A Tasty Gluten-Free Bakery
The journey to thousands of gluten-free treats began with a single bite. The path led to Tasty Bakery in Ann Arbor, where working out of a postagestamp- sized storefront, Julie and her husband, Ran Rabinovitz, create baked goods that manage to be delectable and healthy at the same time.
The gateway: a flourless peanut butter cookie Julie tried from Naidre’s Café in Brooklyn, NY, where she was living at the time. “I was obsessed,” says Julie. “Hardly anyone was doing gluten-free per se at the time, but this was seriously an amazing cookie.”
Diagnosed with Celiac disease in 2007, Julie, a native Michigander, could find few bakers brave or persistent enough to work out the kitchen science to produce a gluten-free cookie that didn’t taste like sawdust. She began dreaming about opening a gluten-free bakery of her own, one where everything that emerged from the kitchen would be worth putting into your mouth.
When the couple decided to return to Michigan, Julie gave gluten-free a shot. In May 2009, Tasty Bakery began life as a pop-up at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market. Julie experimented—not just with cookies, but with cakes, breads, pies and pretty much every other imaginable baked good. Having ditched the wheat, she started to look for ways to cut back on and replace refined sugar, with organic coconut sugar their preferred sweetener.
Ingredients are fairtrade, local and organic as much as possible. Ran joined her in the business a few years ago. At this point, most of the bakery’s offerings are vegan, and some are completely grain-free. Above all else, everything has to live up to Tasty Bakery’s name and actually be, well, tasty.
In 2015, a brick-and-mortar location became available, tucked into a corner near the Yellow Barn Theater on West Huron, just west of the railroad tracks. The couple makes everything to order by hand and in small batches.
Bars are stars, with luscious, decadent brownies in both vegan and non-vegan varieties. Peanut butter finds its way into melt-in-your-mouth cookies and granola bars; chocolate chips get their own cookie as well as a supporting role in an oatmeal version.
Baked goods include donuts, Michigan cherry scones and breads from a variety of gluten-free flours. Crispy rosemary crackers are a big hit. Seasonal offerings and new offerings arrive throughout the year, and Tasty does wedding cakes and other special-occasion desserts to order.
“We can make pretty much anything with enough notice,” says Julie.
Tasty does have an online store— perfect if you can’t get there in person. But try to visit. You’re fairly certain to meet Julie and Ran, emerging from the bakery smiling, their arms and aprons dusted with flour as lush, comfy aromas surround them—and you. —Nan Bauer
Learn more at TastyBakery