Tasty Bakery is truly a fixture of the Ann Arbor community. When I first shared the Michigan's Best GF bakery tour idea with the Ann Arbor online support group this bakery was immediately suggested and written in by voters. Julie and Ran Rabinovitz first opened their gluten-free business in 2009, in a stall at a local farmer's market. The support "local farmers, artisans and producers" by using ingredients from those in their own community.
Photo Credit: Julie Rabinovitz
For that reason, and so much more, the Ann Arbor community has loved them back. They began a Kickstarter campaign to open a "brick and mortar" store, located on West Huron. The support they received was tremendous. In one month, over $20,000 dollars was donated to their campaign. They opened their new store in the fall of 2015. It won't simply be a place to sell baked goods either. There are plans to use it to teach classes and host community events. It will be a place where you can get a good cup of local coffee, sit and catch up with a friend, and just enjoy the vibe that is Ann Arbor. Here's more in Julie's own words.
1. What inspired you to become a baker? Why the focus on gluten-free?
|Photo Credit: Julie Rabinovitz|
As most stories go, I’ve been baking since I was a kid and always loved baking. While living in Brooklyn, NY, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in February of 2006. I dabbled a bit in gluten-free baking but wasn’t really committed to the necessary diet as I should have been. We decided to move to An Arbor in 2007. I thought it would be a great place to execute some real gluten-free baking and I knew the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market would be a great place to test the waters. Since then, due to my own extended food allergies, we’ve included using organic coconut oil and sugar, doing more vegan, and making sure our ingredients are soy and corn free. My husband believed so much in what I was doing, he jumped on board a few years ago and has helped me expand the business.
2. Are there other highlights of your products? Dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free etc?
Everything we bake is soy-free and corn-free, and almost everything we bake is vegan. We’ve kept a few original that have grass-fed butter and free-range eggs, and also have some dairy-free items. We try and use low-glycemic, organic coconut sugar or nectar in most of our creations. We buy and use local and organic ingredients or buy from vendors who use organic practices whenever possible. We have and are working on some grain-free options. And we’re also starting to include soups, mostly vegan and grain-free, and are working on having light-meal options, i.e., quiche, salads and pizza to go. Our packaging is compostable, and our cleaning products are earth-friendly.
Photo Credit- Julie Rabinovitz
3. What steps do you take to insure that your products are truly gluten-free?
We are a dedicated gluten-free bakery. We never bring gluten in or allow it in our facility. We make sure that we buy from reputable, gluten-free sources. We also make sure our sources are corn and soy free.
4. Do you have any stories of customers who reported back to you how important your products have been in their life?
People tell us all the time how much they love and appreciate Tasty Bakery and our practices. We try very hard to use “clean” ingredients and believe it’s the reason our products are so good. You can read some of our reviews on our Facebook page. (And can add one as well!)
|Gluten-free sandwich bread|
Photo Credit: Julie Rabinovitz
5. What would you like consumers to know about your products and your business?
We want people to know that we put a lot of thought, care and love behind what we do, and this is more than a business to us. Even though most of what we do are desserts, we want to make sure that our things will benefit you in some way, not only in taste pleasure, but somewhat nutritionally. We make things in small batches by hand, we wrap everything by hand in compostable packaging because we care about every batch and what we put into the environment.
416 West Huron, Ann Arbor MI 48103
They open at 10 am Monday thru Friday.
You can also find their products at Argus Farm Stop, Produce Station, Lab Café, Zingerman’s Next Door, all Sweetwaters locations including Ypsilanti, all Mighty Good Coffee locations, Brewed Awakenings in Saline, Cultivate Coffee and Tap House in Ypsilanti. And to see more "Tasty" pictures of what they bake, follow them on Instagram!
Tasty Bakery is one of many great, dedicated gluten-free bakeries across the state of Michigan. Make sure to follow along with my #MichigansBestGF Bakery Search and learn about the over 20 gluten-free bakers in Michigan. Follow this link for a compete state-wide list and interactive map! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope for pictures and live videos too!