Karen’s Gluten Free Bakeshop has received Conservationist/Bronze Sustainable Business Certification
September 20, 2021
Karen’s Gluten Free Bakeshop has opened! Karen Russell previously created baked goods in her home and was originally certified in 2017. But business was so good, she’s opened a storefront (near Harkins in Sedona) and hired several staff. Retail customers can buy cookies, brownies, breads and mixes at Karen’s Gluten Free Bakeshop and online. The business has a loyal following of locals, and many visitors find them through mobile apps such as Find Me Gluten Free.
Here are some of the practices Russell follows as a sustainable business.
Energy efficiency: Russell moved her own energy efficient, commercial refrigerator from home into the Bakeshop The staff turn off ovens as soon as baking batches are done. On Saturday night, since they’re closed on Sunday, they turn the thermostat up to 80 degrees in the summer. Russell explains, “We also replace bulbs with LEDs as they burn out.”
Toxics and waste: “When we opened the Bakeshop in the space that Sedona Poké occupied, we were able to buy and repair their oven. We also kept the table bases and chairs,” Russell explained. They also reuse packing materials and boxes. “And I don’t like toxic chemicals. Dish soaps and cleaners are Seventh Generation. We use iodine as a sanitizer because it doesn’t leave a residue.”
Food: The company minimizes food waste with careful planning. “For example, we use berries quickly and keep an eye on food status. Worst case, we can usually turn ingredients into something else.” The menu is 100% plant-based, certified as Gluten Free, of course, and no genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Employees and community: As part of the Bakeshop operation, Russell hired two full-time employees and five part-time employees. Scheduling is flexible to accommodate staff needs. Employees get to test new products and get a discount off the menu. They also can take home extra product on occasion. Karen’s Gluten Free checks out employment policies of key suppliers and regularly donates products to local charity functions.