Vegan, gluten-, dye-, and dairy-free baked goods found at Cake Library

Natalie White checks her latest batch of cookies in one of the ovens.

Natalie White, who has learned the art of specialty diet baking, now offers her baked goods from the kitchen in the former Fitness Shack, 5441 Main St. Customers can purchase her assortment of treats on Thursday and Friday from 3 to 7 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm.

Shoppers can always find vegan, gluten-, and dye-free selections in the first refrigerator section, gluten-, dye-, and dairy-free items in the middle section; and gluten- and dye-free items in the third. “And the freezer is always stocked with treats, so Toledo Met and Create students can find and buy treats even when I’m not here,” she pointed out.

In addition to the array of cakes, cupcakes, brownies, cookies, oatmeal pies, and other popular baked treats, White offers gluten-free pizza crusts. During the holiday season, she also has pies, dinner rolls, special holiday cookies and cakes, and even gingerbread house kits. On occasional Fridays, White will have fried doughnuts, Oreo-like cookies, soft pretzels, and breakfast pastries.

White learned about the commercial kitchen from her friend Kinsey Van Druten of Plants on Tap, who is also a tenant using the commercial kitchen. White’s growing business was stretching her home kitchen capacity to the limit and she had been looking for a commercial kitchen. The two friends knew they could work together and share the kitchen and were able to make that happen. They along with Toledo Met and Create Art Studio now occupy the building.

“This is a perfect space for me. I home-school my two daughters and they can come here with me. There is plenty of room for them to do school work, read, or just play while we are here,” White said. “The kitchen is great and offers me the capacity I need to keep up with orders and have baked goods available to sell as well.”
White began her specialty dietary baking nearly 10 years ago after discovering that her then 2-year-old daughter Azlynn had food allergies. “We started with an elimination diet,” she remembered. “When her allergies came to light, I realized that she would be missing out of so many things as she grew up. Food is such a social experience and I did not want her to feel left out of any fun experiences. I began to experiment with products she could eat to see what I could come up with that would be like those treats kids love. I eventually found the right flours and other ingredients, tweaking recipes and making them my own,” she reported. “Through trial and error, I figured out how to bake cakes, cookies, and other treats that she could eat and that other kids would enjoy too.”

She continued, “During the process, I found that I was feeling much better, as well. I had always been sick and finally realized that I was gluten intolerant too, with food allergies also.”

As she assembled her many recipes from her successes, White learned the art of decorating. “I wanted Azlynn’s cakes to look pretty as well as taste good. I also wanted other kids to eat the same thing as she was eating.”

People soon began to discover White’s baked goods and encouraged her to offer them for sale. It was her husband, Lawrence’s idea, to call the company Cake Library as their house was scattered with cakes amid all the books used for school. “We all loved that name and it fits us,” White chuckled.

Leave a Reply