Image: Lindsay Kreighbaum Photography courtesy of Katalyst PR.

Roanna Canete started The Gluten Free Baking Company (formerly Coronado’s Gluten Free Pantry) in 2015 out of her kitchen on Coronado Island for her son, who suffers from wheat and eggs allergies.

“When we were living in Italy I could find tons of gluten-free stuff, but none of them tasted good and I felt bad,” she explained. “I wanted him to be able to eat what we were eating.” Canete began experimenting with recipes while still in Italy, and her son’s teacher, who was celiac, became her first customer. “It was word of mouth from there,” she said.

Image: Lindsay Kreighbaum Photography courtesy of Katalyst PR.

When they moved to Coronado Island from Italy, she sold to the gluten-free community on the island, again through word of mouth, who would pick up their pastries and breads from Canete’s front porch each week. Eventually, she began selling at the North Park and Little Italy farmer’s markets, where wholesale customers like Communal Coffee and Holy Matcha found her.

Within three years, Canete took over Euro Pastry, expanding into their 2,400-square-foot kitchen, and transforming all their recipes into gluten-free options. She also retained their entire clientele, including Sushi in the Rock, The Living Room, Ken Sushi Restaurant, Plumeria, and many others. She currently distributes to more than 40 San Diego restaurants and cafes.

Image: Lindsay Kreighbaum Photography courtesy of Katalyst PR.

In 2019, she rebranded as The GF Baking Co., and won second place on Netflix’s Sugar Rush Holiday Season alongside her cake designer, Lisa Altfest.

Canete’s hopes to open a dedicated gluten-free baking school in San Diego. For now, she celebrated the company’s fifth year anniversary with the opening of her very first storefront on 30th Street in the heart of North Park.

Image: Lindsay Kreighbaum Photography courtesy of Katalyst PR.

The Shop

The 385-square-front space on 30th street is a 100% gluten-free dedicated space, and a large selection of their menu is also dairy-free and vegan.

The interior looks like a tiny French-boutique, with elaborate decorated cakes on display behind the jam-packed pastry case featuring cookies, cupcakes, breads, cinnamon rolls, challah, cakes, cream puffs, and cookies.

Image: Courtesy of Jill Denny Photography.

The bakery is known for its award-winning custom cakes and wedding cakes, which can be ordered in advance and made to accommodate just about any dietary request. For those who can’t wait, the bakery will always have plain cakes available for pick-up.

On the savory side, bagels are offered, and soon, bialys topped with caramelized onions, olives, garlic, and various spices will be available. They currently have cold drinks and plan to add hot drinks to pair with your sweets.

There are tables outside on the sidewalk patio area where guests can sit and enjoy the allergen-friendly bounty.

Image: courtesy of Jill Denny Photography.

Special Requests Are Always Welcome

Canete prides herself on offering allergen-friendly options and working to accomodate special needs. She recommends calling in advance to see about specific dietary accommodations.

Visit The Gluten Free Baking Co.

4594 30th Street, North Park

Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 11am-6:30pm


About the Contributor
Christina Kantzavelos
Christina Kantzavelos is a freelance writer and the owner and editor of the award-winning gluten-free and health-conscious travel and lifestyle blog @BuenQamino. She enjoys writing about food, travel, health, culture, and sustainable living in San Diego and beyond.