Y’all, I am SO excited to share this find with you, so let’s get started!! 100% gluten free bakeries are fantastic for those of us with celiac disease because we don’t need to worry about cross-contamination (or cross-contact if you prefer). So, when I set out on my road trip, I began my research to find a 100% gluten free bakery with options free of ALL my allergens.
Now, I’ve reviewed a few gluten free bakeries in the past, but Dempey Bakery in Little Rock is by far my favorite. This was the first bakery where I could have not one, but multiple options! (A tapioca allergy is very pesky). However, the fact that my non-celiac friend, Melissa, continuously ate free samples as I talked to the ladies in the shop shows the strength of Dempsey Bakery. Apparently, the lemon-raspberry scones are delicious.
The 5 Reasons I Love Dempsey Bakery
#1: “Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs”
#2: Southern Charm.
The inside of the bakery is adorable and clean. My favorite part though is everyone who works there! They answer all your questions, and will talk allergies with you until the sun goes down. Everyone was knowledgable and understanding. Melissa was amazed at the depth of our conversation about a nickel allergy and doorknobs. (Don’t worry, I don’t have a new nickel allergy, just a topic of conversation).
#3: Labeling ALL Ingredients.
One issue I frequently run into with cinnamon and rosemary allergies is the generic “spice mix” on labels. At Dempsey Bakery they will list EVERY item, either in the binder or on the product’s sign. Plus, for some common allergens (dairy and egg), they’ll color code the products. This is very similar to the system used at Twist in Millis, MA.
#4: Baked Goods!
Between Melissa and myself, we tried a bunch of the baked goods. The Nana Bread featured above was great. While a bit drier than my homemade banana bread (which is unusually moist), this bread had the perfect spice combination. We also bought three other products: hot milk cakes, jai cookies, and chocolate cupcakes (DF, EF).
The Hot Milk Cakes contain dairy and eggs, which means I couldn’t try them. So, the pressure is on Melissa! Melissa would like to formally report that the hot milk cakes tasted like a sweeter, richer poundcake with icing and we’re very good. I would like to add that she had a smile on her face, and truly did enjoy these cakes! (She tried a sample before buying them!)
The Jai Cookie is also DF & EF. It was the best jai cookie that I’ve ever had simply because I’ve never had a jai cookie before. It turns out that a jai cookie is kind of like a chocolate chip cookie, but a bit softer and chewier than you would expect. It also has a bit of a bite behind it that I cannot name. It was Melissa’s least favorite item in the shop and I thought it was a little bit odd at first. But, honestly, once you realized that it wasn’t a chocolate chip cookie, it was a very good “jai cookie.”
Lastly, we bought some chocolate cupcakes to try (GF, DF, EF). The frosting options were vanilla, chocolate, and mocha frosting. They were a bit soft when we finally tried them, which might have had to do with my storing of them (not Demsey Bakery). However, they tasted just like a chocolate cupcake should, and did not have the grainy problem we found at Sweet 27 in Baltimore.
#5: Frozen Meals!
This was the best surprise at Dempsey Bakery. They carry a couple of frozen meals in the freezer and include all the ingredients on the labels. This was perfect for me because technically I was supposed to go grocery shopping to refill my Koolatron coolers in Little Rock, and I got to wait to OKC!
I don’t remember how many options there were, but the meatloaf, chicken, and pork loin (featured above) are all GF, DF, and EF. I tried the pork loin, and it was perfect. It contained pork, carrots & peas, and mashed potatoes. The meal was well balanced, and the portion of pork was quite large. The best part about these meals is that they are prepared in a GF kitchen, so you do not need to worry about cross-contamination (aka: cross-contact). Plus, there aren’t the preservatives that you might find in the freezable meals from the grocery store.
Phew, that was a lot! But I truly enjoyed Dempsey Bakery in Little Rock, Arkansas. You can call ahead to ask about any specials, or which restaurants in the area are carrying their products.
Now, many people have told me that there is nothing to do in Arkansas. However, if you want an excuse to go to Dempsey Bakery, there’s actually a lot to do! Within Little Rock we visited Central High School (recall the Little Rock 9 from U.S. History), and Pugh’s Mill (featured in the opening scene of Gone with the Wind). Now, just outside of Little Rock is the Hot Springs National Park. I enjoyed the medicinal history of the springs, while Melissa enjoyed the architecture. There is truly something for everyone in Arkansas!
Until next time, Happy Cooking!
P.S: On your way through Arkansas, try to drive through Fort Smith. We met the sweetest southern lady who gave us a tour of a refurbished brothel, Miss Laura’s Social Club. Truly a highlight of Arkansas!