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Actress and Celiac activist Jennifer Esposito brings her gluten-free goods to the masses

Jennifer Esposito is a hands-on bakery owner with high standards. (Photo Credit: Kathleen Mable Photography)
Jennifer Esposito is a hands-on bakery owner with high standards. (Photo: Kathleen Mable Photography)

Actress Jennifer Esposito, owner of Jennifer’s Way Bakery in the East Village, is super serious about the label “gluten-free.”

And this May, she’s moving into her own massive 17,000-square-foot, gluten-free production space in Maspeth, Queens so that she can bring her carefully crafted breads, cookies, and cupcakes to Celiac sufferers and health-conscious eaters nationwide (and eventually internationally) via online ordering.

“I can’t wait to unveil this magical place that I am truly in love with. We are working very hard to get it up and running and make it feel like home, just like my bakery does,” she says.

Esposito says she originally looked into having an outside manufacturer make the products, but that she kept running into the same issue. “Most commercial-size facilities are not strictly 100 percent gluten-free; they used gluten in separate areas or shared the same machinery. This was not okay for me.”

Of course, having her own space will allow her to ensure quality control (on every possible level, knowing Esposito), like the organic, healthy ingredients she uses—quinoa flour instead of white, and maple syrup instead of refined sugar. It will also give her more freedom to experiment with new varieties of her beloved bagels and cake mixes and introduce entirely new products, like a possible frozen food line.

“Now I’m right at the helm at my facility every day and in the test kitchen creating new products and working to make my existing products better, more nutritious and safe,” she says. Come May, it’ll no longer be just New Yorkers reaping the benefits. —Lisa Elaine Held

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