Friday, June 10, 2011

Gluten Free for the People!

We have been serving up fresh boiled then baked bagels among the redwoods for over twenty seven years.  In recent years, we have seen an ever increasing demand for gluten free bagels.  Customers have been requesting them at the shop, asking for them on our Facebook page and even stopping owner Dennis Rael on the street to plead for a gluten free product.
In a great victory for gluten intolerant people, Los Bagels has partnered with local gluten free bakery, Arise Bakery.  This somewhat unlikely partnership is a first for both Los Bagels and Arise Bakery, and so far the public has been thrilled to see what the spirit of cooperation can yield, in this case a delicious gluten free bagel.

 Partner John Monahan, with Reah Roberts of Arise Bakery

Arise bakery was founded by Reah Roberts in 2009.  She began baking gluten free breads and pastries for herself in 2005, when she discovered she could no longer tolerate gluten in her diet.  In sharing her creations at potlucks and with other gluten intolerant friends, she found that she was getting an incredibly positive response on the quality and taste of her baked goods.  In an inspired entrepreneurial move, she saw that locally there were very few, if any gluten free options.  She decided to start Arise Bakery to offer fresh, locally made gluten free products to the people of Humboldt County.  Ms. Roberts currently runs a booth at the Arcata Farmers market on Saturday mornings and will happily take special orders for her creations.   The most popular items are her pecan sunflower-seed brownies, strawberry-date scones, brown rice sourdough bread and spiced teff thumbprint cookies.  Arise Bakery also offers vegan options, sugar free options, organic ingredients and locally sourced ingredients.

When asked about this new partnership, Ms. Roberts says, “I am grateful to be partnering with Los Bagels to bring the public a gluten free option.  Customers have been asking me since the beginning of Arise where they can buy my products during the week, and this is a great new option.  Feeding people makes me happy, and it’s wonderful that now people can buy fresh gluten free bagels seven days a week.”

Arise Bakery is now supplying Los Bagels with gluten free bagels.  Los Bagels boils and bakes them fresh daily, so people with gluten allergies can share in the experience of a fresh baked bagel any time they want.  Dennis Rael says, “We are excited to partner with Reah.  I have friends in the community who don’t come to Los Bagels, because one of their children or their spouse is allergic to gluten. The response we’ve gotten from our customers has been terrific.  For people with food allergies, it is a challenge to eat out and I‘m happy some of these folks can come enjoy a Veggie Delight or a bagel with cream cheese and lox.”

Los Bagels General Manager, Cindy Jassar, is working on making sure that their customers know that since Los Bagels is a traditional bakery there is still wheat flour (high in gluten) in the baking environment, and even though steps have been taken to maintain the bagels gluten free nature, there is still the possibility of cross contamination. She says, “We have set up a system to keep these bagels separate from the rest of our production. We have designated separate pans for baking, clean water for boiling and separate cutting boards and knives.    We are educating our staff and our customers about exactly what we are offering, since some people do have an extreme allergic reaction to gluten. So far, it seems a large majority of our customers are only mildly allergic or not eating gluten for other health reasons.  We are also freezing these bagels in 4-packs, for our customers’ convenience.”

Los Bagels is offering these gluten free bagels seven days week at both their locations, on I Street in Arcata and Second Street in Eureka.  For the gluten intolerant people of Humboldt County, you now have a great new option for dining out.  

These bagels are not availbale online just yet...but it will be soon, we promise.

Hasta el dia Soloso

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