A Satisfying Second Career: Starting a Gluten-Free Bakery

For some, gluten-free is not just a trendy new way to eat healthfully, but also it is a committed lifestyle choice due to an allergy to gluten, the protein in many grains that produces the essential elasticity in breads and cakes. For others still, gluten-free represents a new stage in their professional and social lives. In Hilary Stout's inspiring New York Times, former lawyers, teachers and investment bankers are all highlighted for their shared experience of quitting their day jobs and pursuing their passion for gluten-free baking.

Some had been baking gluten-free for years, tired of not being able to eat the foods available because of their allergy, while others had taken up this endeavor to add a new edge to their fledgling business in the health-centric age of sustainability and food-consciousness. Regardless of the reasoning, each baker and business partner featured expressed joy toward and fulfillment in their new career paths.

However, it is important to note that these success stories are just that: people who have found success in their new bakeries. Unfortunately, many upstart bakeries fail within their first year of opening, a less moving but equally important fact to take into consideration before quitting your job.

To combat this sad truth, remember that running a bakery is also running a business - cut all extraneous costs, manage a capable, yet satisfied team of employees and learn from already established and thriving models. Asking for advice is never something to be ashamed about!

Of course, none of these factors will ever matter if you don't take pride in crafting a great and original product, the proverbial seed from which your business will grow. These incredibly fortunate trailblazers of the food industry are great motivators, but it is also important to focus on seasoned gluten-free bakers and bakeries because their success doesn't just rely on serendipitous success, but also tried and true business models that can provide concrete tools for starting a new culinary chapter in your life.

To try your hand at gluten-free baking, read our Tips For Gluten-Free Baking article or try one our delicious gluten-free recipes, such as Shaker Lemon Cobbler.

Do you eat gluten-free?

Photo Credit: Lindsay Hunt

Growing Concern Regarding Peanut Allergy

A growing amount of children in the Western world are afflicted with a severe peanut allergy, says a recent BBC article on the subject. Dundee University in the UK has recently made a "significant breakthrough" in understanding why more children are severly allergic to peanuts. A gene called Filaggrin is responsible for the allergy, the research shows, and a defect in Fillagrin may reduce the skin's barrier "against irritants and allergens." Because allergic conditions commonly run in families, scientists knew a genetic component was important and likely. The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, "suggests one in five peanut allergy sufferers have a Fillagrin defect."

Hopefully in the future, this can help assuage the suffering of children and grownups with deadly peanut allergies.

For more, read the BBC story about peanut allergies.