Whole Story

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Gluten Free Bakehouse

Take a look behind the scenes at Whole Foods Market’s Gluten Free Bakehouse.  In 1996, Lee Tobin was diagnosed with celiac disease, and, as a baker in our Chapel Hill, North Carolina, store, this presented a real challenge.  But Lee took it on! He began experimenting with gluten free baking on his own time, developing recipes that rivaled conventional goods in flavor and texture.  Over the years, Lee’s gluten free breads and baked goods flew off the shelves faster and faster.  By October 2004, he was proud to fire up the gluten free ovens in the new, completely separate, dedicated facility: the Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Bakehouse.

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109 comments

Comments

Barbara DiMattio says …

Was in my Whole Foods today (Naples, Florida) and they don't have your products. Actually went on a tour of the facility about a month ago and asked about GF products in the bakery area and was told that they don't have any, other than the Ezekial/Glutino vendor brands in the frozen food cases. How can I get your products?

says …

Our product selection varies from store to store and all product requests are handled on a local level. Please ask your local store directly about receiving gluten-free goods in the bakery area. Thanks! http://bit.ly/allstore

Julie says …

I was diagnosed with Celiac November 9, 2009. If I didn't have Wholefoods, I just don't know what I'd do. There is simply no other store like it. Thank you Lee!!!!

Debbie Posmontier says …

Please, please make some gluten-free bakery items that use alternative sweeteners...some of us who are gluten-free are also interested in low sugar or agave or fruit-sweetened items. It is VERY hard to find that on the market!! Thanks for listening!

says …

Thanks for the feedback. I'll be sure our folks in Exclusive Brands get this message with your suggestion.

Miriam says …

We want to THANK YOU more than you can imagine for the wonderful products you have produced.The desserts are fabulous but the sandwich breads make life a lot more pleasant.

Lisa says …

My kids and I eat gluten-free, but more important to me is being corn-free. So many people are sensitive to corn and don't know it. I can not tolerate corn sweeteners and corn thickeners. I love finding gluten AND corn-free products!

BiznissGirl says …

I too love the decadent chocolate gluten-free cake mix, but I am concerned about the sugar content. I am an Agave lover and will most likely begin to create my own baked goods that use this wonderful sweetner exclusively.I made a sweet potato pie last week with Agave, and used the gluten-free pie shells, and it was quite tasty! Can't wait to begin creating Agave desserts.

Stephanie says …

Though it is great that you do cater to the gluten free population, so many of us also need to be dairy free, which very few of your products are. It would be great to see more of your products available to the dairy free population. I would imagine your sales would increase as well.

Cathy Schiavo says …

The video did not play for me either. I am also interested in purchasing Gluten free Italian bread...without the sweet taste of all your other sandwich bread and no dairy. I have a receipe that comes very close, except i couldn't find sorghum flour being sold in your NJ store. I substituted with another flour and it is great! Really thick hard crunchy crust, freezes well and the crust remains crispy and bread does not crumble, except a lot of work for a little bit of bread. If you are interested in the recipe, please contact me.

Suzy says …

I am interested in gluten free foods with LOW sugar and alternative sugars such as Agave. Thanks!

charlotte says …

my 2 issues are 1) when i have to walk down the regular bread and pasta isle to get my GF food. i find it quite disturbing to see and smell all the things i cannot eat anymore especially as i am still new to the GF/CF/SF diet. and 2) there are still so many products that use soy in them. i am VERY soy sensitive and may recipes just swap soy as an alternative but it's really not the best

Lisa says …

With multiple food allergies, it is really difficult to find good baked goods. I was thrilled to hear of your gluten free bakery, but my store said they all have egg and dairy. Do you have any items that are Gluten, Egg, and Dairy free. If not, please consider developing new items. So many people are vegan by choice and may also be gluten intolerant. Thanks~

claire says …

unfortunately, all of these gluten free baked goods contain lactose, and gluten intolerance often comes hand in hand with lactose intolerance.

Janet says …

For all those looking for a gluten, egg, nut and dairy free treat - some Whole Foods' regions carry amazing brownies and cookies by Cookies...for me? If you haven't tried them, you should! And ask your Whole Foods to carry them as well!

says …

Hey Lori, we keep these gluten-free baked goods in the frozen section. Perhaps ask at your local store in Tampa to see if they can help you find these and other great gluten-free products.

says …

Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We do have several products free of dairy, they are: · Honey Oat Bread · Carrot Cake · Molasses Ginger Cookies · Morning Glory Muffins · Almond Cookies · Fruit and Nut Granola (available in the South region only) · Vanilla Frosting - Coming Soon · Chocolate Frosting - Coming Soon · Chocolate Cake - Coming Soon · Yellow Cake - Coming Soon Our only item free of both dairy and egg products is our Fruit and Nut Granola. This item does contain honey, so some will not consider this item vegan. For a given product, we generally are guided by the sensory quality of the finished item. Several of our products are free of various allergens, and we include versions in our product development tests that eliminate one or more allergens. We will always choose the version that meets our standards for taste, texture, and overall quality with as few allergens as possible. I have passed your suggestion along to our Research and Development team, to keep in mind while developing future products. Your local Whole Foods Market store may carry vegan/gluten-free items from another vendor, please check with a Team Member for more information. For more information on our product line, including nutritional and ingredient information please visit our website: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/products/gluten-free.php

Henni Ha says …

Hi, I haven't been to Whole Foods in a while because its a trip for me, I have to plan in advance, but I'm excited about this. Can someone tell me if they have GF croutons??? That's what I'm really interested in and if they have those, I will be planning a trip this weekend!

says …

Our product selection varies from store to store. Please check in w/ your local store directly. Thanks! http://bit.ly/allstore

Lori says …

Awesome! They don't have these delicious things at Whole Foods in Tampa. I'm a celiac as well; keep up the good work. Lori

Jack says …

Many people who have celiac, sensitivity to wheat gluten, are also sensitive to dairy(casein)and eggs. Why don't you create products that are gluten-dairy-egg free. These are the three most common food allergens!

Janet H says …

Add my name to the list of those who have not only gluten intolerance, but soy, egg, and dairy. Would love to enjoy your products but so far unable to. Hope you will consider those of us who have these other needs. I have found that it is more common than not for GF'rs to have other food intolerances.

Janet Scheeline says …

Dear Sir, It will be most helpful if you'd include open captions to this short film. Thank you. Janet

lollyswartz says …

I would like gluten free food to be dairy free and cane sugar free. thanks

Sharon Tevis says …

LOVE the gf bakehouse goods! I can have sandwiches at the deli now!

VAN HOWARD says …

OUR FAMILY IS GLUTEN SENSITIVE,HAVE BEEN USING MANY OF YOUR PRODUCTS FOR A YEAR. MOST ARE WONDERFUL & SOME OF THE BEST WE HAVE FOUND ON THE SHELVES FROM ALL PLACES. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK, WE WILL KEEP EATING IT.

Frank says …

This video contains content from Whole Foods Market, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

humaknlght says …

Why is the whole foods you tube video taken down for copy write infringement against whole foods when it is being used on the whole foods web site?

Joe @ Eden Kitchen says …

The video doesn't seem to be playing.... is it just me?

Gunn Family says …

Video will not play. Can this be fixed? Would love to see it!

gfgrandma says …

I find it irresponsible that you would list spelt as a "great substitute for wheat" "for those who are sensitive" Spelt is not gluten-free. For those who really have a medical need to eat a diet that is gluten-free, spelt is not an acceptable part of the diet. You don't even list sorghum among your grains. Perhaps you need to consult with someone like Cynthia Kupper who is registered dietician and the executive director of the Gluten Intolerance Group. None of the responsible groups from ADA on would agree with spelt in a gluten-free diet. Since you are proclaiming that you use local products why don't you carry any local gluten-free products in Utah?

PaulR says …

Um, Kate, this looks really cool except that as of 9:52 PM Eastern time on Sunday March 21, 2010, YouTube has blocked the video, claiming that Whole Foods flagged it for copyright violation.

says …

Hi all, sorry for the weird glitch on the video - we've fixed it on YouTube now and the video should play without a hitch!

says …

Hi gfgrandma, Thanks for expressing your concerns. As noted in Alana Sugar's blog post on spelt: "Because spelt contains less of a compound found in gluten called gliadin, it may be easier to digest than wheat for sensitive people. However, it DOES contain gluten and is NOT okay for anyone with celiac disease or any gluten sensitivity or allergy." Spelt can be okay with folks with wheat sensitivities (but who aren't necessarily gluten intolerant), but we do encourage folks to consult with their medical care professional regarding food choices for their personal dietary needs. We do carry gluten-free products in all of our stores, though local selection varies based on local availability and customer tastes. If you'd like to see more local GF products in your store in Utah, please let your local store know and they'll do what they can to seek out products to fit your needs. Cheers, Winnie

Michelle says …

Why has Whole Foods stopped producing and carrying the 365 Gluten Free dry baking mixes? I have served the 365 GF Pizza mix and talked it up to everyone who will listen........everyone who eats it loves it and says they cannot tell the difference. So why did you discontinue it? Also the 365 GF Baking Mix is the best out there. My daughter is celiac and getting married in June and the only baking mix she wants for her wedding cake is the 365. Once again you have discontinued this product. I hunted and bought all the one's left in my area of Colorado Springs. I am very disappointed in Whole Foods and want the good products back.

says …

We are so sorry for not jumping in here earlier to provide more accurate information. While it is true that you won’t find Gluten Free Baking Mixes labeled with our 365 brand name, we are transitioning back to the Gluten Free Pantry products that were moved out to make room for the 365 versions. We have worked with the folks at Gluten Free Pantry to deliver the same products at the same size and retail. This is really a label transition and not a discontinuation. You will still have access to the great taste you enjoy today with these gluten free products. We know that the products we sell fill a unique need for gluten-free customers and we are truly sorry we didn’t get out in front of this and explain better earlier. Thanks for understanding!

Rhoda says …

I'd also like to see casein/dairy alternatives in the Whole Foods GF line. Only 3 products currently are GFCF.

Rosemary Lachance says …

I did not see this bread in your Milford store.

says …

You will usually find it in the frozen section. Ask at Customer Service if you have trouble locating it in the store.

Sean-Michael says …

I was just writing a blog entry about my first foray into Whole Foods for gluten-free foods and how wonderful my shopping trip was. In particular the delicious cupcakes. Although really sweet and rich, the texture was like one of those cupcakes of the denser variety, and the flavor was also very familiar. Learning they have an entire gluten free bakery makes me love them even more.

Trish Nicolas says …

Lee, Harry's, Whole Foods and GlutenFree Bakehouse. We love you. My daughter was diagnosed with celiac when she was 2 (five years ago) and my husband was finally diagnosed a few years later. We eat 100% GF so your products have been a staple in our home and simply wonderful. From the prairie and sandwich breads to peanut butter cookies to pecan pie and beyond... YUMMY!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! - Trish

Bette says …

Please add gluten and dairy/casein free to your offerings. We love your muffins but because they contain milk, we can no longer indulge. Outside the Bread Box from Colorado Springs and Deby's Gluten Free Bakery in Denver both offer these items. Dairy/casein is an issue for for most of us who are gluten intolerant. Please include their offerings if the Bakehouse is not able to adapt. Whole Foods in Cherry Creek, Denver offers Udi's from Denver. Udi's breads are decent but their muffins just are not very tasty and are very wet and the consistency is poor.

Sally says …

Just wanted to send along my heartfelt thanks to you all for this. Directly after my diagnosis, I traveled to my local Whole Foods (a long...1/2 mile away :) ) and asked a customer service person to help. She was amazing. Took me through the store, told me her faves and what customers have commented on, showed me the bakehouse freezer, etc. Awesome. I was in WF the other day and there was a TOUR of GF folks going through the store with another customer service rep. Great work and I'm sure you'll see your hard work reflected in sales!

Karen says …

Are the Gluten-Free Bakehouse items available in stores in Colorado and/or Nevada?

says …

Hi Karen. All of our stores carry at least some of our Gluten-Free Bakehouse or other comparable items. However, selection varies, so your best bet is to check with your local store for what they currently have in stock. http://wholefoodsmarket.com/stores

Traci says …

I am wheat intolerant but not celiac and spelt sets my belly on fire!! When I tried it I so wished I had never heard it was ok for wheat intolerant people. Beware the spelt!!

R L Kennedy says …

You make great stuff. I just wish all the gluten free items I find in the Atlanta store were also available in my Winter Park Florida store. (the carrot cake is one item I am thinking of)

Tarry Majewski says …

Lee, I'm so so thankful for you. I've tried most, if not all, of your gluten free items. Yum! You're a real blessing!! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication to helping us celiacs live a more fulfilled life. BRAVO!!!

chris says …

Any chance WF does or will make gluten free crepes? They would be really great! Please respond because I want to buy them, but couldn't find any.

Lou Lassen says …

The Whole Foods in Greenville, SC has no gluten free bakery items (except a few items in the freezer section) that are covered with frost. I asked a sales associate recently about gluten free and they did not seems to know what I was talking about. I was very disappointed.

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