Four years ago Susan Feller was diagnosed with celiac disease. In the name of better health, she was determined to give up gluten but not the desserts she loved. Her quest for gluten-free goodies led to a business, and in December she opened what she calls the first dedicated gluten-free commercial bakery in Virginia.
3 Fellers Bakery in Goochland will appeal to all tastes, especially the increasing number of people going gluten-free. It's been difficult for them to find baked goods that taste better than sawdust. The new retail shop offers corn bread, tarts, pies and a variety of cakes and cupcakes. Special order cakes are available for local delivery.
Since starting her business in her home in April 2007, Fellers has seen her wholesale business grow to include Ukrop's, Whole Foods and Good Foods Grocery. She also sells cookie and biscuit dough, cupcakes and cookies online.
The key to her business is her patented gluten-free flour blend and insistence on quality ingredients. “My goal is always to create gluten-free baked goods that have the same texture and appearance as non-gluten-free products but taste as good or better,” Feller says. The cupcakes are spongy and light and the sugar cookies are better than grandma's. S
3 Fellers Bakery
3041 River Road West
Tuesday and Thursday noon - 7 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Glutens are proteins found in grains such as wheat, spelt, rye and barley. In foods, glutens add elasticity, volume and texture. But they can also damage the intestines of sensitive people, causing celiac disease and other digestive issues.
Gluten-free bakeries have become more prevalent recently, and many local restaurants offer gluten-free breads and desserts. To maintain a dedicated gluten-free kitchen, operators avoid any cross-contamination of particles — flour dust can stay airborne for 24 hours. For information, see www.gluten.net. — Deveron Timberlake