By Vic Dolcourt – Gluten Free Gourmet is a bakery, café and market located in the heart of Saratoga Village on Big Basin Way, on the western end of Silicon Valley. The bakery offers a wide variety of gluten free pastries and custom cakes and breads, made with premium organic ingredients, with options for dairy free and vegan. The café offers fresh sandwiches, soups, salads, coffees and teas. And the market offers a variety of gluten free specialty products, both frozen and off the shelf, not typically found in large supermarkets.
The location opened in late December and is growing quickly. “It’s wonderful to finally have a retail space with a dedicated gluten-free kitchen where we can cook and bake for our customers,” said Dana Hoppe, who founded the business in 2008. “We’ve come a long way from baking in a shared kitchen and the four products we started with at the farmers’ market.”
After taking those four products to the San Francisco Fancy Food Show, Dana knew she had something special. She rented a dedicated kitchen in Campbell and spent the next four years selling wholesale to specialty markets and local restaurants. “People would taste our products and come to our warehouse location in Campbell,” recalls Dana. “They were looking for specialty cakes, pastries and sandwiches on our delicious breads. The logical next step was a retail location.”
The bakery, café and market offers both indoor and outdoor seating. It is a friendly and spacious environment with a toy corner for kids. Dana wants all of her customers to feel comfortable with their dietary restrictions and even customizes recipes for those with multiple dietary restrictions on a special order basis. In addition to the café menu, the bakery also does wedding and special occasion cakes, as well as holiday pies and breads.
The next step is a dinner menu to complement the gluten-free beer, wine and hard cider sold in the café. “I really want to provide all of the common foods that many of us have missed since going gluten free”, said Dana. “Since we built the kitchen from scratch, we know the space is gluten free, and we welcome suggestions for our menu. It is all about what the customers want.”
Gluten Free Gourmet’s chefs are graduates of the Art Institute of Sunnyvale. Dana believes in hiring local talent and supporting young chefs as they start their careers. “Working at the bakery and café is valuable experience for them in learning to cook for people with a wide variety of food allergies. Rotating shifts at the front counter allows them to empathize with the customers and really care about the food they are serving” states Dana, a ten-year Saratoga resident. “Saratoga is a town that loves its food, and we want to support the community with products and a menu created for people with food allergies, and made delicious for everyone.”
Dana posts special events on the bakery’s Facebook page, so look for special hours and events. The bakery’s website includes the daily café and bakery menu, and you can pre-order and initiate a special order online. The café also uses Door Dash delivery service.