WESTPORT, Conn. -- Stacy Orseck doesn't mind if you refer to her as the "Queen Bee." That's because the Wesport resident is the founder of The Bee and The Baker, a bakery that cooks up products free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn and processed sugar.
Orseck, a holistic health coach, said that she would often discuss healthier lifestyles with clients and realized that there was a gap at the time in baked goods that she would eat or recommend.
"I was very focused on eliminating foods that cause inflammation," she told Daily Voice. "For each person it could be completely different foods, but there are several that kept popping up over and over again, namely soy, corn, wheat, dairy, sugar. So in trying to avoid those for myself and my family I realized there was nothing good to grab on the go."
Being a "bit of a foodie," and "very picky or discriminating depending on how you look at it," she started doing her own experimenting by using the healthiest whole food flours such as coconut or almond flour. She also stays away from gums and preservatives.
The fact that her husband had certain dietary constraints due to Crohn's disease made her mission that much more important. She even found that gluten-free options typically contained preservatives and various starches or gum additives.
And so, armed with a head full of ideas, she began baking all natural breads, cookies and cupcakes largely with locally sourced ingredients and free from processed chemicals. That was nearly four years ago.
Prodded by friends and family to widen her findings and share her delicious baked goods with a wider audience, she created The Bee & The Baker in 2016.
Among her popular sellers: Carrot, apple raisin muffins, chocolate dipped macaroons and peanut oat chocolate chunk cookies. Orseck said she's constantly working on new things. That meant gluten free pies over the holidays and a new grain free granola. She also has quiche, whoopie pies and doughnuts just out of the testing phase that she hopes to bring out soon.
For now, you can find her goods at six local stores, including Westport's Organic Market and Double L, Harbor Harvest in Norwalk, UCBC in Darien and Trumbull, and the Ridgefield's Farmers Market Co-Op as well as at the winter Westport Farmers Market, where she's a rotating vendor. The mom of two said she'd love to get onto the dessert menus of local restaurants since it’s rare to find a dessert option that’s gluten-, dairy- and processed sugar-free and still yummy. She'd also love to expand her store base.
In the meantime, you can find her baking away at a rented space in a dedicated gluten free commercial kitchen in Westport. Click here for more information.