We discovered a while back that our youngest Elizabeth– just 1 1/2 at the time– had a gluten intolerance. This was not a new disease for me; my mother is also gluten intolerant, and has been for 20 years. Since I had some history, I had a pretty good idea of what foods were available on the market in Dayton Ohio. I searched for new stores, tried new things. I found that dinners and snacks would not be a problem –eat whole foods. Foods from the vegetable and meat departments are not processed, so there is no way to have gluten introduced. My problem was with desserts. Everything I tried was disgusting, expensive and didn’t taste like the real thing.

I started experimenting with gluten free all purpose flour mixtures in February 2011. I wanted my daughter to be able to eat what the other kids were eating. And if those other kids came to our house, I wanted them to eat my daughter’s food, and not spit it out because it tasted icky. I knew what I wanted, how was I to get there? I started with 4 different AP flour mixes and made chocolate chip cookies. Thankfully, I have very hungry and not shy co-workers and friends. I had them rate the cookies based on color, texture, and taste. I got honest and constructive feedback. I went back to the test-kitchen and made more tweaks, added more of this, and less of that. Again I took them to my tasters. This happened several times, until I had a winner!

I knew I had come up with a good idea. I wanted to sell my baked goods to others who were gluten intolerant and also to celiacs. I worked with a friend (Chris Vallo) to make a great logo. My husband started marketing to the local restaurants and stores. Ella Bella was in business. We are still a small business but are growing every month.

My philosophy of providing my family with the best possible food also extends to Ella Bella. I mix my own gluten free all purpose flour with all natural and organic flours. I make my own vanilla, using non-grained based vodka. I buy organic butter, local organic eggs. In short, I use only high-quality ingredients to make high-quality baked goods.

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  1. My husband discovered your stand at the North Market a few weeks back and I have been in love with your pumpkin pie ever since! This week the Nutella energy bars were a yummy post-workout treat. As a new Celiac I’m always happy when I find things that really do taste like their non-GF cousins. As a physician, I appreciate your mission and the quality of the ingredients that you are using. If I could ask for one thing it would be for valid weights and nutrition information. I spend a fair amount of time counseling my patients on proper nutrition and home-prepared products obviously present a challenge. My preferred tool is the MyFitnessPal app which allows for recipe input to determine nutritional content and it can be shared among the entire user database. (I am not affiliated with them in any way). I would love to work with you to input information into this or another database so all our patients, celiac or otherwise can enjoy your products and still maintain their commitment to fitness.

    1. We would love to work with you. As a small business we are always prioritizing or needs and to dos. We realize that nutrition is important to us, that is why we us local, organic, and fresh whenever possible. Please contact us at ellabellacookies @ gmail. com so we can talk details. -Mandy

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