I have to admit, I get a bit skeptical when it comes to vegan, gluten-free bakeries. How can you re-create the magic of a chocolate chip cookie by skipping dairy and butter altogether? Aren’t those the essential ingredients that make a cookie delicious? But I was pleasantly surprised by Jennifer’s Way Bakery, a new bakery in the East Village run by actress and celiac crusader Jennifer Esposito. The very charming and girlish storefront housed a small counter of attractively displayed cookies, muffins, cupcakes and artisan breads. The bakery’s products are all gluten free, dairy free, soy free, peanut free, refined sugar free, organic and mostly vegan. There are so many restrictions you might think that taste would get lost in the mix, but the baked goods, especially the vegan chocolate chip cookies!, are just as delicious as their regular gluten- and dairy-based counterparts.
My only criticism is that portions are extremely small yet priced at levels comparable to bigger items produced by peers, and the bakery only accepts cash. But I think this is a great addition to the neighborhood, as the cookies are incredible and it gives more options to those who are severely limited by their food allergies. And apparently Jennifer is trying to create some reality TV show based upon her gluten-free bakery, so who knows, you might make a cameo in an episode somewhere in the future!