When a young Calgary woman found out she had celiac disease just before she started at SAIT’s culinary school, she forged ahead on a new path and is now looking to the future of her growing business.
- Mike Franklin, CTV News 1
Kerry Bennett is one of many Canadians who are unable to eat gluten and she says that her stubbornness about her condition forced her to come up with new ways to cook with her fellow students.
“We started experimenting and it was fun for the whole class,” Bennett says. “Everybody got to experiment and try new things and it was an angle of cooking that we didn’t expect to explore.”
After graduating from the program, she received a grant to come up with five gluten-free products and that led to the creation of Care Bakery, a Calgary business that deals exclusively with gluten-free products.
It was a rocky start, Bennett says, and it took a few trials to get everything perfect.
“Lots of flops for sure. I spent three months with my friend Sandy on a research project and we made pizzas that would have been better as Frisbees, we made strudel that turned out like bread, we made bread that turned out like Yorkshire pudding, but somehow along the way, we were always learning.”
She says that her gluten-free breads are much different than others on the market because they stay moist on the inside and end up a beautiful golden brown when they’re done.
With a new facility in northeast Calgary, she says there is a lot of growth to come at Care Bakery in the coming weeks.
“Because we have the endorsement of the finest chefs in the city, we are going to be taking this coast-to-coast. That was my original goal and I think we’re about a year and a half from being able to do that.”
You can find Care Bakery products in all of Calgary’s Co-op stores, a number of restaurants throughout the city and 40 stores on Vancouver Island.
Her next goal is to put her products in approximately 1,000 stores all over Canada.
(With files from Brad MacLeod)
Calgary’s Kerry Bennett of Care Bakery was the ‘Belle of The Ball’ as the wrap-up speaker at the Canadian Celiac Association Conference. Now her fabulous gluten-free, dairy-free sliced bread, sandwich, hamburger and hot dog buns, dinner rolls and pizza crusts are available on Vancouver Island!
Meet Kerry in Person!
Watch for Kerry’s upcoming Tasting Schedule at the following carrying retailers:
49th Parallel Stores • Fairway Markets • Market on Millstream • Market on Yates • Peninsula Coop Keating • Red Barn Markets • Tru Value Pender • Wellburn’s • Western Foods Sooke • Village Food Markets Sooke
- Classic use: Our white loaf is the perfect canvas for all of your sandwich needs.
- Creative uses: Don’t toss those bread ends; they can be cubed and used for delicious holiday stuffing, bread crumbs, or bread pudding!
- Classic use: Sandwiches in all of their glory. Choose the fillings, condiments, and spreads of your choice!
- Creative uses: Broaden your horizons beyond the traditional ham and cheese: Mexican tortas, Cuban sandwiches, Croque Monsieurs, and meatball subs all fit the bill too. You can even use them for stuffed French toast filled with peanut butter and jelly, or bananas and chocolate.
- Classic use: You guessed it, burgers! Beef, lamb, pork, or veggie will all do!
- Creative uses: Whip up a terrific open-faced turkey or old school tuna melt. You’ll love them as the vessel for Sloppy Joes or pulled pork, or simply starting your day off with a gluten free breakfast sandwich!
- Classic use: Served along side dinner, slathered with plenty of butter!
- Creative uses: BBQ sliders, kid-sized sandwiches, tea sandwiches, or anything else you want to eat in a convenient, snackable format!
- Classic use: Whether you like your hot dogs simply dressed with ketchup and mustard, or loaded with all the toppings, our buns are the ideal vessel to get you started.
- Creative uses: Butter and toast them for decadent garlic bread. Don’t forget you can transform them into crostini for cheese and charcuterie boards! Simply slice and toast.
- Classic use: Want pizza but don’t want to make your own crust? We’ve got you covered.
- Creative uses: Our 12-inch crusts are a great accompaniment to appetizers and dips! Reheat until soft and enjoy with Middle Eastern dips like hummus and baba ganoush.
Care Bakery FAQs:
What’s the best way to reheat your products?
- In the microwave. Times differ depending on product size and the microwave you are using. Industrial strength microwaves are faster and take 20-25 seconds. For home microwaves reheating should take 50-60 seconds.
What ingredients are in your products?
- We have the shortest list of ingredients of any gluten free products on the market. We pride ourselves on not using ingredients you can’t pronounce. Our products are made from: water, white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, eggs, sugar, canola oil, cider vinegar, yeast, xanthan gum, and salt. There are no chemicals or preservatives (other than salt), period. All of our products are dairy free as well as gluten free!
About Kerry Bennett
ALL I WANTED WAS A SANDWICH! Maybe I can’t change Chicago or Paris, but I can change the way we eat out locally as Canadians. My goal is to create delicious products that are not a default for celiacs, but a choice for everyone, one bun at a time. Learn more
I moved to Calgary to pursue my dream of opening a restaurant. I thought that as a restaurateur I could create a special place where people could appreciate good food and enjoy being together. I decided to round out my previous experience by taking the culinary program at SAIT.
Not long before the program started, I realized that I couldn’t eat gluten, which led to many tearful nights. It may seem dramatic, but the thought of never getting to experience real Chicago deep dish pizza or crepes on the streets of Paris was devastating.
I took the program despite my restrictions and modified the recipes to work for me. It didn’t take long to realize that delicious gluten free baking was possible, even when the finished product wasn’t
always what we intended! We made dinner rolls that turned out to be the best Yorkshire puddings ever, and a strudel dough that actually made beautiful bread. Regardless, we were learning.
With my friends’ help, the research continued and the dream grew. I thought, why not change the way we dine out? Even though I had the recipes to make delicious gluten free bread, I couldn’t enjoy it in restaurants and thus my purse was full of crumbs from carrying buns around.
Maybe I can’t change Chicago or Paris, but I can change the way we eat out locally as Canadians. My goal is to create delicious products that are not a default for celiacs, but a choice for everyone, one bun at a time.