Words & Deeds

Boise area’s only gluten-free grocery store and bakery to close

With more Americans seeking gluten-free dietary options, restaurants and grocers are making a larger effort to accommodate.

Still, there is only one entirely gluten-free grocery store and bakery in the Boise area — and it will close at the end of the month.

Jake’s Gluten Free Market, 12570 Fairview Ave. in Meridian, announced on Facebook that it is “giving up the ghost.” The final day of business will be Saturday, July 29. “Jake’s Gluten Free Market sincerely regrets this situation,” the post says, “and would like to thank our customers for their years of loyal support.”

Boiseans looking for a wide selection of gluten-free treats can still find them at Amaru Confections, 217 S. Roosevelt St., which has a separate kitchen for making its gluten-free baked goods. And a new food-truck bakery and bistro, Gluten Free Galaxy, features an entirely gluten-free menu at 4531 Alpine St. on the Boise Bench.

Reached by telephone, a man who identified himself as the owner of Jake’s would not comment specifically about why the business is closing or say when it originally opened. (The Jake’s Facebook page indicates the business opened Sept. 25, 2010, but the Idaho Statesman archive mentions Jake’s as far back as 2008.)

Customers on Facebook expressed sorrow.

A liquidation sale has begun. Everything in the store is 20 percent off. Beginning July 20, everything is 30 percent off. Beginning July 27, everything is 50 percent off. Special orders aren’t being accepted. “The bakery will operate on a ‘best can’ basis in attempt to serve the greater need of the community,” according to the post.

Also, “Cell phone calls will not be allowed in the store for the remainder of the sale.”

A recent Idaho Statesman article about gluten-free restaurants championed Jake’s “large selection of sweet and savory baked goods, including muffins, cupcakes, fruit pies, cookies, high-fiber breakfast bars, loaves of rustic bread and much more.”

This is pure speculation, but the gluten-free specialty business feels similar to the craft-beer industry. There was a time when small bottle shops focusing on craft beer could survive, if not thrive. When craft beer started showing up in every gas station and supermarket, it became more difficult for the specialty stores to continue attracting customers.

Or maybe Jake’s is closing for an entirely different reason.

Visit Jake’s online:jakesglutenfreestore.com.

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