Meet Heather Hardcastle, Founder of Flour Craft Bakery, which is 100% gluten-free. She's also the maker of my favorite Pistachio Loaf Cake and the famous Flourless Mudslide Cookies, both of which you can order online here.
1. Can you tell us a little about your business and how it all began?
My professional background is as a Pastry Chef and I've personally been Gluten Free for 12 years. I've spent many years developing my own Gluten Free Recipes that I'm thrilled to be sharing with my community, through Flour Craft Bakery. We're in the midst of opening our first retail Shop and Bakery, this fall!
2. Can you give the Gluten Free home cooks a tip or two on getting chef-quality flavor?
As with everything, it's all about respecting the quality and flavor of individual ingredients. There's no special trick really, just use food at its peak of freshness and keep the flavors simple.
3. When did you begin offering gluten free options on your menu?
My menu has always been Gluten Free.
4. What tips & tricks do you have for Gluten Free bakers?
Make your own flour mixes, rather than using the pre-packaged brands. You have better control of texture and flavor that way.
5. If we opened your refrigerator at home, what would we find?
I generally always have farm fresh eggs, good butter, several types of cheese, wine and french breakfast radishes.
6. Are there any items on your menu you're particularly excited about right now?
I'm excited about what we're planning for the holidays. We're working on a delicious gluten free pannetone which will be fun.
7. Describe to me how your bakery has grown/is growing.
We started doing just wholesale items to our local area stores and farmers markets, all out of a rented commercial kitchen. Now, we're just about to open our first retail store and bakery, with our own entirely gluten free facility. Exciting!
8. What spots should Foodies hit when they're in you're town? In addition to Flour Craft Bakery, of course.
Definitely the Marin Civic Center farmers market on Sundays, 8-1. Not only is it at the foot of a beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright building, but it showcases the very best of local farmers and artisan producers. Otherwise, we're in the heart of NORCAL wine country so the options there are endless. I love Dry Creek Valley Wines from Sonoma County. Unti Vineyards, Preston Winery, Lambert Bridge Winery are a few of my favorites, all in Healdsburg.
9. What else should we know or mention?
We're at the end of a Kickstarter Campaign to help with our final round of funding for our shop (ends 10-25-12). We'd be very appreciative if you could share the link with your readers.