Owned and operated by Joyce Shrock and three of her nine children, Grandpa’s Kitchen began on a very personal level. After they all received a diagnosis of Celiac Disease—a medical condition that triggers an immune response to the sticky protein found in wheat, rye and barley, Shrock and her children faced some major lifestyle changes.
Together they tried a variety of gluten-free products, but were always met with an unsatisfactory experience because of the lack-luster taste, texture and consistency. Yearning for the quintessential carbohydrate experience, the Shrock’s began to experiment in the kitchen with homemade recipes. After many failures, they were finally able to create a blend of flours that produced not only edible bread—but delicious bread. “It was soft, flavorful, and didn’t have the gritty, dry texture of other gluten-free breads,” says Shrock.
Inspired to share their creation with the greater Celiac and Gluten-intolerance community, the Shrock family signed up for business counseling with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Weber State University, in Ogden. While working with an SBDC business advisor, they learned how to apply for a business license and write a business plan to access funding.
The company launched in 2007 with manufacturing and distribution of their first product, a gluten-free bread mix. Today, Grandpa’s Kitchen manufactures three products, which includes one of Utah’s top selling flour blends, along with a bread/pizza crust mix and their own ‘Family Favorites’ gluten-free cookbook which are all available in over 100 markets.
Since the launch, Shrock has worked with the SBDC for ongoing guidance. Weber State University also helped Grandpa’s Kitchen produce a YouTube video to help facilitate their marketing efforts, which can be viewed below:
2013 will mark several new milestones for the business. Distribution will soon include Associated Food Warehouse, which will expand sales to Idaho, Montana and Colorado. Shrock is also looking into getting their products into warehouses across the mid-western United States. Celiac disease affects one out of every 100 people in the United States alone. It is estimated that by the year 2015, the gluten free industry will be a six billion dollar industry. Shrock and her family are proud to be a part of this industry.