One on One with “The Sensitive Baker”

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Sensitive BakerWhile Compassion Over Killing’s (COK) Los Angeles office has been busy leafleting, tabling, and hosting feed-ins across the city, we’re also really excited to expand our popular and successful restaurant outreach campaign in the City of Angels.

As we’ve been reaching out to area bakeries, encouraging them to add dairy- and egg-free options on their menus, we’re also proud to support businesses that already include compassionate choices, especially when those choices come in the form of muffins, cupcakes, and fresh bread!

Sensitive Baker

That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with The Sensitive Baker, a gluten-free and kosher bakery in Culver City offering numerous vegan treats, many of which we’ll be dishing out (for a small donation) at our booth during the Animal Rights National Conference from July 22 to 24 in Los Angeles. Additional vegan options—including a new lunch item—will also be available at the nearby bakery itself, and for every customer who mentions Compassion Over Killing from July 21 to 25, 10% of in-store sales will be donated to help us help animals!

We recently asked Dan Irwin, one of the owners of The Sensitive Baker, which was recently featured in The New York Times, to share with us his journey from the art of graphic design to the art of baking.

COK: How did start your bakery?

Dan: As our graphic design business was faltering due to economic pressures, we decided to make a mid-life career change and partner with the owners of Follow Your Heart to buy the bakery.

COK: Why do you feel it is important to have vegan items on your menu?

Dan: We are seeing growing demand for our vegan options, and are becoming known as much as a vegan bakery as a gluten-free one. I suspect that we will soon have more vegan items than non-vegan as we’ve added a lot over the years. Now, every new product we make seems to be vegan. Since we were already dairy-free, it is not difficult to convert to egg-free. We also now sell vegan lunches.

COK: How easy is it make vegan items compared to non-vegan items?

Dan: From an ingredient standpoint, vegan is much easier—eggs are problematic to get and store. Most of the vegan alternatives we use are dry or have much longer shelf lives, plus easier distribution. We use egg replacer, flax seeds, chia seeds, Vegenaise, and even fruit to replace eggs and dairy.

COK: Do you sell a lot of vegan items to your non-vegan customers?

Dan: Many non-vegans initially hesitate at the thought of eating a vegan product, but once they actually try what we’re offering, they realize that it tastes just as great and is just as fulfilling as a non-vegan item.

COK: What are some of your personal favorites?

Dan: Our millet and pumpernickel breads and scones are vegan and fantastic. We are really pleased with the vegan sourdough too. It’s the best gluten-free bread I’ve ever tasted. (COK agrees!)

COK: Why did you decide to do a benefit for COK?

Dan: While we are not vegan personally, we seem to be moving in that direction (at least vegetarian). Through this whole experience my kids have become educated about chickens and industrial farming—my son has referenced COK literature for a school report, and my daughter has become vegetarian out of solidarity with her pets. So, when COK called, it was perfect timing to work with you to help animals.

Details: The Sensitive Baker at 10836 1/2 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232 or call 310-815-1800

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