By Carolyn Neff
Our Bite of the Month series highlights Northern California businesses. The posts reflect our appreciation for locally-made gluten-free products and are not sponsored.
Raise your hand if you’ve been gluten free for a while. Keep your hand up if you have a sweet tooth. Yup, I get it. You’re wishing the Netflix series Sugar Rush: Extra Sweet had an all celiac-friendly challenge and that the winner’s confections were shared with the entire gluten-free community. I am too.
If you have not yet heard of or tried baked goods by Raised Gluten Free—one scoop of their indulgent edible cookie dough is not enough—you’re in for a treat!
Lifelong friends who grew up in Tennessee, Rosa Dixon and Milia Lando co-founded their bakery in 2011, following adult onset of food sensitivities for Dixon, while Lando was inspired by her daughter’s celiac diagnosis to provide food that “everyone can enjoy.”
Originally called Natural Decadence, the bakery is located in Humboldt County on California’s far northern coast. The two friends rebranded it a few years ago as Raised Gluten Free, a name which is “a little more fitting of the lifestyle involved in creating allergy-friendly food for families.”
Today, the women-owned Northern California bakery includes savory items such as vegan quiche and pot pie, but still offers decadent options from the bakery’s original lineup of Dutch Apple, Berry Peach, and Strawberry Rhubarb pies. Several additional pies –Lemon, Chocolate, Cranberry Apple, Southern Peach, and Blueberry – round out the menu, along with Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate Fudge cookies and cookie dough. The Pumpkin pie and Dutch Apple pie are expected to be in all Whole Foods stores starting this fall.
Through sweet and savory experiences, Raised Gluten Free is committed to providing healthy, high-quality food for anyone—especially those with food allergies or restrictions.
The bakery is a certified gluten-free facility, where all of the products are Kosher Pareve Certified and Non-GMO Verified, plus dairy free, egg free and peanut free. Many of the baked goods are also made without soy and corn. When the bakery does use soy or corn (in the form of corn starch) in select products, they are clearly labeled both in the ingredients list and with a contains statement.
“We own the entire facility and ensure that all products are controlled,” says the bakery. “All of our ingredient suppliers go through an approval process that includes submitting required documentation.”
The ingredients for the artisan baked goods are sourced with care, including flours from Western Foods and vegan butter from Earth Balance that is made with sustainably sourced palm oil.
In addition to being very conscious of nut allergies—the only exception is coconut, which is not actually a real nut—Raised Gluten Free does not use any oats; “we’re very mindful that they can raise concerns.”
Dixon continues to lead product innovation, trials and tests, between office trials and tasting rounds. Small new product test groups include individuals with celiac disease and other gluten-related disorders, with the objective to “try to incorporate everyone’s tasting preferences.”
Dixon and Lando’s newest product launched recently: top-eight allergen-free white sandwich bread. Raised Gluten Free’s blog offers really simple sandwich bread recipes, including a vegan pesto grilled cheese that bridges the freshness of summer with the rich flavors of autumn.
“The great thing about the bread is that it can be ordered and shipped in two days to anywhere in the United States,” the bakery explains.
The Raised Gluten Free bakery has been greatly impacted this year by changing work situations and regional restrictions, and the owners have been committed to taking extra precautions around bakery shifts and procedures. Good news: their small crew is growing and they’re looking to hire bakers.
Use the website locator to find Raised Gluten Free goodies in more than 3,000 stores across the country, including independent grocers, small chains, and major chains such as Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Kroger.
Connect with Raised Gluten Free on Instagram @raisedglutenfree and Facebook.