CLIFFSIDE PARK’S OM SWEET HOME BAKERY TREAT YOURSELF TO A LITTLE PEACE
Every business owner has a sense of pride knowing that they’ve made a customer happy. But for Dawn Pascale, the owner of the specialty bakery Om Sweet Home in the center of Cliffside Park’s Anderson Avenue shopping district just a few minutes from One Park, there’s a dash of something special in all her recipes that warms the hearts of both customers and proprietor.
“It’s almost therapeutic for me when people come in here,” says Pascale. “When you have a 5-year-old who has never really had a cookie because of food allergies, or someone with Celiac disease who can now enjoy a muffin, it’s really special. It’s really evolved into something very personal.”
Pascale’s goodies — from her triple chocolate brownies to her vanilla coconut smothered donuts to her pumpkin chocolate nut crumble muffins — are all organic, vegan, and gluten free and are also free from soy, palm oil, and made from non-GMO materials.
What was once seen as a fringe diet, vegan has long been mainstream. Gluten-free diets, which shun all wheat products, are becoming more common (and a market powerhouse, with the appetite for gluten-free foods poised to hit 7.59 billion by 2020.)
Pascale began her baking career with a more traditional bakery in Hoboken, but after she took a class at the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Vegan Baking Bootcamp, she was hooked.
“It was fabulous and it changed my perspective on how you can make things that are amazingly delicious but really are better for you and not filled with white sugar and animal cholesterol,” she says.
Pascale developed her own vegan butter alternative that is coconut-based, and to replace eggs, she uses applesauce or chia or flax seeds that turn into a jellied consistency when ground and mixed with water. For flour, she prefers a product from Bob’s Red Mill that uses a combination of flours made from fava beans, chickpeas, potato starch and tapioca. She then tinkers with each recipe to find the perfect combination of substitutions.
In addition to the storefront on Anderson Avenue that’s sure to be regular stop for One Park residents, Pascale also does special event cakes for weddings, showers, and birthdays and offers group or individual classes. Her baked goods and her butter replacement are also sold at other retail locations across the region.
Pascale said she’s been surprised with the diversity of people who come to her looking for delicious but natural baked goods.
“I thought it would mostly be the Millennial Mom crowd interested in a healthy lifestyle and also the parents of kids with food sensitivities, but then there is also the 65-plus crowd who have developed these health problems over the years,” she says. “You have a woman coming in saying ‘My husband can’t eat dairy anymore but he really likes his daily brownie – can you help him?’ and it’s mind-blowing and special that we can do something to make him happy.”
Om Sweet Home Bakery
708 Anderson Avenue