Celiac Awareness Month: Local bakery offers gluten free options

(WEAU) - In our Health Alert, May is National Celiac Awareness month. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, 1 out of 133 people in the United States are affected with the disease. But a local bakery is supporting the cause with gluten free options.

"We found out that our son is gluten intolerant,” said Michael Maskevich, Owner of Two Rivers Bakery.

We come across thousands of labels at the grocery store that say gluten free, but what does that mean?

"Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye,” said Dr. Jaime Zighelboim, Digestive Health Doctor with Mayo Clinic Health System.

Bakery owner Michael Maskevich says he and his wife used to own Turk's Head coffee shop on South Barstow, but had a new idea.

"We had a different business, making frozen cookies with regular flour,” said Maskevich.

Yet after discovering his son's gluten intolerance things took a 360 turn.

"We wanted to have a product that I wouldn't mind giving my son and he would enjoy eating,” said Maskevich.

For the last year, Two Rivers Bakery has sold products online as far as Texas and in downtown Eau Claire. They offer different flours for baking like 'Dark Chocolate Cayenne Mix' and 'All-Purpose Batter.'

If you find yourself at Festival Foods in Eau Claire, they do have Two Rivers Bakery on their shelves. Their ingredients include different types of whole grain flour that's gluten free.

"We use whole grain gluten free oat flour and gluten free sorghum flour,” said Maskevich.

Dr. Jamie Zighelboim with Mayo Clinic Health System says the gluten free diet is a trend. Yet, it’s not only because of celiac disease but because some people are sensitive to gluten.

"It's important to make a diagnosis because your symptoms will improve if you go on a gluten free diet and may prevent future complications of the disease,” said Dr. Zighelboim.

"When we had the coffee house we had people come in and ask if we had gluten free items and at first we didn't know much about gluten free. Now looking at what it is, you can basically take any recipe out there and make it gluten free and still taste good,” said Maskevich.

Two Rivers Bakery is located on 307 S. Barstow Street in Eau Claire. The business is undergoing renovations until mid-May.

Follow the link below to the bakery's website: