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Friday, November 1, 2013
Clearing Up BabyCakesNYC Gluten-Free Confusion
A few weeks ago, when I first published my list of gluten-free bakeries in New York City, I was shocked by the backlash. I was attacked on Twitter by one of the bakeries who said the other bakeries I listed were not all gluten-free. I was really upset by all of these Tweets because my post was meant to be happy and celebrating all of the new gluten-free options for us in this city. This person came across as accusatory and quite honestly looked a bit jealous of the the competition that was now encroaching on their territory. My blogger friends rallied behind me and I knew there was nothing wrong in my post.

I do my research. I put together my post based on all of the information available on each individual bakery website and press releases sent out by the bakeries themselves. I did not include bakeries that also produce gluten-filled goods. These were all 100% gluten-free bakeries. I was bothered that this person on the Internet was implying I was a liar.

This Tweeter was relentless, specifically calling out Babycakes NYC for using spelt in their products. While this was true in the past, I remembered reading that Babycakes NYC stopped using spelt. I went to the source and I got my information from the Babycakes website and included them in my tweet. Babycakes NYC calmly responded to the negative tweets via Twitter and stated "We discontinued our spelt items a few months ago and have been 100% gluten free ever since. :)"

And then the comments and Tweets from others continued, continuously calling out Babycakes NYC. For those of you unfamiliar with Babycakes NYC, they have been a very popular destination bakery in New York City for years. They produce gluten-free goods such as cupcakes, cookies, and even donuts. In the past, they used spelt in their other products. Unfortunately, this wasn't the first time Babycakes was going through a bit of a gluten-free controversy.

I wanted to clear up any confusion, so I went directly to the Babycakes NYC website. And then I started getting confused. On their menu page, the top line clearly says: "All items are dairy free, egg free, soy free, and gluten free." The same information is on their ingredients page. But if you dig around on their website, there are a lot of old pages (that are probably meant to be archived) which clearly state  that Babycakes NYC uses spelt. I could understand why others were confused so I decided to go directly to the source. I emailed Babycakes and heard back in less than an hour.

With permission, I am posting the exact response I received from the Babycakes NYC general manager.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We stopped using spelt in our bakery late this spring and have updated our website as well. The link that states that we still use spelt is an old link that was accidentally left up on one page. We just deleted that link so that all of the updated information is available and correct through the website.
After phasing out our spelt products, we deep cleaned our oven and kitchen area to make sure that there is no risk of cross contamination. We no longer use any of our utensils, bowls, cleaning utensils, measuring cups, and pans that were labeled spelt and have thoroughly bleached and deep cleaned the sink that was used for Spelt products. 
Thank you again for bringing this to our attention, all of the corrections to the website have been made. Please let us know if anything else comes up. Thank you and have a great day!

From this response, it is seems to me that Babycakes NYC understands what needs to be done in a kitchen once a gluten-filled ingredient is removed. They appear to have taken all of the proper protocols to rid their kitchen of gluten to the best of their abilities. The most important thing is their transparency. Babycakes NYC responded to my Tweet immediately and to my emails in less than an hour. They agreed to let me post their response to all of my readers. I don't always find gluten-free companies that comfortable with full disclosure, but not Babycakes NYC.

It is obviously still up to each of the gluten-free individuals if they want to eat at ANY of the gluten-free bakeries I mentioned in my post, but I really wanted to get the facts straight. I take my blog, and the health and safety of my readers, VERY seriously. I would never intentionally post false information. I applaud Babycakes NYC for their honesty and I thank them for being one of the soon-to-be SEVEN gluten-free bakeries in New York City.

Please note: This blog post is only intended to report on the Babycakes New York City location. For any questions regarding their other locations, please contact Babycakes directly!!!

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