City Boy Bakes
Tell us about your business.I got started baking gluten-free when I was diagnosed with exercise-induced anaphylaxis (triggered by gluten). So, discouraged by the options available to me (lettuce or cardboard-like gf foods), I decided I would bake a simple item—a chocolate chip cookie—from scratch. My first step was to create my own flour—a base that I could use for a variety of baked goods, while maintaining the texture and consistency that I remember from traditional baked foods that I missed so much. My flour is made from a mix of quality gluten-free ingredients. From this flour base, I bake amazing cookies. The variety of cookies include such crowd favorites like Rocky Road, Espresso Double Chocolate Chip, Classic Chocolate Chip and Coconut Chocolate Chip, to name but a few. I see my brand becoming the gluten-free Famous Amos, building a nationwide chain of cookie shops that bake locally and give back to the community, sharing my success with local schools and animal shelters.
What makes your business stand out?My business is unique because currently there is not a national gluten-free cookie shop/bakery brand. My brand appeals to all cookie lovers. City Boy Bakes has a playful ring to it, and once consumers try my cookies and other baked goods, they are always surprised by the flavor and quality, and can’t believe that they are gluten-free. The term “gluten-free” still (unfortunately) carries a negative connotation, and the misconception that only those suffering from celiac disease could enjoy gluten-free food, leaving consumers reluctant to try most gluten-free products. I am on a mission to show the world that gluten-free is not a culinary bad word, and that gluten-free, when done right, can be every bit as delicious as traditional gluten-full foods.
What's the best business advice you've received?Make foods that are delicious so that the fact they are gluten-free is simply a "oh and by the way, they're gluten-free." This has actually helped me sell at markets. Some of my signage reads gluten-free options... When customers pass by to sample flavors, they never think twice to consider they aren't traditional cookies. It is actually most entertaining when people who can't have gluten in their diets ask which options are gluten-free and I am able to say proudly "...they're all gluten-free."
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