Gluten-Free is the Perfect Recipe for Bakery and Café
Inspired by a family trip to Spain where a bakery and coffee shop could be found on nearly every corner, The Bald Strawberry began as a traditional bakery and evolved into a strictly gluten-free bakery and café. The venture, owned by mother-son team Linda and Joe Lopez, opened upon the family’s return in Cape Canaveral. When customers and relatives began to request gluten-free options, she started researching and experimenting. Not satisfied with the gluten-free flours available, she started developing her own. After perfecting the flour, the gluten-free items evolved and now all the bakery and café items are 100 percent gluten-free.
Linda’s son Joe grew up watching his mom bake so he was a natural for the industry. After her relocation to Melbourne, he joined his mom and opened a café in the same shopping center. His love of waffles led him to create the waffle sandwiches that make up the café’s menu. Though Joe created the concept for waffle sandwiches, his mom wasn’t convinced at first. “He told me ‘don’t say no until you try it,’” Linda laughed. After the first taste she knew he was on to something …
Then after running out of classic pizza crust one day, the waffle pizza was born. “It really invented itself,” Joe said. The waffle creations make the majority of the Bald Strawberry Café’s menu including sweet and savory choices like Awesome Blossom with maple almond butter and organic strawberry preserves and the So Fresh sandwich made with natural turkey, avocado, tomato and spicy mayo. Breakfast waffle sandwiches include fillings like natural ham or pork, egg, veggies, even served with maple syrup. Waffles are crispy and filling and all the ingredients are obviously
The waffle pizzas are topped with traditional flavors like fresh parmesan, feta, basil, veggies and marinara sauce. Joe includes a pizza on the menu in honor of his mom, Mom’s Favorite, that features pepperoni, feta, red onion, banana pepper and green pepper toppings.
Though the café and bakery are separate, they are close. How close? Sixty five steps away, in the same plaza, to be exact. The café’s décor has a retro vibe, diners are serenaded by the sounds of an old record player and can thumb through the large collection of classic records while waiting for freshly prepared food. The staff is friendly and the prices are reasonable.
With a background in international business, it might seem unlikely that Linda would be in the bakery business now but she knows she’s where she belongs, creating birthday cakes and other treats for those who might not otherwise be able to enjoy them. Customers include those with gluten intolerances and diabetes. But even those who are not on gluten-free diets will enjoy the unique selections.
Of course, a unique name like the Bald Strawberry garners curiosity from diners. Where did such a name come from? Linda literally dreamed it up one night eight years ago. In the dream, she was served something called the bald strawberry soup at a dinner party. For some reason it stuck in her head and as they say, the rest is history.
The Bald Strawberry
1248 Sarno Road, Melbourne
Cafe: (321) 751-2803
Bakery: (321) 458-5529
Café: 12 to 4 p.m. Sunday; Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Bakery: 9 a.m.to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; Closed Monday
Web Address: Facebook.com/TheBaldStrawberry