Friday, January 2, 2009

Local Product Spotlight - Bella Monica Flatbread Company

Let's kick off 2009 with a bang! I had teased this in my last post of 2008 - sorry to keep you waiting (I have been enjoying my vacation).

I'd like to be the first to introduce the Bella Monica Flatbread Company. They have been working on creating the best tasting Gluten Free Pizza around for the past several months. I have had the privilege to be one of the first people to taste the retail product and to provide my input. The pizzas are made with Domata Living Flour and made on a dedicated Gluten Free production line which is tested using ELISA to have less than 20 PPM Gluten. Bella Monica Flatbread Company is affiliated with the longstanding Bella Monica Italian Restaurant on Edwards Mill Road in Northwest Raleigh. Stay tuned for more information in an upcoming post about a brand new Gluten Free Menu at Bella Monica. I have sampled the items and was blown away. I've also had the chance to provide the owners/operators with advice on how to safely prepare the new menu items to avoid cross-contamination. STAY TUNED!

The pizzas will be available in 3 different varieties - Margherita, Spinach & Tomato and Mushroom & Herbs in a 10" size. I have had the opportunity to try them all and I'm happy to report that they blow away the competition when it comes to frozen Gluten Free Pizza. My family has also tasted the pizzas and had trouble telling the difference from regular wheat pizza.

Here is what they look like out of the box

And after

As of now, the pizzas are available in Harmony Farms Natural Foods store located on Creedmoor Road in North Raleigh. They should be available on a few GF Grocery online retailers soon. They should also be available in Whole Foods by the end of January.

The following is from Trevor Chambers about how to get the pizzas at your local grocery store...
If your local grocer doesn’t carry Bella Monica FlatBreads then please voice your desire for the product with a manager. Suggestions really work – no matter the size of the stores. Let the manager know he/she can purchase it from United Natural Foods (UNFI) – a national distributor of natural food products. You can even print off their product information sheet located here and give it to the manager.

Stay tuned for more information about additional grocery locations where you can find these awesome Gluten Free Pizzas! And also more information about the new GF Menu at Bella Monica!

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

This looks great. Thanks for your efforts to help make this happen! I can't eat both gluten and casein. Any plans to make these gluten-free pizzas in a diary-free version too?

Trevor Chambers said...

Anonymous,

Thank you so much for your input. We are planning a dairy-free, gluten free product and to that end we would appreciate all the help we can get.

Would you prefer a complete pizza with a cheese substitute (soy-based, etc) or just crusts (perhaps some seasoned with herbs) or crust with roasted veggies, garlic sauce and herbs? Or, something else.

Which mozzarella cheese substitutes melt and taste the best?

Also, would a small amount of dry milk in the crust be a problem for your digestive system?

Happy New Year!

Trevor, Founder of Bella Monica FlatBread Company

P.S. Thanks Zach!!!! You da man!

Anonymous said...

Hi Trevor,

That sounds great that you are planning to develop a dairy-free, gluten-free pizza! I personally would prefer your option of a crust with roasted veggies, red sauce or garlic sauce, and herbs. I haven't found a good cheese substitute so I wouldn't recommend going that route (my personal preference). I think even a small amount of dry milk in the crust would probably cause some problems for me.

Thanks again for your interest in developing these pizzas; I can't wait to try them!

john said...

Yeah, a regular pizza with a crust with roasted veggies, garlic sauce and herbs sounds wonderful!

If you want to that as your dairy free pizza I'll buy it even though I do eat dairy.

I bought the last pie at Harmony Farms yesterday, the spinach and cheese model, and it was fantastic! Thank you very much for making them available.

Trevor said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for input. So crusts are the way to go for you and dry milk is bad. Ok.

How many crust in a package? 3? How about a mix of 1 plain, one herb one with rst veg? Or packed all the same?

Anyone else have some input here?

Best,
Trevor, Founder Bella Monica FlatBread Company

Trevor said...

John,

Thanks for the post and the positive comments. We are so happy to make you and everyone with in the GF community happy. Harmony Farms will be restocked later today!

Best,
Trevor, Bella Monica FB Co

KenN said...

This is great news. I've also been diagnosed gluten and dairy intolerant and I've been able to find substitutes for everything but PIZZA! Fortunately I've healed to a point that I can have cheese once a week so I'm heading to Harmony Farms tonight to check them out. That being said, I'd be interested in the three pack of crusts that you mentioned (1 of each) BTW - goat mozzeralla that Whole Foods sells seems to do well on spelt ziti and lasagna's that I make.

Trevor said...

KenN,

Thanks for the Goat Mozz tip. Enjoy the pizza from Harmony Farms and please let me know what you think of them.

So how about a GF Ziti and/or stuffed shells?

Best,
Trevor, Bella Monica FB Co

Jen said...

Trevor...what about egg free crusts? :)

Trevor said...

Hi Jen,

Thanks for the input! We would strive to make a entirely dairy free crust including free of eggs. I would also make it soy free - perhaps olive oil instead.

Do you know of any dairy free pizza crust mixes currently on the market that make a great crusts?

Best,

Trevor, Bella Monica FlatBread Co.

Jen said...

Trevor...

I'm not sure about dairy free pizza crusts. Luckily, I only need to worry about gluten & eggs. But I think Amy's might make one?

The idea of having herbs in the crust sounds GREAT!

jen

Lauren Rouse said...

GF Ziti sounds great!!

Thanks Trevor for making a Facebook group about the pizza. As a college student, that's how I found out about the pizza at first. I went to Harmony Farms and got two of the cheese pizzas on Monday. They're great! The lady told me to get two because even people who eat gluten were buying them. :-)

Trevor said...

Lauren,

We are going to be adding a few pasta dishes to Bella Monica Restaurant's GF menu. Keep watching both Zach's blog, www.bellamonica.com and the Bella Monica FlatBread Company Facebook Group for more information.

Bella Monica will be a sort of "testing" ground for new packaged products. Come in a try them and let us know what you think.

Best,
Trevor, Bella Monica FB Co

Sarah said...

It's pizza night at my house and Bella Monica's frozen flatbread tops Lily's gluten free pizza any day of the week (not to knock Lily's because it's very good). I can't wait to try them fresh from Bella Monica.

Trevor, I don't know of any dairy-free pizza crust mixes, but I can give you recipes I've tried and/or found online:

Thick crust:
2 packages yeast
4 c Gluten free flour blend (I like Better Batter)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 - 3 c warm water

Delivery Style Pizza
2 1/2 cups Gluten free flour blend (I like Better Batter)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

Another recipe:
2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp yeast (or 1 package)
1 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups Gluten free flour blend (I like Better Batter)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil

And this one contains dairy:
1 c warm (approx 110 degree) milk
1 t sugar
1 packet yeast
2 1/4 c Gluten free flour blend (I like Better Batter)
1 t xanthan gum
1 t salt
2 T olive oil

PS, stuffed shells sound delicious. I am experimenting with making my own pasta soon (waiting for my mom's old fashioned pasta crank).

GlutenFree said...

I ate a whole pie tonight and loved every bite. Kinda sad it was my last one though. Got to get over to Harmony Farms.

Bella Monica said...

Sarah,

Thanks for the compliments. We love being part of people's Friday pizza menu!! Thank you for the recipes and good luck with the fresh pasta. Yeah, thestuffed shell are awesome - look for them soon on Bella's menu!

GlutenFree,

Thank you so much for the compliment. Come by Harmony Farms today - I am passing out Bella Monica GF FlatBread samples from 11-2.

Everyone,

These GF FlatBreads make great appetizers for parties (Superbowl parties are coming!). Cut them up into squares (see back of our boxes),stack the squares a bit on a nice serving plate. Perhaps garnish with fresh herbs and serve. Your non-GF friends will love them!

Enjoy,

Trevor, Bella Monica FB Co
Passion is Our Main Ingredient

KenN said...

I tried the spinach and tomato. The crust was awesome. Amazingly there was a little too much cheese for me. Overall - it was SOOOO good to eat pizza again. Thanks. I'm looking forward to coming to the restaurant and trying the new menu.

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