Biz Buzz Monday: Galena woman starts business featuring gluten-free eats

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Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. In addition to this update from Galena, Ill., we will share other developments in Tuesday’s edition.

A Galena woman has started a baking business targeted toward people following gluten-free diets, as she does.

Nia McCarthy officially launched Galena Gluten Free Bakeshop online last month, though she started selling her baked goods at a farm stand at Murphy’s Gardens in Galena over the summer.

McCarthy was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2012, which meant she had to convert to a gluten-free diet. After finding items that were expensive and “tasted horrible,” McCarthy said she started figuring out how to make regular recipes gluten free.

“For the Dutch apple pie that I make, I tested 80 pie crusts to get the right consistency I was happy with,” she said.

McCarthy said her love of baking came from her family, which includes many bakers, chefs and restaurateurs.

“Most of my clients are celiac,” McCarthy said. “But there are people who aren’t who love (the baked goods) and can’t tell that they’re gluten free. That was actually my goal: to make something gluten free that doesn’t taste like it’s gluten free. It’s just been going great.”

McCarthy started selling a few baked items a week this past summer at Murphy’s Gardens, where she gets items for her garden.

“That led to people demanding where they can get more stuff after the farm stand closed,” she said.

She now sells a wide variety of items, noting that she just “mastered” her cinnamon roll recipe and will sell pies for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“You can go to a lot of bakeries, and they do produce a few gluten-free items, but they’re usually sold individually,” she said. “I give people the opportunity to buy an entire pie or a dozen turtle brownies. … (The business) gives me extra money, being retired. It keeps my mind busy, and my hands busy. It’s been working out extremely well.”

More information on Galena Gluten Free Bakeshop can be found on Facebook.