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Readers React to the Arrival of Rose's Gluten-Free Bakery

Here's what readers are saying about the gluten-free bakery Marcus Lemonis is opening in Highland Park in February.

Does Highland Park need another bakery?

That's what Patch readers discussed last week after it was announced that Lake Forest resident Marcus Lemonis would be opening a Rose's Bakery and Cafe in downtown Highland Park. It will be the second location of the Evanston eatery Lemonis saved from closing last December.

"Thank you Marcus!" writes EM. "Words cannot even express how grateful I am to you! I always tell Rose how much I love her Evanston location, now it will be more convenient!"

Some readers who keep a gluten-free diet were especially pleased with the news of the opening.

"This will be a godsend for those of us in the gluten sensitive/celiac community, and shame on those people who don't understand the severity of those conditions and the overwhelming positive impact that a gluten free diet can have," writes Howard E. Pattis.

Some, however, wondered about a niche bakery's ability to survive, especially after both Turtle's and Marla's Sweet Bites closed.

"it will not survive," writes Ben. "I have eaten at the Rose's in Evanston and had to be reimbursed for my money - it was terrible. They will close within a year - guaranteed."

Others seemed skeptical of the added health benefit of gluten-free sweets.

"The common misconception is that a gluten free diet is a carb free diet," writes Zuzu. "It's still a starch, it's still filled with calories, and it's still just another craze that sheeple follow as they believe it's the 'in' thing to do."

One reader pointed out that the menu for Rose's includes sandwiches and pastas and other meals in addition to sweets, which could broaden the appeal.

"Good news," writes Vel. "This is not a gluten-free cupcake shop."

Lemonis, who is currently suing the Highland Park vegan restaurant In the Raw after a deal with them went sour, commented on the story to thank readers for the input. He said the bakery's location would be known soon.

"Having gone gluten free over a year ago and becoming a patron of Rose's, I know the love and devotion that customers have for Rose's," Lemonis said.

What do you think? Will you try Rose's when it opens in February? Do you think it will last in Highland Park?

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Vibe at 1935 January 28, 2013 at 06:10 PM
"Vibe at 1935" in Highland Park has great gluten-free food like seared tuna, hummus and veggies, ceviche and shrimp cocktail. We even have a gluten-free beer called "Tread Lightly"!!
Stu Pidasso January 28, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Speaking from experience, If I counted on the times being asked if we have "Gluten Free" items in my restaurant, I would have been out of business long ago. I wish them the best of luck! my money is on the short term side of it making it a long running success ( 5 years).The concept is great, making it a viable business is another story.
forest barbieri January 28, 2013 at 08:26 PM
In the hopes that the "Lake Forest Millionaire" does not become the used to be "Lake Forest Millionaire", I would suggest that he reevaluate and come at this from another angle. Ok, you have $350,000 invested in Rose of which $150,000 is working capital. Likely the $200,000 gave you controlling interest, name rights and recipe rights et al. Also likely the $150,000 was used to pay off debt, back rent, employee taxes, vendors with enough left to capitalize the business for what...12 months? Now you have the money tied up in RAW, what was reported? $100,000 - 130,000K and an ensuing lawsuit. Again should you prevail, you likely will waste 30 - 50K in legal fees and just as likely have problems collecting even if you win. So now in just these two you are in for what? $500,000K and you want to open another Rose Bakery in HP. What is that total? Guaranteed year lease @ $10,000 per month, build out and equipment $45,000 minimum, and so forth. Now you are in at least for almost $700,000 and you have a failing bakery of which you are opening another that has at best a 50/50 shot of succeeding. How about you maximize what you have and save the expense of a new shop. Ramp up the production of Rose's with the new capital and start selling to other business outlets like Three Tarts does in Winnetka. Now you maximize the investment and create accretive business and revenue with no real additional investment or risk, ensuring you stay the Lake Forest Millionaire :)
sfeldman January 28, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Strange food drama going on in what is normally a destination town for foodies. Lemonis's dealings with 'Raw' are indicative of what is coming all to soon to our beloved Central Ave. Taussig and her husband (Raw) are both notoriously dishonest business owners and Lemonis's motive to open a mediocre gluten free bakery/eatery fails to meet the high standards that most other HP businesses try to adhere to. HP residents are savvy, smart and well fed. Chances are that Rose's will succumb to the same ugly demise as Raw.
Steve S. January 28, 2013 at 09:11 PM
Yes, great advice, sell the products to restaurants and bakerys, they have trouble making the items themselves due to cross contamination, therefore, they need their shelves stocked.

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