Hello everyone; my name is Jennifer Coen, founder and owner of The Flour Shoppe Bakery. In July of 2020, I opened my shoppe as a traditional bakery, and within a short time, I decided to reopen it as a gluten-free bakery; I'd like to share a little about why I went from a traditional to a gluten-free bakery.
Throughout the years, I developed reactions to foods and beverages. My symptoms ranged from stomach issues (varies), rashes, sinus issues, and eye infections to hair falling out. I decided to go to the doctor and have testing done. My results were that I have both genes for celiac disease DQ 2 and DQ 8, and I am at very high risk for celiac. Celiac is an autoimmune disease that reacts to gluten found in wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is in many different foods and products: The only way not to develop Celiacs disease when at high risk is to live gluten-free. If celiac disease does not happen, gluten intolerance can. There is a wide range of symptoms; everyone experiences symptoms differently.
I continued consuming and using gluten-containing products. Growing up having a passion for cooking, baking, and cake decorating was hard to give up that traditional way and accept any other way. Being at the bakery every day; mixing, baking, and sampling products, just being around wheat flour and other gluten-containing ingredients. Symptoms were progressing. I bought multiple kinds of over-the-counter medications using anything to ease the discomfort of symptoms.
I knew I needed to make a choice. Giving up the bakery or giving up traditional baking. I decided to give up traditional baking and become a gluten-free bakery. I am living a gluten-free life myself. I knew reinventing The Flour Shoppe Bakery; would have challenges ahead, just like any change does.
I do not know if I ended up developing celiac disease. What I do know is I have a very high gluten intolerance. Choosing gluten-free has been one of the best decisions I have made. Some of my symptoms have subsided in a short amount of time. Depending on the severity of symptoms, other issues will take time to correct themselves.
For years my family and I cooked, baked, and enjoyed eating traditional foods. It has allowed me to be on both sides. I want others to know that just because you need to eat a certain way does not mean you have to sacrifice. We can have that same great taste, and custom look brought to our gluten-free lifestyle. Bringing that into gluten-free cooking, baking, and decorating by adapting and creating recipes; without sacrificing the taste, and look of traditional. It has been a very satisfying and rewarding experience to bring EVERYONE that traditional taste of homemade gluten-free yummies.