Just opened in a pedestrian walkway off Goodge Street is a bakery and cafe offering gluten-free and dairy-free products. “Today is just a soft opening,” I’m told by manager Kasia Kendzia who’s from Poland. “We’ll be officially open in January when we’ll have a full range of products.”

Three people outside shopfront.
Kasia Kendzia, Giovanni Dedola, and Rebecca Steel outside Beyond Bread, gluten-free bakery in Charlotte Place.

This week they are inviting people to come in to try some free samples. I try a piece of banana cake and ginger bread and realise I can’t interview them with my mouth full of food. But I’m tempted to have more of such delicious banana bread.

From the basement emerges a woman dressed in a white baker’s outfit. Are you the baker? I ask. “No, I’m the development chef,” says Amanda Parker. She tells me about her passion for gluten-free baking as she herself is gluten-intolerant.

She explains that some people react very badly to gluten — the protein found in wheat and other grains. Some people are gluten-intolerant while others can have coeliac disease which is far more serious.

Staff talking customer inside shop.
Shop manager Kasia Kendzia and development chef Amada Parker talk about their product range to a customer.

The shop has a range of sandwiches, cakes, mince pies, pastries, quiches and loaves. They also do dairy-free and vegan. All the bread and cakes are baked on the premises. There’s coffee to have in or take away. If there’s a demand they may supply wholesale gluten-free food to local shops and restaurants.

Beyond Bread: Gluten-Free Bakery, 2 Charlotte Place, Fitzrovia, London W1T 1SB.

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