Mike was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in high school and began baking gluten-free breads at home with his mom in 2004. He moved from Pennsylvania to DC in 2011. He found the options for fresh baked gluten-free items in the DC area lacking, which inspired him to open Rise Bakery in 2014. He is passionate about making gluten-free life in the DC area more delicious and accessible for the Celiac community. His favorite things about working in a bakery are chatting with regulars, meeting new customers and night baking. He spends his free time with his wife and son and their dog and cat. He is a mediocre athlete who finished in third place in the district finals in the 400 meter dash in 5th grade.
La’Prea was born and raised and in Maryland. She first learned to bake with her Grandma, and has been doing it ever since. In culinary school she was the type of student who trusted her instincts and wasn’t afraid to play around with the recipe. La’Prea thinks people should use logic rather than emotions more often. She brought these skills to Rise, beggining in the kitchen, and is currently the General Manager.
Veronica grew up in San Vincente, El Salvador, and has been working in food service for the last 16 years. Her answer to “What do you do for fun?” is “Work”. She has a daughter who is her favorite person in the world. At Rise she keeps the kitchen going, prepping food and baked goods, cleaning everything, and helping customers.
Juliana is an undergraduate student at American University studying Justice and Law. She is from Nashville, TN where her family owns one dog (Junie), three cats (Sasha, Rivka, and Pandora) and seven chickens. Her favorite thing about living in DC is getting to see the cherry blossoms every year. In her free time she likes to go to museums, read, and bake!