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.”

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.

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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