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A trend fresh from the oven Bakeries new and existing serve market for diet-restricted goods

Bakeries new and existing serve market for diet-restricted goods



The Tiffany box sitting on the table is tied up with its signature white bow. Looking immaculate, its contents are just waiting to be eaten.

In Southern Nevada, there's a huge bakery industry filled with homegrown, independent shops that create cakes of all shapes and sizes, breads, cookies and pastries. Since 1959, Freed's Bakery has been a mainstay in the local market. Owner Max Jacobson-Fried said the industry overall seems to be holding its own this year, even with a flurry of new bakeries opening.

"It seems like there's a cake shop popping up on every corner," he said.

JERRY HENKEL | BUSINESS PRESS
Dreamy Desserts owner Penny Redlin smiles as she holds up two dozen chocolate cupcakes hot from the oven Nov. 28.

LAS VEGAS BUSINESS PRESS FILE PHOTO
Max Jacobson-Fried, Freed's Bakery owner.

But, the longtime bakery owner said he thinks there's enough business to go around

"We're still doing well and I hope they're doing well too," Jacobson-Fried said.

Recently, Freed's has been getting more requests for items to accommodate dietary restrictions, including gluten-free and vegan baked goods.

"It's a new realm for all of us," Jacobson-Fried said. "We're just trying to figure out how to cater to these specific segments of the population."

With the increase in special requests have come newly opened bakeries catering to those specific needs.

For instance, Penny Redlin's new bakery, Dreamy Desserts, specializes in nut-free treats. Redlin opened up shop for her items, which are sold by delivery only, after recognizing a niche for nut-free sweets in the valley.

Her son, Connor, is allergic to nuts. Redlin said she tries to make sure she always packs Connor, 5, a cupcake when he attends parties or school events, so he doesn't have to go without when everyone else is enjoying a piece of cake.

"There was one birthday party where I forgot a cupcake," Redlin said. "There's nothing like looking at your child and telling them, 'You can't have cake.'"

After other parents talked to her about their children's nut allergies, Redlin, who previously was a cake decorator and baker, decided to open up shop.

"When your child's life is on the line, you just can't take that chance," Redlin said. "You have to be concerned about cross-contamination."

Redlin creates a collection of made-to-order, nut-free treats and delivers them anywhere in the valley. Since opening a few weeks ago, Redlin has been receiving requests for cake pops. Next month, she's making three dozen cupcakes for a New Hampshire couple's wedding.

Other bakeries, including Beau Monde Bakery and A La Mode, cater to gluten-free customers.

Jacobson-Fried said there seems to be a return to items that use whole ingredients. His strawberry shortcake -- made with Anderson Dairy heavy whipping cream, sugar, white cake and strawberries -- is hugely popular now.

"I think it's because people know what's in it," he said.

Discussing ever-popular cupcakes, Jacobson-Fried said, "I think a few years ago I said it's a trend. It's really surprised me how long they've stayed around."

But he doesn't think the cake pop surge will last, primarily because they're so much more labor-intensive to make.

Overall sales at Freed's this year are holding steady, with one month up, the next flat and the next down.

"We can't find a pattern," Jacobson-Fried said, "but it seems like things are headed in a good direction."

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4588.

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