I've noticed in the last couple of years the number of gluten free bakers in Ireland seems to be dwindling....lots of producers selling baked goods in supermarkets etc but I'm talking 'fresh from the oven baked goods'. The number of people with coeliac disease and gluten intolerance continues to rise not plateau as many sceptics predicted back in 2016/2017....just a fad they said...yeah sure ! And with it demand has increased not just for any old substitute but high quality products. Despite this we've lost great bakers along the way and you wonder why...it's without doubt a tough business and requires ongoing, relentless and loyal support from us as a community. Even if that baker isn't on my doorstep I still feel it's my responsibility to tell as many people as possible as word of mouth is everything.
I was thrilled when I heard about the Gluten Free Bakery setting up in November 2019 by husband and wife duo Pearse and Kelly McKeown. They're based in Monaghan, going strong and still operating during the current Covid-19 crises which speaks volumes and attests to the great following they've developed already. I had the opportunity to catch up with Kelly during the week to find out a bit more about the Gluten Free Bakery.
How did you guys get started ?
It all started when we found out our son Leon was gluten intolerant, we found it quite difficult to get a good selection of gluten free products. We loved baking and started to try out recipes, giving samples to family & friends who couldn’t tell difference. So we just thought why not give it a go !
What products do you bake and sell ?
We sell white/brown bread, scones and some confectionery such as traybakes, cakes and buns.
Where can we find you ?
During normal times we are at the market in Carrickmacross on Thursday and at Skerries Mills Farmers market on Saturday mornings. We do our baking from Bocks Lower, Laragh, Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan.
What do you think is unique about the Gluten Free Bakery ?
We believe our range of homemade products are for all the family to enjoy not just those who are gluten intolerant.
Let's talk about oats, do you use them ?
We don’t use oats in any of our products.
Dare I mention sugar ?!, so many of the gluten free products are loaded with it, how do you guys handle that ?
We try to use as little sugar as possible in our confectionery. Our breads are sugar free.
How are you guys holding up during the current Covid-19 crises ?
The markets are currently cancelled so we’ve started delivering locally (within a 15km radius) and have a pick up point in Skerries and at our bakery. All orders should be placed by phone (086) 778 9357 or through Facebook Messenger. All details of how to order are posted on our Facebook page regularly.
Lots of us are baking from home at the moment, any tops tips you can share ?
Be patient... they can be difficult flours to work with. Don’t panic, take your time, everyone has there own way of baking. Experiment & enjoy !!
Thanks Kelly and Pearse, keep up the good work and look forward to the next time I can pick up a delivery from you guys.
If you enjoyed this piece about The Gluten Free Bakery be sure follow them on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/The-Gluten-Free-Bakery-109570253761502/. Please also show your support by sharing their details with family and friends.