It's starting to feel like Spring! The bakery has been a-buzz all month, and we're excited to celebrate March with all of you! With St. Patrick's Day, Easter, and Passover, there's so many different reasons to celebrate with friends and family, and we have just the treat for all of you this year!
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your favorite gluten free bakery! Our award winning, (almost) famous cookies, cupcakes, and brownies will be taking a special green and orange flair! Remember enjoy our seasonal goodies while they are here for a limited time. Cake Pops and delicious Mint Gobs will be making their return to the lineup!
For Easter, we wanted to give that bunny a break, so we decided to prepare three different Easter Basket options! Great ideas for basket stuffers, choose the one that matches your taste the best!
1 6 cupcakes+4 brownies+6 cookies..... $39.99
2. 2 brownies + 12 mini cookies.............. $19.99
Also, be on the lookout for egg shaped sugar cookies, easter egg cupcakes and Cake Pops!
Browse our Holiday Page and remember to place your orders EARLY!
All of our amazing sweets and treats will be available every day, and remember to check out ourFACEBOOK PAGE for daily updates, polls, offers and more!
It's the next logical step for a cozy bakery...we'd love for you to stop and enjoy your treats in a cafe-style setting. This summer, Gluuteny added seating in our Squirrel Hill storefront. Limited seating, but welcoming and comfortable. One indoor (do I smell freshly baked cookies?) and one outdoor (I promise it's really nice during the warm, sunny weather) table with chairs made for a nice spot to rest tired legs and enjoy a GF/CF lunch.
The pizza pockets and pita packs are just right for a mid-day break, but with winter fast approaching, we wanted to add something new, warm, and comforting. We decided that what we were missing was coffee! So we teamed up with La Prima coffee in the strip to offer you some local brews to enjoy with our biscottis, cookies, and tarts. Try the Rachel Carson blend (part of the proceeds go towards the Rachel Carson Homestead), Grow PGH , or decaf, and buy a bag of your favorite beans to take home. As a kick-off, we will be offering a free cup of joe to the first 10 customers each morning through Sunday 11/10! It's the yummiest way to start your morning :)
Last week, we bid a fond farewell (but not for forever!) to one of the Gluuteny family, our beloved baker Josh. He's been a top-notch employee/friend for the past year and he brought a smile to everyone who worked with him. He will be sorely missed, but we wish him all the best in his new career...and you better visit us, Josh!
If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting some of our behind the scenes crew, you're missing out. I think of everyone here as part of a weird rag-tag circus family (and I mean that lovingly). Over the years, we've had quite a few interesting characters working with us, each of whom has added their own personality to the overall feel. When I was hired in 2008, I was surprised to be so welcomed into the tight knit group that already worked here. Almost immediately after I started, I was hanging out with my new friends/co-workers and going to picnics at Mojca's. When Marc started mixing and packaging flour out of her home, she always made him stop and take a break to eat dinner with her family (and she even sent some of her awesome spring rolls home for me!). And this year for my birthday, everyone at work helped in organizing a suprise party. Considering all of the hours we put in before Thanksgiving, Easter, and Christmas, we practically spend every holiday together.
Any of us here can tell you that working at a bakery is more than frosted cupcakes and sweet smells. Sometimes it can be a high pressure, consuming job, not to mention one that starts as early as 2am. But nearing the end of a 12 hour shift, you often find yourself laughing at a someone singing or you might even find yourself hanging out with them at the bar before you even go home. You can stop in any Saturday morning and you're likely to hear a few of our inside jokes or what sounds like a party in the kitchen. We work hard, and we stay sane by playing hard too. It's refreshing to feel so in sync with people that you meet by chance, and it's neat how we all fill our own little niches at Gluuteny. Like our adorable weekend girls, Serena and Natalie, the little chicks to my protective mother hen. Plus there are people I look at as brothers or sisters of sorts. And we've all done something embarassing here at one point or another, but it's okay because we are among friends.
I hope Josh enjoyed his time working here as much as we enjoyed him being here with us. If he's anything like me, he will take with him a lot of the memories and friendships that he's made along the way.
We recently received several Facebook messages and emails regarding customer trips to other "famous" GF bakeries around the country. The support they showed for Gluuteny is a wonderful reinforcement for every new item and store improvement that we make. One customer swore that our famous competitor couldn't hold a candle to our baked goods and pastries!
I like to hear about the expansion of GF options whenever and where ever they pop up, but the standards to which we bake our products reflect how I feel about these new allergen-friendly businesses: quality should always be more important than quantity. Just because you are the only GF bakery in town doesn't mean that you should settle for good enough. Our customers are tired of the same old grocery store freezer section products- the ones that feel like a brick and taste like cardboard. When the people asked for more options, they meant options that you actually WANT to eat!
I really do wish our competitors well, because I want to see GF businesses (and awareness) grow along with the different choices that are becoming available. I love our products, but I still want to continue improving so that we can provide our customers with the variety that they would otherwise miss out on. We have experimented with a lot of failed recipes, and I'm not shy about saying that. I'm more proud to say that we have high standards, and sometimes we decide that certain items don't make the cut. It gives us more experience for the future, and I think it's one of the reasons that we have lasting power. We get compliments on our cute cookies and decorative cupcakes, but we don't rely on trends or one specific item to keep us in business. I'd love to visit some of the GF bakeries in other cities, but just like at the end of a long trip, I know there's no place like home.
Friday we attended the Annual Building Blocks Conference at WCCC, and I left knowing (and caring) a lot more about a common but rarely talked about issue. We spent the morning manning our booth, handing out brochures and samples to parents, professionals, and leaders in the forefront of Autism and Child Development Research. We spoke with some wonderful people and were able to share tips, information, and a few anecdotes about the GF/CF lifestyle. It's nice to get out to those type of events and meet people who might not otherwise get to hear about our story. But it was the woman at the table next to us who really made my day with her inspiring story.
We didn't really have time to talk for the first hour or so, but I would occasionally hear "ooohs" and "ahhs" over what could only be pictures of a baby (you could tell she was a proud Momma by the look on her face). As the crowd filtered into the conference hall, we were able to introduce ourselves and get a firsthand look at what all the fuss was about. Before her on the red, heart speckled table were what looked like family albums. She explained that she was representing a group called Mended Little Hearts. Her son (one of the most adorable, bright-eyed babies I've ever seen) was born with Down Syndrome and a Congenital Heart Defect, or CHD as it's known to those familiar with the birth defect. She said there were no warnings, or signs of a problem until the baby was born. It was quickly revealed that her tiny son would need a very serious operation before she ever even got to hold him. I'm rarely at a loss for words, but as I listened to her I knew that I could never relate to how that news must have felt as she absorbed the doctors words. So instead, I just looked at the photos. And I understood why everyone was making a fuss over this tiny little person, all wrapped up in wires and tubes and an oxygen mask as he lay sleeping in a hospital crib. The pictures told the story of his open heart surgery at 3 months old, how his doctors stopped his little heart from beating while they patched up the damaged parts and put him back together with stitches half the length of his torso. But none of that was noticeable when you saw his joyful expression in photo after photo. He was one of the happiest babies I've ever laid eyes on (both before and after). He was finally in the clear. The picture of him post-surgery, where he looked up at his Mom holding him for the first time, is something that I don't think I'll easily forget. I was completely invested in this little baby, and his family, and blown away how brave they were and how strong someone has to be to survive that. They had been through hell and back, and that little guy looked like he was loving every minute of everyday. It goes to show how much you should appreciate all that life has to offer, and all that you have. That amazing little baby just turned 3 on St. Patrick's day, and his mom is dedicated to giving hope to other CHD families looking forward to milestones of their own.
The woman explained that the second album was full of other children, on trips to ballparks, and with their friends...doing normal kid things. They all had been born with CHD, and had all been given a second chance to be healthy, happy kids. It was not an album of sadness or being sick; it was a celebration of life! Mended Little Hearts provides not only these children, but their entire families with a much needed support system while they await treatment and during their stay(s) in the hospital. The group raises money for CHD research, and provides comfort to the families via care packages with handmade blankets and other essentials. And the families often give back, donating time and energy to the organization by supporting others going through the same situation. They form a sort of extended family, all caring for one another, checking in, lending a helping hand whenever they can. And this album was about them sharing in the triumphs together, at annual meet-ups and events. She told me that many families stay in touch, even if they live far apart or have different schedules. Some of those babies wouldn't have made it had it not been for cutting edge research and the strength and kindness of the network of support. It was so inspiring to see how important Mended Little Hearts's hard work is!
That's where we come in. everyone should go to the website...MendedLittleHearts.org. Get informed about this issue (1 in every 100 newborns has a CHD) and get involved. We can raise support for the families, and Gluuteny is going to have a supply drive to make sure as many people as possible find out about how wonderful this project truly is. The organization also does walks and community fundraisers! You can write to your legislatures about funding research for CHD! Be on the look-out for upcoming in-store info (I'll post more online soon). If we all give a little bit of hope to these families, it would mean the world to them. Please take a few minutes to check it out and pass along the word! :)
We've been doing interviews galore here this week. Several students from CMU, Pitt, and Point Park have stopped by to speak with us about projects for their classes. As it turns out, market research for GF business ventures is big right now. With an ever growing demand for healthy alternatives and dedicated facilities, many entrepreneurs are researching what it would take to open up a GF (and/or CF) restaurant in the area. As Gluuteny has recently expanded within the community, we were asked to share a little insight into how one runs a successful GF establishment.
We do get a lot of request for savory and umami items and meals. It's easy to see why, whether you have food sensitivities or not. An important thing for business owners to remember is that when menu options are not all inclusive, they can be entirely exclusive. For example, if I can't find a vegetarian option at a restaurant, not only will they lose my patronage, but also that of my entire party. Inclusion is a huge part of the dining experience, and if I can't feel like my needs are a concern to be taken seriously, I would rather feel safe and satisfied just eating at home. On the same note, I want friends and family to enjoy their dining experience without worrying about allergens, sensitivities, contamination, or simple preferences being an issue.
One thing that I would recommend to anyone looking to start a GF business is a huge investment in customer service. The people I help on a daily basis have occassional special requests, and I think they the effort to meet those demands are well worth the work. We try to make requests a reality if at all possible, because we are sometimes the only place with the ability to fulfill our customer's needs. We owe it to them to go above and beyond what they expect, and some of those special requests have turned out to become regular menu items thanks to customer suggestions.
Hopefully in the near future, GF lifestyles will become more accessible in every city, and you won't have to worry about explaining yourself to a baffled looking waitstaff. Don't hesitate to ask for accommodations; they help businesses (like Gluuteny) continue to improve. A good business model is shaped around making customers happy, and I think the current surge in popularity is making a strong argument in support of that. I can't wait for the first GF eatery in Pittsburgh, and maybe we can even partner with them when they arrive!
I'm proud to say that I'm becoming an awareness junkie. Thanks to the Internet, you can now find out pretty much everything about anything, and once I get started I often find myself rubbing my eyes hours later, still glued to the screen. And I'm learning new things, getting excited about new ideas. I feel like it helps me better understand who I am, and what I enjoy, and the thigns I stand for. I think awareness is key to a lot of things, and the world would be a much nicer place if people were more understanding and better understood. An important part of being aware is being educated about not only about one's personal interest and experiences, but also being open to things that you'd like to be more informed about. I'm not just talking about a formal education. I think that firsthand some experiences that you go through by choice can be just as if not sometimes more rewarding. When you are forming personal opinions about politics, world views, or even how you feel about Hines Ward leaving the Steelers, you can only make an educated assessment once you've heard all the facts. Sometimes an "outsiders" opposing point of view and be refreshing and even bring a little extra to the conversation. You'll have yourself to thank when you immerse yourself in something that expands your horizons!
Which brings me back to Gluuteny, and what I learn from interacting with customers. I see how important it is for you all to do your research, and ask questions. It's inspiring to see entire families who react to a diagnosis with support through education. Fortunately, I'm not a celiac myself. That doesn't stop me from finding out as much as I can about the lifestyle, helpful resources, interesting facts, and new products. I want to be a knowledge sponge, absorbing everything I can so that I am a reliable and helpful source for customers who might have questions for me. And also because it satisfies my curiousity, making me more confident and informed. But a lot of people who don't have to be gluten free don't even care to try a free sample (the more for us!) when they come in with g/f or c/f friends. Some have even decided that they won't like it without having ever tasted and (that goes for you too, g/f-ers who won't try our delicious dairy-free cheese)! As I get older, I want to push myself to expand horizons, and resist the temptation to become complacent. One of the scariest things about growing up is that there won't alwasy be someone else to push me, so I have to be that voice of encouragement. Ask questions, try new things, put yourself out there (even if it's outside your comfort zone), and read, read, read! The beauty of learning is that you have nothing to lose.
Hello again, thanks for stopping by this week's blog! I have a few cool Gluuteny updates to tell you about today...
We have a great new promotion that rewards you for giving the gift of Gluuteny! For ever $100 in gift cards that you buy in-store, we will throw in an additional $10 "Gluuteny Dough" card for you to treat yourself! Giving has never been so sweet :)
If you haven't already heard, time is running out to sign up for our $100 giftcard drawing! All you have to do is visit our awesome website (how convenient...you're already here) and enter your name and email address on the homepage. It's literally free cookie cash. And when you come in to redeem your fabulous prize, I might throw confetti at you just to show everyone what a VIP you are. We will select one lucky winner on Saturday March 17th...sign up now!
Secondly, we're having a cookie eater casting call! Some kids are piano prodigies, while others are football legends, and a few are little Van Gogh's. But the time has come for a new breed of child star. We want the ones who eat cookies, and we want to photograph them for our website. This might be the only time that we actually encourage them to get chocolate all over their faces. Our friend Milla, a professional wedding photographer, has agreed to help us document some of our littlest fans right here in the bakery, and we'll add the new pics to our website! If you are interested in having your child be a part of our project (which involves free cookies!), please contact me via email at
for more info. Check back soon for details and specific dates to follow!
Last but not least, we wanted to announce that Gluuteny goodies are now available at both Chatham University and The Carnegie Museum!
Now that we've gotten those updates out of the way, on to the good stuff. I strongly urge anyone in the need of a good laugh to head over to www.cakewrecks.com. It's sort of like an instant self-esteem boost for anyone who hasn't mangled a cake during the decorating process. I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry at some of these monstrous creations, but I can assure you that recieving the "Push, Olivia, Push" cake would make for a very memorable/uncomfortable baby shower. A few must-see disasters include "The Flashdrive", "It's Hatching Men", and anything under "Antique Mystery." You won't be dissapointed, and you might have a new found appreciation for our beautiful cakes!
I'm wearing shorts on the first day of March! Not the best idea, but man does it feel good :) Spring is just around the corner and it's a wonderful feeling when we can start to leave the door open and get fresh air in here...and you know you secretly love it when cookie smells waft out into the sidewalk before you even step inside! My cat even got to enjoy the luxury of basking on the open windowsill yesterday, and I trust him a lot more than that seedy looking groundhog.
Spring is all about breathing new life into things: baby animals, flowers, even people's moods. It's a time to get excited about being alive and enjoying the simple pleasures that come along with shedding the heaviness of winter. I love seeing Squirrel Hill come out of hibernation every year, when the whole neighborhood wakes up and rememebers how many cool things there are to do nearby. I decided that I wanted to try something new to celebrate this feeling so I'm taking a knitting class with a friend, and I think everyone should channel the revitalizing energy of spring by learning new things, or going exploring (or trying something that you've always wanted to do but were always too scared to)! You could even experiment with some of our mixes and whip up an awesome GF treat for your friends! The mission, if you choose to accept it, is sure to be fun :) Tomorrow's high is supposed to be 65 degrees and I'm going to wear shorts again no matter what, just because I love this feeling.
It's almost quittin' time on Friday, so I just wanted to take the time to remind everyone that the weekend is the unofficial time to spoil yourself. Guilt-free, well-deserved cat naps and personal indulgences are not only acceptable, but encouraged. Even when I'm working on a Saturday morning, I know that I'm only a few short hours away from "me" time. You can forget that huge school project that you've been dreading, or the tedium of your workweek. It's time to wear your comfy-est sweatpants, eat cake, and watch your favorite movie. And not worry about a thing, at least for a little while. Yes, a cake. Because it's time to celebrate you and your sweatpants.
In today's world, it's easy to forget to appriciate the small things. Remember to reward yourself! So give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy an extra cookie for me, it's been well earned :)
I've been thinking a lot lately about my favorite foods. I'm a live to eat type person who was raised in a eat-as-if-youre-fattening-up-for-hibernation family. But next week, my love affair with food will be put on hiatus. I'm having 4 wisdom teeth and a molar taken out. Knowing that I won't be able to eat solid foods for a few days, I wanted to make sure that I indulged in every imaginable craving before it was too late. That "not-last meal" menu was not a decision to take lightly, so I knew I had to do some thinking about what foods I wouldn't want to live without.
I suddenly found myself looking to customers for inspiration. You've gotta work with what you know and after all, I am surrounded by white almond cupcakes, pizza pockets, and Glutino pretzels for the majority of the week. But I hear a lot of sad sounding stories that start with, "I wish I could still eat..." or "I really used to enjoy...". Sometimes I can't have the foods I'm are craving at that minute, but for other people that "minute" might be all the time. It's hard to think of missing out on that one amazing dish that always makes you feel better.
Our favorite meals (and the memories we share around the table) are too good to let go of, which is why I'm so glad to see allergy friendly foods becoming more widely available and mainstream. I checked online, and a quick search of popular GF restuarants returned multiple mobile GF applications and printable guides. I now have an free phone app called "Find Me Gluten Free" that directs me to the nearest GF restaraunt, complete with user reviews! I was amazed at how many sites conveniently list both locations and menus of nationwide eateries that accomidate special diets. What a relief it must be to know that you're not alone anymore, and how nice it must be to take that long-anticipated first bite of GF pizza (or that first sip of GF beer)! To cut and taste your own wedding cake when you never thought you could is a feeling that most people probably don't understand, but must mean the world to those who do. Whether it's a heart shaped sugar cookie for your Valentine or birthday treats to nosh on with best friends, comfort food is universal. Within a few days, I had a new understanding of how important Gluuteny treats can be to our customers. I had become Glutenlightened.
I'm still not sure what's on my special menu, but if you see something in the paper about the "Mexican Wedding Cookie Massacre," you should know that I enjoyed every last bite, and I hope yinz do to.
P.S. Someone came in today and told me that she was making pierogies with our basic flour mix. She's forging the brave new frontier of GF comfort foods and I hope she comes back with tales to tell of the best pierogies ever made. And hopefully one day, her recipe will become someone new favorite dish. :)
Welcome to our new blog! I'm geeking out a little (ok, a lot) while writing this, because it's a pretty big honor for me. That might seem weird, but if you could work with me for a day, you might understand why Gluuteny has become such a huge part of my life.
Our little shop is starting to make a big name for itself. More and more people are stopping in, asking about not only our baked goods but also our story. Back in 2007, most people had never even heard the word "gluten". Being dairy-free was something that our parents warned us about ("If you don't drink more milk, you'll have brittle bones!") But it was the story of Mojca, our amazingly dedicated founder, and her dream to make a cookie as perfect as her daughter that everyone understood. I'm so proud to work for a company so based in love and hardwork. I still hate hearing about how hard it is for new customers to transition into a g/f lifestyle and how much they miss their favorite foods. But the nice thing about my job is that I get to be the person that introduces them to a place where they can feel not only normal, but special; where everything is made just for them.
A huge part of why I love what I do is because of you. I get to help you plan your graduations, weddings, and baby showers. You've been with me through a car smashing into our storefront, 19 hour Thanksgiving shifts, and you've even said rather nice things about several very bad haircuts I've had. I get to work with some of my best friends and I can honestly say Gluuteny people have become my humongous extended family, weird uncles and all. So if you see me walking around Squirrel Hill, (yes, I do have legs behind the counter), don't be suprised if I say hi. You keep everyone here striving to be their best, and I love that. Because of this I invite you to celebrate with us as we grow and expand throughout the community. You've given us direction on the road to where we are today and I'm glad to be along for the ride. So cheers to you, little boy who tries to reach under the glass for a cookie because you want it NOW. And to you, lady who cries when she sees her first real birthday cake in 8 years (you don't look a day over 21). And cheers to you, guy who tells me to thank the bakers for making cookies that remind him of his Gram's famous chocolate chips. I can't wait to see where we're going next!
Contact Info Conveniently located in the heart of Squirrel Hill 1923 Murray Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15217 412.521.4890 Any inquiries, questions, or comments:
Store Hours Sunday 10 am to 2 pm Monday Closed Tuesday 10 am to 6 pm Wednesday 10 am to 6 pm Thursday 10 am to 7 pm Friday 10 am to 6 pm Saturday 10 am to 6 pm