Pearl Althoff's home bakery offers vegan cakes and other delights.

For Dublin resident Pearl Althoff, baking just fits into her lifestyle. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve been in the kitchen helping my mom, helping my grandma,” she says. “It’s always been something that’s brought me joy.” 

So it’s probably no surprise that when she transitioned from fifth-grade teacher to stay-at-home mom in 2017, she turned to baking as a creative outlet. Around the same time, Althoff—a 10-year vegetarian at that point—became vegan. 

After talking to a vegan friend and watching documentaries like “What the Health” and “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret,” she decided to take the plunge. “Those [films] really just opened my eyes to a lot of the conditions that the animals are in, and also the workers who work in farms and the slaughterhouses,” she says. “I really wanted to align my actions with what I felt was important.” 

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To that end, baking became something of a mission. “I really wanted to bring awareness to how good vegan food can be—especially baking,” she says. 

It wasn’t until after Althoff’s husband, Rick, surprised her last year by building a website for her fledgling endeavor that she decided to go all in on the home bakery. She named it Moonflower, after a native bloom in Sanibel, Florida, where she and Rick married. 

Unlike many businesses, Moonflower has blossomed during the pandemic. “People kept calling, asking for food,” Althoff says. “It’s been really refreshing to have the support of your community at a time like this.” 

Order Moonflower Bakery’s cakes, tarts, pies, cookies and more at moonflowerbakery.com.