Gluten Free Bakery is Dedicated to Serving Tucson
Learning how to make delicious allergen-free food came out of pure necessity for Rebecca Wicker, the owner of Dedicated Gluten Free Bakery. “My Husband Gordon was misdiagnosed with lupus for about 15 years,” she explains. But his diagnosis didn't add up with his test results. After years of suffering and no answers, Gordon was diagnosed with a severe wheat allergy, as well as allergies to MSG and certain types of preservatives. Glad to finally have an accurate diagnosis, the Wickers were faced with another difficult problem: food.
When Gordon’s doctor advised him to follow a strict gluten free diet, the Wickers were baffled. Beer, bread, and pasta all made regular appearances in their diet, and the thought of never eating them again was both sad and unsettling. They tried gluten free products from the grocery store, only to find that they were expensive and tasted awful. Rebecca even brought home a bag of gluten free flour mix, but found that it yielded unsavory results. “I just wanted to be able to make cookies that didn’t suck,” she says. Soon, her frustration led to delicious gluten free experiments in the Wickers’ home kitchen.
Rebecca developed her own gluten free flour blend and put it to the test: her mom’s peanut butter cookie recipe. Her first thought upon tasting the revamped recipe? “They tasted like my mom’s cookies!” she remembers. The homemade gluten free flour blend worked for everything, and she was again able to bake wonderful cookies, cakes, muffins, and bread. Rebecca used parties and holidays as an excuse to bake delicious gluten free desserts to share with friends and family. Each time, her taste testers were amazed that the food was gluten free and insisted that Rebecca open a bakery. In May 2014, she took their advice and opened Dedicated Gluten Free Bakery in Tucson.
“We never touched the marketing plan – we were busy from day one,” Rebecca says. Their continuous business reaffirmed her belief that people in the community really needed a place to buy good gluten free baked goods. In 2016, Dedicated moved to a larger storefront on Speedway Boulevard and expanded their operations – and the number of customers they’re able to accommodate. “It’s really humbling to think about how many people we serve,” says Rebecca. She sits at home on Thanksgiving and thinks about how many people in town have Dedicated’s gluten free dinner rolls and pies on their tables and loves that so many people get to enjoy delicious food that’s free of allergens.
“I made a menu of things that I like to eat,” Rebecca says. Whether customers are intolerant of gluten, eggs, corn, or preservatives, the local bakery is able to accommodate their needs so that they don’t have to compromise their health to eat great food. Dedicated offers allergen-free baked goods, sandwiches, soups, salads, catering platters, wedding cakes, and more. A small section of the bakery serves as a market where customers can find Dedicated’s gluten free flour blend, packages of homemade breads, rolls, and sweets, and even a selection of non-edible local goods like allergen-free soap, earrings, keychains, and greeting cards. And the walls are always adorned with new art from local artists. “Why not?” asks Rebecca. “We have a store front so we might as well support other local businesses.”
Rebecca Wicker turned a scary diagnosis into a resource for others struggling with food allergies. “This is a way for me to serve the community and do what I love and put my skills to use … it was the perfect storm,” she says with a smile.