Jared Carr was a modern-day nomad living out of a converted school bus before Whale City Bakery Bar & Grill hired him as a barista. Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Santa Cruz, Carr thinks he got his wanderlust from his dad, who was a truck driver. He’s thankful he landed in Davenport—the small-town family diner emits plenty of good vibes and boasts ocean views of the whales migrating north to Alaska from January until March.
The menu features traditional diner fare, but the spot’s scratch-made baked goods have gained considerable notoriety. Some stand-outs include the ham and cheddar croissant, vegan apple and chocolate muffins, an assortment of pies and not-to-be-missed staples like the giant glazed Bearclaw filled with a sweet brown sugar mixture and topped with sliced almonds.
Whale City is open every day from 6:30am-6pm. Carr recently discussed the cherished pastries and his way of life.
What makes your baked goods best?
JARED CARR: We make them fresh every single day; the bakers show up at 3am to have them ready by 6am, and they really put a lot of love and personal attention into each and every pastry. We source most ingredients locally, and the recipes come from the original bakers and owners passed down family traditions. We are one of the very few places where you can grab a pastry and a coffee and enjoy them on the beach in a matter of minutes.
Tell me about your nomadic lifestyle.
Living in Santa Cruz, I have no reason to leave. But with such a high cost of living, I’ve chosen this alternative lifestyle where I live in a school bus that I bought and built out into a small house on wheels. It has allowed me the freedom to live in Davenport and serve this awesome community and the diverse assortment of people from all over the world that pass through. And it also allows me to save my money in hopes of one day buying property in Santa Cruz and building my future home.
Whale City Bakery Bar & Grill, 490 Highway 1, Davenport. 831-423-9009; whalecitybakery.com.