February 02, 2011 // Franchising.com // It was with great care and discerning taste buds that the Moose chose Sweet Escape Pastries, a local Colorado bakery, to bake the perfect gluten-free hoagie roll and launch their new gluten-free menu. In the quest to offer a dining experience to a growing gluten-free public, the Smiling Moose Deli has expanded the menu to all 14 locations, including their delicious catering.
Turns out that Sweet Escape Pastries is the only gluten-free, wheat-free and nut-free commercial kitchen within a thousand miles, and they are located in Colorado. Owner and Executive Pastry Chef, Melissa Degen is a severe celiac, who found her passion for supplying tasty alternatives for restaurants by initially filling the need for her own children.
"When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease over six years ago, there were little to no restaurant dining options for me. It caused a lot of stress and anxiety trying to find a place where we could meet with friends and enjoy a meal together," says Degen. "We are on a mission to service and assist restaurants in creating wonderful life experiences again for people."
Each roll has been individually wrapped at the bakery to ensure no cross contact in a restaurant's kitchen, keeping the gluten-free pastries as pure as possible. The Smiling Moose Deli then consulted with Melissa on the finer details of the new menu additions, as well as established kitchen procedures to safely prepare and serve each meal.
Degen speaks highly of Colorado-grown franchise, "Knowing the fresh quality of the Moose's food and their care for our health, a fantastic partnership has been created. It is exciting to have so many menu options! " Gluten-free customers can now experience signature sandwiches like the Parisian, the Hot Turkey Club and the Morning Moose; or choose from a host of salads or soups, all carefully prepared.