When Jan Calvert moved back to the Lewiston area in 2012, she discovered her options for finding gluten-free baked goods were almost non-existent. This challenge gave Jan the idea of opening a specialty, gluten-free café/bakery.
To begin, Jan began developing her own recipes and contacting suppliers. She also contacted Barbara Leachman, Director of the Lewiston Small Business Development Center (SBDC), for assistance in starting a food business in Idaho. Barbara helped her make connections with the local Food Hub group and obtain research about the gluten-free market. The SBDC also linked Jan with a team of business students who helped her with marketing ideas.
The SBDC helped me make contacts and find answers.
Jan launched “Bridge Baking” from her home in early spring of 2013. Later that year, thanks to a helpful landlord and a variety of community resources, Jan re-opened a 115-year-old bakery building located across the street from Lewis-Clark State College. Although she is working 80 hours a week, Jan says the reward is ample when customers ask if they can eat anything in the café, even though they cannot eat gluten. Her response is always a resounding, “Yes!”