Editor’s Note: Our Anything But Ordinary focus is Tessa Casey, owner of Sweet Sense Bakery, a bakery focused on gluten-free baked goods in Plymouth. For more about Sweet Sense, visit here.
Tell us about Sweet Sense Gluten Free Baked Goods.
Sweet Sense opened at 17R Court Street in Plymouth about four and a half years ago. Before I had this brick and mortar location, I was exclusively doing wholesale gluten-free baked goods out of my home (I have a special permit) and selling to retail partners. Now, I do about 60 percent wholesale and the rest I sell retail at the bakery, which has a walk-up “Grab and Go” window where customers can buy cakes, cookies, bars, bread, muffins, cupcakes, etc., and place orders for custom cakes.
What makes your business unique?
I am focused on providing the highest quality products that are quite simply delicious. But one of the most important things about my business is that I employ individuals with special needs. Working with Reach Inc. in Plymouth and the Pilgrim Area Collaborative, six to seven developmentally delayed individuals work from one to two hours a week, sometimes with a job coach. My son, who has Down Syndrome, also works there. I try to find things they gravitate towards, such as cleaning, labeling … tasks they like doing. This gives them an opportunity to be part of something.
How did you get into the bakery business?
I didn’t go to culinary school, but I always loved baking and decorating cakes. Before I launched my business, I worked in the financial industry. Sweet Sense started because of a need for good-tasting, gluten-free baked goods that, until now, haven’t really existed. The idea originated when my son, Matthew, was diagnosed with celiac disease 14 years ago. After learning to cook gluten-free meals, I expanded this notion to include dessert items. Lots of trial and error resulted in yummy cakes, cookies, breads and brownies.
What are your most popular baked goods?
Carrot cake is my number-one seller, followed by banana bread, whoopie pies and chocolate chip cookies. We also sell a lot of cupcakes.
Where can your products be found outside of the bakery?
I sell Sweet Sense bakery products at several locations on the South Shore and in New Hampshire. Visit here for the list! Custom orders can be placed seven days in advance by calling 774-404-0378. The bakery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.