Bom Bakeshop fosters community and inclusivity through its gluten-free treats, forging connections and spreading joy.

By: Isabel Neumann. Photos courtesy of Teresa Kwon.

In a world where dietary restrictions can often feel limiting, Teresa Kwon and her husband, Anthony Kim, are on a mission to prove that delicious baked goods can still bring joy, even in the face of adversity. Their bakery, Bom Bakeshop, is a testament to resilience, love and the power of community.

Kwon’s journey with celiac disease began long before gluten-free options were widely available. “I have always had some kind of sensitivity,” she explains. “Growing up in an Asian household, it was like, ‘There’s no such thing as food allergies; just eat it and get over it.’” It wasn’t until her late 20s that a friend suggested she might have celiac disease, prompting Kwon to undergo food sensitivity tests that confirmed her allergy to gluten.

Fast forward to 2020, amidst the chaos of the pandemic: Bom Bakeshop was born. “It was supposed to be temporary,” Kwon recalls. “We started baking gluten-free treats for our neighborhood, but it quickly took off.” Despite facing logistical challenges and the inherent risks of starting a business during a global crisis, Kwon and Kim remained undeterred.

Their bakery is both gluten-free and celiac-safe, drawing from Kwon’s personal experience and commitment to providing safe options for those with dietary restrictions. “Our mission is to spread joy and to create a space where everyone feels welcome and understood.”

For the couple, joy is not just about the products they create; it’s about the values they uphold. “We want to be able to sleep at night, which means staying true to ourselves and our beliefs, even if it means saying no to good opportunities when they don’t align with our values.

“Bom is a Korean word for spring,” Kwon explains. “It symbolizes new beginnings and the joy of renewal.” 

Their journey hasn’t been without its challenges. In addition to navigating the complexities of running a small business, the couple have also faced targeted harassment and racism both during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’ve received death threats and been targeted because of our ethnicity,” Kwon reveals. “It has been incredibly difficult, but it’s also strengthened our resolve to stand up against injustice and spread love in the face of hate.”

Bom Bakeshop’s role in nurturing community and inclusivity is significant. Offering gluten-free options for mochi donuts and other baked goods allows people to share meals without feeling excluded. “Eating together is one of the most vulnerable and most beautiful things to do because you’re heart to heart, and you’re sharing something that’s nourishing your bodies. It is like communion.”

They emphasize values like joy and kindness. “If you vibe with us then you’re our people…It’s all about kindness and goodness, and kindness always wins.” This connection goes beyond transactions, fostering genuine relationships with their customers.

Bom Bakeshop’s wide array of flavors (more than 120 a year), including culturally inspired options, sets them apart. “I’m proud to share our donut because it’s not just a donut; it’s a story. It’s handmade with love and joy,” says Kwon. 

They are currently preparing to open their first brick-and-mortar location after selling at pop-ups at Dia’s Market. “We want to continue spreading joy and building a community that celebrates diversity and inclusion, and with each bite of our gluten-free treats, we hope to remind people that joy is always within reach, no matter the circumstances,” says Kwon. 

Marrying Kwon’s passions for tasty desserts and K-pop, the couple has a merch and pop-up venture, Bom Nal Shop, that they plan to expand as their business grows. “The Bom brand is really a parent brand. We plan to create an ecosystem of businesses and organizations that align with the values we have instilled in Bom.”



Leave A Reply

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial