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Of Happiness and Healing

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Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Niche

Several years back when Egg Harbor Café wanted to expand our gluten free menu to include breakfast favorites like pancakes and cinnamon rolls, we turned to Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery in Hinsdale, IL. Sweet Ali’s blends finely textured flours made with rice and tapioca to create tender, flavorful pancakes and rich, gooey cinnamon rolls. Now a popular addition to the menu, Sweet Ali’s Bakery gives our gluten free guests’ more safe and delicious breakfast options than ever.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. For the 10 million Americans with celiac disease, gluten causes an uncomfortable immune reaction that damages the small intestine. The treatment for celiac disease is a gluten free diet, something which Sweet Ali’s Bakery owner Ali Graeme understands personally. In 2007, Ali and her son were diagnosed with celiac disease and told that they would need to give up their favorite baked goods to find healing.

Approaching the challenge of her family’s gluten intolerance with characteristic energy and skill, Ali began researching specialty flours and baking many batches of gluten free cookies, cupcakes, brownies and breads. “From the beginning, I wanted to bake foods that my son can eat, and that my daughter who is not gluten sensitive wants to eat. I wanted everyone to enjoy eating together.” Ali’s flavor mixes earned distinction. Taste testing her sweets with friends and family, at soccer games and birthday parties, Ali refined recipes and garnered wide approval before opening Sweet Ali’s Bakery in 2009. The community embraced the new bakery, and a new location is scheduled to open in Glenview early this summer. As the bakery grows, Ali finds joy in the customers, friends and family who come in to enjoy beautiful and tasty treats while they also share their stories, discuss new products and learn from each other.

Since breakfast is often the hardest meal for gluten free people to enjoy with friends, Sweet Ali’s gluten free pancakes and cinnamon rolls are an ideal match for Egg Harbor Café. Gluten free guests visit often, and bring their family and friends, confident that this is a safe harbor for their dietary needs with many satisfying choices to keep them smiling.