Off the Wheaten Path Vegan & Gluten Friendly Bakery

Food
Grande Prairie, Canada
dawn smith

C$2,160

Failed
Funded Of C$10,000 Goal
22% Raised
Food Category
For Profit Type
- Days Left

Campaign Description

Build a Brick & Morter location for Gluten Free & Vegan Cafe for those with food sensitivities.

Details

 I have always loved to bake, cook & create food for others. It has been a passion my whole adult life when I discovered my love for baking & cooking in my early 20's after becoming a mom.  Being a Baker has allowed me to be apart of other people's special moments.  When someone asks you to create a cake, dessert, or cater a meal, they really ask your help to create a special moment in their lives, and that means a great deal to me, as a mom, and as a professional. So, 3 years ago when I was diagnosed with an Autoimmune disease that causes symptoms like chronic pain, joint stiffness, skin rashes, brain fog, and other life changing issues I was left breathless. What followed was nearly 3 years of constant pain, doctors that did know, diagnosis with food allergies and sensitivities that would turn out to be life changing  & my re-education about food. Top of the food allergy listed wheat, I was anaphylactic to wheat (which meant no Gluten), coupled with a lifelong allergy to eggs & a new one to dairy,  - I had no idea how I was going to do what I loved to do.  So, I temporarily closed my little at home Bakery, and after a deep breath, I decided to re-educate on holistic nutrition, &  I went shopping for the first time, to pick up some Gluten free products, and I was stunned to realize a few things 

1. nothing - and I mean nothing was FRESH. It was all frozen.

2. It all still contained foods that I still couldn't have- like eggs and dairy.

3. most of it was not nutrient dense - or the least bit nutritious at all. 

4. A lot of ingredients I could not pronounce such as Gums, dyes, additives & preservatives made up a 9 dollar loaf of bread. 

I stood in the grocery stores, stunned. How could this be? People that are allergic, highly sensitive, and with autoimmune diseases NEED good nutrition. Nutrient dense WHOLE FOODS. SO, as a baker, I decided I was going to make my own bread. After lots of thought about technique, re-education about grains, flours, and starches, I began to create my own flour mixes, rewrite my recipes to convert them to plant based & gluten free.  That's how Off the Wheaten Path, was born. After a bakery Kitchen conversion process to gluten free & vegan, we set out to create our products in a nutrient dense, non-refined sugar, gluten free & vegan foods. Kind, safe foods. Kind to your body, the earth, & animals. My husband and my kids were at my side the whole time, Willow's passion for nutrition was ignited. She always loved food and helping me in the bakery, but this was different. She was fascinated with the idea of food as medicine. She graduated and joined me full time in the business. She had been planted based for a year already by choice, and we already knew about her food allergies to animal proteins, along with dairy and eggs, so when she came on board it was exciting. She is studying towards herbalism, and Holistic nutrition and I am so grateful to have her as a partner.   We have had such an overwhelming response. So many people in similar situations come by to tell us their stories of diagnosis, or self-diagnosis, and how food has helped them heal. We are now in a unique position of helping others, and families with food sensitive members, to create a space where food can be enjoyed by everyone. The Cafe will be that space, a space that brings families, and community together. It shouldn't become extra challenging for people with food issues or complicated relationships with food, to create special moments for themselves, or have special moments created for them by other people, and family members,  that love and care about them. That's where we come in. 

After a bakery Kitchen conversion process to gluten free & vegan, we set out to create our products in a nutrient dense, non-refined sugar, gluten free & vegan food way.  Kind, safe foods. Kind to your body, the earth, & animals. My husband and my kids were at my side the whole time. My daughter Willow's passion for nutrition was ignited. She always loved food and helping me in the bakery, but this was different. She was fascinated with the idea of food as medicine. She graduated and joined me full time in the business. She had been planted based for a few years already by choice, and we already knew about her food allergies to animal proteins, along with dairy and eggs, so when she came on board it was exciting. She is studying towards herbalism, and Holistic nutrition and I am so grateful to have her as a partner.   We have had such an overwhelming response. So many people in similar situations come by to tell us their stories of diagnosis, or self-diagnosis, and how food has helped them heal. We are now in a unique position of helping others, and families with food sensitive members, to create a space where food can be enjoyed by everyone. The Cafe will be that space, a space that brings families, and community together. It shouldn't become extra challenging for people with food issues or complicated relationships with food, to create special moments for themselves, or have special moments created for them by other people, and family members,  that love and care about them. That's where we come in. 

My husband and my kids were at my side the whole time. My daughter Willow's passion for nutrition was ignited. She always loved food and helping me in the bakery, but this was different. She was fascinated with the idea of food as medicine. She graduated and joined me full time in the business. She had been planted based for a few years already by choice, and we already knew about her food allergies to animal proteins, along with dairy and eggs, so when she came on board it was exciting. She is studying towards herbalism, and Holistic nutrition and I am so grateful to have her as a partner.

  We have had such an overwhelming response. So many people in similar situations come by to tell us their stories of diagnosis, or self-diagnosis, and how food has helped them heal. We are now in a unique position of helping others, and families with food sensitive members, to create a space where food can be enjoyed by everyone. The Cafe will be that space, a space that brings families, and community together. It shouldn't become extra challenging for people with food issues or complicated relationships with food, to create special moments for themselves, or have special moments created for them by other people, and family members,  that love and care about them. That's where we come in. 

It is our Dream to expand into a Cafe Style Vegan & Gluten Free  Bakery & Deli in the two communities of Grande Prairie and the Peace River Region,   We are fortunate to be a part of both these dynamic and unique places.  We would then be able to serve all of our customers  6 days a week! We are  FIRST of our kind in both communities and are excited to embark on this journey. 

We would be using the funds to expand into a sit-down cafe style bakery and Deli storefront, all Gluten free and vegan of course in Grande Prairie, and add seasonal seating to the farm store bakery in the Peace River region.  We would need to add some equipment such as a large mixer and cooling racks for baked goods that get baked fresh every day. We would love to add a Melanger this machine is used to make our own chocolate so we could be bean to bar, and have our own fresh made nut butters. 

 In addition to sourcing some of our ingredients locally from other farmers, Part of the money would go to seeds and soil - as we have a small farm outside of town with room to grow ingredients.  We wish to grow our own peppers, onions, root veggie, greens, figs, and berries for use in the Cafe, making us Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free, & farm to fork. Being a certified holistic health coach and a herbalist in training this is VERY important part of our business. We want you to KNOW the story of the food you buy from us. It is VERY near and dear to us to support local farmers that are doing an AMAZING job- we believe that the healthiest way to eat - is including beautiful LOCAL foods. 

We are passionate about whole foods, and amazing ingredients and putting them together for you in a simple but beautiful way. We wish to create a space where most everyone can enjoy something from the menu and not worry about food sensitivities of loved ones with food sensitivities.

Our cafe will be a place to bring your people together regardless of food preferences, sensitivities, or other challenging relationships with food. There will finally be a place that the whole family can enjoy the local, delicious, fresh, safe & kind food.

 Wishing you Gluten free Love 

Dawn & Willow Merrywick

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