In the Bay Area, you can now travel to the heart of Europe and indulge in Viennese pastries without expensive tickets or adding to your carbon footprint. Babsi’s Viennese Treats opened almost a year ago as a gluten-free Berkeley home bakery offering organic low- and no-sugar treats inspired by traditional Viennese recipes.
“It tastes just like home,” exclaims a regular gluten-free farmers market customer from the Czech Republic, picking up her weekly order of poppy seed cookies and vanilla crescents (both sugar-free), “AND I can eat it! What a gift!” Babsi’s treats have been welcomed with appreciation and nostalgia by Central European expats, travelers returning from Europe, and health-conscious customers with gluten-intolerance, diabetes, and a preference for low- or no-sugar, high-protein, Paleo-friendly diets and locally sourced organic ingredients.
Born and raised in Vienna and frequently complimented for her baking skills, owner Babsi (Barbara Widhalm) cherished a vision to open a Viennese bakery ever since she moved to the US 19 years ago. With the California Homemade Food Act coming into effect recently, she was able to make her dream a reality while continuing her other role as a Bay Area college instructor teaching courses on sustainability, ecological consciousness, and social justice. “As a community college instructor working in Oakland, I have experienced first-hand how poor access to healthy food impacts young learners’ capacity to succeed and follow their dreams. Babi’s treats nourish body, mind, and spirit.”
Babsi launched a crowdfunding campaign in late August to attract seed funding to bring Babsi’s Viennese Treats to its next level: http://www.gofundme.com/babsistreats. Funds will be used to upgrade kitchen equipment, support market and special event expenses, develop packaging systems for retail, and participate in Uptima Business Bootcamp at the HUB Oakland to develop sustainable business strategies in a learning community of local entrepreneurs. Plans include offering baking workshops for local youth, and hosting Viennese café experiences inviting healthy-sweet-infused coffee table conversations from the heart. “We tested the idea of offering coffeehouse experiences at our crowdfunding launch party a few weeks ago and are excited to develop this further. Viennese coffeehouses have traditionally been birth places for creative ideas and social change.” Rewards for donors include free recipes from Babsi’s bakery, traditional Viennese songs performed by Babsi’s family in Vienna and Babsi herself, discounts and coupons to free treats, and discounts or free access to baking classes by Babsi.
For more information: http://gofundme.com/babsistreats
Coming up: Article in the Celiac Community Foundation online newsletter, October edition: http://www.celiaccommunity.org/
Contact: Barbara Widhalm, [email protected]; 510-529-6321