The Story of Wheatless In Seattle & Olivia Superfree
The year was 2001, and at that time, I had for over fourteen years been struggling to understand what was wrong with me. I suffered from a variety of ailments: chronic fatigue; joint, muscle, and stomach pains; acid reflux; skin problems, there were times back then that the list seemed truly endless. As any person who has truly known desperation in their life could tell you, I sought out any and every possible answer I could find.
sadly, during this time, it might as well have been the Dark Ages in our collective understanding of food allergies, and alternative dietary options. I saw a litany of physicians, and while sometimes well meaning, with each visit to a new doctor's office I increasingly found myself feeling dismissed, or marginalized when I confided in the various doctors my symptoms, and concerns. To even get a mere allergy test, was an uphill battle; so I did what any other desperate person would do - I went behind my doctor's back and got my own allergy test. Suffice to say, that when the test showed I was allergic to wheat; dairy; eggs; rice; and numerous other foods, I felt vindicated.
With this new knowledge in hand, and a real lack of any other palatable options, I started making food for myself and my family. After awhile, when we found that we all loved the foods that we were now eating, I started to wonder if there were other people and families out there who were struggling as I had. With little to lose, I started experimenting with many of the recipes in the large cafeteria I ran at the time. Using my knowledge of cooking, and baking, I refined my recipes at that cafeteria, and eventually felt confident enough that I even put magazine ads in "Living Without" magazine. I must have completely underestimated the size of it's readerbase, because before too long, I had people from all over the country, and even other countries, who would remark to me how they had seen the ads in that magazine - I was baffled!
One thing led to another, and it came to be in the year 2003 that I opened an entirely gluten free bakery and restaurant, one open 7 days a week, breakfast/lunch/dinner. It was then, that Wheatless in Seattle was truly born.
We made everything from pancakes, deep fried foods, ravioli, cannelloni, cream puffs, to wedding cakes, and event catering. I was happy, my family was happy, but we would not be caught resting on our laurels. After experimenting briefly with a name change (e.g. Da Vinci's), I eventually decided to return to my roots, and fully embrace the cache we had earned as Wheatless in Seattle.
As Wheatless in Seattle grew, so too did my family, and I would eventually come to find that my youngest daughter, Olivia, would be diagnosed with many of the same food allergies that I once struggled with. It was with this realization, that it dawned on me that my daughter could not even eat many of the products I had initially created to help my family and I. My daughter was allergic to rice, which at the time, was one of our main gluten-free flours, so it became apparent to me I had to find a better way. I needed to come up with a line products that were free of not only gluten, and rice, but of dairy, eggs, even soy. Knowing there were countless people like my daughter out there who struggled to find palatble allergen-free food to eat, I went even a step further; eliminating corn, potato, nuts, canola oil, and trans fats.
As the demand for our product evolved over the years, and my desire to reach an even greater breadth of people with it, I decided to rebrand our signature product lines. I thought of my daughter Olivia, and remembered what originally inspired this journey, all those fourteen years ago, and opted to use her name, not only just to welcome many more people into our allergen-conscious food family, but to remind myself of where it all started.
Thanks to the hard work of our team, and the support of a diverse body of people who have grown right along with us, we are in dozens of stores across the entirety of Washington State, Northern Oregon, Alaska, and Montana.
Today, I am proud to say that our entire product line is free of all the top allergens, are non-gmo, and eliminated many questionable ingredients like canola oil, preservatives and chemical enzymes. We strive to give our customers the cleanest products available, without compromising taste. Our products serve the entire family whether they have multiple allergies, are vegan, without having to buy multiple product lines.
I know you, and your family, will enjoy our products as much as my family and I do.
Kaili McIntyre, founder & owner