Hidden North Van bakery serves gluten-free goodies
Two Daughters Bakeshop isn't easy to find. The small blue and pink bakery is tucked away off Lonsdale Avenue in the alley between East First and Esplanade.
But for people who can't tolerate gluten, it's worth the search.
Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, mini donuts, muffins, artisan bread - you name it and this gluten-free bakery will likely have it.
"I took six to eight months playing around with recipes. I found the right blend of flours to use in exchange for all-purpose flour," says the bakery's owner Lisa, taking a break from cooking a loaf of focaccia. "It can be difficult to cook gluten-free. You just to find the right ingredients."
Two Daughters Bakeshop opened in October, just in time to get on board with the increasingly popular gluten-free diet.
Around one in six people have an intolerance to gluten, according to celiac.com, while one in 133 people have celiac disease, a severe form of gluten allergy.
But for Lisa, the concept was more personal.
She had always wanted to open a boutique bakery, cooking part-time at summer markets, but when her youngest daughter was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, she knew her plan had to change.
Even a very small amount of gluten, which if found in barley, rye and wheat, can give her seven-year-old daughter a bad reaction.
Instead of giving up her dream or excluding her daughter from the business, Lisa decided to go gluten-free.
"She's the creative side behind it all," says Lisa, who is gluten intolerant herself, but not as severe as her daughter. "She suggested chocolate chip icing for the cupcakes and wants to start taking classes to decorate cakes."
At Two Daughters Bakeshop, bread is made fresh daily, an alternative to buying frozen gluten-free bread from a grocery store. Aged cheddar baguettes, roasted garlic artisan bread and lemon loafs are just a few on the menu.
Cookies, donuts and bars range in price from $2 to $3, with a deal for a half dozen, while bread is between $5 and $7.50. Lisa also makes sandwiches to go, including roasted vegetable and ham and cheese.
People can develop gluten allergies at any age, she says, which can be triggered by stressful events. For her, it may have been pregnancy.
"My daughter was used to eating good baking. When we went to the store to buy gluten-free cookies, she didn't like them," she says, standing behind a display of treats. "I knew I could do much better. It turns out I'm an even better gluten-free baker."
Two Daughter's Bakery is located at 121 East First St. in North Vancouver. Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.