Gluten-Free PizzaThese are troubling times for the economy. Every newspaper seems filled with stories of one good business after another going down the tubes. So I thought I’d spread a little cheer with a reminder that some businesses are doing just fine. Some are even expanding and rising—in a gluten-free way! MarketResearch.com reports that the gluten-free food and beverage market is growing 25% yearly, and with the expansion of the GF market, our options as consumers keep growing as well. Here are just a few success stories we can all cheer:

  • Europe’s largest gluten-free food maker, Dr. Schär S.r.l, opened U.S. headquarters this March. The company currently sells 18 products here and plans to expand to 35 products by the end of 2009.
  • The Village Bakery of North Wales makes a gluten-free line of baked products called “Scandinavian Toasty,” which recently was voted the best new product of 2008 by the Finnish Coeliac Association. The bakery is hiring ten to thirty more people and starting a second shift to keep up with demand and worldwide interest.
  • In the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area, Pizza Works just sold their 2000th Wheat-and-Gluten-Free Pizza twenty months from when they began offering it. The GF pizza now makes up one-fifth of their sales! The owners purchase their gluten-free crusts from several GF pizza crust manufacturers, which means they’re spreading the wealth around.
  • Over the past five years, Oryana Natural Foods Market in Traverse City, Michigan has seen such an increase in demand for their gluten-free products that they now label all gluten-free items in the store with a red dot. Currently Oryana carries the largest selection of gluten-free foods in northwest Michigan. In addition to dried and packaged foods, Oryana sells fresh baked goods from gluten-free baker and entrepreneur Mary Prohm. Prohm started her business, Gluten Free Queenz, in 2005 in Portage, MI where it so profitable that she opened another in Traverse City when she relocated. She makes everything from scratch, even the chocolate chips in her cookies.