Gluten-free bread company finds niche at Le Bernardin

A New York baker has found a niche by selling her gluten-free bread at Le Bernardin.

“After trying about a dozen such products, we thought Free Bread’s pullman loaf had the best flavor and moisture level and was the most consistent,” said chef and co-owner Eric Ripert.

He serves the bread when his clientele who have gluten issues request it. “Gluten-free bread has become more in demand, and our job is to make our diners happy.”

Free Bread’s founder and co-owner, Karen Freer— her company’s moniker plays both on her surname and the absence of gluten — started to dabble in gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free bread-making after being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008.

Hundreds of bread experiments later, Freer, 38, had the good-to-go recipe for her millet-oat-flax “Moxy” rolls and pullman loaf, which she’d bring to social events.

Freer, who has a master’s degree in theater, went to Indiegogo to crowd-fund and raised $13,000, which she used to buy equipment, and obtained gluten-free certification. She launched Free Bread in 2012.