As gluten intolerance and celiac disease receive more and more awareness in public discourse, Bella Goose Coffee in the Dells gives gluten-free food a twist.
Founded in 2013 by Jay Heesch, Bella Goose sets out to be a more homespun type of cafe. According to manager Ali Heesch, daughter-in-law of founder Jay, the cafe provides plenty of homemade pastries in its display case. One of their main features is the gluten-free scones, which Heesch said were built from the ground up with the cafe.
“My mother-in-law, who’s a professionally trained pastry chef, she invented the recipe,” Heesch said. “We set out to create all of the food we do here, we really looked at how to create a fun, unique food menu that would be made from scratch, with as fresh ingredients as possible.”
According to Heesch, the goal was to create a menu that had a healthful kick while still tasting good. Many members of her family have gluten sensitivities, and she noted that more people are looking for gluten-free options at restaurants.
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But at first, her mother-in-law, pastry chef Denise Heesch, was not entirely on board with the idea.
“She was like ‘No, gluten-free is horrible,” Ali Heesch said. “And a lot of people, when they hear they’re gluten-free, we kind of have to say ‘No, trust us, this is amazing.’ And so she gave it a shot, and it’s been one of our biggest-selling items.”
According to Bella Goose barista Josh Fry, Bella Goose has the pastries made fresh at Maurer’s Market every day, so customers can always expect to see new pastries when they walk in the store. The cafe brings in different scones seasonally, ranging from a pumpkin scone in the fall to a lemon-blueberry recipe in the summer.
Beyond the scones, which currently feature a raspberry-white chocolate variety, Bella Goose also prepares homemade syrups at their in-house kitchen. Ali Heesch said that the staff pride themselves on using fresh ingredients to make the syrups, which come without the additives in store-bought syrups.
“It’s hard to find a syrup without corn syrup, or without any additional flavorings or additives,” she said. “Ours are all real lavender buds in the sugar, or caramel… so that’s been a really awesome thing.”
Bella Goose also recently launched a partnership with The Wilderness for their new Camp Social food hall, supplying their fresh-made syrups and pastries to a larger audience. Ali Heesch said that this new partnership is indicative of larger companies’ push toward more signature creations.