To serve a growing population with special gluten-free dietary needs, Whole Foods Market recently opened Whole Foods Market Gluten-Free Bakehouse in Raleigh, N.C. The new 8,000-sq.-ft. facility produces 27 gluten-free products, including breads, cookies, scones, biscuits, pizza crusts, pies and brownies.
Lee Tobin, Gluten-Free Team Leader for Whole Foods Market, developed the idea for the bakery after years of perfecting gluten-free formulas for his own diet needs and for customers at the Chapel Hill Whole Foods Market.
“As someone with celiac disease, the opening of the Whole Foods Market Gluten-Free Bakehouse is truly a dream come true that ultimately makes life easier and better for our customers,” Tobin said.
A gluten-free diet is medically necessary for individuals diagnosed with celiac disease, which causes a physical reaction to certain protein chains, or glutens, found in common grains, such as wheat, rye and barley. The reaction leads to changes in the small intestine, which prevents absorption of nutrients from food.
Located near an existing Whole Foods bakehouse, the Gluten-Free Bakehouse is isolated to ensure the integrity of the gluten-free baking environment, preventing cross contamination from wheat or other grains. Whole Foods’ gluten-free baked products are available in North Carolina; Atlanta, Ga.; and South Carolina with distribution next month in Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.