Breadblok brings high-quality, gluten-free baked goods to Santa Monica
By Nicole Borgenicht
Sisters and co-founders Chloé and Celine Charlier opened Breadblok in February 2020 right before COVID-19 hit, and they ran with it. Their family in Provence, France had baked organically and gluten-free for generations, so they were raised with a healthy eating regimen.
Centrally located on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica, the sisters’ ingenuity immediately brought in local clientele, since they adapted to the pandemic environment, and created very popular sets of grab-and-go healthy meals, breads and fine desserts for everyone to enjoy.
Visitors can enjoy alfresco dining under the shade of umbrellas and floral vines. From brioche French toast and mushroom egg toast for breakfast to delectable salads, baguette sandwiches and tartines, an array of breads, croissants and heavenly pastries top off this quintessential, restaurant-café cuisine.
“We work with a wide range of flours never thought of before,” Chloé said. “There is no gum, wheat, soy or additives.”
Baking in the traditional way at their main commissary by the airport, Breadblok also makes their very own chocolate. If you prefer your coffee with something other than milk, they also make their own coconut, almond and oat milk. Sugar alternatives include honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup and monk fruit sweetener to dust pastries.
If you are paleo, Breadblok has pumpkin muffins, fruit and nut breads besides parfaits and salads. If you are vegan, there’s chestnut sourdough bread, fruit and nut, buckwheat, carraway and whole grain. There is a little maple syrup, which is why they are not entirely keto, yet a little variety strengthens the overall immune system.
Eating gluten-free even intermittently is a healthy way to diversify while freeing up people to enjoy more bread and dessert for those who have any number of inflammatory issues. Many of the benefits to a gluten-free diet, meals or balancing into eating regimens may include less gas and bloating, a decrease in joint inflammation, and other reactions to gluten intolerance such as reducing skin rashes or lactose intolerance. By promoting gut health, it aids digestion. If not for any of the above reasons, the food is simply delectable and healthy, providing a more joyful and energetic lifestyle.
As for the name, Blok is a word that originated in Dutch. Celine and Chloé’s father now lives in Amsterdam; this is very much an international family as is its business.
“I’ve lived in Paris, Provence and London, where I went to school, and Brussels, Boston and Los Angeles,” Chloé said.
Aside from bread and pastries, menu highlights include a light and delicate jumbo lump crab salad with lime and lemon juice. The smoked salmon tartine on carraway bread has a moist caper relish blossoming the flavors together. A cappuccino from an organic Ethiopian Sidamo coffee roasted in Brooklyn may accompany an organic lemon limoncello from Italy, which melts in your mouth with sparks of sweet flavor – one of Breadblok’s elixirs of health. Take home hits include the buckwheat sourdough toast, homemade jams and their sweet and savory honey lavender cake – a pièce de résistance treat.
The Charlier family owns and runs La Clemensane, which is the estate name and company that imports their olive oil, plus wine and gluten-free beer (coming soon) from Provence.
Breadblok plans to expand to Silverlake in the fall, and Beverly Hills and Venice by winter. They also offer overnight or second-day delivery on select breads and baked goods across the country.