Imagine the excitement that radiated throughout the Tucson community when those with gluten-free (GF) food needs learned of the opening of an entirely GF bakery. Not only would they be able to find GF birthday cakes and goodies without paying for shipping, they would also be able to have breakfast and/or lunch without worry of cross-contamination at the Gourmet Girls Bistro. http://www.gourmetgirlsglutenfree.com/
Owners, Mary Gibson and Susan Fulton both knew at a young age that they enjoyed baking but Mary was certain at age 7 that she was destined to make it her career.
In 2009, Susan and Mary owned a catering business together and began to frequently receive special dietary requests. People often asked for GF and other types of accommodations to their catering menu. After listening to their patrons describe their needs, it became obvious that there was an untapped market for local GF baked goods in Tucson.
After much consideration, these ladies decided to develop “The Gourmet Girls Go Gluten Free” and in May 2010 began selling their baked goods at many of the local Tucson farmers markets. At almost every market that they attended their patrons told them just how much the Tucsonan’s wanted a GF bakery and restaurant.
In Nov 2011, Gourmet Girls opened their doors and has had a very steady stream of business. While interviewing Susan, the bistro had several repeat consumers come for lunch and at least two of the people were newly diagnosed. One newly diagnosed woman sitting beside me tearfully said “This is the best lunch I’ve had since going gluten free.” She told me that she would be back again and again. Her tears were obviously from joy.
Mary and Susan can help you with your gluten free wedding cake as well. They have been receiving plenty of requests in for GF wedding cakes and are thoroughly enjoying the experience of creating them.
In case you’re wondering, the Gourmet Girls are still doing Farmer’s Markets at St. Phillips Plaza on Sunday’s. Although they only offer a limited selection at the market, customers may order products directly from the store and pick them up at the market.
Do they have plans to expand? The Gourmet Girl’s expansion plans will include grab and go meals for lunch and dinner. Since they know first hand how time consuming it can be to bake from scratch, they plan to offer a variety of meal options that people can purchase and either take home to pop in the oven or eat right away. They already offer a few take and bake pizzas in their refrigerated case.
They also hope to have their online ordering system up and running by the winter holidays. This is pretty exciting news since they will be offering may pie options.
When asked of their long term goals, Susan said that hope to eventually open some new locations starting with one of the Eastside of Tucson.