I’ve written about Chef Lila Colello many times before. The first article dates back over ten years ago and last summer, about the pop-up shop she ran in Narberth. Since her Celiac disease diagnosis many years ago, classically-trained pastry chef Lila has been helping gluten-free folks with fresh-made artisan bread, pastries, and other baked specialties. Her award-winning Flakely gluten-free baking operation has grown significantly in recent years, and there are no signs of slowing down.
After a string of highly successful pop-ups throughout the city and suburbs, she soft-launched a pick-up window at her new commissary kitchen at 220 Krams Avenue in Manayunk earlier this year. The move has allowed her to accommodate a large volume of orders and offer more products. Folks who pre-order can pick up at the window (near the pink door), and occasionally, she has extras for walk-up orders.
One of those newer products she can offer at the new location are kettle boiled and freshly baked gluten-free bagels, often requested by her customers. Commercially produced GF bagels leave a lot to be desired, and knowing only place in New York City that offers them, she knew there was a market for fresh bagels locally.
“After months of writing and re-writing recipes, and throwing away dense balls of garbage dough, and getting it wrong many times, I finally got it right and cried tears of joy!” Collelo recounted.
She was right. The response to her new gluten-free bagels has been overwhelming. The demand is so high she often sells out quickly.
Everything sells out frequently, so she hired a part-time baker to help with the volume. Because she not only sells locally, she ships nationally! Her gluten-free bakery empire in Philadelphia is on the rise, and she’ll be one to watch not only locally but also on the national gluten-free level.
Oh, and don’t sleep on the Peanut Butter Flakely Cakes, an elevated, gluten-free version of Tastykake’s “Kandy Kakes” – a childhood favorite!
Another good thing about Lila to know? She donates a percentage of her sales to organizations that stand up for social justice, racial equity, and feeding the underserved community. This month, though, she is donating 5% of Flakely’s sales to World Central Kitchen, which is currently at the border of Ukraine and Poland, feeding families who are fleeing the war-ravaged nation.
Follow Chef Lila’s Instagram to keep up!
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