Tuesday, October 21, 2003
I visited with friends last night, and we discussed their new diet - Atkins, along with accompanying pre-bakery treats.
Manager tried the Atkins Diet and had to give it up because it is so heavily dependent upon soy to reduce carbohydrates. She's very allergic to soy. We modified the diet to be soy-free, and she's done well on it.
But that got me to thinking about our menu and people's eating habits.
A bakery is the last place someone on an Atkins Diet wants to go. They can just see all those little evil carbs sneaking into the bloodstream via inhalation. Even if they lost weight, they'd claim to have gained it in order to stigmatize the bakeries and thus justify their boycott.
So, we got together, Manager and I, and discussed how we could turn this popular diet to our bakery benefit.
From the reactions of our dieting friends, the lo-carb bread formula we devised (which, by the way, is lower in carbs than Atkins' bread and contains no soy - we had it tested in the university food labs), and the lo-carb soup to accompany it were a hit. The savings in carbs allowed them to have a small slice of lo-carb vanilla sour cream cake.
Along with other specialty breads - gluten-free, salt-free, sugar-free, peanut-free, soy-free - we'll gain (hopefully) a reputation as a place to get good bread for anyone.
I insist that all of our recipes, however we adapt them for various diets, must have flavor, aroma, and "bite". None of this pressed cardboard stuff. Eye appeal is easy to get, a little egg wash, a little caramel color, and voila, it's pretty. The other three are what brings people back, though. I want repeat, happy, customers who will drag their friends along. I want a bakery people want to revisit - often. Light and airy, with good entertainment, great foods for most any dietary needs, aromatically delicious beverages, and outstanding service.