Friday, February 25, 2011

Virtula Bakery

Four enterprising USC undergrads recently contacted me about a business they were helping start up.  The four students are part of an entrepreneurship class as part of their studies at USC's Marshall School of Business.  The students expressed an interest in a gluten free consumer in Los Angeles and luckily they happened upon my website and contacted me.  I recently met with the students on USC's University Park campus and spoke with them about what I looked for in products as a gluten free consumer.

The students are helping a chef launch Virtula Bakery, dedicated to creating gluten free baked goods.  During our meeting I learned more about the baker, who wished to remain unnamed until the bakery is  fully ready for lunch.  One student, Elton, told me that he had combined two class assignments into one to help the baker behind Virtula Bakery succeed in her business plan.  As part of that, they have been approaching various retail stores in Los Angeles to stock Virtula Bakery's goods.  They are currently waiting to have an official business kitchen in which to cook and then will hopefully be able to sell their goods to stores (the exact details were lost on me).

I say "hopefully" because I really enjoyed the samples the group provided me of the "Truffle Brownie" product.  A bag of 5 (or 6?) of these products would normally retail for $5, a totally reasonable price for gluten free baked goods in my opinion.  Better yet, these were delicious!  They were very rich and would go great with a glass of (almond/soy/cow/your preference) milk.

As part of the students' project, they were required to earn a profit of $500.  They have already exceeded that in earning a profit of over $600 by selling to USC students, retail shops (to sample the products), and other sources.  Trojans know how to do it right!

More than anything, the "Truffle Brownie" sample given to me made me excited to try out more of Virtula Bakery's products.  As of right now, you can add yourself to the mailing list to keep up-to-date about the Bakery's progress.  I'm looking forward to seeing Virtula Bakery's products in more stores soon!

UPDATE:  If you are interested in buying the "Truffle Brownie," you can e-mail nisusgroup@gmail.com directly.  Enjoy!

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Virtula Bakery

5 comments:

Stef said...

That is really neat! Im a senior at USC (a psychology major) but USC is pretty good about gluten free. The last time I went into the campus grocery store, Seeds, they had the glutino products.

CeliALISON said...

I wonder if this will inspire Cornell's Johnson School students here in Ithaca... Fingers crossed!

Karen said...

yes! if you're interested in buying the Truffle Brownies, you can e-mail directly to nisusgroup@gmail.com

Stephen said...

@Stef -- I've seen the stuff in Seeds too. Wish they had more GF stuff for full meals though; I usually pick up something from the vegan section to the right of where the GF stuff is. Any other tips for on-campus dining?

@CeliALISON -- You'll have to let me know!

@Karen -- I updated the post to include your e-mail.

Stef said...

@Stephen I usually pack food because I have celiac and will get sick with the slightest cross-contamination
But...
There's Wahoos in the Student Center.
I think Moreton Fig which just opened can accommodate if you give them specific instructions.
Lemonade in the student center has salads.

They use the same tortilla warmer thing for both flour and corn at Baja Fresh in Cafe 84, so I can't eat there