Everybody has a story. This is ours.
In the fall of 2010, I got a phone call from my oldest daughter, Emily, then a junior at the University of DePaul. She hadn’t been feeling well for a month or two — general malaise, some stomachaches, tiredness, and headaches had plagued her that summer. When school began again, her symptoms worsened. She lost several pounds, then gained several pounds; headaches turned into migraines, tiredness turned into exhaustion, unease turned into anxiety.
When she arrived home for Thanksgiving, it was clear that she was really sick. By then, through a lot of Google searching and note comparing, we’d begun to suspect a wheat or gluten allergy. So after a visit to her physician, we eliminated it from her diet. Within 24 hours, she was better. After 72 hours, she was beginning to look and feel like her former, healthy self. Happy that it wasn’t anything more serious, I said how lucky she was that such a simple, dietary change could have such a big and positive impact on her health.
To my surprise, Emily was teary. When I asked why she was sad, she responded with “I can never have another raspberry cupcake.” It was a funny, and yet profound, observation.
You see, in high school, Emily was one of the first employees at a little boutique bakery called Dolce. They were small but mighty even then, and made the best baked goods in the city — cinnamon rolls, cranberry orange scones, cream cheese brownies, and yes, raspberry cream cupcakes. Emily loved being a part of Dolce, and loved the delicious perks that come with working in a scratch bakery.
Sadly, we quickly discovered there was nothing gluten free that could even come close to replacing what she had once enjoyed from Dolce. I assured Emily that we could figure it out.
Things didn't get serious until our second daughter, Katie, was diagnosed with a wheat allergy 18 months later. Unlike Emily, this child still lived at home. Figuring out how to navigate the gluten free world suddenly became very real. And while many new (and wonderful) products were available, there was a dearth of good gluten free baked goods. That's when the idea of a gluten free bakery began, inspired by the joy and sweetness that something as simple as a cupcake can bring to the most ordinary day.
Nearly five years have passed since then. After hundreds of hours developing, testing, tweaking, and even tossing recipes, we've arrived at a list of cookies, cakes, cupcakes, quick breads, brownies and other sweet treats that aren't just good for gluten free...they are every bit as delicious as traditional baked goods.
As one of our favorite, non-gluten sensitive friends says, "[It] tastes like gluten!" We take it as the highest compliment.