Gluten-free Bakehouse FAQ
How we came about
In addition to our customers, many of our Team Members rely on Whole Foods Market for gluten free foods. Lee Tobin is one of them. In 1996, he was diagnosed with celiac disease, and, as a baker in our Chapel Hill store, this presented a real challenge. 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.
The little bakery kitchen and determined baker both got a real workout. Before baking, everything had to be cleaned thoroughly to remove all traces of ingredients containing gluten. When Lee was satisfied with a few great recipes, he set up a dedicated bakery shift to produce gluten free baked good for the store's customers. They literally ate it up and clamored for more.
Over the years, the bakery's special gluten free breads and delectable goodies flew off the shelves faster and faster. Lee gradually faced a new challenge—how to keep up with the volume needed to satisfy customer demand. Once again, Lee's enthusiasm and dedication triumphed. By October 2004, he was proud to fire up the gluten free ovens in a new, completely separate, dedicated facility: the Whole Foods Market Gluten Free Bakehouse.
What we do to ensure your trust
We take Gluten Free very seriously. Staffed by about two dozen bakers, only gluten free products are made in the facility. This nearly eliminates the risk of cross-contamination from other products and ingredients. All of the Bakehouse Team Members are supplied with complete uniforms, and visitors must wear protective gear while in the well marked production areas. Most importantly we test our ingredients and finished products for the absence of gluten. The result? Amazing gluten free products that everyone can enjoy with confidence.
Our Testing Program
The Gluten Free Bakehouse has an onsite testing lab. Every lot number of incoming ingredients and a sample of each finished product is tested for the absence of gluten. We use ELISA (Enzyme ImmunoAssay) and Lateral Flow (immunochromatographic) testing methods to test samples. Our standard is less than 5 parts per million gluten.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find your products?
Our Gluten-Free Bakehouse products are only available at Whole Foods Market stores in the U.S. and Canada. Some stores may carry our full product line, while others may carry a smaller variety due to space limitations. Please contact your local store for specific product availability or information on special ordering our products.
Can I order your products and get them shipped to me directly?
Our product line is sold exclusively at Whole Foods Market store locations. If you do not live near a store but know you are traveling to an area near one you can call ahead and place a special order for the products you'd like to purchase. Most store locations require at least 48 hours notice for special orders, but this may vary by location in regards to Gluten Free Bakehouse products (ask someone in the bakery department for details). Our products are shipped to the stores frozen, so you may wish to request that they remain frozen for ease of transport and storage. You may wish to ask about case discounts or other in-store promotions as well. Some customers have also solved this problem by asking a friend to ship them product occasionally.
I have allergies that prevent me from being able to eat most of the Gluten-Free products. Can you make something without "X"?
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. Although we have several products that are free of allergen ingredients we test products for the absence of gluten only.
What other gluten free products are available at my store?
Beyond the baked goods available from the Gluten Free Bakehouse, you will find an incredible selection of gluten free items throughout your local Whole Foods Market. Ask for a store specific gluten free shopping list at the Customer Service desk.
How can I contact the Gluten-Free Bakehouse?
If you have a question, comment or suggestion please email us at: Glutenfree.Bakehouse@wholefoods.com
Or you can write to us at the following address: Whole Foods Market Gluten-Free Bakehouse, 2800 Perimeter Park Drive Suite C, Morrisville, NC 27560