Coeliac diagnosis inspires business venture

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Food businesses are finding that they have to respond more and more to a wide variety of food intolerance among customers.

Coeliac disease is now the most commonly catered for dietary requirement. Coeliac disease is a condition that prevents food from being absorbed through the follicles in the intestines of people who are gluten intolerant.

Sinead Vaughan suffers from coeliac disease and this inspired her to set up her own gluten-free bakery ‘Antoinette’s Bakery’.

“In 2009 I was diagnosed as coeliac while I was studying baking pasty arts in DIT and was learning about all these amazing products I couldn’t have,” she said.

Soon after being diagnosed, Sinead noticed a gap in the market for gluten free products.

“I was getting annoyed… paying such a premium for a substandard product,” she said.

“I didn’t just decide to open up a business. Having my own bakery was something I always wanted.

“I started off in farmers markets… but I was never going to be able to keep up the farmers markets. The tiniest bit of moisture will affect the product. I started planning the premises here [on Kevin’s street] in January 2013 and in November we opened up.”

Vaughan outlined the different types of coeliacs.

“There are some people who don’t test positive to coeliac but for some reason it doesn’t suit them. Then there’s some people who are like ‘oh I can’t have gluten’ but then you meet them on a night out and they’re drinking beer and going to the chipper,” she said.

As far as her cakes and treats go, Vaughan makes the most of her products as well as having a vast variety to offer, she makes sure there is as little waste as possible in her shop by getting creative with her recipes.

“Everything has to be unique. We have a low waste policy, so we had leftover chocolate chip cookies over the weekend, they were perfectly fine just not shelf worthy so I made them into chocolate biscuit cake,” she said.

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