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Whether you are a celiac, gluten-intolerant, have a sensitivity to gluten or are simply trying to consume less gluten for health reasons, there is no denying that we live in an increasingly ‘gluten conscious’ world.

The growth of the gluten-free product market and safe gluten-free dining options has soared over the past decade. Particularly in health conscious regions like Sonoma County and the Bay Area.

However, that growth has not been as rapid when it comes to fresh gluten-free products. It is a challenge to find 100 percent gluten-free bakeries in particular. This is for good reason because it is difficult for bakeries to sell everything they bake and avoid having to throw away a lot of product at the end of each day. That problem is amplified as gluten-free baked goods go stale quickly.

Together with the higher cost of ingredients and the skyrocketing cost of running and operating a small business in Sonoma County, this has resulted in a fairly short list of 100-percent gluten-free bakeries.

However, there is also an increasing number of traditional bakeries and cafes that now offer their own gluten-free range of items. Below you will find a list of six, 100- percent gluten-free bakeries in Sonoma and Marin as well as a few local bakeries that have special gluten-free offerings (made in-house).

So, if you or someone you love misses the simple pleasure of grabbing a coffee and a pastry, a sandwich on freshly baked bread or a baguette to-go, there is a bakery on this list for you.

Bump City Bakery in Petaluma

Bump City Bakery maybe be relatively ‘new’ in the North Bay (having started in Oakland) but their high-quality goods and unique flavor concoctions, combined with the fact that they’re the only 100 percent gluten-free bakery with hours open to the public in Petaluma, has everyone talking.

Emily Floyd, owner and baker, takes 100 percent gluten-free baking to another level with original creations such as the “Mexican Coffee” vegan chocolate cupcakes soaked with Kahlua and topped with cinnamon-tequila frosting, “Pina Colada” vegan coconut-pineapple cupcakes with coconut rum frosting and (perhaps my favorite) her Dark and Stormy Cupcake, ginger-beer cupcake soaked with dark rum and finished off with lime buttercream frosting.

Products vary daily so prepare to be delighted by whatever new deliciousness Emily has decided to bake up that day.

Note: Emily bakes up plenty of non-alcoholic treats as well. She also sells a small assortment of Mama Mel’s gluten-free products such as bagels and baguettes, so if you aren’t in the mood for sweets you can still stop in for a breakfast bagel with cream cheese and an excellent espresso beverage or chai latte.

Located in Putnam Plaza, which has become one of the hottest little pockets in downtown Petaluma, Bump City has a small unassuming space to the rear of the plaza in the alleyway.

Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays to the public, Bump City is closed during the week while they bake for their wholesale orders. But, you can pick up custom ordered cakes or other custom orders during the week if you place your order in advance. Just email Emily at emily@bumpcitybakery.com.

122 American Alley B, Petaluma. Open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. 707-888-9026.

Grindstone Bakery in Rohnert Park

Mario Repetto and Darlene Falzarano have independently owned and operated the Grindstone Bakery in Rohnert Park for more than 19 years.

Grindstone is the only bakery in Sonoma County and as far as Mario and Darlene know, in the entire country to make breads from 100 percent, stone-ground grains. No flour. No preservatives. No starches or gums. Breads go through a natural, long fermentation without any industrial yeast added.

They do offer both non-gluten-free and gluten-free stone ground breads, but they have a separate dedicated and certified gluten-free kitchen for their gluten-free products so there is no risk of cross-contamination. They are also certified organic and vegan (they even make a vegan gluten-free sourdough).

Grindstone is open to the public at their Rohnert Park bakery and kitchen on Mondays and Thursdays, so if you want to grab their breads fresh out of the oven this is when you can do so. Want to order online? Check out their website (grindstonebakery.com) for a full menu of their products and to place an order for delivery. Or enjoy their breads at one of the many North Bay stores (listed on website) that carry their products, including Andy’s Produce Market in Sebastopol, Community Market in Santa Rosa, Oliver’s Market on Stony Point and Whole Foods in Petaluma, Santa Rosa and Sonoma.

Grindstone Bakery, 500 Marin Ave., Rohnert Park. Open noon to 6 p.m. Monday and Thursday. grindstonebakery.com. 707-515-6666

LIberty 5 Baking Co. in Santa Rosa

LIberty 5 has been around since 2013, and their bread was one of the first gluten-free breads I ever saw on a local sandwich menu back in the day before gluten-free was popular.

Founder Jenn Maly saw a need for decent quality gluten-free bread that wasn’t as dry as a pile of crumbs or as reminiscent of and nutritionally devoid as cardboard even then, and over the years her breads have continued to grace more and more shelves and menus all over Sonoma County.

The name is derived from the old Santa Rosa telephone exchange, which became prefix 545.

Though you can’t visit Liberty 5 Bakery’s kitchen in Petaluma, you can find their excellent breads in the freezer section and the deli at all Oliver’s markets, Pacific markets, the Petaluma Market and Community markets (just in the freezer at Community), among others.

You can also find her products sold in local bakeries such as Criminal Baking Co., among others.

LIberty 5 has a separate, dedicated gluten-free prep room and utensils for their gluten-free baking, but the breads are baked in ovens where breads with gluten are baked.

Mama Mel’s in Petaluma

A relative newcomer to the scene, Mama Mel’s officially launched in 2017. Mama Mel’s (a k a Melissa Wenzel’s) 100-percent, gluten-free, dedicated bakery and kitchen aren’t open to the public, but they take orders and deliver their fresh gluten-free breads to a variety of pick-up locations around Sonoma/Marin counties on certain dates during the month.

Mama Mel’s offers a pretty wide variety of gluten-free breads. They even make and specialize in sourdough, which is hard to come by in the gluten-free world.

Finding gluten-free sweets is easy. Finding freshly baked gluten-free bread in more than one variety and that isn’t dry and tasteless is the real challenge!

You can get on their email list to stay up to date with their baking schedule.

Or order your bread online (mamamelsbread.com), where you can select your product and pick-up point.

Want to sample some of Mama Mel’s products before placing an order with the bakery? You can enjoy some of their most popular items (bagels, baguettes, seeded and sourdough boules) at various local bakeries and cafes around Sonoma County.

These include Brew in Santa Rosa (bagels), Retrograde in Sebastopol (bagels and sandwiches on sourdough levain) and Sarah’s Eats in Santa Rosa (bagels and sandwiches on sourdough levain.)

Flour Craft Bakery in San Anselmo & Mill Valley

Flour Craft is open at their Mill Valley location on Tuesday through Sunday and daily at their San Anselmo location.

Flour Craft is not only a bakery with a wide assortment of breads, pastries, cookies and scones but also a gluten-free restaurant/café offering a full menu of 100 percent gluten-free plates.

From savory tarts and gourmet salads to foodie favorites like avocado toast and ricotta cheese toast (made with Bellwether Farms ricotta and topped with honey and toasted hazelnuts), Flour Craft offers a truly unique experience to gluten-free diners in the North Bay.

Flour Craft Bakery in San Anselmo, 702 San Anselmo Ave., open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, 415-453-3100; Flour Craft Bakery in Mill Valley, 129 Miller Ave. #300, open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 415-384-8244; flourcraftbakery.com

Flour Chylde Bakery-Novato

This 100 percent gluten-free bakery in old town Novato bakes up a wide range of breads, muffins, scones, cookies, cakes and tortes. It also offers a full menu of paninis and sandwiches served on their bread.

Flour Chylde is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday or you can also find them at the San Rafael Farmer’s Market at the Civic Center on Sundays.

Flour Chylde Bakery, 850 Grant Ave., Novato; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. flourchylde.com. 415-893-7700, ext. 2#.

Brooke Herron is a California wine industry veteran with a penchant for seeking out local artisan food and drink. Reach her at adifferentkindoftravel@gmail.com or find her on Instagram/Facebook @adifferentkindoftravel

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