Michigan Mom Perfects Gluten Free Goodies

“Gluten free” has been cornered as a buzzword by some, but has been an epicurean lifesaver for many.  Gluten Free Sensations founder, Loretta Hamelink, falls into the latter category.  We were so glad to have teamed up with her for our March edition to bring our members something that they have been emailing us about for a while…. more tasty gluten free products.  The waffle n’ pancake mix everyone received this month fits the bill nicely, we cooked 2 batches back to back the first time because we loved it so much!   We will let Loretta take it from here to educate you on the what why and hows of turning a family necessity into a thriving Michigan food business.

Tell us a little about yourself and the company you own/run –

I am first and foremost a mother of 4 children, two of whom have celiac disease and 2 that are gluten intolerant.  Our family lives day in and day out with the ups and downs of adhering to a gluten free diet.  Our gluten free journey began over 11 years ago, long before celiac disease became well known.  In late 2007, after prompting from friends and family, I decided to start selling a  gluten free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix and Velvety Brown Rice.  Over the course of 6 years we moved from a home office and shared kitchen to a 4,000 square foot facility that is dedicated gluten free.  Not only do we manufacture our own products for distribution into stores, we also have a store front where we sell bulk flour, baked goods such as pies, breads, cinnamon rolls and many more of our family favorite gluten free products.  Our products and bulk flour are also available on our website.  To see the full story visit our webpage  www.glutenfreesensations.com and click on the “our story” link.

What is your location and when did you start/how long has the company been in business –

Our address is 53238 North US Hwy 131, Three Rivers  MI 49093.

We are located half way between Schoolcraft and Three Rivers, right on US Highway 131, just south of Kalamazoo, MI.  We started our company in late 2007 with a shared kitchen.  We moved into our current location in the fall of 2009 and have since expanded to include a store front.

What makes your products special/unique –

Our products are manufactured in our own dedicated facility right here in Michigan.  We source our ingredients locally, using Michigan maple syrup, dried fruits, sugar and flour when possible.  We believe that the best foods are made naturally without the use of harmful preservatives, artificial flavors and colors.  Our products are hand crafted in small batches with care to provide the highest quality gluten free product available.

What’s the favorite part about your job –

I love to get into the kitchen and experiment with new product.  We test each new product with our customer base and when we get the “thumbs up” we offer it for sale in our store.  I also enjoy speaking with our customers and offering support for those new to the gluten free world.  I have walked in the shoes of someone new to gluten free.  As daunting as it seems, it does not have to be so difficult.  We are here to help make that transition a bit easier.

Where can we buy more of your products –

Our products are sold throughout the Midwest.  We sell through distributors and we can sell direct, so feel free to ask your local store to carry our product.  We also sell online at www.glutenfreesensations.com

Use coupon code ‘mittencrate’ for 25% off until 3/31/14!!!

Whats the best way to enjoy/eat/prepare/utilize your product –

Our granola of course, can be eaten straight from the box.  Or feel free to use them as a topping, as a crust, in cookies, or just add a little milk!  All of our mixes (Chocolate Chip Cookie, Sugar Cookie and Pancake & Waffle) can be made in a large batch and then frozen for convenience.  Visit our webpage for ideas and recipes using our products!  www.glutenfreesensation.com

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