Good & Pleasant is an online gluten free bakery that recently launched in April 2015. I sat down with Krishana Pleasant, the owner/founder, to discuss her exciting debut in the gluten free community.
Congratulations on your recent launch! Could you tell us a little about your bakery?
Good & Pleasant is a 100% gluten free online bakery. Everything is based on my grandmothers’classic southern recipes. Our signature products are pies – we do a really beautiful apple spice pie with a crumb topping and a down-home tasting sweet potato pie. We’ve recently added fudgy brownies and lemon bundt cakes, which is our most popular item.
I love family recipes and traditions. How has your grandmother inspired you?
I have a pretty big family – my paternal grandmother had twelve children. She was the consummate host and cook for the family. Even though my grandmother is no longer with us I still remember the smell of her sweet potato pie – her legacy lives on through her recipes. I was fortunate to have her recipes passed down to me. Her desserts created a sense of love, celebration and family. My goal is to share that love and pure joy with the gluten free community.
What was your biggest challenge in converting your grandmother’s recipes to gluten free?
When you take wheat out of a recipe you are taking away flavor. There seems to be something missing in a lot of gluten free products, so to compensate for that you really have to turn up the flavor with your spices and extracts. I focused on high quality, fresh ingredients and added a little extra spice here and there.
I will say that I think your efforts have really paid off. I’ve sampled your apple pie, and it was one of the best things that I have ever eaten – better than any gluten-containing pie. It was amazing.
What prompted you to start a gluten free bakery?
I began having health challenges and discovered that they were due to a gluten sensitivity. This presented a dilemma – I have great memories of sitting around the dinner table celebrating fabulous desserts with my family, and now I can’t eat that food. It prompted me to experiment in the kitchen. People really loved what I came up with, and I wanted more people to enjoy it. Surprisingly a lot of my customers and taste testers do not live gluten free – they just really love our products.
A big concern for a lot of people who have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance is how to handle family gatherings. Could you talk about how you personally approach family get-togethers?
I’ve gotten a lot of support from my family. Even though they don’t fully understand my food intolerances, they know there are certain things I cannot eat, and they are very loving and encouraging. One of my secrets for parties – I like to bring something with me that everyone can enjoy. It also becomes my emergency backup plan in case there isn’t anything else I can eat. Last year I hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my home, so I had more flexibility to share allergy friendly dishes that everyone could enjoy.
What is your favorite thing to make/eat?
I have such a sweet tooth! The pies are the most challenging to make but also the most rewarding to eat. I do everything by hand and from scratch. To not be intimidated by pie crust is such a huge, positive feeling. I love the finished product, especially when it’s a little warm and I add a dollop of ice cream. It’s just heaven!
Do you have any baking tips for aspiring at-home gluten free bakers?
My grandmothers taught me to season to taste. When you find a recipe you can initially follow the instructions to the letter, but then you have to taste and make adjustments. Remember that cake batter should taste like cake before it goes into the oven. Don’t be afraid to tweak as you go. And most importantly, put love and passion into every dish.
What sets you apart from other gluten free bakeries?
Not only do we have a nod to classic southern comfort, but we have flair and sophistication. Think bridal showers, weddings, and other celebrations. Good & Pleasant is the go-to bakery for celebrating life lavishly without compromise, and we accommodate our clients’ food allergies and sensitivities with style.
What are your goals for the future?
We’re excited to expand our distribution. We currently ship our products to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut and the northeast region. Getting handmade, fresh products to other regions can be a challenge. We don’t want to compromise the quality of our products, so we’re looking at how we can best accommodate shipping challenges. We also have a “Pie of the Month” club in the works, and I would love to have a retail store so that I could meet customers face to face.I was at the GFAF Expo at Secaucus, NJ in October 2015, and it was so wonderful to see people’s faces light up when they took a bite. We were able to get immediate feedback, which is very important to us.
Describe your baked goods in three words.
Lavish, decadent,and unexpectedly-delicious.
We’ll make thatone word! (Laughs). It was so lovely speaking with you! You have a very exciting new company, and I wish you all the greatest success!
For more information and to order visit www.GoodandPleasant.com
Good & Pleasant is planning a NYC dessert tasting soon, so stay tuned!