Eazy Eatz offers tasty options for gluten-free community
Story and photos by Bethany Schmidt, NewsNetNebraska
Tears of joy and hugs are not common sights in an average bakery. But at Eazy Eatz Bakery in Lincoln, customers with gluten intolerances can now embrace the baked goods that had once been a life-threatening obstacle.
With celiac disease and other gluten allergies becoming an increasingly bigger problem for more and more Nebraskans, Eazy Eatz Bakery is turning into a savior for baked-goods lovers with required gluten-free diets.
“We’ve had tears of joy,” said co-owner Rhiannon Brown.
“And sighs of relief,” said co-owner Juston Wendt.
After opening its doors on Sept. 1, 2012, Eazy Eatz Bakery has been serving up its completely gluten-free cakes, cupcakes, breads, pizza crusts, doughnuts, cheesecakes and cinnamon buns to customers. Eazy Eatz is the only gluten-free bakery in the state outside of Omaha. Some customers travel as long as six hours to get to the bakery.
“It’s hard to find good gluten-free products,” said Kimberly Buresh a frequent Eazy Eatz customer who has a gluten-intolerance. “[Eazy Eatz] has very good, tasty gluten-free products.”
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Most flours used to produce baked good are made with a combination of the gluten-infused substances, which eliminates the accessibility of the goods to those with gluten restrictions. Some intolerances are so severe that simply breathing in gluten flour can cause a reaction.
But because Eazy Eatz uses purely gluten-free ingredients, those who suffer from gluten-free diet restrictions can now breathe a sigh of relief — literally.
“It’s so good to walk into a bakery and just breathe in,” Wendt said, “because with a wheat allergy, regardless of how you ingest it, it’s going to affect you.”
Brown and Wendt use an array of baking ingredients such as cornstarch, potato flour and coconut flour, which is a prime ingredient in their cupcakes. These special starches and flours mimic their gluten-packed counterparts but are — as the company’s motto states — “100 percent gluten-free, 100 percent of the time.”
Brown, who has celiac disease, suffered with gluten intolerance for years before her doctors were able to diagnose her.
“I was miserable for the majority of my life without ever knowing what was going on,” she said.
That experience inspired her to start baking her own gluten-free products more than four years ago after she noticed the lack-luster gluten-free products available in stores.
Brown and Wendt plan to expand their business and franchise locally. They are negotiating to sell Eazy Eatz baking mixes at local small businesses such as Leon’s Gourmet Grocer, Annie’s Sunshine Café and the Cobbler Café.
Brown and Wendt are confident that the gluten-free bakery community will continue to grow as well in order to accommodate those with gluten-free diet restrictions.