillside Grounds Coffeehouse, Quikimart, Sam’s Subs, and Umai Sushi.