The Happy Mixer Gluten Free Bakery owners Tim and Lisa Mourer
Written and Photographed by Angela Sackett
From the moment you walk up to the brick-framed French doors of The Happy Mixer Gluten Free Bakery in Chalfont, Pennsylvania, you feel welcomed. The homey décor continues inside, but it’s so much more that draws devoted customers. Husband-wife duo Tim and Lisa Mourer clearly love each other and love what they do—and they pass on that passion to their customers.
Lisa gives a cookie to children visiting for the first time, remembering how as a girl, she would wait at the counter of her favorite bakery for her own cookie. For those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, her free cookie represents freedom in a small treat. Once, she says, as she was buying gluten-free pasta at the grocery store, she ran into a mother whose daughter had been recently diagnosed with celiac disease. When the mom asked for food advice, Lisa revealed that she and her husband owned a gluten-free bakery. “Mommy, I can have a wedding cake some day!” the little girl exclaimed as she hugged Lisa.
Providing that kind of joy is a gift to Tim, whose roots in the baking industry run
deep, beginning with years of work in a traditional bakery on Long Beach Island. When he removed gluten from his own diet, he continued working in a bakery where he couldn’t taste his own food. After years of restraint at work, followed by baking “safe” treats for himself and his then-fiancée, Tim dreamed of, planned for and created his own gluten-free bakery. Determined to create the best traditionally styled treats available, he spent a year methodically testing recipes, with Lisa tasting alongside him.
Although Lisa isn’t gluten free herself, she proudly says her husband romanced her with weekly batches of warm gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, making her girlfriends jealous. She laughs when she tells the story, and Tim smiles almost shyly as he agrees.
Tim and Lisa have an agreement: He runs the immaculately organized kitchen, she runs the front of house and marketing. She lights up when customers come into the store as he focuses with his team of bakers on creating gluten-free treats like ombre wedding cakes, giant cupcakes, spicy old-fashioned donuts with perfectly not-too-sweet crumb toppings and their famous “kiffles.” These “cookies with a funny name” that feature dough reminiscent of flaky, tender pie crust are filled with berry or apricot jam and sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar.
Tim is the focused, formula-following expert baker; Lisa is the spirited champion of social media and customer relations. Even their family gets in on the action. At a recent gluten-free expo, both Lisa and Tim’s parents helped hand out samples as guests lined up to taste and buy the treats that have become favorites in several local markets and restaurants.
A recent first-time visitor stared at the bakery cases, speechless, as she and a friend decided what to try. “It’s been eight years since I’ve had a donut,” she said. “I might cry.”
Tim might have won Lisa’s heart with his warm chocolate chip cookies, but now she’s devoted to helping him win the hearts of others with classic, sweet, gluten-free treats. And it seems the love continues, as “Philadelphia’s best gluten-free baked goods” have won over devoted gluten-free and non-gluten-free fans alike. GF
To make the Happy Mixer Butter Cookies yourself, click here for the recipe!