Pictured: Sasha Crescentini (left) + Dawn Martel (right)
Happy Tuesday everyone!
Today we are spotlighting mother and daughter baking duo, Bakeology. Sasha Crescentini and Dawn Martel have put their touch into making classic cookies enjoyable for the gluten intolerant. Not only are their cookies gluten free, they are also vegan! While their cookies have these characteristics, Sasha and Dawn have managed to keep the delicious flavor, creating the best vegan gluten free cookies I’ve ever had! These are the type of cookies that if you did not know they weren’t your typical recipe you would never know the difference! Check out our interview with Sasha and her mother Dawn to see what flavor is each of their favorites and how they work together as a family!
What gave you the initial idea to start a baking business? And why was this something you both wanted to pursue?
DM: "I grew up in an ashram and apart of my "seva" or job was to work in the bakery alongside a professional pastry chef. Baking has been my passion ever since. I've always loved making people feel good through baked goods. There's just something so welcoming and comforting about it."
SC: "I grew up baking with my mom. We practically lived in the kitchen. She taught me all of the basics but when I discovered I was gluten intolerant, I was inspired to create alternatives to my mom's flour + butter filled recipes. This prompted a never- ending experiment. If you ever need me, you know where to find me."
DM: "In early January, I was about to sign a lease for a restaurant in Malibu. Meanwhile, Sasha was pursuing Bakeology. One day, we just looked at each other and realized that we both wanted the same thing, essentially, to create a brand of yummy and healthy sweets for people to enjoy at home."
Have either of you had prior experience working in the food industry?
DM: "Oh yes! Before Bakeology, I ran a catering and event planning company for ten years. Food has always been my lifeline literally and figuratively. Making people feel good with yummy food is the best."
SC: "After college, my best friend and I founded a company called Scrumptious Soul. We made gluten free and vegan desserts and delivered to locals in the Malibu area. It was a great learning experience that taught me there’s a real big demand for tasty alternatives to classic sweets."
You are a mother daughter duo. How is working with each other? What is the best part about working with your family?
DM: "Working together is an incredible mother daughter journey. We both have very strong ideas and sometimes that can be a challenge to get through, but on the other hand, we have a very similar vision for Bakeology and are very aligned, so we really don’t allow our mother/daughter matters to get in the way of our passion for baking and creating good sweets."
SC: "Interesting yet amazing. We have a tendency to say mean things to one another but we make up really fast and move on. We realize that we are a good team and have different strengths that make for a pretty efficient pair. The best part about working together is that we are family. We trust each other."
What is your most popular cookie? Is it your favorite? If not, which is?
SC: "Our best seller is the chocolate chip cookie because who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies! They are classic! My favorite flavor would have to be the Vanilla Chai Shortbread though. It's so unique! It's also less sweet than the other cookies."
DM: "I love them all….seriously, I have different moods, but I have to say that quite often, its Vanilla Chai Shortbread with my coffee, Snickerdoodle with my afternoon tea, and Chocolate Chip in the evening for dessert."
What sets your cookies apart from other cookie companies?
SC: "I think what makes us different is that our cookies aren't just vegan or gluten-free, they are both. It's rare to find a cookie that can pack that punch. It's also rare for them not to taste like cardboard."
DM: "We use coconut oil instead of butter and most use palm oil or other blends. I also love our flour mixture- it creates a very nice texture for the cookies. It’s also a really nice mix for cakes."
Your cookies are vegan and gluten-free? Do either of you follow a gluten free or vegan diet?
SC: "I try to stay away from gluten because I'm gluten intolerant. However, if I smell a fresh donut, I'm known to take a bite...or two. I try not to restrict myself too much. I believe in balance. Overall, I just try to stay away from overly processed food because it makes me feel crumby."
DM: "I prefer not to restrict myself too heavily from any type of food because sometimes it’s just about the comfort that is felt by eating something I crave, but at the same time, I don’t eat very much junk food. I like to feel good and that is always closely related to what I eat."
Where can people find your cookies? Are there certain events/locations you are always at?
DM: "Our cookies can be found at Erewhon in Hollywood as well as Urban Radish and Artisan House in Downtown LA. We are also in Canoga Park at Follow Your Heart and in Brentwood at Vicente Foods. You can find a complete list of the other wonderful stores on our website. We love to do milk and cookie pop-ups, whether it is for an opening of a store or a good cause, or just for the sake of “milk + cookies."
What's next for Bakeology? A freestanding bakery?
SC: "We are so inspired to continue to create new cookies that are gluten-free and vegan, as well as other types of products, such as flour mixes, cake mixes and very soon some granola bites in a few unique flavors. It would be wonderful to have a retail location at some point in the future, but for now we are concentrating our efforts on our wholesale business. We are also working on some products that will be sweetened with coconut sugar in order to accommodate those who are looking for a low-glycemic treat!"
You can learn more about Sasha and Dawn and where you can find their cookies on their website, www.Bakeology.co
Written & Styled by: Kristen Tola Hettich
Photographed by: Bethany Nauert