Vanessa Darling is gearing up to open The Maple Tree Bakery at 5 Fir Street in Fairview. The bakery and cafe is expected to open in August. In the meantime find Darling at the Wednesday downtown market.

Gluten-free bakery rising in Fairview

Red Deer’s only gluten-free bakery and cafe will soon open its doors in Fairview.

Red Deer’s only gluten-free bakery and cafe will soon open its doors in Fairview.

The Maple Tree Bakery on 5 Fir Street will serve up everything from gluten-free breads, cinnamon buns, pies, English muffins, cheddar biscuits to pizza crusts and quinoa bars.

Vanessa Darling decided to open the cafe due to the overwhelming response to her homemade goods sold at local markets.

She sells her baked goods under Darling Sweets at the downtown Wednesday market.

“It’s been amazing,” said Darling. “People are coming out of the woodwork. I was sold out within an hour and a half at the first Wednesday market.”

Darling said she wants to create an atmosphere where people can stop in to have coffee or a light lunch. The final menu is still being developed.

“Our slogan is healthy, gluten-free and allergy free,” said Darling.

The bakery will likely be open seven days a week to start.

Her husband John will handle the business side while Vanessa will focus on recipe development and running the bakery.

About three years ago, Darling moved to a gluten-free diet after discovering she was gluten sensitive. Her sister is also celiac.

She started experimenting in the kitchen to find recipes that were healthy and tasted good.

She headed to local markets to sell her baked goods. The goods were such a hit that her husband suggested Darling “go big or go home.”

The name comes from the Manitoba Maple Tree that sits on the Darlings’ farm near Pine Lake. The tree was planted by John Darling’s grandmother.

Renovations to the building will begin as soon as the development permit is issued. The bakery is at the former site for the Castle Cone Cafe.

Find The Maple Tree (Gluten Free restaurant) on Facebook for more information, including pre-orders, or at the downtown market on Wednesdays between 4 and 7 p.m.

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