Gluten- and nut-free doughnuts, chocolate cakes, rainbow cookies, sandwich bread and flours have debuted inside a long-standing business that has never had them before, but is something of a natural habitat: Copenhagen Bakery in Northport.
The owner of the harborfront bakery, Flemming Hansen, has cleared away one of his dining areas to make space for a mini-shop from Bare Naked Bakery, whose owner, Bridget Dernbach, has produced gluten-free baked goods since 2008.
Dernbach already owns two gluten-free cafe-bakeries — one each in Bellmore and Plainview — and runs a robust wholesale business selling her goods, 98 percent of which are also dairy free. Dernbach is also a Northport resident and earlier this spring, walked into Copenhagen to buy a mask (the bakery was selling sanitizer and masks for awhile in addition to its usual bread, pastries, sandwiches and coffee).
It was less than a year after Wild Flours Bake Shop, a gluten-free bakery in nearby Huntington, had closed. That day, Dernbach struck up a conversation with Hansen. "We started talking about what might be possible. We wanted to collaborate on more than just a product on a shelf," she said.
After months of planning, the Bare Naked satellite opened June 5, with a bakery case filled with individually wrapped brownies, cupcakes, cookies and other pastries, plus a shelf piled with gluten-free flours and half loaves of bread. Frozen pizza dough, pie shells and baguettes reside in a freezer, and coming soon is a kiosk where customers can order special-occasion cakes. Prices ranged from $3.85 for cupcakes to $5.25 for rainbow cookies, $6.75 for a half-loaf of sandwich bread and $34 for a 6-inch chocolate cake.
Hansen said he had long noticed an interest in gluten-free goods. "We had a lot of people come in asking for it, and had the space for it, and when [Dernbach] came in, it was kind of perfect," said Hansen, who founded Copenhagen Bakery in 1998.
Even if Hansen wanted to bake gluten-free breads and pastries, he couldn't: Flour wafts through every bakery, making it impossible to render things fully free of gluten and thus, safe for those with celiac disease. (At Bare Naked, everything is baked fresh daily and then packaged before shipment to avoid cross-contamination).
Dernbach, who began gluten-free baking for a sister who had been diagnosed with Crohns disease, hopes it reopens a channel for those who mourned when Wild Flours closed. "And it's wonderful to do something with someone so seasoned," she said.