Healthy Eating with Third Coast Bakery

Farmers Markets, Specialty Producers, Stories, Tricia Phelps

By Tricia Phelps

As we embark on a new year, many people are voicing aspirations of change & resolution for the months ahead. I love food too much to even think about grandiose plans for dieting, but I can’t help feeling lethargic after the past few weeks of excessive food & drink. To break in the New Year, I want to introduce Third Coast Bakery—“The new wave of baking” that will help you avoid unhealthy eating this year, while still satisfying your sweet tooth.

Photo by Tricia Phelps

Photo by Tricia Phelps

Heather Burson, owner of Third Coast Bakery comes from a long line of Italian women who live their lives joyfully in the kitchen. From an early age she shared the tasks of cooking with her mother, fighting playfully with her sister over who got to crack the egg. As a food lover and sugar addict, Heather realized about 6 years ago that she was tired of feeling unhealthy and needed to make a change. She decided to eliminate refined sugars & flours from her diet, but finding a satisfying “healthy” dessert was near impossible. Every alternative she came across was either filled with chemicals or simply tasted awful.

Photo by Tricia Phelps

Photo by Tricia Phelps

The key to success when you’re eliminating sugar or trying to eat healthier is to find a substitute that is really satisfying. People would say, “If you’re craving something salty & crunchy, eat a cucumber” Heather reflects, and “It just doesn’t work.” Feeling left-out is what inspired Heather to fill the void by baking herself. She started with trial & error; never satisfied until her sugar-free products were as delicious as their sugar-rich counterparts. “If you can taste that the product is healthy,” Heather suggests, “then the recipe isn’t finished.”  Heather has taken it as a personal challenge to combat the stereotype that gluten-free, vegan, or sugar-free products are.”

The company that started out as a big “what if” has grown and evolved quickly. After considering that those who have other food intolerances might also feel left-out, Heather aimed to “serve the under-fed” and she developed recipes that are often all-in-one: gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free & vegan. In addition to the no-sugar and low-sugar products that were available from the start.  She adds, “I pride myself on knowing the latest research and using certified allergen-free ingredients so customers can have 100% peace of mind that they won’t get sick.”

Photo by Tricia Phelps

Photo by Tricia Phelps

There is nothing bleached, refined, chemically processed, hydrogenated or artificial in the products made by Third Coast Bakery. The recipes include organic and local ingredients as often as possible. All the organic bulk ordering is done through Oryana Natural Food Coop, the maple syrup is sourced from Kinsley, fresh local fruit is included when in-season, and all the fresh eggs are from Leelanau County. The recipes and products available from Third Coast Bakery are as customizable as the customer needs, and Heather loves to hear suggestions for new baking experiments.

Currently Third Coast Bakery sells every Saturday from 10-2 PM at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons Indoor Farmers Market. Their products can also be found at Cuppa Joe in Building 50 & at Horizon Books, as well as the Bayside Market in Traverse City. Third Coast Bakery can put together unique special orders for any event, and will create anything from welcome gifts and party trays to wedding cakes. Heather encourages everyone to visit Third Coast Bakery at the Farmers Market, so you can taste-test as many samples as you’d like. “You don’t have to be vegan or have food intolerances to enjoy the product; Stop by as see how tasty healthy desserts can be.”

Third Coast Bakery

Owner: Heather Burson


Photo by Tricia Phelps

Photo by Tricia Phelps

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