Those seeking tasty morsels of sweetness while adhering to a gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, paleo, keto, Whole30, low sodium and low-sugar diet will find a cornucopia of offerings to their liking at Bend's Blissful Spoon. Whether by visiting the new dine-in headquarters on Newport Avenue, by ordering energy bites online or by finding their granola blends in local stores throughout the Pacific Northwest, Blissful Spoon offers a number of ways to enjoy innovative and healthy creations.
Blissful Spoon is a bakery, restaurant and wine bar specializing in Mediterranean and globally inspired tapas and desserts for lunch and dinner, along with a bakery with French pastries, coffee, Parisian hot chocolate (and a variety of gluten-free goodies in Central Oregon). For breakfast, a special brunch menu is served Saturdays and Sundays.
- Courtesy Miki Bakkari
- The new retail space on Newport Avenue is bright, airy and inviting.
"I think our focus on quality, local ingredients makes a huge difference in what we can bring to the Bend food scene," said co-owner Miki Bakkari. "Most people know us for our bakery or our grain-free granola, but I think more and more people will discover our food, tapas and wine/beer offerings soon. Thankfully we've been able to open up at the 25% capacity level during COVID, but we are looking forward to being able to open our outdoor dining once the city approval finally comes through and then into the evenings for the tapas and wine bar."
Blissful Spoon's ability to transform bakery recipes to gluten-free versions without sacrificing quality or taste is something customers routinely say they love.
"Some truly lovely desserts, particularly in French and Italian baking, have always been gluten-free anyway," explains Bakkari. "We also limit our sugar and salt in our baking and focus on balancing the flavors of the food. Gluten-free baking is not what it used to be, and I think people have had to suffer through some truly terrible choices. The thing is, good baking is good baking—it shouldn't matter whether it is wheat free or not. There are so many other flour options out there to experiment with."
- Courtesy Miki Bakkari
- Gluten free baked sweets continue to shine at the Blissful Spoon.
Increasingly, fans also come to Blissful Spoon for its departure from the usual brewery and pub-food fare. "We get our inspiration from food around the world, but primarily the Mediterranean region and tried-and-true family recipes," Bakkari said.
Owners Miki and Kamal Bekkari started the business in March 2018 after relocating their family of five from the Gold Coast of Australia to Bend. But it wasn't until January 2021 that their brick-and-mortar location opened.
"While we lived in Australia, we were both in corporate positions, and we knew that when we moved to Bend that we wanted to do something very different," Miki Bakkari said. "We've been selling our gluten-free baked goods for three years at the NWX and Bend Farmers Markets, and have been searching for a location of our own for nearly two years."
Located in a brand-new building adjacent to Bend Brewing Co., patrons can stop and pick up some treats or get curbside pickup. Take-and-bake lasagnas and fresh-made pasta and sauces are among the dinner-made-easy home-meal offerings.
- Courtesy Miki Bakkari
- Blissful Spoon has expanded its bakery menu to include maore savory offerings.
The husband and wife team loves good food and has discovered much of it while living in various countries around the world, including France, Morocco, Canada, Spain and Lebanon.
"Each of us brings a unique style of cuisine to the business. I am originally from Northern California, and grew up on a family produce farm which supplied local markets and restaurants," Miki Bakkari said. "Kamal spent his childhood in Morocco, and as an adult in the U.S. and Australia. We both have a firm conviction that no matter what a person's nutritional needs or allergy restrictions—or even if you eat everything—everyone deserves to have good quality, tasty food."
The couple hopes to continue to build upon their successes as they operate their brick and mortar.
"Bend is a unique place to grow a business, because it has such a strong 'support local' vibe," she said. "We love seeing those who have supported us the last three years at the markets, as well as new people who are just discovering us. With so much support, we're looking forward to getting approved for outdoor seating in the immediate future, expanding our wholesale reach (with our granola), and expanding our tapas and wine bar into our basement space. That's going to be a lot of fun."