Already well-known as one of the best vegan bakeries in the country, Bethlehem’s on Thursday was named one of the 10 best bakeries – of any kind – in the world by American Express.
The bakeshop at 1444 Linden St. is featured in Departures, a luxury travel magazine the financial company produces for its platinum credit card holders.
It is the only vegan bakery featured in the story, which includes bakeshops from Vienna, San Francisco, Tokyo and one Parisian shop that has been in business for 80 years.
“This honor has proven that we can not only match the quality of a ‘traditional’ bakery but we can surpass it to be named one of the best in the world,” said Joy Grant, Vegan Treats’ business manager.
“The owner, Danielle Konya's mission has always been to satisfy the palate while respecting the integrity of all living species. Once again we've proven that compassion has never tasted so delicious.”
The bakery has been named the top vegan bakery in the country three times by VegNews magazine.
Konya, a Bethlehem native, started the business in her kitchen 15 years ago, mostly setting out to prove that great baking does not require animal products, Grant said. More than health, Konya’s motivation in steering clear of milk, butter and eggs is concern for animals and the environment, Grant said.
However, there has been an increasing demand from clients who are allergic to milk and eggs, Grant said. “For some parents, it’s the only birthday cake they will let their kids have,” she said.
Over the first eight years, Konya had no employee help, other than her mother. Now the bakery has 20 employees churning out delectable sweets 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep up with ever-increasing demand.
Vegan Treats now has more than 100 commercial accounts, supplying baked goods to restaurants in New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., Grant said. Business has grown 96 percent in the last year alone, she added.
The business is looking to expand, but not to move out of Bethlehem, Grant said. Ideally, Konya would like to relocate to the Historic Downtown, she said.
The magazine piece says the following about Konya’s chocolate-peanut butter mousse bomb cake: “As delightfully caloric as it sounds, the treat defies the perception that cutting out dairy means sacrificing indulgence.”
The piece also says: “With 36 varieties of cheesecake [including brownie chunk], a roster of doughnuts and 24 chocolate cakes, Konya makes a strong case for making the move to veganism.”