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The journey to open a gluten-free bakery in the Hilltop Campus Village neighborhood of Davenport has taken a tragic turn, but the new business still will open this fall. That’s the word from Meg Reed, the business general manager of Life Breads Gluten-Free Bakery. Renovations on the new bakery are now in the works and it is scheduled to open in the storefront at 1509 N. Harrison St. as soon as October, she added. “The future is, we are keeping on moving. … The ship will keep sailing. Everything is picking up speed again,” Ms. Reed said in a recent interview with the QCBJ. But the bakery, which was a “lifelong dream” of Catherine “Cat” Herzog, will open without her at the helm, said Ms. Reed, one of Ms. Herzog’s daughters. Ms. Herzog was busy expanding and transforming the business into a storefront bakery in early August when she died unexpectedly Aug. 7. Ms. Reed said her mother passed out on that day and never woke up. “We feel she is still here,” said Ms. Reed. “Everybody grieves at their own pace. … The bakery is my grieving process.” The family-owned business goal remains the same: offering food that is gluten-free, nutritious and delicious. Some of its offerings will 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. Ms. Herzog, who described herself as a “gluten-free bakeress” on her business card, was a driving force behind the gluten-free business that offered products at farmers markets at NorthPark Mall in Davenport (Saturday and Wednesday mornings), and at 2580 18th St., Bettendorf, (Monday and Thursday afternoons). Since Ms. Herzog announced plans for the bakery in July, many people in the neighborhood said they are looking forward to the new business. Molly Otting Carslon, executive director of the Hilltop Campus Village, said the new bakery will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood that will help people looking for good food and those who need gluten-free items because of health issues. That bakery was beginning to take shape in late August when Ms. Reed spoke with the QCBJ. Much of the bakery equipment had arrived, and plans were being made to add a small section for additional storage and office space. The bar area in the building also might be replaced. The storefront once was home to Zeke’s Island Cafe, and several years ago to Lumpy’s Bar & Grill. “The space here is great. We need to paint and install everything,” Ms. Reed said. She also is making plans for a very important part of the bakery – a section that will be called “Cat’s Corner” in memory of her mother. It will feature Ms. Herzog’s photo and will be devoted to encouraging young people to get involved in baking. Once open, the bakery is expected to have three employees – Ms. Reed, her father Todd Herzog, and her sister Elizabeth “Hope” Quisenberry, who just returned to the region from Missouri. (Ms. Reed said that her sister has a great talent for baking goods, especially sweet items, like cinnamon rolls.) In addition to honoring her late mother, Ms. Reed said it’s important to open the bakery to better serve their customers and people who need their gluten-free products. Many of Life Breads’ customers have health issues – such as celiac disease – that force them to look for gluten-free food options. Shortly before her death, Ms. Herzog told the QCBJ that her family knows firsthand about those health issues and that was why they started making gluten-free food. The family started their home-based business called Hope’s Treats – named after their daughter, Elizabeth “Hope.” 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, potatoes, 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. Ms. Reed added that her goal is to get the new bakery open by the end of October when the farmers markets end for the season so their customers will have a seamless transition from the markets to the bakery. It’s also important to get the bakery up and running as a tribute to her mother. “This is the last bit of her. … Everything has to keep running,” she said. For more information on Life Breads, visit qclifebreads.com.