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  • Jefferson Adams

    Whole Foods to Shut Gluten-Free Bakery

    Jefferson Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Pioneering gluten-free bakery for Whole Foods Markets to close.


    Whole Foods will soon close its Gluten Free Bakehouse. Image: CC BY 2.0--Francisco Antunes
    Caption: Whole Foods will soon close its Gluten Free Bakehouse. Image: CC BY 2.0--Francisco Antunes

    Celiac.com 01/28/2020 - Whole Foods Market will be closing its main gluten-free bakery for the entire Southern US market, a move that is expected to leave over 100 employees out of a job. The company, Gluten-Free Bakehouse, is set to close on March 8th, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed with the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

    How the move will impact the company's supply of gluten-free bakery products remains unclear. The move mainly seems to be a result competition. The company says that the bakery has played a steadily shrinking role in its gluten-free offering over the years.



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    Started in 2004 by Lee Tobin, a Whole Foods Market employee with celiac disease, who had developed gluten-free recipes in his own kitchen, the facility was an immediate hit with sensitive gluten-free consumers. 

    The Gluten Free Bakehouse featured an onsite testing lab, with every lot number of incoming ingredients and a sample of each finished product tested for the absence of gluten. 

    The facility’s products are only available at Whole Foods Market stores in the United States and Canada. The products are shipped to the stores frozen.

    Whole Foods Market says it is "working closely with all impacted team members and hope to place them in our nearby locations or in other roles within the company.”

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    My family will miss their Apple pie and cheddar biscuits. Both are weekly purchases.  My mom has enjoyed having her cheddar biscuit and sausage for breakfast.  No one else offers these products in gluten free. Much as I enjoy Amazon, I have to wonder if this is another decision driven strictly by profits.

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    Lee Tobin and Whole Foods provided a huge stash of gluten free baked goods for my son’s ( The Breadless Horseman) 2007 gluten-free  thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (2,000+miles).  We are forever in his debt and will miss the fine products.

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    Guest Bobbi in Baltimore

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    A long-time shopper at Whole Foods, I stopped shopping there, as a celiac person, when Amazon stopped stocking the products I relied on: gluten-free bread, cookies, etc. Not just missing one or two options! A whole selection. 

    I used to shop there two or three times a month. I shop there once or twice a year now. Still don't find what I want. 
    Hear me, Amazon?

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    Wow, how awful is this.  I'm hoping it will not effect the northeast,  why do I think,  "of course it will".  I am SURE we have that wonderful, sniveling Amazon to thank.  We need many more gluten free avenues open to us.  This is not good news, guess I'll be frequenting other establishments instead of Whole Foods...how's that Amazon.

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    The Gluten Free Cherry & Apple pies were wonderful & now my husband won’t have that special treat! We are so disappointed. Does anyone else recommend an exceptionally good gluten free apple pie?

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    I sometimes shop at a market called Streets, which sells Katz gluten free pies. Usually I buy cherry or blueberry, but they also have apple, though I've never tried it. These are frozen pies that need to be heated, and the blueberry and cherry ones are very very good. I will add that they are hardly a "free" food - they have 18 whopping grams of sugar. So, beware.

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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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