SOUTH SHORE — Betty Bot Shop is planning a new bakery in South Shore, which the owner sees as the logical home of vegan and gluten-free food on the South Side.
Betty Alper, who runs Betty Bot Bakery, said Friday she’s working on converting a storefront at 7100 S. South Shore Drive into her full-time bakery and is expecting to be open by the end of the year.
Alper may be familiar to shoppers at the 61st Street and Logan Square farmers markets, where she’s sold everything from gluten-free and vegan cupcakes to hamentashen and other baked goods for the last six years.
She said she wants the South Shore location to be open to people and said she’s planning small café in the front to host events and serve salads, snacks and waffles on the weekends.
Alper said she chose to work on the bakery in South Shore because she likes the entrepreneurial spirit of the neighborhood, which she’s called home for five years.
“Vegan, gluten-free is somewhat trendy, but it's still pretty fringe in terms of people who buy it,” Alper said. “But South Shore is becoming a little vegan area.”
She said she thinks there’s a rising interest in South Shore for better food with the neighborhood’s long discussion about attracting a high-quality grocery store after Dominick’s closed in 2013 and the rise of projects like the Healthy Food Hub, which partners with farmers to bring fresh produce to the neighborhood.
Alper said the new bakery will also bring her business closer to home.
She said she currently travels to Three Oaks, Mich., to bake with the assistance of her mother to make sure she has kitchen that uses no gluten and is safe for people with allergies.
“For me, cross contamination will make me sick,” Alper said.
She said right now she’s planning out the new bakery, but hopes once it is open she will be able to host gluten-free dinners, pop-up shops for other health food makers and other events.
Betty Alper sold hamantashen and other vegan and gluten-free baked goods at farmers markets for six years.
Alper's kulich might look familiar to visitors to the 61st Street and Logan Square farmers markets.
Alper said she wants to bring her gluten-free, vegan cookies to South Shore because she likes the neighborhood's entrepreneurial spirit.
Alper currently makes her rose water spritz cookies in Three Oaks, Mich., with the help of her mother.
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