As with many people these days, Kirk Hutchinson struggles with dietary restrictions, so he decided to do something to help not only himself but others in the process.
“I’ve always had this dream to open a ketogenic bakery,” said Hutchinson, the founder of the Power of the Almond in Starkville. And now, he has the only bakery in the Magnolia State that’s completely sugar, gluten, and carb-free as well as diabetic and celiac friendly.
This freshly opened gourmet bakery and health food restaurant is a homegrown shop where sweet treats are baked with the power of monk fruit, golden flaxseed, and psyllium husks. And that’s just a few of the many unique ingredients used to whip up scrumptious delights at the eatery that caters to anyone with dietary restrictions.
As its name suggests, the bake shop uses ground almond flour as a base, and monk fruit is used as a sweetener, which is 300 times sweeter than sugar with none of the carbs or calories. Hutchinson explained since it’s a natural sweetener there is none of the aftertastes that are common with other artificial sweeteners.
“Our motto is, ‘finally, a guilt-free pleasure,’” said the Mississippi State University graduate and the head pastry chef. “A cheap sugar substitute is actually worse for you than real sugar. We use an Erythritol blend of the indigenous monk fruit that doesn’t cause an insulin response for diabetics and tastes just like real sugar.”
With a frequently rotating menu, Hutchinson offers a new perspective on many dishes, including soups, dip and chips, casseroles, and flatbreads with different options for every palette. The bakery features countless flavors of fruit loaves, pound cakes, cookies, and muffins.
“We have a lot of changes to typical dishes,” Hutchinson said. “We just put our own spin on it.”
Since Hutchinson is himself diabetic, his knowledge of the keto diet first sparked his idea for the bakery, and visiting the diet-restricted section of grocery stores made him truly pursue his passion.
“After that, I just started baking,” he said. “And I’m happy I’ve filled a niche for so many people.”
Hutchinson originally made the baked goods out of his house in Tupelo and sold them online. In just a few short months, he received enough support to open up a physical storefront in Starkville and expanded from selling only baked goods to opening a restaurant and bakery combination.
That’s when he consulted his now business partner, Chávez Pittmon, who worked for numerous years in the food service industry. The pair met in college and remained friends after graduation.
“I knew he would be the perfect person for this,” Hutchinson said, adding they immediately developed a business plan for the bake shop.
“As we grow, we’re dedicated to constantly developing new recipes and making improvements along the way,” Hutchinson said. “Although our strict quality standards take time, they guarantee a culinary sophistication and difference you’re bound to experience from the very first bite.”
So does your diet require no sugar? No gluten? No carbohydrates? That’s no problem at the Power of the Almond with Chef Hutchinson.
Photos are courtesy of Kirk Hutchinson