Mom, powerlifter and baker—how the ‘carb dealer’ gets it done in SandyFeb 02, 2022 02:04PM ● By Heather Lawrence
“I’ve been powerlifting for four or five years now and I love it. I feel strong and beautiful—and I can eat carbs,” says Carb Dealer SLC business owner Roz Danford. (Roz Danford/Carb Dealer SLC)
By Heather Lawrence | [email protected]
Roz Danford is the kind of dealer you’d want to meet in a parking lot or street corner. She’s got the good stuff. She uses it herself. Her clients tell her they “just need a fix.” And she doesn’t bring along any security—she’s a powerlifter who can take care of herself.
Danford is a completely legitimate kind of dealer. She’s a carb dealer, and what you get from her is baked goods: specialty focaccia, sourdough breads and shaped meringues.
“I’ve always loved to bake,” Danford said. “There are pictures of me baking when I was four years old. When I started powerlifting a few years ago, I tweaked my recipes to make them healthier and adjusted the macros (macronutrients—fat, protein and carbohydrates).”
Her formula was a success. She shared her baked goods at the gym and people couldn’t get enough.
“I met people in the parking lot at the gym to give them their bread, and they started calling me the carb dealer and the name stuck,” Danford said.
Danford loves telling people they can eat carbs. “When I started powerlifting, I lost a little weight, and I thought, ‘Oh no, am I going to have to be a size two to do this?’
“But I found out that I could be happy with my body and be strong and beautiful. I could be plus size and eat carbs—all those things that society says is not necessarily beautiful,” Danford said.
Many diets and weight loss programs restrict foods high in carbohydrates, like bread. But it’s hard to avoid bread for long.
“I had two married clients I knew from the gym, very healthy people. Both of them started ordering bread from me separately, and asked me not to tell their partner, and I didn’t. They eventually found out,” Danford said.
“I protect my client’s confidentiality!” she jokes. “Roz isn’t going to tell your coach or your partner that she just gave you a whole loaf of bread in the parking lot. What you do with the carbs after they leave my hands is up to you.”
As a single mom with a full-time job and a time-consuming hobby, starting a baking business wasn’t what she planned. When she’s training for a competition, Danford is at the gym five to six days a week, two to three hours each day. She says her 12-year-old son is her biggest help and support.
“He’s the sweetest kid and so responsible. He helps when I do pop up events or sell at markets. It’s a family affair. He’s good about getting home from school and doing his chores. He’ll pack me a lunch. He’s my partner and we make this work together,” Danford said.
Growing up in Fiji, Danford learned to bake with her grandmother. “It’s a former British colony, so tea time was important. We’d see things we didn’t have like Oreos, and we’d think, ‘OK, now we need to learn how to make Oreos,’” Danford said.
Danford came to the U.S. in 2000, and doesn’t take anything for granted. She moved around a lot when she was a military spouse, but she’s been in Utah for six years and it’s grown on her. “I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon,” she said.
When the pandemic hit, Danford’s business really took off. “It just blew up. And over the holidays I gained a new respect for how hard bakers work,” she said.
Danford rented space in a commercial kitchen. “I was delivering orders, but it got to be too hard. Now I have a meeting point at 220 E. 8680 South in Sandy. People text me at 385-267-5412 when they arrive and I bring over their order,” Danford said.
Customers can text her or message her on Instagram @carbdealerslc with orders. Her fans are devoted and a little addicted.
“Any chance you’re doing full pans of tomato basil focaccia?” asked one of her regular customers in a message.
Another customer, who grew up in Australia, loved the authentic taste of Danford’s pavlova with passion fruit on top. Other specialties are sourdough bread and shaped meringues.
“Your products are amazing…[especially] the semisweet chocolate meringues, and you are amazing,” another customer wrote to her. While the baked goods are only available locally, Danford makes meringues in the shape of cats or little Corgi dogs and can ship those across the country.
“It’s a lot to juggle, but I push myself and I push my son, too. I will always be baking because it’s my passion,” Danford said. “And sharing what I bake with others is a labor of love.”