Cienna Madrid

What is a sustainable bakery, and how does it compare in deliciousness to more opulent or exploitive bakeries?

Everything we bake here is vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, and organic. We also use nonhydrogenated oils and many alternative sweeteners, like organic maple syrup or organic evaporated cane juice. All of our packaging is made from fruit and vegetable cellulose, and is 100 percent biodegradable. As for deliciousness, everything we make is awesome.

Are you vegan or a gluten hater?

Actually, I am allergic to gluten, but I only found out after I started working here. I'm not a vegan though.

How did you become a sustainable baker?

I was living at my parents' house in Cleveland and I called up the owner, Jennifer, to see if she was hiring. The bakery used to be in the U-District and I was a frequent customer there—we only moved into this location two months ago. I had some previous baking experience, but I pretty much trained myself here.

How would you convince someone who is skeptical of vegan, gluten-free, alternatively sweetened sweets to sample your pastries?

The best way to convince skeptics is to not tell them beforehand what they're eating, so they don't have any preconceived ideas about the flavor tickling their taste buds. I once brought home a slice of chocolate cake, and my roommate swore it was the best cake she'd ever had. She especially loved what she thought was the homemade buttercream frosting. I try to remind people not to knock our stuff until they try it.

What are some of your personal favorites here?

I love the macaroons, the berry-oat wondies, and the cinnamon rolls. Also, our daily soups and salads are to die for.