Dublin’s Gluten Free Bakery
Antoinette’s Bakery is Dublin City’s first 100% gluten and wheat free bakery. Located on Kevin St lower, Dublin 8 (in between St Stephens Green and St Patrick’s Cathedral) we serve cakes by the slice as well as delicious coffee and tea 6 days a week. We also make birthday, wedding and christening cakes to order. We cater to all types of elimination diets, with our ever popular vegan doughnuts, dairy-free apple and cinnamon squares and more we have something for everyone. Let them eat cake we say!
When did Antoinette’s Bakery open its doors?
Antoinette’s Bakery was born in November 2013 when Sinead Vaughan attended her first farmer’s market in Stillorgan, Co Dublin. Two years and many rainy market days later the shop on Kevin Street opened its doors.
What made you take the plunge and start your own gluten free bakery?
I was diagnosed coeliac in 2009 a few weeks after starting a degree in Baking and Pastry Arts Management in DIT. I quickly learned that people like me were considered something of a nuisance in many dining establishments, and pre-packaged gluten-free goodies left a lot to be desired and very little change in my wallet! Something had to be done!
What were your biggest successes and struggles in the business?
Celebrating two years on Kevin Street in November was very exciting. This company was born into the depths of a recession-struck Dublin so it was a constant battle to keep it going, both as a business run from home and as a stand-alone store. Coming to terms with being a boss and all the paperwork and politics to do with running the show has been a real learning curve for me. Like most entrepreneurs I am a workaholic, so learning to let go and trust other people to take care of my baby has been a long road!
What are your most frequent food requests? Do you have any new products as a result?
When I first started out I made a point of being a little different from the norm. I didn’t want to be a carbon copy of everyone else. People often ask if we sell sandwiches and soup. To me this is primarily a bakery, like those found in the olden (pre-chain) days so we will stick to our guns and continue creating delicious pastries and cakes.
Did many people doubt the potential of your business because of its niche?
There were a few nay-sayers when we first started but primarily I have always received positive feedback. I suppose that ultimately came from a conservative place, like I said it was a recession and everyone’s purse strings were tight. I can see why someone would doubt me. However, as a coeliac/foodie I knew how important the idea was. When Antoinette’s first came to fruition there really was nothing like it on the market and independent cafes were few and far between.
How many customers do you serve, are all on a gluten free diet?
I have no idea! We serve so many different types of customer: coeliacs, gluten-freers, vegans, lactose-intolerant. IBS-sufferers and people who just like damned good coffee and cake! To us, the best compliment we can receive is when someone says “you’d never know it was gluten-free”.
What do you love the most about the bakery?
Just one thing? That’s impossible! My staff, customers, cake, coffee?? I like that it is a bit different. You know it’s not a chain when you come in, it has so many personal touches which I’m really proud of. I feel like there is a little piece of everyone who has been part of this journey with me in here. And the coffee cake J.
Tell us about yourself
Hi, I’m Sinead, I’m a cakeaholic. I’m about to turn 29 and I’ve been running Antoinette’s for four and a half years. I love food, friends, family, dogs, sunshine, my kindle, daffodils and naps. I’m a middle child and have very curly hair. I received a toy Kenwood mixer from Santa when I was little and never looked back.
What are the struggles (if any) of being a proprietor?
There are many. For example: today our water has stopped. So our coffee machine is kaput and I have to wash the floors with mineral water. I’m a natural leader but sometimes I would like to be able to go home and switch off. That said, I can’t imagine having a job where I have little say in the running of things.
What do you love most about running your own bakery?
I love how happy our cakes make people. We have had grateful customers crying with happiness because their child finally had a first birthday cake. We have had people get off their trans-Atlantic flight and hop in a taxi straight here. And then there is the unadulterated joy on our regulars’ faces when they see a batch of something fresh coming straight out of the bakery onto the shelf. I also have a super team at work here, they all really embody the Antoinette’s ethos of enthusiastic loveliness. All while delivering the best quality products and customer service. All this combined makes it my dream job!
* Cheeky Question* Do Dealiac members get any exclusive deal at your bakery?
Afraid not guys, I reckon I’m probably already doing my part for the Coeliacs of Dublin! I have staff to pay afterall.
Where can we find out more about Antoinette’s Bakery?
Our website www.antoinettesbakery.com, on facebook, tweet @AntoinettesBake or Insta @antoinettesbakery. Alternatively, give us an old fashioned ring on 014759008 or come in “for the chats”!