This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 30/07/2017.
The bakers who launched a company making gluten-free treats in their own home
Meet the Warlingham couple who have launched a baking company in their own home, making cakes and biscuits that are free from gluten, dairy and eggs.
If you’re on a gluten or dairy-free diet your choice of tasty treats is limited and it is fair to say that what is available can be a bit hit or miss on the taste and texture front.
And if your children are on a strict free-from-gluten diet it can be upsetting to have to say no all the time to regular treats.
But Frank Steiner and Werner Zeilinga have launched BakeMeister from their kitchen in Verdayne Gardens, making cakes and biscuits which are free from gluten, dairy and eggs.
And their products have been winning over those who can eat gluten as well as delighting children who can safely tuck in for the first time.
They offer seven items, all of which sound mouthwatering – chocolate sour cherry brownies, chocolate teff bundt cakes (teff is a gluten-free grain native to Ethiopia and Eritrea), blueberry, oat and walnut cookies, blueberry muffins, mini banana loaf cakes, mini carrot loaf cakes and Italian almond and lemon cookies.
Frank and Werner launched their business nearly two years ago, in September 2015, and began by selling wholesale.
But from the middle of next week anyone around the country will be able to get their hands on the products when BakeMeister’s online shop goes live.
Frank and Werner were inspired to launch the business after seeing the problems faced by their young godson, now five, who was allergic to eggs dairy and peanuts, although is now able to eat dairy.
Werner, a trained pastry chef, started experimenting with recipes which would be gluten, dairy and egg free.
Nuts are used in some products so customers with nut allergies are warned all items may contain traces of nuts.
Frank said Werner, a trained pastry chef originally from South Africa, is the driving force behind BakeMeister.
As well as going online, from June they also began taking their goods to festivals and shows. You might have seen them at The Street Party in Caterham on June 4 if you were there.
BakeMeister will also be at markets in London and Tunbridge Wells.
But you can buy nearly everything they bake from the comfort of your sofa when the website launches. The only items which won’t be online will be the chocolate teff bundt cakes and blueberry muffins.
Frank and Werner are also working on some Christmas treats – mince pies, Christmas cakes and gingerbread cookies – and like the rest of their range they’ll be free from egg, gluten and dairy.
At their stalls, Frank and Werner have plenty of samples to try before you buy.
“You see their eyes light up,” said Frank. “Kids being kids they don’t hold back and they eat their way through the samples.”
Frank said many customers are women who have allergies or the condition coeliac disease, which means they are on a strict gluten-free diet, or they have chosen not to eat certain foods for other health reasons.
The chocolate sour cherry brownies and Italian almond and lemon cookies, which are a bit like Italian amaretti biscuits, are a couple of the products which get everyone’s taste buds tingling.
Frank said: “You can see them trying the food and they go, ‘Oh my God, try this try this.’ And the husband who does not like gluten-free stuff tastes it and they say, ‘I would like a bag of each.'”
The pair hope to move to commercial premises towards the end of the year.
“It has been two or three months and I’m like, ‘I should have done it ages ago.’ It’s so much more satisfying. I don’t have to commute into town anymore,” said Frank.
“The feedback we are getting is good and positive.
“It’s almost like people have been waiting for something like us.”
The new website can be found at www.bakemeister.com
You will find a landing page before it goes live and if you register before it is live you will be able to 20 per cent off.