bake - February 2018 - 38

38 < FEB 2018 |

Like many vegan bakeries around the country, Mud Pie Vegan Bakery &
Coffeehouse in Kansas City, Missouri, doesn't just cater to the vegan and
gluten-free crowds. It looks to bring in the casual bakery shopper, as well.
"It's definitely a mix," says owner Ashley Valverde, of the bakery's
customer base. "It was really scary to open a vegan business, but the
majority of the people that come in here aren't vegan or vegetarian.
That was our goal, to win them over and make people less afraid of
vegan baked goods."
Mud Pie has benefitted from a variety of factors, including its convenient
location in a unique neighborhood in Kansas City. Valverde, along with
her husband Michael and her parents, John and Sharon Hughes, operate the bakery out of a quaint two-story yellow house. Customers can
spread out throughout the many rooms in the house, whether it be the
bottom floor's cozy atmosphere for chatting or working on computers,
or the upstairs portion featuring more personal environments in addition
to a room for kids with a baby gate and plenty of toys to enjoy.
Once inside, they are wowed by Mud Pie's diverse offerings. The bakery's small batch coffees, brewed in-house, are a point of pride for its
staff. They also make their own milks, including soy, almond, cashew,
coconut, rice and hemp. That innovation extends to its baked goods.
The Valverdes have gotten plenty of inspiration from other sources, but
also have brought in bakers with backgrounds that allows for them to
experiment with gluten-free's capabilities.
"We try to stay away from nut flours (for customers with nut allergies),
although we have nuts in certain items. We use rice, sorghum, quinoa,
garbanzo. We have a whole slew of flours," says Ashley Valverde. Each
flour has a distinct taste, so they experiment with different bases for
each product. "We have one base for cookies, but it will be totally different for cupcakes or muffins," she says.
Scones and bagels are some of the bakery's most popular menu items.
The savory flavors, in particular, are a big draw, but its sweet treats also
impress. The best-selling product is its crumble bars, which come in
fruity flavors such as blueberry and apple.
In July, Mud Pie opened a second location in nearby Overland Park,
Kansas. The new site features more retail space and a much larger
kitchen which will allow for increased menu options for both locations,
with the possibility of daily lunches, vegan donuts, smoothies and
much more. Mud Pie continues to cultivate business within the community as local residents continue to appreciate its diversity.


Vegan Bakery Caters to All

sweet goods

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of bake - February 2018