there is no doubt that Simply Sweet of WNY boasts Buffalo’s best gluten-free baked goods.
Simply Sweet is my favorite bakery in Buffalo for a few reasons:
- It’s locally owned and operated by a wonderful woman, Cindy Slomowitz.
- It has the best gluten-free pasta I’ve ever found: Pappardelle’s.
- They sell rugelach. (Not every day, but when requested. Piece of advice: go there and request it. It is a gift from the heavens above.)
- They sell a ton of other locally made, gluten-free, products.
I first chatted with Cindy Slomowitz, in January 2014.
At the time, her bakery was a just a dream. Flash forward just 15 months later; Cindy now owns one of Buffalo’s most popular gluten-free bakeries.
I caught up with her to find out what it’s been like starting her own business, how the community has responded to her products and what you can look forward to enjoying during your next visit to the bakery.
Q: Cindy, last time we spoke you were just starting the process of opening up your bakery. I’m curious to hear how the process was of opening up your own brick and mortar shop compared to what you were doing before by selling your product to local retailers?
A: It has definitely been a learning experience to say the least! Opening the brick and mortar part of the bakery was the easy part.
Once I selected the equipment I wanted and designed the layout and interior of the bakery, I just turned it all over to my husband, Ken, who took it from there. He has been, and still is, my biggest supporter.
Learning the process of baking for day-to-day retail sales as opposed to baking for a one day farmers market had a bit of a learning curve. There are so many thing that come in to play: how much variety, quantity because of shelf life, display, storage, specialty items, the list goes on.
Sometimes it is still a guessing game! It has been almost a year, but I think we have done a good job of always having a variety of delicious gluten-free items that people are really enjoying.
Q: When did you officially open?
A: We officially opened last year the week of Mothers Day, so our one year anniversary is coming up!
A: Business had been really good. We still see a lot of new customers every week, so I know that people are out there talking about us and that is a good sign. I think word of mouth is one of the best ways to advertise.
Just coming up on our anniversary we have close to 3,500 Facebook likes; I think that is great! Checking out our page is the best way to see what we have going on day-to-day. I post daily pictures of things we are offering that week. We are till trying to get a handle on Instagram and Twitter.
Q: What’s your favorite part of owning your own business? Was there anything that surprised you or opened your eyes about being a business owner?
We truly have some wonderful people who come in and share their tale of woe or triumph over eating gluten-free.
Customers thank me continuously for doing what I do, opening this bakery, and sometimes even have tears in their eyes because they are so happy, is the best part for me.
Q: What’s your personal favorite product that you make?
A: A favorite item is hard for me to pick because I truly enjoy baking and we make so many great items!
Since your making me choose, I still think my Chocolate Chip Cookie is still my favorite any time of day, with a close second to our Brownie if I am craving chocolate!
Q: What’s your most popular or best-selling product that you make?
A: We have a few, I have learned that we can never be without Black & White Cookies, Brownies, Coconut Macaroons, and Cranberry Bliss Cookies.
Q: Yum! I love the coconut macaroons. So, I know that you sell more than just Simply Sweet products. What’s your favorite product (that you don’t make) that you sell in the bakery?
A: My favorite product that I sell that I do not make is Brian’s Best Buns. They are truly the best sandwich bun on the market, and since I have opened I have sold several hundred bags.
I carry them in gluten-free Whole Grain, Mock Rye, and dairy-free/gluten-free Whole Grain. They come in two sizes, regular sandwich size, or “Baby Buns” dinner roll size.
Q: I love Brian’s Best Buns and am so happy that you sell them! Until you did, the only place I knew I could get them would be brunch (or lunch) at Betty’s on Virginia. What made you decide to sell products outside of your own brand in the bakery?
A: When I opened the bakery I decided I wanted to offer other gluten-free products that I did not make that are either produced gluten-free or are naturally gluten-free to help promote and support other business that started out just like mine, in the kitchen of their own home.
Q: Is there anything that I should keep my eyes (or appetite) open for, such as the introduction of new products? Or is there anything you’d like to share with the audience?
A: We are constantly getting requests for bread, so we will soon be offering sandwich bread and par-baked pizza crust.
My latest product introduction that has taken off very well is Buttermilk Biscuits that you take home and bake.
In closing, I would like to let everyone know that we can make a variety of custom cakes and desserts, and most of them can be made dairy-free as well if need be. Just give us at least 48 hours notice for your special order!
I highly recommend making it a point to stop in sometime over the next month to try out one of her products. You’ll be blown away by the quality and consistency.
Gluten-free or not, I promise that you won’t leave disappointed.