Posts tagged ‘bakery’

Turning Celiac into Service

There’s a certain oomph that comes with having a personal connection to a cause. You dig deeper, work harder and never settle for mediocre. So, it’s no surprise that many of the successful gluten-free companies and organizations out there were founded by someone affected by celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

Here’s just a sample of gluten-free entrepreneurs we work with through NFCA’s GREAT Business Association:

  • Craig Belser and Kevin Seplowitz over at Bard’s Beer are both diagnosed celiacs.
  • Vanessa Phillips, who has celiac disease, started Feel Good Foods with her chef husband, Tryg Siverson.
  • Simply Shari’s was founded by Shari Cole and her father, Larry Schneider. Larry has celiac disease, while Shari’s daughter has autism and showed an improvement in symptoms on a gluten-free diet.
  • Kettle Cuisine Founder & President Jerry Shafir brought gluten-free soups to grocery stores after his daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease.
  • Dick and Ju Reed started Chebe without the intention of marketing it as gluten-free. When Ju discovered she was intolerant to gluten, they reaffirmed their dedication to providing a natural and gluten-free product.
  • Jill Brack founded Glow Gluten Free after she and her daughter were diagnosed with celiac disease.

And then there’s Alice. Her enthusiasm and energy is so infectious that she caught the attention of Dr. David Ajibade, who runs Building Strength Webinars. He asked Alice to share her story and encourage others to take action like she did. The webinar, Turning Celiac into Service: Unleashing Your Passion and Life Purpose will take place next Thursday, Dec. 15, at 9pm ET. It’s free for all to attend.

Learn more and find the registration link on NFCA’s Webinars page.

If you have a story of turning celiac into service (or a business), submit your empowerment story to NFCA.

December 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm 1 comment

A Blogger A Day: Gluten Free Raleigh

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Zach Becker
Lives in: Raleigh, NC

Blogs at:
Tweets at:
Like him at:

Why we’re fans: Zach always keeps us up on what’s new in health & food in the Raleigh area, and his Gluten-Free City Guide is a helpful resource for finding support groups and bloggers in any part of the country. But it was his coverage of the investigation, arrest and trial of former shop owner Paul Seelig that went above-and-beyond. Seelig was charged with repackaging wheat goods and selling them as “gluten-free,” and Zach was there, tweeting from the courtroom, until the final guilty sentence.

Gluten Free Raleigh

Gluten Free Raleigh

Zach’s Story: I’ve been a diagnosed celiac since May 2008.  I also have dermatitis herpetiformis, lucky me. My goals are to provide awareness of celiac disease and the gluten-free lifestyle in the Raleigh, NC area.

According to Zach: The most unexpected part of going gluten-free was the court case involving the fraudulent gluten-free baker, Paul Seelig.  Never in a million years did I expect to meet a fake gluten-free baker, promote him on my blog, see dozens of people sickened (including me), and watch him get prosecuted and receive a decade in prison.  Unreal.

A taste of Gluten-Free Raleigh:

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

May 12, 2011 at 8:58 am Leave a comment

A Blogger A Day: Gluten-Free Travel Blog

A Blogger A Day, the Gluten-Free Way logoName: Karen Broussard
Lives in: South Riding, VA

Blogs at:
Tweets at:
Like her at: GlutenFreeTravelSite on Facebook

Why we’re fans: When you’re gluten-free, any type of travel can be a challenge. But with Karen’s blog, weekend getaways and European adventures don’t seem so daunting. Her blog offers dining suggestions for specific destinations, and more general tips for any trip you make. She even created “These Buns are Gluten-Free” statement apparel, so you can declare your gluten-free pride anywhere you go. (This month, 5% of proceeds from the apparel go to NFCA!)
Karen Broussard

Karen Broussard

Karen’s Story: My son was diagnosed in 2005, a few months before his 2nd birthday. He is now almost 8 and thriving. The gluten-free diet is all he’s really ever known, and I’m so proud of how well he’s handled it all, especially in this gluten-filled world we live in! It helps that he’s typically a good eater, who will try most things at least once (gluten-free, of course). He knows exactly what he can and can’t have — and is already well on his way to being able to articulate his own gluten-free needs!

According to Karen: The toughest part about going gluten-free was dining out and traveling — two things we liked to do as a family. That’s why — a few years after Ryan’s diagnosis, I launched, of which my Gluten-Free Travel Blog is a spinoff. GlutenFreeTravelSite is a review-based website that enables people following gluten-free diets to benefit from the personal, first-hand  dining and travel feedback provided by others with their same dietary needs and challenges.  Users can search and submit reviews of restaurants, bakeries, hotels/resorts, B&B’s, grocery stores, cruises — and even college campuses. In addition to our large database of worldwide reviews, searchable by location, we added a section of the site that showcases national and regional restaurant chains offering gluten-free menus.

A taste of the Gluten-Free Travel Blog:

  • Gluten-Free Restaurant Menus: An Interview with Biaggi’s Corporate Chef: Occasionally I have the opportunity to interview the founder or chef of a restaurant with a top-notch gluten-free menu. This post is a synopsis of my conversation with Peter Schonman, the Founder and Corporate Chef of Biaggi’s, an Italian restaurant with 21 locations, primarily in mid-sized towns in the West and Midwest.
  • Wonderful Gluten-Free Bakery in Boston Area: It’s always nice to have an excuse to try a decadent new gluten-free baking mix, and back in the winter, we purchased several mixes from Glutenus Minimus, a gluten-free bakery in a suburb of Boston that offers pre-made baked goods for purchase — and mixes to buy and prepare at  home. I blogged about their delicious Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake Mix and their Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix.
  • GlutenFreeTravelSite Announces Mobile Version of Website: In this post, I announced the mobile version of GlutenFreeTravelSite. This was a big milestone for us, as it enables people to more easily navigate our site from a smartphone while on the go. Unlike an app, our mobile version is free and doesn’t need to be downloaded; when a user types the URL of GlutenFreeTravelSite into the browser of any smartphone, they are automatically routed to the mobile version.

For more of NFCA’s Celiac Awareness Month celebration, visit

May 11, 2011 at 8:54 am 2 comments

A Gluten-free Birthday Celebration at NFCA Headquarters

Birthday Girl Opening Gifts - does she look excited or what?

Today the NFCA office gathered together for one of our special birthday lunches. The guest of honor? Our very own Healthcare Communications Manager Kristin Voorhees!

I so love these rare occasions when we all sit down together for a half hour or so to eat, open presents, and enjoy each other’s company. Today’s lunch celebrating Kristin’s 26th was particularly special for me, because we have become such close friends both inside and out of the NFCA office.

Over today’s lunch of sushi and avocado salad, Kristin opened some fantastic birthday gifts from the gang, including a drop dead gorgeous cookbook from Beckee, cleverly named “Food Porn Daily”.

(Having recently released our Sex and the Celiac video, the group got a chuckle out of the funny…and timely…title!)

Beckee's Fantastic, Funny, Thoughtful Gift.

Celebrating a birthday with a celiac can sometimes be a challenge, especially when it comes to the cake! I took on the role of finding one of Kristin’s all time favorites, and sadly, something she hasn’t had since being diagnosed with celiac disease: gluten-free carrot cake.

Gluten-free carrot cake, the birthday girl's favorite.

Fortunately for me, the wonderful folks at Sweet Freedom Bakery were able to make Kristin’s birthday wish come true, and we all enjoyed a decadent 2 layers of carrot, coconut, frosted, gluten-free goodness.

Special thanks go out to Heather Esposito and the Sweet Freedom Bakery team for making my friend’s birthday celebration a gluten-free success.

If only I could have them come to my kitchen to help with the dinner party I’m throwing for Kristin on Friday night – I am very nervous about cooking my first gluten-free lasagna!

a gluten-free celebration courtesy of Sweet Freedom Bakery

February 23, 2011 at 2:11 pm 3 comments

A Sweet Reward for Gluten-Free Fans

While most of our friends had a relaxing week off between Christmas and New Year’s, Whitney, Kristin and I were trucking away at projects planned for 2011. Don’t get us wrong; we love what we do. It’s just that the office, well, it gets stuffy.

gluten-free bakery case

So many gluten-free desserts to choose from!

Fortunately, we learned a few weeks back that Sweet Freedom Bakery, one of Philly’s top gluten-free locales and an Appetite for Awareness participant, would appear in an episode of the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars” on Dec. 28. Surely, we should swing by to wish them luck, we figured. So, when the big day arrived, off to South Street we went.

Friends, if you ever need a midday pick-me-up, swing by a gluten-free bakery. Don’t do it every day, but give yourself a treat. The air is sweet, the colors are bright and the displays are fabulous.

gluten-free bakery items

Our gluten-free selections.

But what to get? A thumbprint cookie for Kristin and cake balls for Whitney and me, plus a chocolate chip cookie cupcake with chocolate frosting to enjoy during the 9 p.m. show.

We sat down; we ate; and we gushed. The thumbprint cookie tasted just like the traditional ones she used to love. The cake balls? Oh. my. word. Rich chocolate ganache mixed with crumbles of cake, all in the shape of a donut hole. You could pop the whole thing in one bite, but I chose to savor mine. Chocolate therapy, indeed.

gluten-free cupcake and television show

Cupcake for "Cupcake Wars!" on my lovely old TV.

Back at my house, I kicked up my footrest and set my cupcake out as a token of luck for the Food Network battle. (Truth be told, I held off on eating it until the following day. Better to space out the treats than overindulge in one swoop.)

Sweet Freedom duo Allison and Heather had a good showing, making it to the second round of the competition. The judges, in fact, were quite impressed with the flavor and texture of the cupcakes. Gluten-free misnomers, be gone!

Now, just a few weeks later, I’ve come to learn more exciting news from the Sweet Freedom crew. The bakery is celebrating its first birthday this Saturday. And for any Philadelphians reading, they’re giving away free mini cupcakes to the first 100 customers to pop by the shop, starting at noon. A sweet way to say “Thank You!” for the support they’ve received.

Celiac Central quarterly newsletter

Look for Celiac Central Quarterly on the counter!

Sadly, I present this news knowing that I will be heading north for the weekend. However, I do plan to hit up a bakery I’ve been hearing lots of buzz about. Gluten-free dessert will be had, one way or another.

Did you catch Sweet Freedom Bakery on “Cupcake Wars”? What other Food Network shows would you like to see go gluten-free?


January 12, 2011 at 3:24 pm 1 comment

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