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  • Jefferson Adams

    Success Kills Bakery's Gluten-free Donuts

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 10/02/2013 - The sad word has arrived that Sugar Shack Donuts at Leigh and Lombardy streets in Richmond, Virginia will no longer craft delicious gluten-free donuts and other gluten-free delights.

    Photo: CC-- roboppyDespite tremendous popularity, or, perhaps because of it, Sugar Shack Donuts has ended its vegan and gluten-free Specialty Sundays, and ceased making gluten-free doughnuts altogether.



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    It seems that for every customer full of praise for Sugar Shack's gluten-free treats, there was another full of complaints about long lines and low inventory.

    Co-owner Ian Kelley says that for ever comment he got that his gluten-free creations were ‘the most amazing tasting things…ever,’” someone else would say ‘these are really good but I had to wait in line 45 minutes and could only get four of them.’”

    All of which helped to dampen the enthusiasm of co-owner Ian Kelley, and to kill Specialty Sundays.

    This news has left locals with a gluten-free sweet tooth wondering what their next option might be. One local option might be WPA Bakery in Church Hill, which serves gluten-free doughnuts made on dedicated equipment. Although a purist might point out that WPA’s doughnuts are baked, while Sugar Shack’s were fried.

    Either way, Sugar Shack's Specialty Sundays will be missed.

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    I know the feeling! I used to own a totally gluten free bakery. It was quite successful . But when you are a small business, buying in bulk is hard to do. Therefore, reducing the profit margin. There are only so many people who are willing to pay for a muffin. My profits were so small, so I had to do all the work myself.

    I was burned out quickly. Working 16 hour days gets old fast! Mine also was a case of being too busy. For my sanity's sake, I just had to close.

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    I have heard that The Donut Connection @ 7021 Hull St. Road in Richmond, Va. makes delicious gluten free donuts from scratch. I look forward to trying them soon. If you could post this for others it would be helpful.

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    Guest Barbara Steggall

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    How very sad for everyone, all the way around. Perhaps some of the complainers could have been encouraged into volunteering - although I know that can be hard to do? I do hope the owners/bakers find another way. Perhaps someone can give them additional financial backing? And maybe they could write a baking cookbook? One can only wish them luck and commiserate.

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    I guess people should have been more thankful for what they had. The place was trying to accommodate others' dietary preferences only to be waylaid by complaining? I'd have done the same thing if it were my business! Don't bite the hand that (literally) feeds you gluten-free fad food.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.


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