Maple Tree Bakery

The Maple Tree Bakery, specializing in home-baked, gluten-free goodies opened in March of 2012.

Check us out  on Facebook and place orders on: http://www.mapletreebakery.com

A New Adventure

Since I was born, I’ve had many food intolerances (sugars, dairy, wheat, etc.). In October 2010, I was with Celiac Disease. As of August 2011, I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis). Needless to say, we’ve had to make a “few” adjustments in our life. When I was first diagnosed, I was disappointed with the quality (and price) of gluten free options. While the options were so much better than they were even 10 years ago, I knew I could do better. Initially, I set out to make gluten free recipes for every-day foods (check out the blog link to the left). I shared my baked goods with family, friends, and co-workers and received great reviews. People started suggesting I sell my product. After doing some research into local interests, laws and regulations, we decided to try it out.

Life After Gluten

Gluten. It’s bad. Being diagnosed with gluten intolerance or Celiac disease is life changing. However, this is NOT the end of the world! Instead of being very depressed about this diagnosis, it may feel like a weight has been lifted – now you know what has been causing all the trouble. And while adjusting to a gluten-free diet may be difficult at times, in the long run, it will be worth it. Think of it as an adventure… a creative challenge. It can be a fun thing, if you let it.

Support groups like Gluten Intolerance Groups (http://www.gluten.net) can help introduce you to other gluten-free individuals in your area. Bounce ideas off of others. Try new recipes. Even if it completely fails, figure out how to make improvements on it. Try new products. You’d be surprised how “normal tasting” some gluten-free foods can taste. Read about gluten and intolerance online. Get educated. Understand how gluten reacts in your body.

It is true that it takes time to get used to “alternative” flours. Think of it as retraining your taste buds. It is true that some family and friends will not understand. They may think you’re “weird” or just being “difficult.” Instead of getting angry or depressed, think of it as a chance to educate others on gluten and intolerance.

We’ve been through most of the emotions (personally and from family/friends), the questions, and the challenges (what can I eat?!). Don’t get discouraged. We’re here to help!

The Business

We make our products on a per-order basis. In other words, we typically don’t have items pre-made, but rather make them fresh with each order. This ensure we don’t have waste and that our products are as fresh as possible when they reach customer. This also allows us to cater directly to our customers (including multiple allergies).

We take orders on the website, in person, over the phone, and through email. Payment options include cash and check. At this time, we cannot accept credit cards and apologize for any inconvenience. Please allow at least 1 week between placing an order and expected delivery date.

Questions about the business

Can I pick up my order?
City zoning regulations do not allow customers to come to our residence to pick up their product. To accommodate this regulation, we deliver our products right to your doorstep! We will make deliveries to Iowa City once a week (planned for Thursday afternoons). Iowa City or Waterloo deliveries will have an additional surcharge for fuel.
Can you ship orders?
Currently, we do not ship our orders. It would be pretty messy to send a beautifully decorated cake through UPS, FedEx, or the US Postal Service!
Will you be at farmer’s markets?
Initially, because we were new, we were waiting to see how the area responded to our business. However, after much consideration, we’re moving from individual, custom orders, to farmer’s markets. We may be able to make a few farmer’s markets in this season, but will certainly be participating in the 2013 season.
Do you sell to grocery stores or restaurants?
Sorry, but no. Iowa state law indicates we can only sell directly to customers.
Will you be moving to a larger location?
At this time, this is a part-time hobby. We do not expect to be moving to a new, larger location any time soon.

Questions about the food

Do you offer other allergy-free products?
Unfortunately, we can only accommodate gluten, sugar, dairy, and nut allergies at this time. There is a certain amount of experimentation with each gluten-free recipe and many of our recipies require each ingredient to turn out well.
Do you make egg-free products?
At this time, we only offer select items as egg-free. It is difficult to make egg-free, gluten free bread. Most gluten free bread utilizes xanthan gum. This gives the bread a chewy texture, similar to wheat-based breads. However, for the xanthan gum to become “active,” it needs eggs.
How can you be sure you’re products are gluten free?
We take standard precautions to keep our products gluten free. First and foremost, our house is gluten free. There is no gluten brought into the house, reducing the risk of surface or airborne contamination. If we get a request for another allergy-free product (aside from gluten), we use our dishwasher on the sanitize setting. All work surfaces are disinfected with a bleach solution.
Do you make wedding cakes?
Because we are a home-based bakery and have one, standard oven, we cannot do wedding cakes at this time.
Why don’t you make other food, besides baked goods?
Iowa state law indicates a home-based food business can only sell non-hazardous baked goods. This means cakes, cookies, bread, and pies. Nothing contain meat (meat pies) or highly processed foods (salsa, tomato sauce, etc) may be sold. Jams, jellies, and hummus may be sold.

Check us out on Facebook!!

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