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Deby

Gluten Free Restaurant

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I think it does suck that bigger cities get more advantages. Her place will be in Denver. Big cities have more people and I bet you can make a lot more money with a gluten-free bakery in a big city than you ever could outside it (without shipping orders or being on-line). The only exceptions would be a communitry made mostly of Celiacs or vegan people.

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I think one of your sellling points (a pro) would be that your food is fresh, natural and a low amount of artificial flavoring or colorings. That alone would lure some people in.

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I think it's a wonderful idea. I live in San Francisco, and would go to a gluten-free bakery all the time if there were one.

You also might consider having dairy free foods, and honey sweetened only foods.

Things I would love to buy are pizza and cinnamon rolls, and fresh bread. Yum.

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I know this is a late reply...but I have been thinking of opening one myself. I am a cake decorator also. I thought I would have a store front that sold gluten-free items. Like a grocery store and then have a cafe inside to make and serve those items and meals. Then have the bakery and cake area. This way it would be a total gluten-free resource. Just a thought...anyway.

mrsfish

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mrsfish,

I hope you do open a bakery! More need to open to make the USA aware that we are out here wanting to EAT!

My only advise is to plan well and have the money up front. My site is running about 250 thousand to get started and I had many advantages go in such as a lease site that already had a kitchen set up. I also got great equipment at bargain prices.

I think you could set up something smaller for less money, but the demand is so high because of lack of supply for gluten-free products that a small place could be overwhelmed. Unless, of course, you are in a smaller town. :-)

I haven't even opened my doors yet and I have recieved numerous phone calls and have had mentions from people I have never met talking to other people about the bakery. It's a little daunting.

My plans go to the city this week for approval so the grand opening is not too far away. Things are really rolling here in Denver and I hope that when I am open, I will get to meet some the wonderful people from this forum who have helped me solidify this whole business plan.

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I will be visiting denver this summer. my mom lives there. can you let me know where this restaurant is going to be? i will load up on baked goods and eat at the rest. as much as i can while i am there!!

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Wow this is sooo cool!!! I was just talking about this with my daughter a couple of days ago. I didn't know there were existing restaurants that were gluten free. We thought we had come up with a new idea :rolleyes: oh well :lol: We were saying how cool it would be to have a place that would make gluten-free pizza. Can you imagine a real pizza from a real pizza oven, how great would that be?!! I do agree with most of the other answers though. I think you would need a greater appeal than just a gluten-free restaurant, like advertising organic, veegan, vegetarian, free range, ect. Plus the added benefit would be in educating the public about celiac disease. Good luck with this venture. :D Please continue to let this site know how you do.

Wendy

From Maryland

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I was in Moscow Idaho last month and the Moscow Co-op makes gluten free breads twice a week, on Tues and Fri I think and they always sell out. It's very popular there. Thing is that Moscow is something like 30,000 people - I live in a town with 90,000 and more like 150,000 with the out-lying areas, and in California to boot. But no chance of a gluten-free bakery here. Sounds like I'll need to drive to Davis (thanks for the post about the restaurant there and web page). Only 90 mins away so not too bad. I was impressed with Moscow, though! And not far from Coeur d'Alene, WA, where Namaste Foods is located - good pizza crust mix (potato free, excellent!) and other mixes as well I have not yet sampled. Must be a gluten-challenged area, of course they grow lots of barley and wheat all around the Palouse up there - I was feeling anxious the whole time I was there.

Stephanie

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Monica, You've gotten lots of good suggestions here, so I have nothing really to add other than to say the ultimate decision is yours and I'm sure it will come to you soon and it will be well thought out and a wise one. I wish you well, and good luck.............and hopes that I can get to Denver and load up on all your goodies!!!

Let us know when the web site is going so we can order your mixes. It's not as good as going to your bakery, but good enough for now...

I for one love to support a caring entrepreneur like you, as opposed to a large company!

Kandee

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Guest BellyTimber

Why am I excited about this venture on another continent thousands of miles away?

Because you will add to the (so far not very big) pool of experience in providing things that everyone else can eat as well as coeliacs (except presumably rather rare exceptions).

That will be experience that can be propagated to the benefit of the whole world.

An obstacle you presumably will not have is in the wholesale aspect - you can supply your own dough etc in bulk.

One of the main overheads of most restaurants must be in buying in their semi-finished "ingredients" from somewhere else.

A thing threatening many restaurants' viability leading to their only lasting a short time, must be the summer/winter thing. Don't forget to advertise where the people who will come skiing nearby, come from.

I don't know if it costs much to get a "gluten-free" hyperlink from skiing brochure web pages and whether it would show up in web search engine results under "skiing"?

By the way I know nothing about business matters!

Michael

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Monica, I know I'm jumping in a bit late here, but I wanted to add my encouragement and a few thoughts. I think this is a completely viable concept, and a town like Denver ought to be just right for it - not so small that you don't have a market, and not so big that the competition gets too intense. Also, from what I've heard from a few different friends, Denver and the area are a bit more health-conscious in general than some areas, so with the right marketing strategy (and execution, of course) I think you could have a big hit.

What you want to avoid is branding the place as a restaurant for celiacs. There is such a thing as targetting your market too tightly, and if you emphasize gluten-free over everything else you risk making yourself unattractive to "regular" clientele. By all means make the place completely gluten-free -- but don't make that your primary hook.

Instead, I would emphasize the wholesomeness and healthiness of your food. Make everything in the place gluten-free. Have some vegan options. Some lactose-free options. Find as many special needs diets as you can and offer something for everyone (within reason, don't go completely bonkers trying to attract every group!) But above all, emphasize that these things are not just for special groups, but healthy for everyone!

This is what most of the successful vegetarian restaurants that I know do. They make a point of having at least a few things for lots of different dietary restrictions, so they don't only get dedicated vegetarian customers. They end up getting a wide variety of customers with special needs, and every one of those people who is satisfied ends up raving about them to their friends who have similar needs. Then they'll happen to meet other people who have different needs, and tell them "you know what? I know a restaurant that has great food for that kind of diet..." In the best cases they eventually get a very wide customer base that also includes a lot of people who don't follow any special diets at all, but have heard from one friend or another that the food is good.

I also think that in general, an image of environmental and social consciousness is a natural fit for this sort of operation, so if you are of that kind of mindset you should promote that as well. Are there universities in that area? College students could give you a big boost. Artists, musicians and the like tend to support that kind of place, too. These are all communities that you want to market to -- not just with advertising, but by connecting to the communities and making your place a comfortable home for them.

I'm probably telling you things you already understand, in which case I apologize. But a lot of people who think about setting up businesses don't think about things like this. If you only market to celiacs and the like, you will miss most of your market and may make it too difficult for yourself.

Good luck with everything, and keep us all posted!

-- Jeremiah

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An update for any who have been following the restaurant/bakery opening.

After much waiting with the city, we have been told, verbally that is, that we can have the building permit to start the reconstruction on the bakery site. The construction company is going to pick up the permit tomorrow, Friday, or early next week.

So it's finally happening. You can visit my website at www.debysglutenfree.net to get an idea of the happenings or to keep tabs on when the grand opening will be held.

I've appreciated all of the feedback I've recieved from people on this site. I hope to see some of you if possible. Just mention the forum and I'll make sure you get a nice discount! :-)

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Congrats! That sounds so great. It's the sort of thing I'd love to do if I had the time/money - that is, it's a pipe dream for me! :-) I wish we'd get more stores like this out in SoCal - we've got a lot of vegetarian/vegan places, and a lot of ethnic places, and a few raw food places, but a guaranteed gluten-free place... Mmm... I'll keep dreaming, and see if I get sent on any business trips out your way. :-)

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Tiffany,

So Cal is not so far away :-)

Actually if you have any desire, ever to open you own gluten-free business, we will be franchizing at some point. I have a banker who has said that a new site could be as little as a year away.

I think it may be 3 years before we can branch out, but who knows.

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