Downtown Charleston, SC, will welcome its first gluten-free bakery this fall with Sweet Radish Bakeshop on Spring and St. Philip streets, according to reports on Eater.com. San Francisco transplant Julia Ingram moves into the former Jericho Advisors space on August 1 and hopes to be ready for business sometime in September.
With aspirations to woo pastry fans with and without celiac issues, Ingram will be selling sweet, savory and seasonal gluten-free tarts, muffins, cookies and brownies.
While many Lowcountry purveyors may market gluten-free offerings, Sweet Radish will stand alone with its certified gluten-free kitchen. This might not sound like a serious issue to those of us that can enjoy wheat, barley and rye, but certified gluten-free is manna to the mouths of celiac disease sufferers. Nothing containing gluten will pass through Ingram's kitchen, so there's no risk of cross-contamination.
Ingram is currently constructing a small kitchen and sales counter at 207 St. Philip St. "I'd like to open as a small-scale bakery with a focus on retail," she says, "and eventually work closely with Charleston restaurants."
Ingram moved here with her boyfriend, Egan's Oast head chef Andy Henderson, in March and hadn't initially planned to work in the baking industry. But the more she talked with locals, the more she realized how many Charlestonians faced gluten allergies and celiac disease without the support of a certified gluten-free kitchen in the community.
Ingram was halfway through pastry school in San Francisco when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. "At the time, this seemed like the worst possible thing that could happen to me," she recalls. "I couldn't even taste what I was making." But Ingram didn't give up and began experimenting with gluten-free baking on the side. These experiments formed the foundation of her Sweet Radish treats.
Ingram has already begun working with GrowFood Carolina. And with seasonal fare at the bakery's core, she hopes to develop direct relationships with farmers soon.