Last week one of my co-workers came into my office and tossed a menu for Lansdale’s Virago Baking Company on my desk. “I just had the most amazing cupcake I’ve ever had in my life,” she declared dramatically. “And it was vegan or gluten-free, can you believe it? She makes both, but whatever. You absolutely have to try this place.”
Seeing that many of our readers are either vegan or struggling with celiac disease, my interest was piqued. So, Jillian, Be Well’s amazingly wonderful intern, went to work calling Regina Petruzziello Mason, the “she” my coworker was referring to, and the owner of this little Lansdale gem.
Regina stopped by a few days later with two boxes filled to the brim with everything from cupcakes to banana and zucchini breads. Not only were the cupcakes completely adorable and touched with whimsy, but you know what? They were good, too. Even in the absence of flour or eggs, milk, and butter, she whipped up flavors like vegan vanilla cake with Caribbean rum icing, vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter icing and gluten-free vanilla pound cake with honey-butter cream icing.
My favorite had to be the gluten-free mixed-berry frangipane—Regina also makes gluten-free lemon or chocolate-chip pound cakes and vegan agave-sweetened banana breads, which mail wonderfully, by the way, and gluten-free cheesecake. In addition to the cupcakes, the happy-to-comply taste testers around the office also gave thumbs up to the gluten-free cheesecake and vegan chocolate-chip and peanut butter-raspberry cookies, too.
“We listen to the customers, so we’re constantly expanding our menu,” Mason says, who plans to move her store to 322 West Main Street at the end of June to accommodate baking classes and her expanding clientele. “Some of our most popular items are our gluten-free bread that you can buy frozen, as well as our gluten-free pizza shells. But what people really like is that they have the ability to just come in and buy a vegan or gluten-free cupcake or a cake whenever they want.”
If you’re looking to treat yourself, celebrate a birthday, or surprise a vegan or celiac friend with a thoughtful treat, this is definitely a place to put on your radar. — research by Jillian Skrocki
Virago Baking Company & Cafe, 620 South Broad Street, Lansdale, 215-412-7071, viragobakingcompany.com