Thursday, January 29, 2009
Elaine's Cafe: where gluten-free entrepreneurs are making their stand in a meat loving city
I'm always looking for signs of hope in this dismal economy and I found it at lunch recently in - who would have guessed it? - downtown Bakersfield. I happened in on Elaine's Cafe & Market on 20th Street, a new place dedicated to vegetarian and vegan food products and substitutes. The food was delicious (encouraging when your daughter is a vegetarian and your wife eats like a rabbit) but I was most impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of the owners, Tim and Tracy Thompson. Tim is a former manager of a major construction/contracting firm and Tracy is the cook, and together they have doubled down on the idea that meat loving Bakersfield is ready for a gluten-free diet. They have even patented a dairy, soy and gluten-free ice cream that is outstanding. Business is so good they are expanding to open a bakery next door. Let's wish them the best.