So there you are wondering where you can get a gluten and dairy free, vegan dessert that still tastes like dessert.
Great news! If you’re in the Sacramento area, that is. Pushkin’s Bakery, the sweet shop that opened on Valentine’s Day this year is the only “dedicated gluten and dairy free bakery in Northern California,” and they offer many vegan options.
Perusing the boutique bakery’s shelves, you’re overcome by the beauty of the hand-crafted display, Each item rests in its place, unified in size and decorated as if it was meant to be placed on a shelf rather than eaten. The smell from the oven tells you otherwise, and you point to a glazed bundt cake smaller than your fist, “That looks awesome.”
At least that’s how it happened on opening day. That morning, Olga and Danny Turner bustled about baking to perfection and displaying the goods, but they forgot two important things: the cash for the register and labels for the products. Customers piled in, lines formed. And then she asked the question, “ What are those things? They look awesome.” Well, they were little lemon bundt cakes without a name, so the customer replied, “I’ll have three Awesomes.” And then the next customer ordered Awesomes. And then the next. It went on like this for two hours, and Danny and Olga knew those little bundt cakes had earned their name.
The beauty of this story is the Awesomes don’t just look awesome; they taste amazing. Tart lemon licks your lips and tongue as teeth sink into delicate lemon cake that’s not too sweet and has a slight corn cake flavor. They are delightful, and the size works well. For those who just want a little sweet snack, have an Awesome, for those who want a bit more, get two. Either way, your mouth is in for a treat, and if you're gluten or dairy intolerant you get to enjoy dessert again. Now that’s Awesome.
Back when they discovered Danny needed to go gluten and dairy free, there was no handbook for Olga to consult when she prepared their meals. Instead, she revised recipes, cut, added, and tweaked until she created edible dishes. This is how Olga created her favorite bakery offering—the chocolate chip cookie. It’s so divine, Olga eats one every day.
As a result, Olga found her fix and “Danny got his life back.” The couple realized they had something special and began baking for events and eventually distributing their goods in the Bay Area. Some of this prepared them for the 15-16 hour days they work now that the bakery’s open. Currently, the couple has one intern and one employee but plans to expand into a 24/7 production. In fact, they’ll soon begin distributing to Whole Foods and will have their own case to ensure no cross-contamination.
Pushkin’s Bakery buzzed while we visited. They’ve enjoyed mediacoverage, and they’ve got big plans for the future. One thing is clear, they put a great deal of time and energy into their establishment; Danny built all the display cases, and they both serve customers with a smile. “We didn’t expect to be this successful,” Danny says. Given the level of care they put into their work, we can’t imagine them not succeeding. We look forward to Pushkin’s Bakery’s future, and we can wait to see what other awesome things come along.