by Danielle McAvoy

Bakefully Yours, a health-conscious bakery founded by Sarah Seligman, joins the Territory chef network as our first ever baking partner. Sarah launched Bakefully Yours in 2012, after becoming a paleo eater and finding a serious lack of tasty, allergen-free dessert options in the DC area. Sarah has been a pioneer in the paleo baking industry, creating craveable desserts without gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugars or anything artificial so that everyone, regardless of eating restrictions can enjoy a delicious baked treat.

We sat down with Sarah to learn more about how she got started in the baking business and the future she envisions for paleo, gluten-free and plant-based desserts!

Did you always know that you wanted to own your own baking business, or was it more of a meandering path?

Definitely a meandering path! I have been baking since I was 10. Wanted to go to culinary school to be a pastry chef, but did not want to have my own business. But according to my parents, I needed a “real” degree. And so I graduated with a Criminology and Intelligence Analysis degree from George Mason University. Joke is on my parents, because I ended up baking anyways! But still grateful that I have a degree to fall back on.

I saw that you worked in a butcher shop and that’s when you realized you could actually do this.  How did the butcher shop inspire owning a baking business?

I was working in the retail section of the butcher shop. And I wanted to try my hand at all aspects of the business. And the owners were open to helping me learn and work in all areas. And I loved the small business hustle and drive! And that’s when I knew I could start an allergy-friendly bakery. The owners and co-workers definitely gave me the confidence to start the business. And they were very helpful and full of advice!

There are lots of bakers out there, but grain-free, gluten-free baking is a unique skill. How did you learn to perfect “healthy” baking, and why are you focused on those dietary restrictions?

I had to laugh at that question, because it has been a long road to perfect it! Lots and lots of trial and error. Definitely. I started eating paleo in 2012. And I wanted to eat the desserts I made. But I wanted them to taste good enough, so that I didn’t miss the gluten-filled treats. And I realized there was a lack of homemade, allergy-friendly treats that I could purchase at grocery stores and coffee shops in the Washington, D.C. area. That is why I started Bakefully Yours as a wholesale bakery.

What is the worst thing you’ve ever made? What’s your favorite thing you’ve ever made?

Good question! The worst thing I’ve made was paleo pancakes from a random website. It tasted like dirt! And they were hard as bricks! And that’s when I knew I needed to start creating my own recipes, or at least tweaking online recipes to my liking. My favorite thing I’ve made has to be a carrot cake recipe that was passed down to me from a dear family friend. Absolutely delicious!

You’re moving into a beautiful new space that is all yours soon – what are your goals for your business?

Yes, it is very exciting! We would love to get our products into Whole Foods and other national retailers. We are getting ready to launch our new packaging, and can’t wait to share with you all!

If you weren’t the founder/owner of Bakefully Yours, what else do you think you’d be doing?

I actually received my real estate license this year in January. And I am a Realtor for National Realty. Because of the flexibility of both jobs, I get to have two careers that I love!

Territory is extra challenging for bakers since we don’t allow any cane sugar on our menu. You were already making a couple products without cane sugar, do you have plans for any more treats using alternative sugars?

We do have plans for more treats! Unfortunately, we can’t disclose anything yet. But it will be launching early next year!

Why are you excited about the partnership with Territory?

It gives us the opportunity for more people to try our products. And as the first baker partnership on the East Coast, we are excited to see how we can grow alongside Territory!

Many thanks to Sarah Seligman, our first paleo dessert maker. Customers can order Bakefully Yours through Territory here.

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