What’s next for new St. Paul gluten-free, vegan bakery? Pies.

Innate Bakery recently rolled out in a tiny house in St. Paul serving gluten-free, vegan baked goods. We check in with owner/baker Laura Ford about how her business that started at farmers’ markets has grown, what she’s experimenting with next in the kitchen and more.

What’s your first food memory? Growing up, my family always had pasta. My mom’s pasta sauce is delicious. It had lots of garlic in it.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up? For awhile I wanted to be a firefighter.

What was your first job in food? When I grew older I wanted to do something with cooking and baked goods. My first job was working at Whole Foods for a couple of months. I was a baker there.

How did you wind up in the restaurant business for good? I started my own business, Innate Foods, four years ago selling at farmers’ markets. I had the idea at least two years before that. I wanted something that I couldn’t find anywhere else, which was high quality food that was vegan. It was just really impossible at the time. Things grew from there and I opened my St. Paul storefront two months ago.

Cookies, banana bread and scones are some of the offerings at Innate Bakery in St. Paul. Photographed Aug. 12, 2019. (Nancy Ngo / Pioneer Press)

What’s your favorite item on your menu? It changes weekly, honestly. It’s usually whatever’s different. I get sick of making the same thing. But if I were to name an item I really love, it would be the the black bean brownies because of the symbolism that comes with it. It was my very first product and the first thing I ever developed. It’s very creamy and chocolatey and the black beans intensify the chocolate. The first year it was hard to get people to try it. And then the next year, people were all over it. It’s cool changing how people think of food and a particular ingredient.

If you could only eat or drink five things for the rest of your life, what would they be? Water. I love water. Probably really good high quality chocolate would be in there because I’m a chocolate snob. I love salads. And different kinds of dressings. And sweet potato fries — I love those.

What’s next? In addition to what’s currently offered such as bars, cookies and scones, pies are next because the season’s changing. I’ll definitely have pecan and pumpkin pie. My favorite pie is French silk and I’d love to make that as well, but we’ll see.


  • Where: 1944 E. Ivy Ave., St. Paul
  • Hours:  7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
  • More Info: 612-708-3636; innate-foods.business.site