Gluten-free baking from the heart
Veronica LeMaster Photos Kimberlee Miller
Chances are, you’ve seen heart thumbprint cookies with a fruity filling while standing in line for a coffee, or a delicately wrapped muffin that has fresh fruit and a sweet drizzle you can’t take your eyes off. Little did you know, those items from Idahome Bakery are all gluten-free, but still make for the perfect treat.
Idahome Bakery has been providing nutritious, yet delicious, gluten-free food to the Boise valley for just under a year. As they prepare to celebrate their first birthday, Owner Telara Oliver and Co-Owner Janice Toledo have no plans on slowing down.
For Oliver, it all started with Stanley Baking Company, a local bakery in Stanley, Idaho where she grew up. There, she began learning how to bake, and would eventually make it a lifelong passion.
When asked where the inspiration for Idahome Bakery started, Oliver recalled working at the Alpine Pantry in McCall. They were one of the first places she worked that commercially sold gluten free products, which was essential to Oliver after she discovered she’s intolerant to both dairy and wheat.
“It really opened my eyes to the potential of creating gluten-free food that’s delicious and moist and not sticky-sweet or hockey-puck hard,” she said. “Working there really inspired me to create my own stuff.”
She quickly returned to Boise after living in McCall for two years to start up her own gluten-free bakery with her mother.
“My mom’s always been very supportive. She’s a good grounding personality for me, and definitely holds down the fort behind-the-scenes,” Oliver explained.
The duo began baking in a commercial kitchen in Boise, which has been fundamental in starting the small bakery, as Oliver added “I will forever be grateful to Emmeli Mayo for being so supportive [with our bakery].” They strive to use local ingredients and products to create their unique goods, such as with Meriwether Cider. A focus of theirs is to include ice-cream on the menu, an experiment using Meriwether Cider’s Blackberry Boom.
“I like experimenting with different stuff and collaborating with other businesses,” she said. “I try to keep it all local.” Oliver sources eggs from Morning Owl Farm through Idaho’s Bounty and relies on Reed’s Dairy for milk.
“I love creating flavor combinations like the cranberry tangerine scone; it’s something unusual that you don’t find that often,” she explained. “Or offering raspberry muffins, which I feel are more flavorful than the blueberry—they just have that zingy pop to them!”
Her favorite thing to make and enjoy on the menu are the Sawtooth muffins, which are loaded with flax, coconut, cranberry, golden raisin, apple, and carrot.
As for a retail location, Oliver says there won’t be one in the works anytime soon. Instead, she hopes to someday have her own commercial kitchen, and source more of her ingredients as locally as possible.
“I think it’s exciting that Boise is so food-forward and that it’s progressive in the way companies are adjusting using local products and helping support other local businesses in the valley, I really look forward to more of that with the bakery,” she said.
Idahome Bakery can be seen as Oliver’s love note to Idaho. When asked where the name originated from, the answer was simple, Idaho is her home.
“Wherever you live, whether you grew up there or not, it’s about appreciating the place you live, and I really love that so many people have moved to Idaho and are influencing Idaho in a really positive way. I wanted the name to be inclusive and not exclusive, I wanted it to touch people’s hearts who love Idaho,” Oliver said.
You can find Idahome Bakery treats at Hyde Perk Coffee House, Hyde House, Dawson Taylor Coffee, Java, Push and Pour, Lemon Tree, Txikiteo, and Coffee Mill.