Esposito and Lubert—one a former personal chef, the other a health counselor—have a long list of food sensitivities between them. Esposito is pre-diabetic, hypoglycemic and lactose intolerant, and Lubert is allergic to wheat, dairy and cane sugar. The idea for the bakery was conceived in 2007 and, after a long period of trial and error (including over 20 different vanilla cupcake recipes), the bakery opened on January 15.
“We wanted to open the playing field for everyone,” says Esposito. “There are lots of gluten-free bakeries and lots of vegan bakeries, but very few are a combination of the two.”
The shop’s best-selling item is a chocolate chip cookie sandwich featuring two coaster-sized cookies bound together by pastel blue icing. Ingredients include a combination of garbanzo, tapioca, sorghum and fava bean flours, coconut sugar and dairy-free chocolate chips. Other crowd pleasers include banana chocolate chip cupcakes and “magic bars” blanketed with shredded coconut.
Every tray in Sweet Freedom’s glass bakery case includes a card listing the item’s ingredients. (This information is also available on their website). Coconut oil, vanilla extract, xanthan gum, sea salt, coconut sugar and baking soda make an appearance in almost everything Esposito, Lubert and their staff of three bake.
The bakery itself is as sweet as the goods it offers. A sparkling, Barbie-pink chandelier hangs in the center of the baby blue room. A window seat topped with pink-trimmed cushions hugs the front window, while a long bar lined with cushy stools provides seating below a mural of the Sweet Freedom logo.
Future plans for Sweet Freedom include sidewalk seating and delivery.
1424 South Street, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tues. – Sat.; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sun., 215-545-1899, sweetfreedombakery.com