ANDERSONVILLE — For the last five years, Johanna Van Dorf has baked her gluten-free desserts in shared kitchens all over the North Side, even crossing into Evanston for a stint.
In February, she plans to open her very own bakery, Defloured, at 1477 W. Balmoral Ave. in her own neighborhood of Andersonville, she said.
"I've moved around for a while. I've always been sharing," she said, listing the commercial kitchens she's been baking in. "But this will be all mine. We're excited. It's been a long time coming."
About five years ago, Van Dorf had a career in marketing, but she "never felt right in the corporate world."
"This is a career change for me. I didn't go to culinary school, but I always loved baking. Defloured was percolating for years before I decided to start the campaign," Van Dorf said.
While the job in marketing wasn't right for her, it did help her find her niche. While working in the business, she began to develop recipes for a co-worker whose family was gluten intolerant, she said.
"I believe in the right of dessert for everyone. Kids with allergies have to go without ooeey goeey treats and it's not right," she said.
One of those first recipes was for brownies, which she worked on for years. Soon she was developing a repertoire of gluten-free treats, which she began selling at the Andersonville Farmers Market. Now her products can be found in select Whole Foods.
The next logical step was to find a place of her own. After an exhaustive search, she decided, why not return to the neighborhood where it all began?
"I live in Andersonville and I really started in Andersonville. It's great to be close to home in a community so supportive. And the space is so perfect," she said.
The site formerly housed Hoppin' Hots and Great Lake Pizza, which closed in January 2013 and was once proclaimed to have America's best slice of pizza.
Defloured boasts a vast array of 100 percent gluten-free treats including cookies, cakes, cupcakes, bars and whoopie pies. Its full menu is available here.
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