The view from beautiful Mynydd Bodafon close to where we live on Anglesey, North Wales
Sara's Story: Like a lot of people I didn't realise that I was gluten intolerant (or even Coeliac) and unable to consume cows milk until I was in my 30's. I was aware that foods made my stomach make "growling" noises, and made me bloated and very uncomfortable. Some foods just made me feel ill. I also suffered with painful skin - red and blotchy, especially on my face. All of this affects your confidence as well as how ell you feel.
My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I had no contact with my father until I sought him out in 1997. It was then that he told me that he was a Coeliac and he suggested I stop eating gluten - I did and my symptoms disappeared. I felt so much better. My skin was still blotchy and after a holiday in France in 2004 when I had indulged in gorgeous French cheese, chocolate and wine my skin was sore. My Husband suggested I avoid cows dairy products to see if it helped. I switched to goats milk, butter and cheese and wow, how different I was in just a few weeks. My skin completely cleared and as long as I avoid sulphites too my skin is always completely clear. People regularly tell me how well I look.
I qualified as an Environmental Health Officer in 1988 and I am a qualified Meat Inspector too. I have spent my working life protecting Public Health. I have undertaken thousands of Food Hygiene and Health and Safety inspections of food businesses. I have seen so much - the very good through to the extremely bad and I have prosecuted and formally closed food businesses whenever necessary to protect Public Health. Food Safety is my top priority - I will always be a Public Health Professional who has an Engineering Masters degree (with a specialism in water safety and quality), and a qualified chef and who is a passionate, educated Foodie, with allergies. I have seen so many instances of food businesses not understanding what they must do to protect customers with allergies. Our customers can buy with confidence, knowing that our excellent quality handmade products are produced hygienically by a Public Health professional and qualified chefs.
Lydia's Story: At school when Lydia took part in sports events she had symptoms of sports induced asthma. Medical investigations commenced. Once asthma was ruled out other investigations revealed the symptoms to be caused by gluten intolerance and Lydia stopped eating gluten when she was 11 years old. Her symptoms ceased and she has since become a world class athlete, having run for Great Britain on two occasions, she has two European Athletics silver medals to mark her achievements in mountain running. Obviously what Lydia consumes is extremely important to her - it has to be good for her - it is fuel for an endurance athlete. Welsh organic ewe's milk is the milk of choice for her.
Fed up with the dry, bland and pretty horrid selection of gluten free cakes and bakes available we became qualified chefs and we started to produce our own recipes for tasty cakes and bakes that are naturally gluten free. We reduce sugar in our recipes and use unrefined and organic sugars wherever possible. .
We don't use the "gluten free" flours available as we don't want to consume Xanthan gum (the growth medium can be wheat, soya, corn or dairy. People who are gluten intolerant can also be intolerant to Xanthan gum), lupin flour (a known allergen) and tapioca and potato starch (these are known to cause bloating in some people) which all disagree with us. We don't use any preservatives - sulphur dioxide irritates Sara's skin; and we hate and avoid potassium sorbate which is everywhere now - you can search the internet for reputable scientific studies on the adverse side effects of this potentially toxic preservative to form your own opinion.
We use local Welsh ingredients wherever possible and we shop ethically, always buying Fairtrade, UTZ certified and free range products. Cariad Bakery has Organic Accreditation. We do our utmost to be environmentally friendly by using reusable containers and paper and other recyclable, compostable/biodegradable packaging.We compost our food waste and we have a biomass boiler for heating and hot water. We use locally sourced wood pellets from sustainable forests in North Wales.In short our aim is to produce amazing naturally gluten free foods for everyone to enjoy with a clear conscience.
We would love to hear from you. You are welcome to email us:firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook message us: Cariad Bakery 17, Instagram: @cariadbakery. Or call us: 01248 471080/ 07577 838995. If you are local you are welcome to collect orders in person.