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  • Writer's pictureMarne Platt

Spreading the Sweet Senza Word

Updated: Aug 11, 2022

I'm sitting in a café as a I write this. Not just any café - Senza Gluten, a totally 100% no-bones-about-it gluten-free café in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the US.

Now for some of you, that might be no big deal. But I'm coming to the end of 5 very tough months, dealing with some family medical issues while preparing to launch my own gluten-free cookbook (sign up for free recipes here). I'm far from my own home, I've been too busy to bake, and I don't like most of the prepared gluten-free foods available in the grocery stores here anyway. So you can imagine how my heart leapt when I saw 'Senza Gluten Free' on google maps, while looking for something else.

That picture at the top is their cinnamon bun. Wow that was good. Sweet frosting, smoky cinnamon, chewy texture -the kind of reaction every baker wants. I'm salivating typing about it, and I just finished one!

Now, part of the reason for this post is to spread the word about Senza. And part of it goes well beyond that. I want to thank Jan, the owner of Senza Gluten for creating a place where I can feel completely safe and normal. No fear of 'almost gluten free' products with horrible consequences, like at Starbucks. No cross-examining the staff in a restaurant or tea room, hoping that it all works out OK. Just me, and a cinnamon bun, and a cup of tea. Like a normal person. Little things mean a lot.

I believe strongly that celiacs need to support the businesses that cater to our needs. It's not easy for people used to cooking only with wheat-based products to learn to use our gluten-free ingredients. It's probably even harder for a busy kitchen to implement the protocols required to keep us safe. Hats off to those restaurants that work with the Gluten Intolerance Group to earn GFFS (Gluten-Free Food Service) certification, and to those companies that work to have their products certified with the GFCO logo, also from the Gluten Intolerance Group. When you run across a new product or business, especially a local one run by someone within the community, speak up and share their info. We all benefit!

So friends, if you are in or near Las Vegas, check out Senza Gluten on Tropicana Ave, just off Grand Canyon. Owner and celiac Jan has been here for 3 1/2 years. Senza is her second GF bakery; the first was in Idaho, where she moved from the West Coast to look after her father. There was absolutely nothing there for her to eat, so she started baking at home. A tiny ad in the local paper and 'it exploded.' No wonder...I just finished a sugar cookie. Delicious!

Why work so hard? Jan explains her motivation this way: "I still tear up when a new customer comes in and asks, 'Is it really ALL safe?' This is the most gratifying work I have ever done."

Jan and her team offer cookies, quiches, muffins, donuts, cheese puffs and of course those amazing cinnamon buns. Something new all the time. Stay for a cup of tea and a treat. And be prepared to bring some goodies home. You won't regret it!

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