Owners of a family-run gluten-free bakery are hoping to expand its business and will soon reopen in a location almost three times the size of their old spot.
“When I first started I was just going to do one kind of bread, muffins and some cookies,” said Laurie Kielkowski, co-owner of Laurie’s Gluten-Free Goodness, which was originally conceived as a home business.
Now the Scotia business is moving less than a mile from its 350-square-foot facility to a space that is about 950 square feet on Vley Road.
“It is exciting. Very exciting. I think we’re going to do more business that we did before,” Kielkowski said, adding that she had to turn down some business in the past because she didn’t have enough space. She added that the lack of space also made it hard to move around.
Having more space won’t just make it easier to operate, but she can also utilize new equipment, like an automated bread slicer.
Kielkowski’s husband and co-owner, Chester Kielkowski, said the move is something they can do because of their growing customer base.
“In the beginning we didn’t have any accounts, but now we’re supplying a gluten-free store in the Upper West Side of Manhattan,” he said. A variety of other businesses now contract with the bakery, including the Mohonasen school district, he said.
As to whether the bakery will remain busy, he pointed out that a number of people have cut gluten out of their diet and felt better as a result. “A lot of people think it’s a fad, but a lot of people are sick from celiac disease,” he said. Celiac disease keeps people from digesting parts of food because of gluten, which can be found in wheat.
Kielkowski added that in a larger space his wife will have the ability to try making new items, which could attract even more customers. Currently they offer about six types of bread, pizza crusts, muffins, pies and cakes. “My wife, Laurie, will try just about anything,” he said. “At one point in the beginning people asked us to make Pop Tarts for them … It didn’t turn out that well, but we’ll try anything.”
The new location could also foster more of a walk-in business for the bakery, as Kielkowski said it’s now in a busier neighborhood.
The bakery’s long-range plans could possibly include breakfast and lunch offerings.
Laurie Kielkowski began making gluten-free food when she was diagnosed with celiac disease and became frustrated with the offerings. Additionally, her son was diagnosed with the disease.
“She was baking for herself and she got the bug to do this,” Chester said of the impetus for their bakery.
Laurie’s Gluten-Free Goodness is due to open this week. Call the bakery at 374-3454 for information.