I’m especially proud of our gluten free coffee cakes. Not just because they highlight the versatility of our flour but because they’ve been a pleasant surprise from a marketing perspective.
I developed these coffee cakes years ago at a time when I thought there really weren’t many offerings in the breakfast area. All of our products to this point were gluten free desserts. The cheesecakes and brownies have many fans and the cookies have taken off from the moment we launched them. Naturally, we hoped for the same result for the coffee cakes.
I thought the Cinnamon Pecan was a “must” from the very start. It’s always been a classic flavor in my mind. When I think of a coffee cake, Cinnamon Pecan is the first thing that comes to mind. Which is not to say that it’s boring! I think it has broad appeal and can be a real comfort food in the morning.
I tried a number of other flavors before deciding to go with Blueberry Almond. The way the toasted almonds in the crumble interacted with the blueberries was too good to resist and so I decided this would be my second variety.
At the time, I was developing the coffee cakes in pretty close collaboration with another great baker who was a senior member of a really great baking team at one of our retailers. You can imagine my chagrin when I found out that he had moved to another company before we launched. Unfortunately, when he left they decided not to pick up this part of our line. I had done a lot of test baking, had sourced the packaging materials and made labels. I was, as they say, all dressed up with nowhere to go.
But the story has a happy ending. I showed the product to the Bakery team leader at Earth Fare and she loved them! She immediately brought them into all of their stores and they’ve been a fixture there ever since.
In the few years that have followed, we’ve seen more and more retailers pick up these delicious gluten free coffee cakes. The strong fan following these items have picked up has been a real joy to watch and as of this writing they are continuing to gain acceptance as more people fall in love with the light and fluffy texture.