Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Guilt-Free Goodies Taste Like Sin

    Matthew Gilbertson • The Spectator
    Matthew Gilbertson • The Spectator

    If you’re in search of gluten-free treats around Broadway, it helps to know where to look.

    Guilt Free Goodness, a health conscious bakery that opened last Wednesday, is tucked quietly away in the large brick building called Broadway Alley, which also holds Laughing Buddha.

    The gluten-free bakery adds a warm and homey touch to the quirky Broadway Alley. Guests are greeted by a colorful blackboard that boasts the current cupcake flavors, pastries sit nestled in wooden wicker baskets, and a miniature Ferris wheel displays colorful cupcakes in a whimsical counter display. On the back wall, a rustic “Life is Sweet” painting reminds customers of the goodness of baked treats.

    Although the venue is small, the counter is filled with a large variety of baked goods, all entirely gluten-free. The selection ranges from cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, pies, muffins, cookies, and an entire shelf of different sweet breads and regular breads for sale by the loaf.

    I was greeted by a friendly hostess with ready suggestions to help narrow down the plentiful selection. She recommended the snickerdoodles as her favorite cookies, as well as the pizza bites and any of the cupcakes.
    The snickerdoodles were definitely as good as the hostess suggested. Other cookies in the basket included classic chocolate chip and a pink sugar cookie, which wasn’t as pretty as a typical frosted sugar cookie, but is the most popular variety, according to the hostess.

    Large, flat and crisp, the snickerdoodle tasted as good as any glutenous cookie. The snickerdoodle definitely gave the crumbly gluten-free cookies offered in The Cave at Seattle University a run for their money.

    The cupcakes had a harder time comparing to regular baked goods. The salted caramel cupcake was full of delicious chocolate and caramel flavor, but the texture of the cake was a little dense and chewy. Likewise, the pizza bites were on the dry side, and could have used more flavor.

    For gluten-free goods, however, the treats exceeded expectations, especially the cupcake, which was not only gluten-free but vegan as well.

    Owner and baker Dawn Purbaugh, who also owns the original Guilt Free Goodness in Monroe, decided to add vegan items to the menu in order to cater to the preferences of Seattle customers. Over half of the cupcakes, as well as most of the breads, are vegan in addition to being gluten-free.

    The prices compare to any regular bakery, with cookies for about $2.75, cupcakes for $3.20 and pastries at various prices in between. The loaves of bread are a little pricier at about seven dollars a loaf, but a delicious preservative- and gluten-free loaf of bread can be hard to come by.

    The bakery’s size becomes noticeable when looking for a place to sit and enjoy treats. The bakery contains only two small tables; room enough to share a treat with friends, but not enough space to study or meet with a larger group. The bakery is also in want of background music that adds to the character of most Capitol Hill cafes and, although the bakery offers a limited selection of tea and drip coffee, it lacks a regular espresso bar.

    Our hostess acknowledged the bakery’s small size, mentioning that the bakery in Monroe is much larger and includes a full deli menu. The owner hopes to move into a bigger space and add to the bakery’s menu. Before that happens, however, the bakery will have to grow in popularity.

    “It hasn’t been as busy as I expected, but a lot of that has to do with getting your name out,” said Purbaugh. “This is my third business, and so, when you open a business you kind of have expectations that it’s going to take a little time.”

    Purbaugh, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, was lucky enough to find an investor who offered to support Purbaugh if she could make a gluten-free bread recipe as good as regular bread. Today, Purbaugh says that most of the bakery’s customers come in for the gluten-free breads.

    Purbaugh, who has herself suffered from celiac disease since childhood, reports that most customers are gluten-free for health reasons. She also noted that many of their sales come from catering orders for special events.

    For anyone unable to enjoy regular treats, Guilt Free Goodness offers a delicious refuge of gluten-free treats. Customers who aren’t gluten-free will also enjoy Purbaugh’s treats, which are all entirely free of preservatives and artificial flavorings, making them a healthy alternative to processed foods. Next time you’re on Broadway, make sure to stop inside the Broadway Alley and pick up a gluten-free treat from Guilt Free Goodness.

    Alaina may be reached at [email protected]

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