Since she was 10 months old, Karen Fry has had to eat gluten-free, so she grew up baking her own treats.
Soon her love of baking extended to her children’s school bake sales. After getting laid off two years ago from her marketing job, Fry said she jumped at the opportunity to own a bakery.
She bought Dream Bakery from Azar Owlia, another woman who made a major career change from a chemist to a baker.
“This is a job you do to make people happy,” Fry said.
Fry kept much of Dream Bakery the same but made a few changes, such as focusing more on made-from-scratch American baked goods. The bakery still offers Owlia’s Persian treats on its custom menu as well as creates custom cakes for events.
The biggest change was adding a second location in March when Fry leased the former Bribery Bakery shop, which included the decor and equipment. The main Anderson Mill Road location focuses mainly on cakes and production, but the new Wells Branch Parkway location sells mostly pastries as well as coffee drinks and grab-and-go lunch items.
Because of her gluten allergy, Fry added gluten-free and vegan treats to the Dream Bakery menu.
“Up north we are more limited [with gluten-free and vegan options],” Fry said. “We also get requests for keto- and paleo-friendly treats.”
She said in the coming months she plans to continue experimenting with new gluten-free and vegan flavors.
“When we get something that we can’t stop eating, we know we have a winner,” Fry said.
Dream Bakery also makes treats for Nordstrom and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores. Expanding into the corporate catering market is also a goal of Fry’s, such as offering breakfast pastries for companies or custom cakes for holiday parties and events.
She also gets involved in the community, such as offering cakes for the pop-up Depressed Cake Shop benefiting the Austin chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“I like being a part of people’s lives,” Fry said. “I enjoy being a local business [owner].”
Bakery and cafe
2013 Wells Branch Parkway, Ste. 109, Austin
Hours: Sun.-Mon. 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Tue.-Fri. 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
9422 Anderson Mill Road, Ste. B, Austin