OLEAN, NY – A new bakery and juicery is thriving in downtown Olean, selling gluten-free treats and sandwiches accompanied with juices and smoothies.
Lydia Hawley, owner, opened the bakery at the end of January naming it Thrive: gluten-free treats & juicery located at 130 S. Union St., Suite 6.
“I’ve been eating gluten-free for 10 years myself and making juices for about 14 years and smoothies for about five,” said Hawley, a Chamber of Commerce member.
Hawley has wanted to do a juice bar in Olean for five years now because she lives here.
“I actually got into gluten-free baking first, and I was doing that in Ellicottville,” Hawley said.
Hawley, 35, explained the process of finding a place to do her gluten-free baking somewhere in Olean. “I found a place that was all set up to do a juice bar too,” Hawley said. “In the process of looking for one, I found the answer to my dream of doing a juice bar as well.”
She said it is a great starting point for her new bakery. “I love this space and I’m glad I found it.”
Hawley said within the first month of the bakery's being open, she has had a couple people show up because they were driving by Olean and googled gluten-free and Thrive showed up.
Jenny Territo, a customer, said she really likes it all. “Even not being gluten-free, I come in and buy this kind of stuff, same with the juices and smoothies.”
Territo said she thinks the bakery and juicery can target everybody, not just gluten-free people.
Thrive offers five smoothies and five juices, Hawley said.
Territo mentioned that she never juiced before until Thrive opened.
“I think it’s a different way for people to get in nutrition a little bit different, especially people who don’t eat fruits and veggies all of the time,” Territo said.
Hawley commented, “It’s been surprising because how many people are gluten-free. It seems like whenever I tell somebody about this place, they are gluten-free or they know somebody who is.”
Michael Conley, a senior psychology major at St. Bonaventure University, has been gluten-free for two years and said the experience has not been easy.
“It’s really expensive to eat gluten-free,” Conley said. "People think you’re really pretentious, and it’s the accessibility. Your ability to go out and get fast food is very limited.”
Conley said his adviser at St. Bonaventure University sent him an email with information about Thrive.
“I think it’s pretty cool because it’s such a small town, so you wouldn’t really expect it,” Conley said. “It’s kind of exciting to know that there’s a little place I can run to to get a snack. I really appreciate it.”
Hawley, a graduate of the New York Institute of Massage, also offers chair massage at Thrive. “They can just come in, and if I’m on available I'll work on them,” Hawley said.
“My passion is in helping people,” Hawley added. “With the massage therapy that I do, I help people from the outside and now with Thrive I can help people from the inside.”