When you have food allergies, eating out can be a huge challenge. I am very hesitant to go out to eat because I have come to the realization that it is simply not worth the price that I pay afterward. I have significant trust issues when it comes to other people handling and making the food that my family and I will eat. And while I’ve never been one to eat out a lot, I do miss being able to go to a restaurant, cafe, or bakery. I suppose that is the reason why I have never done a review of a food establishment before.
The Executive Chef of The Difference Baker
Now having said all of that, friends, I am so excited to actually provide a review for you today for The Difference Baker. I first became aware of The Difference Baker through a friend, Lauren Katz. I first met Lauren when the two of us were among the 100 finalists at the Pillsbury Bake-Off in Las Vegas. We then met again as finalists at the next Pillsbury Bake-Off in Nashville. You may also know Lauren from The Great American Baking Show where she was crowned the winner of its inaugural season.
Presently, Lauren is the Executive Chef at The Difference Baker. It is no surprise to me that the owner of The Difference Baker, Alyssa Sobecki, nabbed Lauren to be Executive Chef. Not only is Lauren an accomplished cook and baker, but she is a mom who deals with various food allergies in her home every day. Lauren developed most of the recipes available at The Difference Baker.
The Owner of The Difference Baker
Alyssa Sobecki is the owner of The Difference Baker. And while I have not met Alyssa personally, her story is a familiar one that many of you can relate to. I enjoyed reading all about Alyssa’s journey and her vision for The Difference Baker (snippets below are from The Difference Baker’s site).
Alyssa’s issues with food began when she was an infant. Throughout her life she has been diagnosed with everything from Bell’s palsy, vertigo, migraine headaches, ulcerative colitis, IBS, enlarged spleen, endometriosis, and cystic acne.
At age 25, Alyssa went to an allergist to get food and environmental allergy tests. The results showed numerous allergies. She realized that she had to make a change in her life. A second round of testing produced the same results, and at this point, Alyssa began her first elimination diet. She went off gluten, dairy, soy, corn, pork, chicken, eggs, potatoes, and ate mostly veggies, rice, bison and fish. She had never felt more amazing in her entire life and truly didn’t realize how sick she was until she started feeling better. Sickness was all that she had known up until that point, and it had simply become normal. As Alyssa slowly began reintroducing various foods back into her diet, she quickly learned what her body could tolerate and what it couldn’t.
For over 12 years, Alyssa has been gluten free and so are her kids. Her mission is to bring happiness and serve communities all over the country with The Difference Baker.
The Difference Baker is a Certified FREE FROM Gluten, Soy, Peanut, Tree-Nut, Fish and Crustacean Bakery, Bistro and Shared Kitchen Space in Loudoun County, Virginia. The mission of the company is to bring Heaven on Earth to those who suffer from food restrictions. The attention to detail and dietary restrictions sets The Difference Baker apart from any other bakery and bistro in all of Virginia. The Difference Baker is a place where families can come and enjoy delicious baked goods, freshly fried donuts, funnel cake bites, quesadillas & more! The menu was thoughtfully designed and offers items such as pre-made meals, pizzas, fresh juices and more!
Pop Tarts, Donuts, and Cinnamon Rolls, Oh my!
Now that you know a bit more about The Difference Baker and some of the people that make this place so amazing, let’s talk about some of their delicious offerings.
My friend Lauren recently popped a box of goodies in the mail for me to try. Let’s just say I was slightly excited. It’s been a long, long time since I have enjoyed anything from a bakery. The thought of eating something delicious and safe that I didn’t have to make myself was just too much for me.
Homemade Pop Tarts
Friends, I don’t like pop tarts – BUT, these are not your typical pop tarts. They have such a flavorful, light crust and are filled with a generous amount of delicious filling. The frosting isn’t overpowering or too sweet, and there are sprinkles on top for good measure. I seriously ate the entire pop tart, to which my son exclaimed, “Mom, you just ate that whole thing!” To which I replied, “Yes, yes, I did!”. These amazing treats are available in person at their bakery location in Ashburn, Virginia.
As much as I love to create recipes, gluten free cinnamon rolls have been my nemesis. I have literally been working to perfect my own cinnamon roll recipe for years. I am never satisfied with any of my attempts, so I was really looking forward to trying these. The cinnamon rolls from The Difference Baker were delicious. They had great flavor and were filled with an ooey gooey cinnamon filling. The texture was so good too. The really good news is that these beauties can be ordered online and delivered right to your door. All you need to do is pop them into the oven to warm up and you are set! Whoop!
When I opened Lauren’s box, the first thing that I did was to check out each delicious item that she had packed for me. My son was with me. When I took a peek at the donuts, I looked him square in the eye and said, “That chocolate donut is mine, and I am not sharing.” I literally said that. I felt a momentary feeling of regret, but if you are a mom, you know that you are often left with the leftover crumbs many times, so I felt that I needed to stake my claim. Well, I am glad that I did. That chocolate donut was one of the best treats that I have enjoyed in years. How good are they? Well, I told my family that in lieu of a birthday cake this year, they can simply order up some of these donuts (I was not kidding).
My sons indulged in the other donuts and said that they were absolutely delicious. The good news? You can order these online and have them delivered to your door.
Oh, and by the way, I did share some of that chocolate donut with my son!
I live about 3.5 hours from The Difference Baker, but I plan on making that trip soon to check out all that The Difference Baker has to offer. So if you live in the vicinity of Ashburn, Virginia, or are planning a trip to the Metro Washington D.C. area, I highly recommend that you head over to The Difference Baker.
**Full Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary sampling of the products in this post. I received no monetary incentive for my opinions, and my opinions are 100% my own. I volunteered to provide this review because I find it extremely important to inform followers of the blog about safe, quality, and delicious food options when I discover them.**