As rich chocolate melted in my mouth, those were the words that came to mind. Later, I found out that the brownies, cupcakes and cakes delighting everyone at the party were also organic, gluten-free, had limited sugar and were made with well-being in mind.
That's the magic of Jen Capozzi's Barlume Apothecary. Her desserts, muffins and soiree menus taste so good you don't feel you are missing a thing. And what you gain can be good for you: Jen's food incorporates fresh seasonal fruits, wild-harvested herbs and essential oils that can be targeted to help what ails you.
If that sounds like trendy marketing speak, it's not. The spark that created Barlume Apothecary comes deep from Jen's heart and body. In her early teens she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and suffered years of inadequate treatment, harsh medications and adverse side-effects, until she discovered the healing properties of plants, herbs and oils. Thus began a lifelong study on how the medicinal properties of these natural nourishments could both delight the palate and heal the body.
Jen took favorite recipes (many from her gram and grandpa) altered them to meet her specific needs ( gluten intolerance and limited sugar), incorporated medicinal elements (herbs, plants, oils) yet found a way to keep the sumptuous taste. Her alchemy has found an enthusiastic audience. So much that Jen recently went from catering on the side to making it her career, and moved into a South Philly hybrid kitchen space shared with like-minded friends (Other Animal Coffee Roasters and Koliyan Cambodian Food).
In the intimate, welcoming space, guests gather for private parties, cooking classes and workshops on well-being. Monthly brunches, open to all, offer an introduction to this fresh and fulfilling approach to food.
Hostess, herbalist, baker -- whatever hat she wears (and often all three), Jen's food and her own sweetness and genuine caring for her guests make this a place you want to linger in all afternoon to soak up glimmer (Barlume) and goodness (Apothecary).
I have ... and I'll be back soon.
Spark something sweet, sacred, memorable: catering; private parties; classes on cooking, essential oils, cocktail elixirs, well-being, in an intimate, hybrid kitchen space. Monthly Sunday brunches with Other Animal Coffee Roasters and Koliyan Cambodian Food open to all.
Top photo by Doreen Creede. All other photos courtesy Barlume Apothecary.
p.s. In my intro to The Hello Gorgeous Project, I mentioned finding a source of joy that lights you from inside. Jen Capozzi truly embodies that in her commitment to her craft and caring for the friends she feeds. She chose her company name well: 'Barlume' means 'glimmer' in Italian.
"Use the good china for breakfast."