Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet Freedom Bakery: It's Gluten-Free and Allergy-Friendly!

Recently, a friend passed along a link to a new bakery in Philadelphia, called Sweet Freedom Bakery.  She said it was worth trying as they cater to those who need allergy-free and gluten-free foods, so I took a peek at their website.  I was amazed!  The variety is fantastic and they list all of their ingredients as well as allergy information.  It is clear that they have experience with food allergies. 

I decided to pack my family in the car and take a drive over the bridge to check them out.  There is seating available inside of the bakery, so we were able to sit down and enjoy our treats along with a cup of tea and other drinks.  They also offer a variety of teas, coffee, juice boxes, bottled water and sodas with agave nectar.

Sweet Freedom Bakery is located at 1424 South Street, between 15th and Broad Streets and can be reached at 215-545-1899.  Parking is available on the street or at one of two parking lots on the same block.   Their hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 10 am - 7 pm, Sunday 10 am - 4 pm, and they are closed on Monday.

The bakery is owned and operated by Allison Lubert and Heather Esposito.  Heather is also a natural gourmet chef and they are both certified holistic health counselors.  They opened Sweet Freedom in January of 2010 and have been serving very happy customers ever since. They offer a variety of cupcakes, muffins, donuts, cookies, loaves, and classic favorites such as brownies, blondies, macaroons, oat crumble and magic bars.  There are some seasonal selections, as well as some new and changing items that are not listed online.  All of the ingredients are clearly displayed with each selection.

During our visit, we tried a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting, chocolate donut with chocolate frosting, ginger snap cookie (a seasonal option), carrot cupcake with vanilla frosting, "magic bar" and vanilla crumb cake with chocolate ganache (which is not listed on their website).  We savored every bite of every treat.  They were all absolutely delicious.  What's more, they are free of dairy, egg, wheat, gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts (with the exception of coconut), and even refined sugars. They use a variety of gluten-free flours, such as rice, garbanzo, fava, tapioca and sorghum, and they use natural, unprocessed low-glycemic sweeteners such as coconut sugar, agave nectar, and maple syrup in lieu of refined sugars.

This was the first time my son, who has Eosinophilic Esophagitis and reacts to multiple foods, was able to eat any baked goods that I had not made myself.  It was a very special moment.  His favorite was the magic bar.  It isn't possible for me to choose just one favorite from all that they offer.  I am torn between the magic bar and vanilla crumb cake with chocolate ganache.  They also had cookie sandwiches that were very tempting, but considering all that we had already tried, we were quite content.  I guess we'll just have to plan another trip to try them, too. 

Anyone who would like to taste test these sweet treats for themselves, but are not close enough to visit in person, can place an order for delivery.  They ship anywhere in the country via UPS.  Just call them at 215-545-1899 for details.

Sweet Freedom's website is http://sweetfreedombakery.com.

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