The smell of freshly-baked cookies, cakes, and tarts from Wholesome Bakery is now wafting down Divisadero, luring customers (with and without dietary restrictions) to try their gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, transfat free, and low-glycemic goodies. The heretofore wholesale bakery’s new brick-and-mortar location opened its doors over the weekend at 299 Divisadero Street.
Owner Mandy Harper founded Wholesome Bakery in 2009 after developing recipes specified to meet her own dietary needs. That said, Harper intends her cupcakes, lemon tarts, and everything else on the menu to be for everyone. “I know that, what we do, we’re really good at,” she told Eater SF this summer. “I think our standards are really high. So I don’t try to compare myself to a gluten-free bakery — I want people to eat stuff and not realize that what they’re eating is gluten free.”
Before securing the new, dedicated bakery and retail space, Harper operated a counter inside Mission District retail store Alite, which she’s now closed. Her prime new location — directly across the street from the latest Sightglass Coffee shop — is all hers. It’s centered on a large pastry case and offers counter and table seating for dine-in customer, with brunch to come.
As Harper explained this summer, “the lovely smell and warmth that comes out of our kitchen will be part of our sit-down retail space.” There, she’s pointing to a tempting component of bakeries that’s often missing from the experience of gluten-free baked goods, which are frequently pre-packaged or otherwise isolated to avoid mingling with their gluten-rich counterparts.
“This has been a long hard road dealing with the city, permits, contractors and more while trying to continue to run a busy company,” Harper freely acknowledged. But the baker, who describes herself as very determined, wasn’t deterred by the process. “I’m really excited that we are finally moved in and mostly settled,” she said. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited of what is to come.”
Wholesome Bakery is open daily from 7 a.m .to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.