5 Questions for Glutenull Gluten-Free Bakery
“Being a vegetarian since the 80’s, he saw the importance for gluten free choices that are healthy, while still yummy. Ecotrend is excited to be working with Otari and thrilled to offer his delicious treats to our customers across Canada. Let’s chat with Otari to get to know him better.”
When and why did you move to Canada?
- I moved to Canada in 1996 with my wife and two kids. After we were kicked out of our home during the Georgian Civil War, we applied for Landed Immigrant status at the Canadian embassy in Budapest and were granted approval. We were very happy; this moment became our new beginning.
Were you a baker in your home of Georgia?
- After I completed my postgraduate education and research in Moscow, I taught math at Sukhumi University in my hometown. My educational papers from Moscow were submitted to the Canadian Evaluation Board but were delayed until the year 2000 – it was only then that I received my Master’s degree. By this time I had already started my bakery business in Canada and did not want to give up and surrender. I do not know what prompted me to open a bakery; perhaps it was a call of nature. My last name translates to “Bready” in Georgian and my mother’s last name translates as “Miller.” Perhaps my decision to become a vegetarian in 1980 is what started it all. This was tough in the beginning; I always felt hungry. Many people did not believe I could survive on a vegetarian diet. I didn’t give up and began experimenting by creating treats for myself.
Why did you decide to focus on gluten-free treats?
- When I first arrived in Canada, I had to learn a lot of new things, even how to cross the street! When I first started my bakery, I didn’t know anything about the business. Within the first eight years two articles were written about my Georgian baguette. I will never forget Mia Stainsby’s passionate article, “Georgia on my mind compared with French rival;” she made me believe in myself. Following that we were featured in Vancouver Magazine in an article entitled “100 things to eat before you die,” and in Baker Magazine as well. In 2009, a customer asked me to make bread for his gluten intolerant child. I love a challenge, and so I started experimenting. We introduced Buckwheat Bread, which in the beginning looked and tasted more like clay than bread, but eventually we came up with the product available today and I’m very proud of it. There is no magic here, just hard work.
Your company offers 10 different treats. Which is your absolute favourite?
- My favourite is our Hemp Energy Bar, because I matched the taste with a famous delight in Georgia called “Churchkhela,” a very popular treat in the former USSR. I believe the best way to make a tasty product is to recreate your favourite flavours from childhood.
How many people work for your BC company?
- 12 people work for GluteNull. There are five of us in production, where I am Figaro, appearing everywhere.
- Dedicated to our people, principles, and planet, Ecotrend Ecologics Ltd. provides premium products, exceptional service, and a truly ethical approach to business.
- Founded in 1988 by import/export specialist John Harrison of Vancouver, B.C., Ecotrend Ecologics Ltd. has grown steadily from a one-person operation to its current complement of 40 dedicated professionals. Today, we are a respected international distributor representing high quality products and servicing both retail health stores and alternative healthcare practitioners.
- Ecotrend believes in the human touch. Family and friends play an important role in the almost familial relationships we are proud to maintain with our suppliers. Treating both people and our planet with dignity, Ecotrend has nurtured a foundation of loyalty and trust. Today we manage over 3,800 retail and professional accounts and 101 suppliers.
- Contact Eco Trend
- Made with walnuts and many detoxifying greens. You will love using this as a veggie dip or a spread on sandwiches and crackers. Bored of hummus? Give Super Greens a try. The nuts are a great alternative if you are sensitive to eating beans. Plus, cilantro and celery are super foods known for healthy detoxification.