By Elena Kadvany
Gluten-free bakery headed to Los AltosUploaded: Feb 5, 2019
The owner of Petit Bakery Co., a gluten-free baking company that makes fusion pastries like mochi madeleines, is opening a brick-and-mortar bakery in downtown Los Altos.
Melody Hu has taken over 209 1st St., where Cho's Mandarin Dim Sum recently closed.
Hu, who was born in Taiwan and moved to the Peninsula as a teen, started baking at home using sweet rice flour and eventually turned it into a business, selling her pastries at pop-ups and at local cafes.
Petit Bakery Co.'s gluten-free cupcakes, made from sweet rice flour. Photo courtesy Petit Bakery Co.
Everything Petit Bakery Co. serves will be gluten-free, from cakes and cupcakes to muffins. Hu bakes with "Mochiko" sweet rice flour from Koda Farms, the oldest family-owned and operated rice farm in California, as well as almond flour. The rice flour is made from California short-grain sweet rice described on the Koda Farms website as "mild and neutral in flavor, with superior thickening qualities."
"Long popular with the Japanese for preparing homemade mochi, manju, chi-chi-dango, arare – senbei and other dishes, sweet rice flour is also used by the Koreans for confections, the Chinese for noodles and certain types of dim sum, the Filipinos for bibingka-type confections and the mainstream segment for gravies, sauces, and batter coatings" -- and gluten-free baking, the website states.
The bakery will also offer paleo, vegan and dairy-free desserts, plus coffee, tea, dairy-free lattes and boba drinks (tapioca pearls are also gluten-free, Hu noted). Her M.O. is to be inclusive of different cultures, diets and tastes.
She hopes to be open by this summer.