Friday, February 5, 2010

Local Product Spotlight: Happy Tummy Baking Company

It's my pleasure to introduce yet another awesome local company that caters to those eating Gluten Free (or some type of other allergen-free) – the Happy Tummy Baking Company. We first met Raleigh resident Maria Hopper last summer as she was researching the possibility of starting a new company that would make pizza crusts. You can see previous posts here about the Allergen Free Pizza Crusts she has been working on. After many months of researching, polling potential customers and developing the product, Maria is now ready to launch.

Allergen-Free means Happy Tummy pizzas are free from the big eight allergens (wheat, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, soy) but they are also Gluten Free, Yeast Free and Vegan as well. Wow! This truly is a product that everyone can enjoy. There are not too many companies out there doing the totally allergen-free thing (I can think of Enjoy Life and a few others but that's it), so kudos to Maria for going this extra step. The ready-to-bake frozen pizza crusts (add your own toppings) contain the following ingredients; water, white rice flour, tapioca starch, sorghum flour, Xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, cane sugar and canola oil. A simple recipe that has received rave reviews during several product tastings over the past few months.

Maria's motivation has been her own diagnosis with Celiac Disease as well as her daughter's Celiac and yeast sensitivities. It's also pretty common for Celiac's to have multiple other food sensitivities as well. This product fills the void that most other Gluten Free pizzas do not. Happy Tummy pizzas are currently made during off hours in a commercial kitchen owned by another company. Due to the fact that this kitchen does have other allergens present, Maria takes extensive measures to test her products. Maria employs Gluten testing daily to make sure her crusts are < 10PPM. She also brings all of her own dedicated pans, equipment and ingredients to the facility so that no shared items are used during the preparation or baking process. For these reasons, Gluten Free Raleigh did not need to perform any other testing per my new Product Testing Policy. There are plans in the future for Happy Tummy to move to their very own dedicated facility and to introduce additional products. We'll definitely keep our eyes on that.

Please see the pictures to the left for what the product packaging will look like.

The new Happy Tummy pizza crusts will be available in the Raleigh Whole Foods beginning in March. I'll provide another update/reminder as that time approaches so we can all support a local company.


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