A pastry chef with a gluten allergy seems like a cruel twist of fate, doesn’t it?
Not for Tony O’Dell. He was working as a barista, baking from his licensed home kitchen and not feeling great when he decided to try cutting gluten-y goodness from his diet. It worked. Then his vision in the kitchen changed (cause who wants to bake things they can’t eat?) and in October 2011 he started experimenting with ingredients and recipes.
“I had spent nearly $3,000 before I made a loaf of bread I could eat,” he laughs. By January 2012 O’Dell’s Gluten Free Bakery was born. Since then, O’Dell’s had been concentrating on its wholesale game, selling its breads, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, birthday cakes and more to local businesses like Cafe Brea, 2 Doors Down and enVie, among others, and spending one day a week at the Historic Farmers’ Market.
But as of August 1 O’Dell’s has souped up its retail operation, moving its kitchen opening a cafe space at 3555 Robie Street above the soon-to-be space for artisan cheese factory Blue Harbour Cheese. Serving Java Blend (and a sweet coffee and muffin deal for $3.75), O’Dell says within the next few weeks the cafe will appeal to your savoury side as well, offering warm entrees, sandwiches and salads as well as more take-away dishes.