Pastry chef, food lover, and Flagstaff enthusiast, Dara Rodger is the Owner and Pastry Chef at Shift, a restaurant located downtown that is casual with a modern twist. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, Dara went to the University of Denver to study Restaurant Tourism Management. At first she was interested in hotels, but she quickly switched over to the restaurant side of things to express her creative side. “This allowed me show who I am, while also pleasing and educating others.”
Dara’s culinary journey took off when she attended the Cook Street Culinary School for four months. Each month focused on different food categories, “pastry was the last month, and I knew I was going to love that. That was just my personality, it is really methodical and extremely calculated.”
From there she worked multiple jobs that helped shape her career. She was the Pastry Chef at Sweet Basil in Vail, she worked in the bakery and restaurant at Frasca Food and Wine in Denver, and she ended up in Flagstaff as the General Manager at Tourist Home when it first opened.
“I come from a family from entrepreneurs so I knew that I wanted my own place and I knew I wanted it in Downtown Flagstaff,” said Dara. That is exactly what she did. April 1st, 2016 Shift was officially open for business.
Dara loves everything about her job, “creating the community that we have, not only in Flagstaff, but within the team that we have is my favorite part of my job. We all really like each other and I think that is really something to see. Doing that with the community is great too!” She also enjoys giving suggestions to everyone who passes by or stops to eat at Shift. “Some of my go to places are Rendezvous, Firecreek for coffee, and I’m really into Karma, Il Rosso's, and Pato Thai for lunch. As for shopping, I love Mountain sports and the Old Town Shops are fun, they are very Flagstaff.”
Dara loves the sense of community that downtown brings, she says “it really nice to not feel like a business owner who is alone. We have support in different places all around downtown and I think all of the things happening around town are great for Flagstaff.” If you ever find yourself downtown, make sure to stop by Shift to have a homemade croissant with Dara, and then walk around town to check out her recommendations!