For almost 3 years we have proudly carried Red House Bakery’s gluten-free cookies at our downtown Santa Cruz retail bakery. We do not have a GF capability as our factory is liberally dusted with wheat flour all the time. In 2012 we wanted to offer GF alternatives that matched our look and taste profile. We wanted to avoid the off-putting aftertaste and the grainy texture that was so characteristic of GF baked goods. We sampled many products from the Bay Area and were constantly disappointed. One fortunate day Cara and I saw Red House Bakery’s cookies at the neighboring New Leaf Market and bought some. The look of the chocolate chip was very much like our own – nice spread, good thickness, and a bit of cracking on top. The taste was superb. We had finally found a gluten-free cookie that we could be proud to offer to our customers.
The biggest pay-off happened next. Cara contacted the owners, AnnA and John Hayes, and set up a meeting and tasting. The Hayes’ are delightful people. They are deeply committed to full-flavored GF and organic baked products, and AnnA had the background necessary for creative baking. John had just left a significant job at Hewlett Packard to help AnnA manage the business.They were starting out and were growing very rapidly, and were moving into their own gluten-free bakery space. More importantly, they are die-hard San Francisco Giants fans and we have spent many hours and meals luxuriating in the 2nd, then 3rd World Series Championship.
The growth of the business was arduous on them. A bakery startup is physically exhausting. In many ways it’s a young person’s game, and AnnA and John were definitely energetic but certainly not young. Lately they have begun to experience some physical ailments that would become worse if they continued the bakery. So, they decided to shut it down. We are now baking and selling the last of their beautiful cookies at our Santa Cruz bakery and will be out of Red House Bakery dough drops in a week or so.
This is terribly disappointing for us in so many ways. We certainly wish AnnA and John the best and know that the best will find them.
We are currently trying to find a replacement for Red House Bakery GF cookies, and will keep trying until be find something delicious and appealing. We have one that we are excited about but there are a number of steps to go before we have a relationship. It’s possible we’ll be out of GF cookies for a while until we find what we’re looking for. We’ll let you know when our search is successful.
Larry Pearson, CEO.