Unless you are a celiac who has been living under a rock, you’ve heard by now that actress Jennifer Esposito not only has celiac disease but recently opened her own gluten free bakery in New York City called Jennifer’s Way. Jennifer’s whole philosophy is based on her belief that food should be enjoyed and not feared. Everything in the bakery is gluten free, soy free, dairy free, refined sugar free, and egg free. I was psyched to have enough time during my trip to head down to the East Village to check out her bakery and hopefully run into her. Unfortunately she was not there that day.
The bakery has a very rustic, homey atmosphere. It is extremely small and if you’re walking fast, you just might walk past it. There’s a small counter for 2 people to sit as well as a table where 6 can sit comfortably. The menu is written on a chalkboard inside and seems to change depending on the day. When I visited, there were bread, cakes, cupcakes, pop tarts, donuts, cinnamon rolls, pretzel sticks, pies, bagels, and more – all made fresh that day.
Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcake
I settled on a chocolate cupcake that was $5.00. It was very moist and delicious; however, I must admit that spending $5.00 on one cupcake is not something I could see myself doing often even if I lived in the neighborhood.
Gluten Free Bagel
I also ordered a bagel for $4.50 which I unfortunately forgot to photograph. The bagels come in different flavors (plain, cinnamon raisin, poppy seed, or sesame seed) and I settled on the poppy seed. This was my first gluten free bagel and it was also very good – chewy with a nice consistency and it tasted very similar to bagels I remembered from my gluten-filled days.
Jennifer’s Way Bakery also sells mixes you can pick up as well as copies of Jennifer’s book called Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease. You can also order her products through her online shop if you’re not in the New York City area.
Jennifer’s Way Bakery is a great option if you are looking for off the beaten path gluten free items like bagels, pies, cinnamon rolls. It has a very inviting atmosphere and it is very exciting to be in a place – particularly a bakery – and have such a wide variety. I would especially recommend it to anyone who has additional food allergies or sensitivities beyond gluten. I think Jennifer is certainly succeeding in her mission to make food accessible and not feared by those of us with food allergies. I look forward to returning and trying more of her products in the future!