Bakery Spotlight: Vegan Bakeries

Even Though They’re Steeped in Tradition, These Dawn Foods Customers Aren’t Afraid of Trends

Generational Bakeries Add Vegan Sweets to Their Cases to Give Customers What They Want


More and more, bakers are embracing the vegan trend that’s on the rise in baked goods. According to the Good Foods Institute (1), “This is just the beginning of a massive growth period for plant-based foods,” noting that consumer appetite is surging as people increasingly make the switch to foods that match their changing values and desire for more sustainable options. “This growth will continue as more companies bring next-generation innovations to market that really deliver on the most important driver of consumer choice: taste.”

So how do bakeries keep pace with large brands that are delivering on consumer expectations? According to two Dawn customers – Homestyle Desserts Bakery and My Mother’s Delicacies Bakery, it starts with a single decision to incorporate a vegan product or two into your assortment.


My Mother’s Delicacies Bakery

What started in 1988 as a second career for Registered Dietician Susan Herlands began generations before with her paternal grandmother Bertha Hodin’s Eastern European Rugelach recipe from Galicia, Poland. With the help of her mother, Susan began with handmade, small batch quantities of her cherished family recipe that immediately grew in popularity, ultimately becoming a local favorite - My Mother’s Delicacies Bakery, located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

My Mother’s Delicacies operates an on-site retail and online bakery, in addition to supplying national grocers, wholesale clubs, retailers, and chains with everything from their flagship Rugelach to vegan cookies. “At a time when a lot of bakeries were streamlining, we were looking for ways to expand. But expanding could not mean less quality. Quality and attention to detail are always our main focus and what my customers expect.”

Herlands offers four flavors of vegan cookies - carrot coconut, apple walnut, cranberry walnut and pumpkin. “We use Dawn Food’s Vegan Cookie Base as our mix and add our own inclusions. It was an easy transition and the mix performs like a traditional base.”


Dawn’s Vegan Cookie base is a flexible formula designed to make a wide variety of vegan cookies, from classics like chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and sugar, to a bakery’s signature creations. Bakers just add water, margarine, and inclusions.

Herlands, a Dawn Foods customer for more than 30 years, noted that “customer response has been great (to the vegan products), adding that “the cookies are seen as healthier than their traditional counterparts and they fit in with issues that customers are passionate about, like the environment. They check a lot of boxes vegan customers care about.”

And because the baked goods not only taste great but also help customers feel good about their choices, Herlands notes that the vegan cookies command a higher price point. “It’s a premium offering that has value to customers; it’s a specialty item customers are willing to pay more for.”

Like most entrepreneurs, Herlands started off small but always knew she wanted to take her bakery to a national level and has no plans of slowing down. “Rugelach will always be a signature item, but I’m excited about the many new products that we have developed over the last three decades. I am always talking to my buyers and to customers looking for ways to innovate. I want to be ahead of others in the spaces my customers care about.”




Homestyle Desserts Bakery

When siblings Laura Timmons and Jason Elias took over the family bakery – Homestyle Desserts Bakery - from their mother in 2015, they knew they would celebrate the cakes, cheesecakes and donuts made famous by the family business since 1969. They also knew they wanted to modernize so that every customer, no matter their dietary preferences or restrictions, could find a sweet treat they enjoy.

Enter in some of Homestyle’s most popular desserts – their gluten free and vegan offerings. With everything from ice cream to cookies and cakes, the bakery is focused on making sure everyone feels like they have choices when they’re visiting the Peekskill, New York bakery. “What got me was the children with dairy or gluten allergies. The thought of them not being able to find something they could eat here really got to me,” said Timmons.

What began with a few vegan products has now grown to a four-page vegan and gluten free menu. “We have brownies, cakes, tarts, ice cream cakes, and our most popular item – our rainbow cookies,” Timmons said. “We use Dawn’s vegan cake and cookie mixes as our bases and then add in our own flavorings. They’re very easy to work with.”

Homestyle Desserts has been a Dawn customers for 15 years and Dawn Foods is now Homestyle’s vegan supplier of choice. It was important to Timmons that they minimized waste when making the move to add vegan products. “We needed it to taste good,” she added. “We didn’t want waste and wanted to be smart with how we built the line.” She noted that Dawn’s Technical Services Team would help trouble shoot if needed to ensure quality and taste.

Timmons is driven by creativity and focusing on what’s next for the business. “We’ve had vegan events with food trucks that are very popular, and I’m always coming up with new ideas. If you’re vegan and you have only a few choices for where you can go, we are going to make it worth your while.”


Ready to Learn More?

If you’re a bakery that’s curious about how to successfully bring vegan products into your assortment, contact Dawn. Our full line of bases, mixes, inclusions, frostings, fillings, and more is designed to help bakers create vegan treats that deliver the taste, quality, and consistency customers expect.

“We’ve seen more and more bakeries working vegan products into their regular menus,” said Anne Marie Halfmann, senior marketing manager, Dawn Foods. “The right products take away the guesswork and can help bakeries increase profit margins while giving customers on-trend products they want.”

If you want to learn more about My Mother’s Delicacies, visit them at If you want to learn more about Homestyle Desserts Bakery, visit them at