I am a regular to the Bittersweet bakery, even though it’s about 30 miles out of my way. Their bread is great — the best GF bread I’ve come across. And I can’t leave the store without one of their monster cookies. They’re loaded with goodies — including pure oats — but I’ve never had a negative reaction to them. Trust me, they are delicious.
Remember if you plan on buying bread to call ahead. You can sometimes get their sandwich bread without reserving it, but the others need to be ordered in advance.
It is encouraging to see an actual gluten free bakery. This indicates that people are becoming more aware of others with special diets and that there is a need for these type of specialized businesses.
Hi gopherfan- welcome! Can you share with us what products you have tried?
I was thrilled when I heard there would be a gluten-free bakery just miles from my home – so I’ve stopped in many times since Bittersweet Bakery opened their doors. Frankly, that initial thrill is gone. I’ve tried and tried to like Bittersweet since I drive past their shop daily – but I have given up. While I really like their muffins (cranberry-pumpkin is my top favorite), I’d concur with the reviews about the lemon bars (bitter frosting, odd flavor of the cake), rather dry cookies, and the lack of bread selections. Their sandwich bread is just ok, a bit too sweet for my family’s tastes, and the other options must all be pre-ordered.
Pre-ordering a special event cake, I understand that – but having to pre-order basic items like bread and pizza crust? Makes no sense to me. I’d think they’d have these on hand all the time (whether fresh or frozen), but customers are required to call in advance to order. My guess is either they sell them too infrequently (which I’d expect, given the pre-order requirement) or they sell them all to the local co-ops and have none left for in-store sales.
I’ve actually tried talking with several different staff members, including the owner, on multiple occasions, but I got the impression that they were so focused on production for the local co-ops who stock their baked goods that my vist and purchase was viewed as an interruption. Any requests for nutritional information have been answered with a pat “it’s all gluten free” reply in a rather defensive tone, as if they were worried I was going for their trade secrets. No ma’am – just wanting to make sure I can eat what I buy without getting sick.
Maybe counter service isn’t their thing, and that’s OK – but then they might want to re-think their options in the gluten-free market – maybe direct sales just isn’t where it’s at for them.
Trust me – if I get great product and great service, I am a customer for life and will be the first to tell everybody, especially when it comes to independently owned businesses. In the case of Bittersweet Bakery, it is bittersweet indeed that I cannot recommend them to my gluten-free friends, many of whom have told me the same thing: skip Bittersweet and make the drive across the river to St Paul to COOQI, where you’re greeted with a smile, great samples, and some of the best gluten-free baked goods you’ll ever taste.