By Andrew Wroblewski
Striking a delectable balance between health and taste can be challenging.
The connotations that healthy foods don’t always taste great and that sweets are a health nut’s downfall are two obstacles that sisters Carolyn Arcario and Mary Mucci set out to overcome four years ago. Arcario, who is gluten intolerant and is sensitive to other food products, and her sister, who also has a gluten sensitivity, opened Huntington village’s only dedicated gluten-free bakery in 2011.
“I love doing new things. I love new challenges,” Arcario said of opening Wild Flours bake shop. “I wanted to start a place where I would be able to eat. I knew there would be other people like me.”
But Arcario stressed that Wild Flours isn’t just a haven for those suffering from food allergies or looking to eat healthy.
“It’s not easy to bake gluten-free, because you have to achieve both the right texture and the right taste. It’s hard to get both. But once you get them down you have something that’s going to be appealing,” Arcario, of Huntington, said. “In our case, a lot of our customers just come here because they like the taste [of the food]. They don’t have an issue with gluten or dairy, they just really like their yummy baked goods.”
And the appeal of not having a sugar crash afterwards, she added. Most of Wild Flours’ sweets are sugar free and only a few marked items incorporate organic unrefined cane sugar.
Yet cookies, muffins, brownies, cupcakes, pies, turnovers and other dessert items are far from all Wild Flours has to offer. The bakery’s menu offers avenues for breakfast and lunch, to go along with dessert.
“We’re not just a bakery selling sweets. We have a lot of savory items here,” she said. For example, the bakery offers gluten-free pizza – one of the things gluten intolerant people feel most deprived of,” she noted. Wild Flours’ pizza is available Wednesday-Saturday and made to order.
The bakery also offers panini, sandwiches, Applegate cold cuts, organic salads, quiche and more. Most of the bakery’s offerings are made using organic products. Wild Flours recently has seen increased demand for vegan products, with more new customers citing egg allergies.
Arcario, a first-time business owner who was previously a gemologist in Manhattan, embraced her entrepreneurial side and translated her baking hobby into business after moving to Huntington about five years ago.
To get things going, she teamed up with Mucci, News 12 Long Island’s health reporter, and the pair soon settled on their Huntington village location.
“She’s health conscious and I’m the baker, so it seemed like a good combination to produce healthy baked goods that everybody can enjoy,” Arcario said. “…And that really taste delicious,” she added.
Wild Flours also ships to customers across the country.