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Business Update: Ms. Michelle's Urban Gourmet

The Bayport gluten-free goodies shop offers everything from a breakfast nosh to soup and more.

When Michelle Gillette opened Ms. Michelle’s Urban Gourmet a little over 18 months ago, she likely didn’t expect customers to drive from Nassau County or the east end for her gluten-free desserts, sandwiches, soups and homemade daily pastry specials.

But they do, and in the past year and a half they’ve also inspired her to create new recipes that have become favorites among the Middle Road shop’s expanding customer base.

In fact, during a recent visit a customer asked when she would have her well-known black and white cookies back on the rack, and another customer talked about how every morsel was devoured during his family’s entertaining at holiday time.

“A lot of our customers visit through word of mouth,” said Gillette’s partner Christopher Kelly, but Gillette is also a savvy social media user and entices new and regular customers to stop by via posts on her Facebook page and her monthly email newsletter.

In fact it was the arrival of new French Savories – a twist on the shop’s rolls featuring porcuitto and cheddar and another made with spinach and cheddar that prompted Patch to stop in early one weekend morning.

“We’ll try to create whatever customers ask for, whatever is on their bucket list,” said Kelly, noting the breakfast treats were just one of the newest goodies at the quaint gourmet shop.

This week the ‘bucket list’ treat was Nutella Cookie Pie and chocolate chip cookie cake balls rolled in dark chocolate fudge and dipped in sprinkles.

Another new treat are the Peanut Butter cupcakes and every day there is a soup special as well. Tomato bisque was the perfect remedy one lunchtime when the weather was freezing and gloomy.

While the initial goal in opening the shop may have been to offer options for those with dietary issues and food allergies, the shop’s become a favorite for those who can digest wheat and white flour.

That’s because Michelle’s Urban Gourmet is proof that healthy, organic and gluten-free desserts and treats aren’t what they once used to be: a limited and sometimes not very satisfying experience.

“It takes a lot of patience,” admits Kelly, in terms of getting a new recipe created and developing a consistency in flavor.

“We make a lot of batches,” he adds with a smile. “But it’s worth it and now a growing number of our customers are those who can have gluten products but come here because they love how our products taste.”

To check out what’s on the menu for the day, you can check out Gillette’s Facebook page, sign up for her newsletter or give a quick drive by as she always has specials or lunch offerings of the day clearly posted on a blackboard sign.

Hannah Bissell January 04, 2013 at 02:33 PM
Ms Michelle's is a dream come true! My 7 year old has Celiac Disease (cannot have gluten) and after many disappointing experiences over the years, she is quite critical of anything new. She, and her older brother, devour Ms. Michelle's treats. Now, when I have to bring into school her own special cupcake bc another child has a birthday, it's the other kids who are envious of her when they spot Ms. Michelle's chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. And when I go to pick it up, I always manage to somehow get something for myself. I can't resist!
Shannon Klubes January 04, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Once I found out my skin and digestive issues were due to a gluten sensitivity I thought my days of enjoying many foods that I love was over, until I found Ms. Michelle's. Not only is the food amazing, the owners are fantastic! A family member of mine has 5 young children, 2 of which have life threatening food allergies to eggs, nuts amd dairy. I wasn't sure if Michelle could help me provide them with a desert that the entire family could enjoy but to my surprise she did! If you have not been to the shop you must try it! Amd ask questions because they will answer any and all questions and concerns! I <3 Ms. Michelle's!!!

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