Located in Andersonville, Edgewater, Defloured is first entirely gluten-free bakery in Chicago. It’s a welcoming place that greets guests with smiles and the smell of freshly baked goods.
Defloured adheres to strict allergen guidelines to serve customers with celiac, gluten intolerance, and vegan diets. Food allergies have caused many local bakeries to adapt and exercise options for customers who are intolerable to gluten. However, a purely gluten-free bakery was a “niche” that a “pocket small business” could maintain without “cross-contamination,” Defloured owner and baker Johanna VanDorf said.
The overall satisfaction and health of the customer are most important to Defloured’s brand and initiative. And like many bakeries, the menu rotates. But Defloured is continuously experimentating with new ideas influenced by classic recipes that will remind you of simpler times.
Krystal Dawson, a customer service employee, said she likes Defloured’s pleasant atmosphere, and the fact that bakers are encouraged to express their opinions on featured desserts.
The bakery’s decor is suited with seasonal festivities and a logo of a vibrant pink flower with a smile. As one enters the charming establishment, customers are greeted with the scrumptious aroma of freshly baked pies, cakes, and cookie dough as an array of pastries meets the eye from countertop to display case.
VanDorf commented that the significance behind an “open kitchen [is] seeing people [make] things,” which allows for customers to inquire about products and create fluidity between employee to customer.
Defloured’s attempt at making the bakery a place of home and comfort pays off in effort from the authenticity of the employees’ enthusiasm and attention to detail in the decorations.
“All the best interactions start with a smile,” said Michael Richmond, customer service representative.
The importance of neighborhood support allows for customers to submit feedback based on the sales of products, which help bakers gain a comprehensive understanding of the “general needs of the community” and how to create more allergy-friendly options, Richmond said.
The idea of Defloured’s single location allows for the bakery to exercise retail partnerships with larger suppliers such as Whole Foods, LYFE, local coffee shops, etc.. The exposure from larger corporations enables publicity and in part, be stationed in an area immersed in a community.
Now that her dream has come to life, Defloured is a beacon of not only savory eats but to the community to which employees are familiar with the names of their customers and vice versa.
The bakery’s mission is as stated: “Driven by the deep belief that everyone has the right to dessert.” VanDorf added that “no one wants to feel different” when trying to enjoy a delicious treat.
Now, it is a place of oohs and ahhs to which customers can “eat [with their eyes and] mouths,” and leave with a smile bigger than Defloured’s logo smiley face. So feast your eyes on delicious treats that will leave you craving more the moment your foot steps out the door.