Almond Butterfly Gluten Free Bake Shop & Espresso

Located in Toronto, Almond Butterfly Gluten Free Bake Shop & Espresso offers a full menu of baked goods, as well as hot breakfast and grilled lunch options for takeout, dine-in, or delivery. Their treats are delicious, and they sell fresh baked goods that are made from scratch on-site. Almond Butterfly baked treats are also gluten-free and soy free- and they use only premium, all-natural ingredients that are healthier for you. 

Almond Butterfly was born in a Crossfit gym in Montreal, Quebec around 5 years ago, where Melody Saari, AB's owner & head baker, trained. Melody being Melody, she'd bring in gluten-free and Paleo treats for everyone there to enjoy after their high-intensity workouts (athletes need their recovery!). The gym and its members became our first customers. In fact, "Almond Butterfly" is actually a play-on-words referring to a "butterfly" pull-up (a beautiful gymnastic movement, combining grace and power). 
The entire concept of Almond Butterfly originates from a place of health and fitness of balance between work and reward. You can find out more about Almond Butterfly here

We had the chance to chat with Almond Butterfly's Owner & Head Baker Melody Saari and asked her a few questions!

Sarah Velasco: What type of products do you have? 
Melody Saari: Baked goods: Cupcakes (top seller), cookies, brownies, paleo-friendly options, vegan options, vegan date squares, vegan breakfast cookies, chocolate chunk cookies (top seller), vegan chocolate chip cookies (top seller), gingersnap cookies, almond flour pecan cookies, paleo lava cakes, paleo flaxseed loaf, paleo nut and seed bites, *biscuits & *scones, muffins, cakes, and other seasonal baked goods. Everything is dairy-free, and the items with a * contain dairy. We also serve pies and other baked goods (but they are seasonal). Our dairy-free pumpkin pie (made with organic coconut milk) is a huge seller in the Fall. 

Savory: GFT sandwich (top seller), Hawaiian sandwich, apple cheddar walnut melt, eggtastic breakfast sandwich (top seller), breakfast bite breakfast sandwich, veggie cream cheese bagel, bagel & cream cheese, bagel with almond butter, peanut butter, real butter, or earth balance soy-free spread. All of our sandwiches are made on our homemade bagels. Everything is gluten-free, most sandwiches also have a dairy-free option. For more descriptions, please visit our website. 
Espresso: We serve all types of espresso beverages with coffee sourced from our local roaster "Social Coffee & Tea Co".
Other beverages: Our super refreshing housemade stevia lemona
de. Sugar-free, calorie-free, and shaken to perfection. 

Sarah Velasco: What inspired you start baking gluten-free products
Melody Saari: I developed a gluten intolerance in 2006, and have had to start baking and eating gluten-free ever since. I wasn't happy with the products I found on the market at that time, so took it upon myself to make my own!

Sarah Velasco: What is your food philosophy?
Melody Saari: It has to look good, and it has to taste good...regardless of whether it is gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, or otherwise. I would rather not eat then eat something that I don't find appealing and delicious. I am also very health conscious and do not eat (or bake with) preservatives, additives, artificial colors or sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or chemicals. I try to eat as unprocessed as possible. But still feel like we all deserve a treat once in a while.

Sarah Velasco: What are some common misconceptions about gluten -free treats?
Melody Saari: There are so many... but regardless of whether you are eating gluten-free or not...always look at what is in what you are eating. If the ingredient list doesn't look natural and is not filled with healthy ingredients, then you probably shouldn't eat it. Gluten-free products are not always healthy if they contain chemicals, preservatives and artifical food colors. Just be mindful of what you are eating in order to stay balanced and eat a variety of vegetables and healthy proteins along side your treats. 

Sarah Velasco: Did you always dream of opening your own bakery?
Melody Saari: No, I dreamt of opening a cafe one day, and supplying it with my own baked goods. My first love was cafe and the whole espresso culture which I became obsessed with while going to university in BC. The whole gluten-free thing and bakery thing came after I found out I could no longer eat gluten. But now I would have it no other way. I love my cafe-bakeshop, my products, my staff, and life is good!

Sarah Velasco: What is your favorite meal to cook?
Melody Saari: Right now my favorite meal is gluten-free and dairy-free (because I am also dairy intolerant now) chicken tacos with homemade guacamole, cilantro, beans, tomatoes, hot sauce (locally sourced of course), and lots of fresh lime.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers find your bake shop?

Melody Saari: Located in Harbord Village in Toronto, Ontario. 100A Harbord Street. Major intersection is Harbord and Spadina...steps from the UofT campus.

We had the chance to try these treats and have to say, all of them were absolutely delicious. They're moist and tasty, and each one has a delightful, distinct flavor. We highly recommend going by Almond Butterfly if you haven't already. (They were also recently featured in blogTO's top 10 cinnamon buns in Toronto!)