For someone with celiac disease or a dairy allergy a delicious donut might seem an impossibility. But not anymore. Rise Grand Rapids is the area's first allergy friendly bakery and they're on a mission.
It's another day and another delivery for Nick and Becca Van Liere. But their Yum tarts, donuts, and muffins are anything but ordinary. "Rise is a gluten free, vegan and soy free bakery," explained owner Nick Van Liere. "We make baked goods for the allergy conscious or the dietary preferred.
But at the same time we also make baked goods for everybody. Our gluten free products should be as good as any other donut that you are going to have."
Nick started baking vegan goodies back in college, then the husband and wife team started filling orders from their apartment kitchen.
"After a lot of trial and error we perfected a flour recipe for gluten free and just kind of took that and ran with it. A lot of friends tried these new things we were experimenting with and they loved it," said Becca.
That sentiment was confirmed by their families. "They are meat and potatoes, super Dutch eaters. They love their dairy and their cream cheese and they loved it," said Nick.
The first allergy friendly bakery in Grand Rapids, customer reaction to Rise has been fantastic. "We have customers all the time that haven't eaten a donut in ten years because they have celiac disease or a dairy allergy so it's been amazing the response when people see what we are about," said Nick.
"We currently are gluten free vegan which is egg and dairy free then also we are soy free so now we are kind of moving towards, we've seen a lot of requests for refined sugar free so we have a lot of new recipes in development with different forms of sugar that are refined sugar free," explained Becca.
Rise currently delivers to ten different locations around Grand Rapids. They bake in the kitchen of Crossroads Bible Church since they don't currently have their own storefront. "We moved into this space and everything just took off. But we are growing so rapidly and so quick that we need our own space," said Nick.
But they can't do it alone. "We launched a Kickstarter about 20 days ago and we only have about a week left to be able to fully fund our project. Every pledge counts and together we can open a storefront where anybody can come in and get baked goods and feel like they are at home.
Rise also creates beautiful wedding cakes and caters for corporate events. For a list of where you can find their goodies, click here.
If you are interested in helping them fund a brick and mortar location, click here.
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