Wednesday, December 26, 2012

RioVida Gluten Free Bakery in Edmonton's West End

For Rio Vida  hours of operations and a list of monthly specials, please visit their website at www.riovidaglutenfree.ca
gluten free flatbread pizzas
We had known that RioVida Bakery opened in Edmonton back in the fall of 2012, located at 17515 - 100 Avenue, however we had not yet been in to check it out. The other night while on our way to New Asian Village (west end location) for dinner, we noticed that the "open" sign was still lit at Rio Vida and of course we had to stop in to check it out.

We learned Najah started her bakery in Ed's Gluten Free Store.  However, since Ed's closure in the Summer of 2012, Najah had the opportunity to open up her own gluten free bakery in Edmonton's west end.

gluten free doughnuts
We were welcomed graciously by Najah and she shared with us some of the history of RioVida bakery. She was the co-owner and chef at the Valentino's Restaurant at West Edmonton Mall for many years. When she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance she decided to open a gluten free bakery to start baking fabulous gluten free, allergy sensitive baked goods.

Najah shared a variety of amazing gluten free samples with us and we learned about her production. She explained that she also prepares some egg free products and also some vegan products that are all also gluten free. She takes great care that her gluten free vegan and gluten free egg free products are not cross contaminated with her standard gluten free products by baking those products on separate days.  While eggs and dairy are not issues for me, I was so moved to hear her honesty and openness regarding her views on the importance of keeping this separate to ensure safety.
gluten free muffins

All of Najah's baking is done from scratch, no additives or preservatives. For example, we sampled the most delicious layered sponge cake.The layers were moist and fluffy just like their gluten filled counterparts. The layers of icing were sweetened and coloured with fresh fruit (raspberries) and let's just say... I am ordering one of these fabulous cakes for my next birthday! Wow!

There are a variety of fresh baked gluten free goods along with many frozen to-go options as well such as flat breads, muffins, doughnut, cake, pizza and pies just to name a few.  Najah will also do special orders for parties.

RioVida Bakery
I wish that we would have gone in to Rio Vida Bakery sooner to meet Najah and try her fantastic gluten free delicacies.  Our friend RL was looking for gluten free jelly filled donuts for Chanukah, and we couldn't find anyone in Edmonton that makes them.  Well that is until we went into Rio Vida Bakery.  We will be having a special order for our New Years with some friends.

I really like supporting small businesses and I appreciate the devotion connected with taking on such a venture.  We hope you support local business too.

RioVida on Urbanspoon

Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

18 comments:

  1. Thank you so much, I tend to check out the places you write about.

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  2. I find so many of your posts valuable, but I think this is themost valuable of all! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Thanks to your recent review, I visited Najah myself and was treated to her hospitality. I gathered up many items for myself and enjoyed samples of jam shortbread cookies, lemon bars and a flat bred with spinach and feta. AWESOME!! I will be back to enjoy more of her delicious and mindful baking.

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  4. I have had a problem with gluten all my life and all i haveto say is thank you so much najah for the food you make, i have never had such good food in my life u would never think it is gluten free and the hospatality is amazing u make me feel welcomed and comfortable you have a customer for life thank you so much again your food and your service is one of a kind.

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  5. Perogies, perogies, perogies! Thanks Najah!

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  6. Our family was so happy to find a place with such great options we can go when we visit Edmonton. Looking forward to our next visit!

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  7. Absolutely amazing, I have tried the spinach & feta flatbreads and pizza so far, very delicious, and the pizza espcially is amazingly priced. Her 'rye' bread tastes just like rye bread, but best of all she is a wonderful lady with a huge heart. Keep up the good work Najah, you are a gem!

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  8. I would like to thank everyone for the wonderful reviews about Rio Vida Bakery which was created for you my wonderful customers !
    It is a pleasure to cater to you all and also thanks for Amanda and her wonderful Husband by posting this great review on Rio Vida gluten free bakery .
    We will be baking lighter for spring and summer
    hope to see you soon again ,
    Najah

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  9. I went there after it was recommended from a friend. They were very friendly and happy to help. I did have a problem with everything was frozen. And their portion sizes were very small for the price. Sorry I could not bring myself to try.

    I did try there muffins. The one on the first day was good. On the second day they were rubber and the blueberries were just on the top of the muffin with none inside. Same with the raspberry muffins.

    When I am spending a lot of money for tiny portions I would like to know what I am buying. Samples were not offered. And half of the product was in the window thawing.

    Would have rather purchase fresh. That way I can eat it or freeze it myself.

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  10. Hi There
    I am so sorry you did not enjoy our products , however we do not defrost our products once is frozen for quality assurance so your comment is not correct and that is not the way we sell our products and I wished you returned your muffins or anything you did not enjoyed at Rio Vida Bakery , our portion of our product is very generous and that is accordingly to our quality of the products we use to bake with , which is `made from scratch including our blueberry jam or any fruit we use to bake our muffins .
    I do respect your opinion and would be very happy to return your money if you had called us and let us know , and samples is always available if you had asked and if you had preferred fresh you should not had bought it frozen and we would be very happy to fresh bake specially for you .
    Thank you for your attention ,

    Najah

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  11. I have just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease AND I'm vegan AND I live in the west end. Can't wait to visit this bakery! :)

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  12. I posted the comment immediately above yesterday. Visited today, and it was everything that I had hoped for and more. What a beautiful lady Najah is, truly a wonderful person with a radiant spirit. Can't wait to visit again!

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  13. I was told about this bakery at the Strathcona Farmers market, we went there the same day, and I must say Najah was very welcoming, encouraged us to sample her food. It was amazing, to finally have bread that has flavour is awesome. We went to the 124st Grand Market and stocked up on more goodies. The flatbreads were so yummy. Thank you so much Najah for the amazing baking you do!!

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  14. Najah is a complete delight. She has been so welcoming and humble and generous every time I've visited her bakery to purchase her delicious food! Try the banana jam - my fiance is obsessed with it!!

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  15. Awesome food. The place is wonderful, she is a gem. The food....cupcakes are amazing....donuts are beyond amazing....everything I've tried there is well worth the trip.

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  16. I went to visit RioVida and was instantly greeted by a wonderful lady Najah. I was really impressed with her warm hospitality, knowledge and exceptional service. Najah allowed me to sample several products before purchasing them. Najah even allowed my husband to try the items. The bread is awesome and tastes like real home made Bread!!! I will continue to visit an amazing place that offers wonderful service with there products.

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  17. I have been gluten free since December 2012 and have tried some pretty awful tasting food in my quest to discover gluten free options in the Edmonton area.

    Tuesday we ventured out in the pouring rain and discovered an oasis in Najah and her RioVida bakery.

    Though we did miss the store sign at first, we finally found the small store located in the corner of a strip mall behind the Asian Village restaurant.

    Don't make the mistake of judging this place by its modest appearance. I must admit that my initial response was, "Is this all there is to this place?" Then Najah greeted us and began unfolding all the wonders of her bakery.

    We were enthralled and very impressed as she explained her mission to provide customers with excellent gluten free products, lovingly prepared in her special kitchen.

    Najah makes everything from scratch. Her fragrant windowsill herb garden added a delicious layer to the wonderful smells wafting from her kitchen. Najah generously offered us samples of four or five products, beginning with what was currently cooking. This items we sampled were genuinely flavorful without any weird textures that so many of the gf seem to have.

    Then she opened her well-stocked freezer and began describing all of the special concoctions she had created. We ended up buying a nice selection of savory and sweet products. So far everything has far exceeded my expectations.

    I guess this seems like I'm gushing. Maybe I am. This food is delicious and worth the drive to find it. Najah is genuinely concerned that her customers are satisfied with her products and appreciates feedback. I look forward to visiting RioVida and Najah again soon!



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  18. All I can say is the cheese balls from Najah are to die for! I made stuffing this weekend from her hamburger buns and it tuned out amazing. For all you people worried about cost, if you have been diagnosed as celiac you can save all your reciepts and take them to your tax guy you will be refunded the difference between gluten free and non gluten free food.

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