Many a gluten-free loaf resembles a brick more than bread. But not at this husband-and-wife–owned shop in Philly’s Italian Market.
Taffets Bakery; Philadelphia
Many a gluten-free loaf resembles a brick more than bread. But not at this husband-and-wife–owned shop in Philly’s Italian Market. Omer Taffet, a former chef and a veteran of Philly-area restaurants, wanted a food business with more family-friendly hours. He got the idea for Taffets when his mother was diagnosed with celiac disease. “I thought, How the hell does a bread city like Philly not have a gluten-free bakery?” He and his wife, Natasha, opened their shop at the end of 2011. Asked to account for his bread’s avid fans, he says, “We make real bread. It tastes like bread, it acts like bread.” Many wheat-free loaves rely on starches and finely ground flours that quickly go stale, but Taffets uses whole-grain flours like teff, quinoa and amaranth, which give the loaves richer flavors and keep them moister longer. Taffet also bakes everything fresh on-site. The bakery now supplies loaves to restaurants around Philadelphia, including the legendary Paesano’s sandwich shop across the street, which carries their gluten-free hoagie. It’s so similar to the original that customers regularly refuse to believe it doesn’t have wheat. “Plenty of customers try to bring them back,” Taffet says. “They say, ‘I think you put in the wrong bread, it looks too good to be gluten-free!’” Taffets.com