Paul Briggs and Alli Neville of the Vancouver bakery Edible Flours make organic vegan goodies that are making Vancouverites drool. Their slogan “Eat your fruits and vegetables but make sure you leave room for dessert” was right up our alley.
Their business, just short of two years old, is booming. They bake vegan croissants, cookies, cakes and offer a wide variety of gluten-free and soy-free products. Paul spoke with us about the challenges of the job, his own indulgences and why you should trust a skinny baker.
Tell us about your journey towards wholesome vegan baking.
We were lucky enough to have enjoyed many different examples of vegan baking, having lived in a variety of different cities and cultures prior to moving to Vancouver. Alli has a background in natural-foods having studied Macrobiotics at the Kushi institute and she has been a vegan for almost 20 years. We decided to move to Vancouver to raise our family and start a business we were both passionate about, which for Alli was natural cooking and for me was sweets. The path to Edible Flours was a natural fit.
What is the most difficult baked good to make vegan and how did you do it?
We do our utmost to stay as natural as possible and it can be challenging to develop more traditional products that are usually packed full of refined sugar, yeast, etc. The hardest of these was the Cinnamon Roll, since everyone has fond memories of them. Sadly there was no quick fix and it was very much a case of try-and-try again until we cracked our yeast-free version. Fortunately we did, as they are one of the items we consistently sell out of every day.
Is it difficult to keep your weight down and own a bakery, even when it’s a healthy bakery? How do you do this?
We get asked this all the time by customers coming in, as both Alli and I are fairly skinny. “Never trust a skinny baker” is somewhat of a misnomer as metabolism and food choices outside the bakery come into play. However, I can say that I eat our baked goods every day, balanced by the fact that I am on my feet actively working through the whole day. Becoming gluten-free also had a large impact on my weight.
When you’re treating yourself, what do you reach for most from your goodies?
I’m always nibbling on something at the bakery and more often than not it’s our Gluten-Free Banana Bread. It’s the most popular item at the bakery and almost impossible to discern that it’s gluten, vegan, soy and sugar free.
Is there room for dessert in every healthy diet?
Life is all about balance and one without dessert would be a very frustrating place!
We can roll with that.
Find out more why we love Edible Flours in our Vancouver city guide.