When a young Calgary woman found out she had celiac disease just before she started at SAIT’s culinary school, she forged ahead on a new path and is now looking to the future of her growing business.

Kerry Bennett is one of many Canadians who are unable to eat gluten and she says that her stubbornness about her condition forced her to come up with new ways to cook with her fellow students.

“We started experimenting and it was fun for the whole class,” Bennett says. “Everybody got to experiment and try new things and it was an angle of cooking that we didn’t expect to explore.”

After graduating from the program, she received a grant to come up with five gluten-free products and that led to the creation of Care Bakery, a Calgary business that deals exclusively with gluten-free products.

It was a rocky start, Bennett says, and it took a few trials to get everything perfect.

“Lots of flops for sure. I spent three months with my friend Sandy on a research project and we made pizzas that would have been better as Frisbees, we made strudel that turned out like bread, we made bread that turned out like Yorkshire pudding, but somehow along the way, we were always learning.”

She says that her gluten-free breads are much different than others on the market because they stay moist on the inside and end up a beautiful golden brown when they’re done.

With a new facility in northeast Calgary, she says there is a lot of growth to come at Care Bakery in the coming weeks.

“Because we have the endorsement of the finest chefs in the city, we are going to be taking this coast-to-coast. That was my original goal and I think we’re about a year and a half from being able to do that.”

You can find Care Bakery products in all of Calgary’s Co-op stores, a number of restaurants throughout the city and 40 stores on Vancouver Island.

Her next goal is to put her products in approximately 1,000 stores all over Canada.

(With files from Brad MacLeod)