by Sarah Sharp
The Hollywood Farmers Market is excited to welcome Lacy and Jan from Happy Campers Gluten Free Baking.
As proudly posted on their website, Happy Campers is “a local family company working hard to bring the chewy texture, flavor and long shelf life to the world of gluten free breads.”
Why gluten free?
Gluten is a binding protein prevalent in many of our foods in the United States. It serves to make foods stick together–from its processed form in salad dressings and cheese spreads, to its most natural form, providing the firm, chewy texture and structure of wholesome homemade bread.
It is widely believed that approximately 10-30% of the population suffers from some degree of gluten sensitivity. People who must avoid gluten, people with celiac disease, and anyone who falls on the gluten-sensitive to gluten-intolerant spectrum are limited in the foods that are readily available to them. Is there no hope for those with gluten intolerance to ever enjoy fresh, warm, chewy delicious home baked bread again?
Yes there is!
Lacy and Jan recently graduated from Willamette Business School, where they started Happy Campers baking as a project. More than a mere venture, Lacy and Jan have a passion for making delicious and healthful breads for people limited by a gluten-free diet. Their mission is to provide tasty & delicious breads –that look, smell, and feel like real bread– and are gluten free! Happy Campers has proved that “gluten free” and “tasty and delicious” are not mutually exclusive! Additionally, their breads are vegan and have no soy, nuts or refined sugar. As their label states, there is “no hanky-panky whatsoever!”
Using tapioca flour, potato starch, buckwheat, sorghum and brown rice flours, and other organic and natural ingredients, Happy Campers has perfected three mouth-watering and satisfying breads: Classy Grains Loaf, Dark Seedy Loaf, and Kiss Me Garlic Rosemary. The Classy Grains is light and fluffy; the Dark Seedy has layers of flavor and a dense moist texture; and the Kiss Me Garlic Rosemary has just the right amount of garlic, and is the perfect backdrop for a fruity jam.
Lacy and Jan not only have a passion for making their breads delicious and palate-pleasing, but they are committed to producing 100% gluten-free products with no cross-contamination. Since gluten can stay in a person’s system for up to 8 months,* these happy campers don’t mess around! Being gluten intolerant themselves, they have a first-hand appreciation of the importance of keeping gluten out of the kitchen. Happy Campers uses a dedicated facility to bake and package their breads, and are opening a new kitchen in the Tigard area.
Also protecting the planet, Lacy and Jan have gone a step further to provide better-than-eco-friendly packaging. As their name implies, they are frequent campers and avid enjoyers of the outdoors– and they are doing all they can to protect the environment. They searched to find compostable bread bags and twist ties, which can be added to compost or simply buried, which support plant life by decomposing safely. They use recycled paper and simply insert their labels, which are free of the toxins found in sticky adhesives.
Be sure to look for the Happy Campers tent at the Hollywood Farmers Market on Saturdays. The rest of the week, Happy Campers Gluten Free Baking products can be found at Food Front (both NW and Hillsdale locations), People’s Co-Op, Dave’s Killer Bread’s Healthy Bread Store, Lifesource Natural Foods, Bistro and Bon Appetit at Willamette University campus. Lacy and Jan can also be contacted via their website, which is complete with a list of ingredients and tips for storing your newly acquired yummy loaves.
*Walsh, Bryan, (2009). The At-Home Test for Gluten Sensitivity