What’s different about The Difference Baker?
The flavor, the consistency, the ingredients? Where do we start to explain what makes The Difference Baker, well, different? How about here: everyone – even those with allergies and other dietary restrictions – should be able to enjoy baked goods. And in the fall of 2019, Alyssa Sobecki, a wife and mother of three, set out to make allergen-free food a reality in Loudoun County, Virginia.
The Difference Baker is a bakery-bistro whose products are free from so many of the ingredients that can make bodies ache, rash, swell and so much more. The idea was formed out of family dietary restrictions and the need for a safe environment where people can enjoy food worry-free. Since then, the bakery and bistro has become a favorite sit-down or to-go option for those looking for allergen-free food with a big burst of flavor!
We wish we could capture the smell when you first walk into 20937 Ashburn Road in Ashburn, VA, but we’re hoping the 12 questions we asked about The Difference Baker will stimulate your senses just the same. Here’s what owner Alyssa Sobecki had to say.
1. How would you describe The Difference Baker to someone who’s never been?
The Difference Baker is a bakery-bistro certified free from gluten, soy, peanut, tree-nut, fish and crustaceans in Loudoun County, Virginia. This concept was born out of faith, love and hope for families dealing with dietary restrictions. Our mission is to bring Heaven on earth, one bite at a time, to those who deal with food restrictions. We provide a safe environment for those who suffer with immune diseases, food allergies and intolerances. Allergen-free food doesn’t have to taste any different! I love the fact that we are a bistro – and the only retail location in the US that has the certifications that we do, so people don’t have to guess about how we handle allergens.
2. What’s your favorite food that you offer?
All of our products are amazing, but if I had to choose, it would be the gluten- and soy-free chocolate donuts!
3. How did the bakery-bistro start?
God put it on my heart to open The Difference Baker in May of 2019, and we opened in November. Food allergies have been a part of my (and my family’s) story, and we were meant to turn our mess into this message to bless lives one bite at a time!
4. What’s the vibe you want customers to feel when they enter the bakery-bistro?
Love and comfort, with the most amazing food ever!
5. What’s your favorite thing about running a small business?
Learning from my staff and customers – and being my own boss.
6. If someone can visit you only once, what’s the must-have?
Our freshly fried donuts in our vegan fryer!
7. Does your business do anything special with – or for – the community?
Our business is one of a kind. We serve the allergen community not only through our location but have partnered up with several companies throughout the surrounding counties so they can bless their customers with safe, allergen-friendly baked goods.
8. What’s your favorite time of year for the bakery-bistro?
Every month is a blessing!
9. What would you tell the dreamers out there thinking about opening a business?
Read the book Blue Ocean Strategy. Dream about something you can create that serves people and an even bigger calling. Although there is competition in everything, no one is you and no one has what you have to offer! Be unique and follow your dreams. When you are doing that, nothing feels like work.
10. How do you measure the success of your small business?
An increase in sales, even if by a smidge, every month!
11. What are you looking forward to for the future of The Difference Baker?
I can’t wait to expand and open more locations!
12. If you could tell the readers one thing about The Difference Baker, what would it be?
We can accommodate almost every intolerance or limited diet, so please don’t lose hope! We strive to help those suffering from any diet restriction.
Whether you’re looking for an allergy-free food haven or just something heavenly to enjoy, you can find The Difference Baker on our Small Business Virtual Spotlight Shop at mtb.com/spotlightshop. Not in Virginia? The Difference Baker ships products nationwide. Imagine a sweet case of cinnamon rolls rolling up to your doorstep on a Saturday morning! Yeah, they’re in our cart too.