A Local Brand Focused On Vegan-Baked Goods

Oatmeal cream pies are one of the products at Thistle’s Summit, a local bakery making vegan and gluten-free goods.

Writer: Karla Walsh

It was love at first bite when I sampled my first oatmeal cream pie from Thistle’s Summit, made with tender, warmly spiced cookies surrounding a cloud-like cream filling. And somehow it was all vegan and gluten-free?! It’s unlike most other vegan and gluten-free baked goods I’ve sampled—many can err on the dry, crumbly or chalky side. Everything coming from Marti Payseur’s Kitchen Spaces spot, where she’s run her bakery business since March 2021, is full of flavor—and heart.

“My partner, Ash, developed some health issues a couple years ago,” Payseur says. “In an effort to improve the symptoms, we cut out dairy, eggs and, later on, gluten. Everything I make, I make for Ash. I want people to be able to taste the love.”

Payseur believes that the future of food is more plant-based (more on the many benefits and local outlets that speak to this food trend here), but she finds much of her inspiration from the past. Ideas arise from childhood favorites, Martha Stewart episodes Payseur watched as a kid and Instagram bites. “I think desserts are such a beautiful platform to expose people to new flavor combinations, especially when using some of the unconventional ingredients that I do in gluten-free and vegan baking,” Payseur says. (Her miso scallion scones and sea salt chocolate chip tahini cookies are two tempting pieces of evidence.)

Thistle Summit’s recipes, and the mission behind the brand, are why Payseur was chosen as the 2021 recipient of the Flourish fund, a $3,500 grant to support one Central Iowa business idea from a woman or non-gender- conforming person.

“I hope to open a brick-and-mortar space to serve as a space for people that feel ‘othered’ in our community to feel comfortable, cared for and seen,” Payseur says. “I want my business to be an agent for change that supports mutual aid, hires queer employees and prioritizes social justice.”

Find Thistle’s Summit at the Slow Down Coffee Co., Grounds for Celebration and Dogpatch Urban Gardens.
Learn more and stay up to date on their website or Instagram.

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