Many people consider the whole gluten-free thing a fad, but for those who have endured the dreaded small intestine biopsy to confirm celiac disease, it is anything but. The same goes for those whose bodies can't digest FODMAPs—sneaky little fermentable carbohydrates found in certain foods,
including wheat and beans—that can cause extreme, and frequently
While celiac disease affects just 1% of our country's population (a good three million people), estimates for those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, frequently caused by those FODMAP stinkers, range as high as 15%. That's a lot of people who, in order to live pain-free lives, have to avoid delicious staple foods of the American diet: bread, pasta, cookies, and so much more. It's almost heartbreaking to consider as the rest of us unfurl that cinnamon roll,
intent on devouring its warm, mushy, sticky, spicy, sweet, glutinous center.
"I had no idea how grateful people were for my food, and that I was such a necessity to their eating," says Revolution Bakery owner, Dionne Christian. "Before, I didn't know what was going on outside the bakery. Now I understand the need to have good bread and how having it feels really good to that person; if you don't eat well, you don't feel good. I love being able to give them attention and now, again, something they love."
"Before" was Christian's first iteration of the gluten-free bakery, which served devotees for four years before closing in 2016. Christian needed time off to deal with health issues, but also used the space to think about how she could improve the business, not just for customers, but for her creative spirit. Revolution Bakery (418 Cerrillos Road, 346-2669) is now back up and running in the Design Center.
"I love being open again," Christian says. "It's been so great to see all my friends coming back in and being excited. Like a gluten-free reunion!"
Fresh off the soft opening of the bakery's second coming, Christian says she is energized for the future. The hours and options at the new location "allow me to bake while I am here, not having to maneuver around things and bake all night," explains Christian. "Instead of trying to make everything all of the time, which I used to do on a daily basis—and beat myself into the ground doing it—we'll now have specific items on specific days."
As such, Revolution Bakery now offers a rotating menu of baked goods, from bread, muffins, cookies, cinnamon rolls, pies and scones (ranging from $1.50 for a cookie to $16 for a large pie) to breakfast tacos ($5.75), fried egg sandwiches ($5.75), and refreshing fresh drinks such as a tumeric-carrot-orange-lemonade ($3.75). Additionally, seasonal items such as apricot fennel walnut boule are available along with take-home pancake batter (regular and vegan, available in buckwheat, buttermilk, lemon-ricotta and banana; all $6).
"We'll also be doing breakfast specials for those who work nearby, but we're still figuring all that out," Christian tells SFR. "Everything is flexible right now while we figure out the rhythm."
This includes making a point to check Revolution Bakery's website to see what's fresh on any given day.
"We may not have all of the things all of the time but we're going to blow everyone's minds when they come in," says Christian. "We want to surprise our customers and get them to try new things."
Trying new things is in Christian's DNA.
"I dream in recipes and blending," she explains with a laugh. "I don't call myself a chef, I call myself a 'blender.' When I was a kid I went to survival camp and learned about things like food that grew in the woods. That was the beginning of the alchemy for me. I am more interested in alchemy than the cuisine part; blending something to make it taste excellent."
Thus, she says, "I am really looking at the grains I use and how they are milled. I want texture, layers of product—like broken buckwheat groats in a cake, for instance. The texture doesn't always have to be super-fine. Think of the dense Scandinavian breads with sprouted grains that are so healthy."
Christian is also working on expanding the number of vegan items available, adding that "they are the first to sell out," but "we offer 16 breads total, eight of which are gluten-free vegan, and a number of other items."
Other changes that will make gluten-free folks happy include accessibility.
Revolution Bakery now offers subscription boxes, pick up from a
drive-thru window (just call ahead and order), and soon, wholesale.
"The plan is to sell to the local co-op as well as area restaurants that want quality gluten-free products for their customers," says Christian.
Lastly, and likely the best change for Revolution Bakery?
"My creative spirit is being kept alive in this new space," Christian notes,
smiling. "I am making food in the moment and it makes me feel better. And we should always demand better. I want to do the best I can for people."