Gluten-free bakery opens

Swoon co-owners Robert Byrnes and Jordan Gregory also own The Cake Box.

A gluten-free bakery has opened in Ridgefield.

A grand opening celebration will take place at Swoon,   109 Danbury Road (Copp’s Hill Marketplace), on Thursday, Feb. 7 with free samples from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Swoon is owned by The Cake Box owners Robert Byrnes and Jordan Gregory. The Cake Box is a cake and cupcake bakery on Big Shop Lane in the village and , offers a variety of gourmet cupcake flavors and custom cakes.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley and a wide variety of people in the U.S. try to eat little or no gluten at all. According to The Los Angeles Times, the market for food products without gluten has grown tremendously and is expected to exceed $6.6 billion by 2017.

Going “G-free” is a necessity for some people and a choice for others. According to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, some 18 million Americans have a sensitivity to gluten. Another three million Americans suffer from celiac disease, an autoimmune digestive disease triggered by the consumption of gluten that can lead to malnourishment and cause other health issues. (Experts estimate that 95% of those suffering from celiac don’t know that they have the disease.)

People with a wheat allergy must have a gluten-free diet. And many Americans avoid gluten because they believe doing so helps control their weight or symptoms of other conditions such as multiple sclerosis, autism, thyroid disease and ADHD.

“We decided to open a gluten-free bakery when The Cake Box outgrew our Copp’s Hill Marketplace location because we have been making gluten-free treats for customers that requested them,” said Ms. Gregory.

“Now that we have a dedicated gluten-free location, we can offer our customers the highest guarantee of no cross-contamination with other ingredients that may be problematic for them. Which means they can relax and enjoy a cupcake like everyone else!”

The bakers at Swoon are interested in hearing what customers want. “Our relationship with our customers is very special,” Ms. Gregory said. “We always have samples for people to try when they come in and we want their feedback. Because we bake everything ourselves on premises, we can experiment and be very responsive.”

But some things are consistent day to day at Swoon — such as the selection of gluten-free cupcakes in flavors such as red velvet, sweet and salty caramel, double chocolate and lemon drop. “Many people tell us that they don’t care about gluten-free — they just like our cupcakes,” Ms. Gregory said with a laugh.

Swoon also makes several vegan and diary-free baked goods such as chocolate bundt cakes, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate cupcakes and banana tea cake. The menu of vegan and dairy-free items will grow as demand increases. Additionally, no nut products are used at Swoon, which is beneficial for many people.

Swoon also makes layer cakes by special order. According to Md. Gregory, “Many people with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity have had to do all their own baking for years. The joy they get from being able to buy a bakery birthday cake that they can fully enjoy is incredible.”

Swoon is  open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 5 p.m.

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