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Thursday, January 10, 2013

First Look: The Organic Cave, the Paleo Diet-Based Bakery

Posted By on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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Paleo desserts at the Organic Cave. - TARA MAHADEVAN
  • Tara Mahadevan
  • Paleo desserts at the Organic Cave.

Nichole and Angel found that renting time from another certified-kitchen was costly. As business picked up, they rapidly saw the financial benefit in renting their own space. At first, it was just going to be a kitchen, but their customers made them think otherwise.

"We were just going to bake out of our new space -- bake and then put our products in stores," Nichole says, "But we had so many customers from the farmer's market, people that had found us on Facebook and through our website -- they wanted to come to our bakery. We've had people come from U. City, Clayton, Illinois and Granite City. We never really expected to open a bakery here. We were just doing the farmer's market and thought we'd see how it went. It blew up faster than we ever imagined."

The name, the Organic Cave, derives from the Paleo diet, a diet that follows what cavemen ate during the Paleolithic period. Nichole observes, "Paleo's motto is, 'Eat like a caveman.' Basically, you eat what the cavemen, and women, would eat -- what was available to them. So that would have been meat, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, eggs; no dairy. [Since we use raw honey,] the Organic Cave's products fall into an 80-20 paleo diet -- really strict paleo dieters stay away from any kind sweeteners. However, it is acceptable in the paleo diet to eat raw honey and Stevia because the body can process them."

Customers can expect the same specialty ingredients that Nichole and Angel use in their own home baking. The Organic Cave bakes an assortment of goodies, including lemon vanilla poppy seed, chocolate chip and orange carrot walnut muffins, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond drew drops, the bakery's popular cake-in-a-jar and biscuits, scones and buns. The bakery is currently working on packaging pre-made cookie dough for its customers, so people can take home a tub and make their own cookies at home.

Nichole and Angel's ultimate goal is to get their products in more national chains - Dierbergs, Schnucks, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. Nichole comments, "A lot of the time, people don't want to go too far to get stuff; our goal is to get it in grocery stores, which is convenient for everybody. Then people can go to the Dierbergs down the street, or Whole Foods. If we could have our products available in regular grocery stores that are right there on the corner, then it wouldn't be a huge deal that we don't necessarily have a bakery in St. Louis County."

The Organic Cave is closed Mondays, with regular business hours Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.. The bakery's products are also available at Local Harvest Grocery locations.

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