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Friends of GRAIN: Lift Breakfast Bakery on Lonsdale

A Community Commitment to Traceable, Freshly Milled Flour

Ever since we fired up our mill for the first time early last summer, we've been excited to see the enthusiasm towards using our flour from the restaurant and foodservice community we serve. Since 2015, we have been providing the freshest whole grains and beans to the city's best food establishments (and beyond), and it is now our great honour to be the first to provide Vancouver's first and only milled to order flour program. 

Today, we are sharing some love for the amazing team at Lift Breakfast Bakery on Lonsdale, where co-founder Jane Copeland and her super passionate and talented baker Cass Helps have completely re-vamped their sourdough bread program by committing to using freshly milled flour exclusively. 

This is some envy-inducing news for bread lovers who do not live on that side of the water, but great news for all of our customers living on the North Shore!

The bread program at the Lift follows the team's entire sourcing philosophy, as they are committed to using the best in meat, coffee, produce, and of course their flour too. This is wonderful news for those seeking high-quality sourdough bread in Vancouver, outside of our incredible home bakers and FLOUR SHOP devotees. 

We are so excited to share more about Lift Bakery with you and the team that created this beautiful space. 



What inspired Lift Breakfast Bakery? 

Lift Breakfast Bakery is the realization of my lifelong dream to be an owner of my own restaurant. The concept was inspired by a passion for the industry and a goal to build a space that would be a combined expression of my love for the kitchen, a weakness for breakfast and the desire to bring fine dining caliber to everyday food. 

Is there any one value that drives your ingredient sourcing philosophy at Lift? 

At Lift, the focus is on flavour and quality. The food simply has to taste amazing, and typically the ingredients that deliver the best flavour are also local, ethically sourced, traceable and fresh. We like to work with partners who we build a relationship within our community and who are proud of the product they represent. Everything we can possibly make ourselves, we do, from in-house sausages, smoked pastrami and trout, to artisan bread and croissants. For all the efforts involved in making these, it only makes sense to source Ocean Wise trout from Vancouver Island, local pork shoulder, and flours made from grains grown by Canadian family farms. New Zealand butter is an exception.. Canadian butter is no comparison and up against local, better flavour always wins! 

What was the most surprising thing about opening your business? 

The most surprising thing about opening Lift was the overwhelming kindness and support of the community. When construction dragged on and permits slowed things down, a crowdfunding campaign with generous supporters helped me through. When we were "opening soon" for about a year and a half, locals would still stop to tell us how excited they were. And when we finally opened our doors on April 7th, 2017, the people just kept pouring in!

What is behind your decision to incorporate GRAIN freshly milled flour into so many of your baked goods and breads? 

Honestly, I think Shira put a spell on Cass and I. It is simple to say yes to something that incorporates so seamlessly into our philosophy here. We sourced all the best quality ingredients for everything else and yet it had never really occurred to us to make sure our flour was excellent quality. With GRAIN, it is the whole package deal: quality whole grains, milled to order, grown here on Canadian family farms and sold by a dynamite duo of awesome women. What's not to like?

How did you arrive at your sourdough bread selection? 

While my vision is to have a more extensive line of breads, to start we wanted to have solid basics. The Country Sourdough is our signature sourdough, a great blend of GRAIN Sifted Red Spring, GRAIN Whole Grain Rye, and GRAIN Whole Grain Red Fife Flours. This is the staple of so much of our food here at Lift from our French Toast to the base of the Esplanade Eggs on Toast. The Rye Sourdough is for the heavy duty bread lovers, a dense and heavy, slightly sweet traditional rye.  Our baguette is a whole grain version of the typically white, crispy baguette, much more rustic and flavourful.

Cass is a real talent. Is there any one tip for aspiring bread bakers you could share? 

Tip#1: Baking will always try your patience. Take a deep breath and let the dough rest; it will only be ready when it is ready.

Tip #2: People say that baking is a science, but it is also an art. Don't beat yourself up over mistakes because it takes time, effort and patience. Sometimes mistakes make it better and sometimes they are an opportunity to learn, baking should never be taken too seriously.



Chef Jane Copeland is the proud owner of Lift Breakfast Bakery. With both culinary and pastry/baking training, Jane has built her career at some of Canada's top restaurants including Chambar, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery and The Wickanninish Inn. Driven by a passion to excel at her craft and explore a genuine curiosity for the limitless creative potential of gastronomy, Jane traveled to Spain in 2010 to work at three Michelin star restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian. This led to a once in a lifetime opportunity to work in the pastry kitchen of the world's best restaurant, El Bulli, where she further advanced her skills and techniques. Upon returning to Canada, Jane honed her focus on the pastry kitchen, reigniting a lifelong love for baking bread and crafting pastries. 

Cass Helps is the head baker at Lift Breakfast Bakery. They graduated from the culinary arts program at the College of New Caledonia, Prince George and have been in the restaurant industry since 2010. After cooking for a short time, they discovered that their passion lay in the pastry arts and began baking. Cass lives in East Vancouver and is always striving for the perfect crumb shot!

Follow Lift Breakfast Bakery on Facebook here and Instagram here. Visit their website here to browse the menu, or better yet, pop in to say hello and enjoy the gorgeous space and some delicious food! Take a loaf home to go and enjoy.