Check out our guest blog post on ‘Cause You’re Young - “A website for artists and entrepreneurs to connect and carve a name for themselves.”
Five summers ago my sister and I took a chance on a farmers’ market. With our parents’ mini van full of muffins, pies & brownies, a deck umbrella to shield us from the sun and a few chalk boards advertising the daily specials, we were ready to take on the self-employed world (well, part time at least).
Our gluten-free baking adventures began about 10 years ago when our mother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Hoping to lessen her medication intake and improve her mobility, she consulted a naturopath. She was advised to eliminate foods that caused inflammation specifically gluten.
Coming from an Italian/German family that loves to cook and eat EVERYTHING, it was quite a shock when our first ventures into gluten-free baking did not turn out as desired. Cookies with a texture indecipherable from pet rocks and pizzas as sturdy as frisbees from Canadian Tire, were a, thankfully, short-lived reality.
With a number of culinary disasters, chipped teeth and a few friends still willing to try our new gluten-free recipes — “You HAVE to try it. This one ACTUALLY tastes good!”–we finally got the hang of gluten-free baking. A friend suggested that we sell at a local farmers’ market, as at that time gluten-free products, especially good ones, were hard to find.
After a googling and e-mailing blitz, we received an email from one market that was still taking vendors. We set up a blog, whipped up some crude homemade business cards and presto, we had our own business–one step above a curb side lemon aid stand. After late nights baking, early morning fighting (over who had to drive) and hot summer days pushing our product, we started to develop a clientele would would seek us out at the market.
After our first market season we learned a lot about how to run our own business. Hard work, trial and error, GREAT customer service and a good product go a long way. We also saw how the ‘tire kickers’, who looked insulted at the very thought of trying a sample of a gluten-free brownie, would in time be converted into repeat customers.
Throughout the years, we have revamped our website, business cards and design (with the help of a friend who happens to be a real deal web designer www.kbarlowdesign.com) and continue to work on and improve our recipes. Our new focus is to provide recipes for people to make themselves so they can live a gluten-free life without relying on a box in a grocery store.
Check back each month for new recipes, blog updates and tips and tricks that will make your gluten free life more enjoyable!