Medical issues inspired this Ohio-based woman to change her dietary habits. See how that led her to launch a business, giving others healthy (but delicious) food and snack choices.
In 2013, Jen Cuevas was dealing with an illness that couldn’t quite be explained. Without a distinct diagnosis, and knowing her family’s medical history, she decided to go out on a limb and try a gluten-free diet suggested by the eighth doctor she visited.
After her father died from heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes at a young age, Cuevas knew she had to make a change and hoped that this final recommendation would be it.
As soon as she cut out all grains and soy, Cuevas found her health vastly improved.
“I lost 72 pounds, put my diagnosed Hasimoto’s into remission, and healed a host of other issues that I didn’t realize could be caused by food,” explains Cuevas.
The changes she saw in herself was something she felt she had to share with those around her. She began helping others by starting out as a support group leader, then transitioning to a certified coach, and now she is a national wellness and inspirational speaker.
From then, Cuevas was inspired to launch her own company, The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet, a company dedicated to education others about optimal health through dietary choices and providing gourmet foods, recipes, product reviews, and other resources for grain-free and Paleo lifestyles.
The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet produces foods that never use any hidden ingredients and all of the products of free of gluten, grains, soy, dairy, peanuts, refined sugars, and artificial flavors and colors, and are made exclusively in a dedicated gluten, grain, and soy-free facility.
Cuevas began company sales for The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet in May 2014. The Heath, Ohio-based business can be found at farmer’s markets in Granville and New Albany, Ohio as well as online.
“The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet sells gourmet baked goods including cupcakes, cookies, pizza crusts, bagels and rolls, special occasion cakes, pies, and seasonally-based options,” says Cuevas. “We also sell packaged snacks such as chocolate bars, trail mixes, and no bake bliss bites in addition to seasonings and Paleoatmeal.”
What makes The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet unique isn’t its grain- and gluten-free take on food, but the other dietary guidelines it meets in its products.
“Our products and recipes are unique to the marketplace since they are more than ‘gluten-free,’” says Cuevas. “They not only meet a wide range of dietary lifestyles, including gluten-free, low-carb, Paleo, and primal, they are designed specifically to make these lifestyles sustainable, healthier, and easier in the kitchen – and they taste delicious!”
The products and recipes from The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet are designed to be dense in nutrients while using local, organic ingredients whenever possible. “The product line also includes many items that are nut-free, egg-free, and vegan, so that those with food allergies or other lifestyles may also enjoy what we have to offer,” she adds.
Individually packaged items from The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet range from $3.50 to $5 each, although most items can be purchased in bulk at a lower price per item. Seasonings are $4.50 each and Paleoatmeal can be purchased for $5.50 or $10 per package. Whole pumpkin rolls go for $38 and gourmet cakes start at $45.
There’s a lot on the horizon for The Gluten & Grain Free Gourmet, according to Cuevas. She says she will be speaking at national conferences and added several cities last year, including a television appearance. For now, though, she’ll be working on her speaking schedule for 2017 and is currently accepting booking requests.
As far as products are concerned, Cuevas says that she is always taste-testing new products and regularly brings new items to local farmer’s markets and national conferences. “We love a challenge,” she says. “We often get special requests to meet dietary needs, and sometimes a new product is born because of it.”
You’ll also want to stay tuned for Cuevas’ grain-free guidebook, which will be coming soon.