Quality the main ingredient at Whisked Gluten-Free

News Jul 22, 2015 by Julie Caspersen InsideToronto.com

Every child deserves to have a birthday cake.

Those words serve as sweet inspiration to the owners of Whisked Gluten-Free, a fresh new gluten-free bakery that adds a dollop of pretty and pink to an industrial complex in central Scarborough.

Owners Melanie Larocque and Christine Costa opened the doors to their pink-themed bakery in May, but the concept for a dedicated gluten-free bake shop gelled two years ago with the development of a business plan, followed by market testing.

“The feedback we got was so overwhelmingly positive,” said Larocque of the taste testing conducted in the basement of her Scarborough condo.

Larocque’s background is in marketing and finance while Costa, a North York resident, has 26 years behind a desk in sales, but they both love being in the kitchen. Costa’s family is in the hospitality business and her brother is a chef; Larocque started seriously experimenting with gluten-free baking a few years ago to help with her gluten intolerance.

The women say they have perfected the ideal combination of tasty and healthy – although Costa admitted some of their offerings are pure indulgence.

Quality is a main ingredient in what they put into their cakes, pastries and breads. According to their mission statement: “We believe that our products are good because of what we put in them, not because of what it costs to make them.”

“We have that pure mentality,” Larocque said.

“We use real butter and we crack real eggs,” Costa added.

But it’s what you won’t find at Whisked’s Ellesmere Road shop that is equally fundamental to their commitment to quality: no soy, no refined sugar, no corn, no hydrogenated oil; the starch content of the baked goods is less than 25 per cent.

The bakery collaborates with members of the naturopathic and nutrition community in order to create products high in nutritional quality as well as flavour.

These expert partners include naturopathic doctors, massage therapists and holistic nutritionists, who help Whisked provide information about healthy living and general nutrition.

Larocque said the experts they partnered with are happy to refer clients with dietary intolerences to Whisked.

“They know what we put in our stuff.”

Larocque explained gluten is what provides the squishy texture to bread, but the pair has managed to come up with a gluten-free version that got two thumbs up from my son who has celiac disease, and who has suffered through loaves of dense, overly starchy and “weird” tasting slices since his diagnosis last year.

He is also a fan of the cinnamon bun – he elected to have his topped with an optional zigzag of icing – and the macaron-adorned mini-cupcake.

Our home is a gluten-free sanctuary and it was a pleasure to tour the Whisked facility where every care is taken to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination of products. In addition to a decorating room, milling room and the actual bakery, the women behind Whisked also have a lab for ensuring no gluten enters the premises.

“We test everything,” Larocque assured.

Costa said if they take delivery of any raw materials that don’t pass the test, that shipment is refused, the delivery bay is decontaminated and the workers do a complete change of clothes and a wash. In fact, there’s a room waiting to be turned into a shower to make decontamination even more thorough.

In addition to conducting their own product testing, Whisked will do quarterly testing of their products at a third-party lab, and they are in the process of being certified through the Canadian Celiac Association, Larocque said.

All this extra care – quality ingredients, testing, insurance – is partly what makes gluten-free baking cost more than traditional baking.

However, every child – Celiac or not, gluten-intolerant or not – deserves a birthday cake.

Quality the main ingredient at Whisked Gluten-Free

News Jul 22, 2015 by Julie Caspersen InsideToronto.com

Every child deserves to have a birthday cake.

Those words serve as sweet inspiration to the owners of Whisked Gluten-Free, a fresh new gluten-free bakery that adds a dollop of pretty and pink to an industrial complex in central Scarborough.

Owners Melanie Larocque and Christine Costa opened the doors to their pink-themed bakery in May, but the concept for a dedicated gluten-free bake shop gelled two years ago with the development of a business plan, followed by market testing.

“The feedback we got was so overwhelmingly positive,” said Larocque of the taste testing conducted in the basement of her Scarborough condo.

Larocque’s background is in marketing and finance while Costa, a North York resident, has 26 years behind a desk in sales, but they both love being in the kitchen. Costa’s family is in the hospitality business and her brother is a chef; Larocque started seriously experimenting with gluten-free baking a few years ago to help with her gluten intolerance.

The women say they have perfected the ideal combination of tasty and healthy – although Costa admitted some of their offerings are pure indulgence.

Quality is a main ingredient in what they put into their cakes, pastries and breads. According to their mission statement: “We believe that our products are good because of what we put in them, not because of what it costs to make them.”

“We have that pure mentality,” Larocque said.

“We use real butter and we crack real eggs,” Costa added.

But it’s what you won’t find at Whisked’s Ellesmere Road shop that is equally fundamental to their commitment to quality: no soy, no refined sugar, no corn, no hydrogenated oil; the starch content of the baked goods is less than 25 per cent.

The bakery collaborates with members of the naturopathic and nutrition community in order to create products high in nutritional quality as well as flavour.

These expert partners include naturopathic doctors, massage therapists and holistic nutritionists, who help Whisked provide information about healthy living and general nutrition.

Larocque said the experts they partnered with are happy to refer clients with dietary intolerences to Whisked.

“They know what we put in our stuff.”

Larocque explained gluten is what provides the squishy texture to bread, but the pair has managed to come up with a gluten-free version that got two thumbs up from my son who has celiac disease, and who has suffered through loaves of dense, overly starchy and “weird” tasting slices since his diagnosis last year.

He is also a fan of the cinnamon bun – he elected to have his topped with an optional zigzag of icing – and the macaron-adorned mini-cupcake.

Our home is a gluten-free sanctuary and it was a pleasure to tour the Whisked facility where every care is taken to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination of products. In addition to a decorating room, milling room and the actual bakery, the women behind Whisked also have a lab for ensuring no gluten enters the premises.

“We test everything,” Larocque assured.

Costa said if they take delivery of any raw materials that don’t pass the test, that shipment is refused, the delivery bay is decontaminated and the workers do a complete change of clothes and a wash. In fact, there’s a room waiting to be turned into a shower to make decontamination even more thorough.

In addition to conducting their own product testing, Whisked will do quarterly testing of their products at a third-party lab, and they are in the process of being certified through the Canadian Celiac Association, Larocque said.

All this extra care – quality ingredients, testing, insurance – is partly what makes gluten-free baking cost more than traditional baking.

However, every child – Celiac or not, gluten-intolerant or not – deserves a birthday cake.

Quality the main ingredient at Whisked Gluten-Free

News Jul 22, 2015 by Julie Caspersen InsideToronto.com

Every child deserves to have a birthday cake.

Those words serve as sweet inspiration to the owners of Whisked Gluten-Free, a fresh new gluten-free bakery that adds a dollop of pretty and pink to an industrial complex in central Scarborough.

Owners Melanie Larocque and Christine Costa opened the doors to their pink-themed bakery in May, but the concept for a dedicated gluten-free bake shop gelled two years ago with the development of a business plan, followed by market testing.

“The feedback we got was so overwhelmingly positive,” said Larocque of the taste testing conducted in the basement of her Scarborough condo.

Larocque’s background is in marketing and finance while Costa, a North York resident, has 26 years behind a desk in sales, but they both love being in the kitchen. Costa’s family is in the hospitality business and her brother is a chef; Larocque started seriously experimenting with gluten-free baking a few years ago to help with her gluten intolerance.

The women say they have perfected the ideal combination of tasty and healthy – although Costa admitted some of their offerings are pure indulgence.

Quality is a main ingredient in what they put into their cakes, pastries and breads. According to their mission statement: “We believe that our products are good because of what we put in them, not because of what it costs to make them.”

“We have that pure mentality,” Larocque said.

“We use real butter and we crack real eggs,” Costa added.

But it’s what you won’t find at Whisked’s Ellesmere Road shop that is equally fundamental to their commitment to quality: no soy, no refined sugar, no corn, no hydrogenated oil; the starch content of the baked goods is less than 25 per cent.

The bakery collaborates with members of the naturopathic and nutrition community in order to create products high in nutritional quality as well as flavour.

These expert partners include naturopathic doctors, massage therapists and holistic nutritionists, who help Whisked provide information about healthy living and general nutrition.

Larocque said the experts they partnered with are happy to refer clients with dietary intolerences to Whisked.

“They know what we put in our stuff.”

Larocque explained gluten is what provides the squishy texture to bread, but the pair has managed to come up with a gluten-free version that got two thumbs up from my son who has celiac disease, and who has suffered through loaves of dense, overly starchy and “weird” tasting slices since his diagnosis last year.

He is also a fan of the cinnamon bun – he elected to have his topped with an optional zigzag of icing – and the macaron-adorned mini-cupcake.

Our home is a gluten-free sanctuary and it was a pleasure to tour the Whisked facility where every care is taken to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination of products. In addition to a decorating room, milling room and the actual bakery, the women behind Whisked also have a lab for ensuring no gluten enters the premises.

“We test everything,” Larocque assured.

Costa said if they take delivery of any raw materials that don’t pass the test, that shipment is refused, the delivery bay is decontaminated and the workers do a complete change of clothes and a wash. In fact, there’s a room waiting to be turned into a shower to make decontamination even more thorough.

In addition to conducting their own product testing, Whisked will do quarterly testing of their products at a third-party lab, and they are in the process of being certified through the Canadian Celiac Association, Larocque said.

All this extra care – quality ingredients, testing, insurance – is partly what makes gluten-free baking cost more than traditional baking.

However, every child – Celiac or not, gluten-intolerant or not – deserves a birthday cake.