Deerfields Bakery, a family-owned retail bakery business in Chicago's north and northwest suburbs, recently launched a line of gluten-free baked products. The gluten-free goods are baked at the Schaumburg store and are available at all three locations: Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove and Deerfield as well as online at www.DeerfieldsGlutenFree.com.
“Over the years, we have had increasing requests for gluten-free products,” said owner Kurt Schmitt in a press release. He enlisted the help of his partner, baker Lisa Albertson, to develop the best tasting gluten-free baked products. “We're bakers, after all, and this was a fun challenge for us,” Schmitt said.
Deerfields Bakery offers three lines of gluten-free packaged cookies: Chips, Buttons and Dreams. The Chips line features seven varieties of cookies that have various combinations of chips, nuts and/or dried fruit. The Buttons line includes four traditional flavors: sugar, lemon, ginger and cinnamon, and the Dreams line boasts a brownie in every bite and comes in five varieties. The recommended retail price is between $2.75 to $2.95 for two cookies, and $6.95 to $7.50 for six cookies.
Deerfields also offers two gluten-free coffeecakes: Sour Cream Pecan and Blueberry Cream Cheese, and continues to add other items to its gluten-free line. The bakery is planning to produce gluten-free decorated cakes with an initial limited offering of cake flavors, fillings and icings.
Since cross-contamination is a concern for people with celiac disease, Deerfields has a designated gluten-free production area in its Schaumburg facility. Schaumburg was ideal because of its large production area and the fact that only cakes are decorated in one part of the bakery.
“We purchased a brand new oven to bake gluten-free items,” Schmitt said. “And, we don't have any wheat, bran, barley or rye flours stored on the premises.” In fact, all wheat products are baked at the Buffalo Grove facility and shipped in closed cabinets early every morning, making it easy to avoid cross-contamination. “We mix, bake, cool, and package gluten-free products the same day to prevent cross-contamination,” Schmitt said.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that is often treated by avoiding foods with gluten. According to the University of Chicago, 1 percent of Americans suffer from gluten intolerance, or nearly three million people. One in 133 people have Celiac disease, and about 97 percent of those cases are undiagnosed.