Gluten-free bakery in Olde Ridge

For Kimberly Tosten, eating gluten-free "is a matter of life or death." Tosten, along with her two siblings and a niece, have Celiac disease. When her niece was diagnosed in 2002, Tosten decided to take the matter into her own hands — and kitchen.

For 19 years, she worked on developing her own flour blend using rice and potatoes. And she baked and baked some more. And now she has her own business in Olde Ridge Village, Aunt Kim's Gluten Free Bakery. The shop is on the upper level of the complex in part of the space that had been the old tea house.

While the shop had a soft opening on July 27, the official grand opening is this Saturday, Aug. 28. But Tosten said this first month's traffic has been "surprisingly fabulous" and is eager for the shop to catch on. And she thinks it will because there's an obvious market for gluten-free baked goods.

She was surprised by the good traffic so far because she had done virtually no advertising. However, there are signs for the shop at Olde Ridge, and Aunt Kim's does have a Facebook page. And there is word of mouth. She believes there is enough of a market for the bakery to become successful.

"There are groups that I belong to on Facebook, about five or six different groups. I asked if I had a store, what would you want in it, and there would be hundreds of replies [for gluten-free products]," she said. "There's definitely a need for it."

And, with her own bouts of Celiac, she knows the need, saying she has gone into anaphylactic shock after eating foods containing gluten. Tosten added that left untreated; such hypersensitivity can lead to stomach cancer, which killed her grandfather.

Aunt Kim's products are made with the flour blend that she perfected years ago, making muffins. It took a while, but she eventually came up with a blend that she liked that didn't have that dry unpleasant taste that many gluten-free products have had.

"There's no grittiness and no aftertaste," she said. And there are no preservatives, either.

For now, her product line is trial and error because she doesn't know what the market will want. But, from just muffins in her beginning attempts 19 years ago, she's expanded her repertoire to include cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies, crumb cake, and Jewish Apple Cake.

Aunt Kim's is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10-2 p.m. on Saturday. But she's hoping they'll have enough business to extend those hours.

For more information, visit, or phone 610-558-3300. The shop is at 100 Ridge Road, "Sweet 37."

About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.



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