An old, two-story red brick building on North Harrison Street, Davenport, is about to get a new life – and lots of gluten-free food.
A new bakery – Life Breads Gluten-Free Bakery – is scheduled to open in the storefront at 1509 N. Harrison St., which is a part of Davenport’s Main Street urban district known as Hilltop Campus Village, this fall, perhaps in September or October, said Cat Herzog, who, along with her husband, Todd, is owner of the bakery.
“It’s a good location. I like historical things and this has a historical vibe to it,” she said about the storefront, which was once home to Zeke’s Island Cafe, and Lumpy’s Bar & Grill several years ago.
Earlier this week, the Herzogs and their business general manager, Meg Reed, were busy cleaning up the old storefront and getting it ready for the fall opening. The storefront has 1,700 square feet of space and will feature three employees – the Herzogs and Ms. Reed – when the business opens. There might be more employees added later.
“I just love this brick,” added Ms. Herzog as she looked over the building’s red brick interior on Tuesday, Aug. 2.
That interior, once open for business, will also have a bakery display, seating for customers who are interested in indoor dining, a storage area and some bright colors. Ms. Reed said they are looking at painting the interior “chopped dill” – that’s a light green – and also shades of blue that have names like “Sweet Juliet” and “Royal Fortune.”
“I’m just very excited” about the move into the new storefront, she said.“The response from people has been overwhelming.”
She added that one of their goals is to have a soft opening for the bakery this fall for business officials. They hope to bring those officials in, show off their gluten-free bakery goods and sell those items to area grocery stores, cafes and coffee shops.
But Life Breads is much more than a storefront. The business, which currently offers its food products at farmers markets at NorthPark Mall in Davenport (Saturday and Wednesday mornings), and in Bettendorf at 2580 18th St. (on Monday and Thursday afternoons), has the ultimate goal of offering food that’s gluten-free, nutritious and delicious, said Ms. Herzog.
Many of Life Breads’ customers have health issues – such as celiac disease – that force them to look for gluten-free food options.
Ms. Herzog said her family knows firsthand about those health issues. That’s why they started making gluten-free food. The family started a gluten-free baked good home-based business called Hope’s Treats – named after their third daughter. When Hope and her family moved from the area, the business ended for a time, but restarted as Life Breads.
“Our family, aside from celiac disease, has dealt with over 150 different allergies and intolerances,” according to Life Breads’ website. “The running joke among friends became ‘Is there anything you can eat?’ … At Life Breads, we want to help you get back to life. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, allergic/intolerant to milk proteins, milk, sugars, eggs, nuts, fruits, potatoe, corn, soy, chemical residue on conventional produce … that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying toast, Thanksgiving stuffing, pumpkin pie, coffee cake, a sandwich or a muffin.”
Today at the two area farmers markets some of the bestselling items are banana bread, lemon pound cake and garlic cheese bread.
And the family is always looking to add to its offerings and recipes.
“Right now, I’m trying to talk my husband into doing pizza crust that he makes,” Ms. Herzog added.
Some of the other gluten-free offerings on the company website include: breads such as Happy Accident White Bread, Keto Loaf, Paleo Seed Bread; and other treats like muffins, chocolate glazed doughnuts and maple glazed doughnuts.
Those treats, and many others, will continue to be offered in the coming weeks at the Life Breads’ food booth at local farmers markets. But when those markets end for the season in the fall, the goal is to have a “seamless transition” to the bakery’s new storefront building in Davenport, said Ms. Herzog.
For more information on Life Breads, go to the company website at qclifebreads.com.