For many people, there’s nothing more alluring than a tender and flavorful piece of bread. It’s the perfect vehicle for sandwiches, pizza, or hamburgers. But for those who are gluten free or vegan, a slice of fresh bread may not be an option.
However, Allison Brummet and Shay Spear — who own Organicos Bakery in Phoenix — believe everyone should partake in the joy of freshly baked bread and baked goods. Their passion for creating an amazing product quickly gained the attention and love of the community.
A history of culinary excellence
Prior to opening Organicos Bakery in 2018, Allison and Shay worked at the Larks restaurants in Southern Oregon for several years.
“One of the bartenders at Larks had friends who were selling a bakery,” said Allison. “We toyed around with the idea for a while, and it was about 2-3 years later before it happened.”
Long before opening a bakery, both Shay and Allison had extensive experience in the restaurant industry. Allison received her training from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, with a Bachelors in Professional Studies and Baking/Pastry Arts, and Shay had an Associates degree from Le Cordon Bleu in Arizona.
When approached with the idea of opening their own place, Allison and Shay recognized they were a great duo and worked well together.
“I could make the bread and he’d do the rest!” said Allison, adding they had — and still have — a well-rounded partnership.
They were also intrigued by the unique subset of gluten free and vegan baking.
“It’s a challenging and fun area — and a mix of science and art,” explained Allison. “People are becoming more interested in food alternatives which are better for their bodies and the earth. I saw growth potential in this area that I didn’t see anywhere else. At the time, I decided the unknown was a safer risk than the known.”
All about the bakery
According to Shay, the original Organicos Bakery started with only one gluten free bread which was used in another cafe.
“It was an interesting process when we took over,” said Shay. “There was a lot to do. But we saw a business which we could maintain and grow. We knew we could help the bakery reach its full potential.”
“We actually found the original recipe for the gluten free brown rice bread. It was like reading a piece of history!” Allison said.
Today, the bakery offers 5-6 different flavors of sliced loaves — from plain white to brown rice, multi-grain, cinnamon raisin and coconut quinoa. Additionally, they host an in-store market day for their customers three days a week.
Organicos Bakery continues to grow their offerings and produces delicious treats like cinnamon rolls, muffins and sticky buns, in addition to selling their products to local grocery stores and restaurants.
“Neither of us are gluten free, but we want to provide the same experience of having what we can have, to those who can’t,” said Shay. “Our customers know the extra care that goes into making something they can have that also tastes good.”
Rising above challenges
Similar to other local businesses, Organicos Bakery endured a stressful year in 2020. But it was Allison and Shay’s strong partnership, and their amazing team, which helped them pull through.
“With the pandemic, we were fortunate to have options where our team could band together and help each other. We just kept asking, ‘How can we adjust and adapt?’” said Allison.
Amidst the pandemic, Shay and Allison also endured the impacts of the Almeda Fire. They were fortunate that the fire skipped over their old building, but there was still a lot of smoke damage and other issues to deal with.
“We couldn’t get to our building for a while,” Allison explained. “The power was out and we lost some of our product.”
However, there was a bright spot during the chaos. According to Shay, they had already chosen their new bakery location, which was only about a mile from the old one.
“The new location is working out well,” said Shay. “There’s so many awesome local businesses in the Phoenix Industrial Studios, and it’s really drawing people in. It’s like an oasis in the middle of the city.”
A welcoming and supportive community
After a whirlwind year due to the pandemic and wildfires, Allison and Shay are excited for what the future holds.
“This is our first retail space,” said Shay. “We have a shop, and our customers are here and excited to support us.”
“We want to exceed people’s expectations of what a good, allergen free product should be,” said Allison. “We love to be a guide for people who are newly gluten free and don’t know what to get or where to go.”
For Shay and Allison, they also feel welcomed by the community and love to see people buying from local businesses.
“Please support local! When you do, you’re not only helping the owner and their family, but the families they support,” said Allison. “Buying locally helps our community thrive.”
Organicos Bakery hours:
Monday & Thursday, 7am-2pm
(bread and packaged items)
Tuesday, Saturday & Sunday, 7am-2pm
(fresh pastries, savories, and sourdough)
Closed Wednesday & Friday
Photo Credit: Organicos Bakery Facebook page