Global Vegan Awards 2021 Page 19 LUX 2021 Global Vegan Awards Opened in 2015, My Gammie’s was the first bakery in the UK to be free of all 14 of the major allergens. Selling its goods at farmers markets and by post, the company has gained a loyal following. Allergy sufferers, vegans and those looking for products that are free from unnecessary ingredients such as additives and preservatives, count among My Gammie’s client base. My Gammie’s Ltd Best Speciality Diet Bakery 2021 - London Sep21975 My Gammie’s ‘free-from’ bakery is a family business. Gammie (or grandmother), Marie- Anne Rasé founded the company with her daughter Rebekha Gooden. She now runs the business with her business partner, Shafiq Ahmed. Rebekha’s daughter, Ly’ora, has had a severe nut allergy and other food intolerances from an early age. Seeing Ly’ora being unable to take part in social situations, and even left excluded in some instances, saddened Marie-Anne and Rebekha. Each time Ly’ora received an invitation to a party or other social occasion, her mother and grandmother dreaded she would be exposed to something that would trigger an allergic reaction. Understanding that many of us face similar struggles, the pair set out to create a brand that would leave consumers in no doubt about the safety of its products. Marie-Anne explains: “Whilst there are other bakeries whose products are free from allergens, there’s usually still a small print warning on their products. Disclaimers such as “may have been handled…” or “may contain…” are commonplace. My Gammie’s doesn’t handle or use any of the 14 main allergens, full stop. So we don’t need a small print warning. We don’t use artificial additives and preservatives either. The company only uses ingredients essential for the taste, texture and quality of the product.” As dairy products and eggs count among the most common allergens, My Gammie’s has earned a reputation for vegan-friendly products too. In fact, although My Gammie’s customers come from all walks of life, Marie- Anne has noted one common theme: “We’ve also noticed that many people without any food sensitivities have become our customers too. Generally, we attract consumers who make healthier choices a priority. They’re attracted to our business ethos and products.” As well as selling to the public, the company also supplies independent restaurants and cafés with its irresistible range of bread and cakes. High profile hospitality and event organisers also number amongst its clients. Earlier this year, My Gammie’s pulled out all the stops to cater for a short-notice request to supply the Wimbledon 2021 Championships with a range of products. When My Gammie’s started out, choices in the free-from range were few and far between. Since then, things have improved. Large supermarket chains have launched their own branded products and labelling is clearer. But there’s still a long way to go. Despite the rise in competition, Marie-anne and her team are not daunted. Marie-Anne tells us: “Catering for a niche market, we have a strong ethos. It’s almost like a ‘gut feel’ that we use as our compass. Having walked in the shoes of our customers, we remain true to our business mission and values. Our motto is to treat our customers how we would like to be treated. We don’t obsess over what the competing big organisations are doing. My Gammie’s is unique, we follow the path that allows us to stay true to our vision. Marie-Anne describes the culture at the company as passionate, bold, fun, hardworking, accountable and adaptable. When recruiting staff, Marie-Anne tells us that what’s most important is that the candidate is the right fit. “Our staff are from varied backgrounds, male and female, and all ages. The key is that they are flexible and willing to learn. Our staff induction includes the company history, a food allergy and intolerance session and a mandatory food allergy course. Every new employee shadows an experienced team member to ensure they understand the health and safety around potential allergen contamination.” Looking to the future, My Gammie’s will be moving to new premises. The company is researching how to increase the shelf-life of its products without compromising quality. And, having completed a Nutrition and Lifestyle course, Marie-Anne will also be looking to further optimise the nutritional value of the My Gammie’s range. Contact: Marie-Anne Rasé Company: My Gammie’s Ltd Web Address: Email: [email protected]