above: Cookies, doughnuts, baguettes—nothing is off limits anymore for those who are gluten-free.
A French baguette with crispy crust. Light and flaky buttermilk biscuits. Sandwich bread that’s truly tasty, even when you don’t toast it. These are a few food items that people with gluten sensitivities miss most. Now they can enjoy these savory favorites again, thanks to a new company that’s turning out fresh loaves as well as muffins, bagels, cookies, doughnuts and more, baked here in town. Old Greenwich Baking Company, which started as a pandemic passion for Matthew Goodro, has turned into a lucrative business with loyal customers and a retail location in the works.
Many people took up baking during lockdown, but Matt’s culinary pursuits were specific: creating baked goods that are both delicious and gluten-free, as his wife can’t have gluten. While perfecting his baking techniques, Matt realized that he was happier in the kitchen than at his job as a lawyer. “Like a lot of folks, I was re-evaluating and seeing what I really enjoy doing, what I was going to wake up and be excited to do for work,” he says. “It clicked that I like gluten-free baking, and there’s a market for it.”
After many rounds of taste testing with family and friends, Matt began selling his baked goods at the Old Greenwich Farmer’s Market last September and also launched online with home delivery. Though all his freshly baked goods are popular, the baguettes in particular were an instant hit. “Making bread is a little trickier than cookies or other sweet treats,” Matt says. “Savory things are the most rewarding and the things that people miss most.” He continues to perfect his brioche bread recipe and is working on dinner rolls.
On the sweet side, he bakes incredible chocolate chip cookies, salted oatmeal cookies, brownies, blueberry muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins and duffins (a doughnut meets a muffin with cinnamon-sugar topping) as well as pies for the holidays and cakes by request. He also sells certain items frozen and ready to bake at home, so you can have the smell of freshly baked bread in your own kitchen.
Matt and his wife, Amanda, who works in real estate, are now looking for a retail location in town but taking their time, wanting to grow the business at a sensible pace and find the ideal spot. In the meantime, he will continue home delivery and plans to be at the farmer’s market again this summer; his baguettes and bread are also being sold and used for sandwiches at Alpen Pantry. He says, “There’s been a great response, which is very rewarding.”