Gluten and wheat free kitchen brings delectable baked goods to Mount Pleasant
One sleepless night a few months ago Arlene Kennedy found herself surfing the web when her prayers were answered. An ad on Craigslist for a retail space jumped out at her, and she realized her dream was about to come to fruition: a gluten free bakery, housed in a heritage building in a great location.
Jump forward to June 2011, and My Goodness! Gluten & Wheat Free Kitchen was born. Arlene had been looking for a space for her gluten free bakery for over a year, and when she walked through the doors of her current space in the heart of Mount Pleasant, she knew she had found it. Not entirely familiar with the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, Arlene had no idea the potential the location held. Needless to say, she was pleasantly surprised.
The idea for My Goodness! Gluten & Wheat Free Kitchen was created a few years after Arlene’s daughter, Arianna, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Upset with the lack of tasty treats available, and appalled by the astronomical prices these unsavory items charged, Arlene realized it was her “mission to provide good, healthy, affordable and wholesome food to the population”. So she set out to re-invent gluten free baked goods.
Arlene wanted to set her products apart from many that are rice flour based, and uses a mixture of flours; most commonly using almond flour. She also strives to create “a good, wholesome, nutritional” product, and even uses certified gluten free oats to achieve this. Using oats is something that sets Arlene apart from many other gluten free bakers, as oats are slightly controversial in the gluten free community. Oats are often produced and manufactured in close proximity to, or even with, wheat, so many Celiacs steer clear of them. Arlene is trying to make the nutritional value of oats known, and therefore includes them in her baking. In fact, her granola is one of her best sellers!
With the number of specialized bakeries increasing, some people come into My Goodness! looking for vegan or dairy free items. While some of Arlene’s products are dairy free, she tries to stick to her philosophy of creating a good gluten free product, and honouring the Celiacs who come to her for a tasty affordable treat. Arlene says it is tempting to get into the market of vegan baking, but her focus is strictly gluten free.
Arlene’s focus on gluten free definitely shows in her products. Ranging from carrot cake (her best seller), to granola, to quejos (Brazilian cheese buns) and cupcakes, Arlene has something for everyone! And she carries products you won’t find in most gluten free bakeries; other than the granola, Arlene bakes crackers and flatbreads. Her crackers are available in a variety of flavours, including rosemary crackers, and her flatbreads include an herb and garlic flavour.
Whatever you’re looking for, Arlene is sure to have it. On the savoury side of the menu, the quejos are fabulous! The one I tried didn’t make it two minutes once I was back in my car. Light and fluffy, with an amazing asiago cheese flavour, I will be back for these! The cornbread is also a wonderful savoury treat. A moist square of cornbread, this one contains real corn kernels and hints of jalapeno for an authentic flavour.
As for sweet treats, the coffee cake with a cinnamon brown sugar walnut strudel in the middle was amazing. A perfect treat for a morning coffee, an afternoon snack, dessert, or whatever! It was so moist I had a hard time believing it was actually gluten free.
And if you’re not actually looking for something to eat right away, Arlene carries the necessities needed for you to do your own baking; mixtures of baking flours, and even xanthan gum line the shelves.
My Goodness! Gluten & Wheat Free Kitchen is the perfect addition to the burgeoning Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Being the only gluten free bakery in the area, My Goodness! looks like it is in for a long and successful stay in the city, and will hopefully become a staple grocery stop within the gluten free community.
Check out My Goodness! Gluten & Wheat Free Kitchen online at http://www.mygoodnessglutenfree.com
Or visit them in store at 235 East Broadway, between Main and Kingsway.