Gluten-Free and Vegan Bakery & Cafe Opening in East Phoenix

Jewel's Bakery & Cafe
Strawberry Shortcake With Fresh Whip
Although Julie Moreno has always had a love for baking, her decision to switch to making her homemade cakes, breads, and pies gluten-free (wheat-less) came about not by choice but by necessity.

"Two years ago, my daughter became very sick and nobody could tell us what was wrong," Moreno tells me. "After several months, we finally figured out it was an allergy to gluten. We tried buying gluten-free stuff, but a lot of it wasn't very good. That's when I decided to make my own."

See also:
- Cooking Gluten-Free: The Fresh 20 Makes It Easy(ish)
- DIY Gluten-Free Raspberry Salad

Jewel's Bakery & Cafe
Dairy-free Hotdog Bun
Moreno's decision proved to be not only a healthier way of eating for her daughter, but a successful business venture as well. In August 2011, Moreno launched Jewel's Cupcake Shop, an online store offering gluten-free baked goods like breads, rolls, pies, pastries, and cupcakes -- all made with her signature flour blends.

And this August (most likely late August) Moreno will bring her gluten-free creations to her first brick-and-mortar space: Jewel's Bakery & Cafe at 4041 East Thomas Road, in the former home of Kitchen Classics, in East Phoenix.

Moreno says her new counter-service restaurant, which seats 40 inside and 40 on an outdoor patio, will, to start, be open for breakfast and lunch. In addition to pastry cases filled with sweet treats, Moreno says customers can also pick up fresh-baked breads (think an olive and rosemary baguette), hot dog and hamburger buns, and take-away meals like frozen pizzas.

"Because there's not a lot of choices for people eating gluten-free, I want to always be doing something new," Moreno says. "Like a specials menu featuring themes like Italian foods, grilled cheese sandwiches, and build-your-own pizza."

And because a lot of folks with gluten allergies also can't eat eggs and dairy, Moreno says her abundance of vegan items, "just come with the territory."

Although one may think Moreno's daughter might be the one giving the stamp of approval on her dishes, Moreno tells me it's actually her husband who's the taste-tester.

"He doesn't like gluten-free foods and is the pickiest eater," she says. "I know if he likes it, it's good. The trick is getting it past him."

Jewel's Bakery & Cafe
4041 East Thomas Road

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Location Info

Jewel's Bakery & Cafe

4041 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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And the latest fad disease now gets restaurants. I predict these go the way of creperies and fondue pot restaurants. 99% of people who declare they are "celiacs" to me have never had diagnostic tests to prove it. It used to be guests would turn their noses up at anything but chicken; then it became turning up their noses at all meat; then it became vegan and I just quit catering to them. It was all about control on their part and each step part of some sort of esthetic movement. It gets tiresome with all these self diagnosers. And it bothers me that they are passing these OCD food behaviors on to their children along with imaginary diseases. Ugh. I know I will get flamed; but before you do, please have your medical tests in hand.


@sighhhhh Wow!! What a moron you are!! I would rather not have this disease called Celiac and yes I did go through all the gruesome tests to get diagnosed after years of being sick from eating wheat, barley, rye and oats. I was raised on a farm and not only did we grow these grains but I also ate them until my body decided that I could no longer eat them. I hope that you remain as healthy and disease free as you pretend to be...just saying!

ericadermer 2 Like

@sighhhhh I have celiac disease - and yes it was diagnosed by MAYO CLINIC (which actually considers it a real disease and charges an insane amount of money to actually properly diagnose someone with a biopsy through endoscopy, blood work, genetic testing, and even colonoscopies). Trust me, no one who is making up a disease would go through any of these processes. There is nothing to do with OCD, other than the fact that anxiety (which can include OCD) and depression can be one of the side effects of undiagnosed celiac disease. Unlike other diseases, the only thing that helps us is a 100% gluten-free diet. We NEED dedicated spaces like this that do not have ONE CRUMB of gluten in them so we can feel free to eat safely. Consider it like an allergy (even though it's an autoimmune condition), but one crumb can make us very sick. Would you say the same thing with a peanut allergy? Probably not. Celiac disease is NOT a fad. It is a life-long autoimmune condition - and NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity) affects an even larger percentage of the population. Unlike serving fondue, restaurants like this are actually able to serve a percentage of the community that are sick. How could you be against that? 


@ericadermer @sighhhhh 

A lot of what you describe is what a lot of people described as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, silicone breast implants, and more. It's a set of symptoms and as one fad cure goes by the wayside then another one comes along.

And no, I'm not "ignorant" or "stupid" or to be pitied. I have friends who have had young infants, not old enough to get vaccinated against common diseases, exposed to childhood diseases because other people refused to vaccinate their children to "prevent" autism? I think that's pretty much been disproved. Just like bad mothering was the old reason for autism.

I am sure that celiac disease does exist. If your medical tests meet the protocol for being diagnosed with it then I have no argument with that.

But for so many, many more, it's just one more fad they glom on to. And no,"no fan of stupidly" I have none of the symptoms that you outline so this isn't undiagnosed "celiac" talking.

Any number of people will go to their doctor with these vague complaints that have existed since the beginning of time. And with a harmless 'diagnosis' of Celiac Disease without having any tests done is a safe one because telling you to go gluten free won't harm you and set them up for a lawsuit. As for peanut allergies? That results in anaphylactic shock. "Gluten allergy" is a far cry from that.

tallredhead3 1 Like

@sighhhh I find it interesting that you use a generic name/no profile.  Cool.  I learned a LONG time ago not to worry too much about what other people think of me.....but this is not a phase, I am not a hypochondriac, nor would anybody I know not eat wheat if they didn't have a great reason to (personally I think that nobody should eat the stuff now being called wheat but that's a whole other rant).

 If you don't believe in my disease that's cool!  Rock on!  I just hope for your sake you are the healthiest, most vibrant person in the world because I am pretty sure with your attitude you would be hard pressed to get anyone to bring you some gluten free chicken noodle soup!  Just sayin'!

NotafanofStupidy 2 Like

@sighhhhh Well  you hear that all you fellow celiac and gluten intolerant people out there. You must be just making up the extreme sickness that is brought on when you ingest gluten. The vomiting, severe diarrhea, bloating, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, awful mouth sores, skin blisters, rashes, brain fog are all just in your head. We all know this "Sighhh" person is just ignorant. It is not their fault that they are not able to educate themselves or that they make stupid comments that they know nothing about. I blame it on inbreeding or maybe they are gluten sensitive and they are just really angry and depressed when they have gluten and that makes them lash out. So don't give Sighhhh a tongue lashing for they know not what they do....It is the brain fog from ingesting Frankenwheat and many other GMO products and that has wreaked havoc in their brain. 

ericadermer 1 Like

VERY excited about this! As a local gluten-free blogger at, I know I'll be writing quite a few blog posts in her new cafe, enjoying a safe lunch and treats! I can't wait for this to open! 


This woman took what was a very sad moment in my life (finding out I could never have wheat and several other grains again) and made it not only bearable, but enjoyable!  In fact, we celebrated my daughter's birthday yesterday with a gf cake from Jewel's.  My entire family (including those who aren't gf) prefer her stuff over other options.  My daughter even said it was the best birthday cake she's ever had (chocolate cake, ganache and cream cheese frosting with raspberry filling).  Oh, and my daughter can HAVE wheat but chose Jewel's over any other bakery!

It's nice to have this option and it's even better to have such quality, tasty flavors.  I have probably tasted 90 percent of the items she sells over the time I've been ordering from her and I keep coming back for more!  I have to hide what I buy or the people capable of eating ANYTHING steal my stuff!


Her cupcakes are better than ANY cupcake I have ever had, gluten free or not.  I am not even gluten intolerant but I buy her products because I love them.  I also love her breads.  I am very excited to try all the new things at her new bakery!!

QtheChef 1 Like

Jewel's Cupcakes are one of the best, and I am not even gluten intolerant. I try to avoid it when I can, but I frequently run into products that use coconut milk or oil (in the gluten-free products). What I like about Jewel's is that she uses a different flour and milk blends but still manages to make everything so tasty and moist. 

As a Culinary Nutrition Specialist, I allow myself to indulge once in awhile, and I prefer to have a cupcake from Jewel's Cupcake Shop. 

More on why I love Jewel's Cupcakes:


I used to think Sprinkles was the best cupcakes to EVER hit the planet.  When I tried a cupcake from Jewel's, I had washed my hands of Sprinkles.  Snickers, Caramel Macchiato, Applie Pie, Chocolate with Peanut Butter frosting........ I can go on and on.  What's even better is that since my kids play baseball and so many children seem to have gluten issues (or just allergies in general), I can order cupcakes for birthday recognition and not have to worry about someone's nut allergy, wheat allergy, etc.  And the cupcakes are a total hit!  I have to make sure I pass out business cards to the parents.  

I used to think that eating gluten- free meant eating dried out, chalky foods but Jewel's provides goodies with the correct texture and density.  This is going to be a great little place for you to stop in on your way to work and grab a treat or even after lunch!


Her food is ok. I've tried it a few times but it is too heavy for me. Gluten free certainly does not mean healthier.


@Not_a_fan_of_Jewels Actually her foods are healthier than normal gf fare.  Not that cupcakes and items of that nature are supposed to be healthy ;o) but I have seen her bake and she uses better ingredients than she has to.  Her items are excellent because she uses things which cost more than a normal bakery would use.  I went gluten free when I found out I had celiac and I was in such a funk!  The chalky, dry stuff on the market was a serious buzz kill.  Julie's stuff made me literally cry!  

No, gluten free may not mean "healthier" if you are eating a cookie or cupcake but for ME and many like me, it's the ONLY way we get to have a safe treat which isn't going to make us literally sick (and so that kind of means healthy, huh?)  Sorry you might not like it but for those of us in the gf for life group.........we embrace and celebrate this awesome woman!

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