When Brian Hinton purchased Lakeview Bakery in 1990 he was originally catering to the British baked goods market. After several years, the closing of Marks and Spencer reduced the demand for British products, and Brian was looking to transition into a new niche.
As a master baker trained at the Cambridge School of Baking, he had a lot of skill and experience to apply to whatever he decided to do. In 1995 he was speaking with a manager of Community Natural Foods who suggested that no one was currently supplying fresh organic baked goods to the store and that customers would love to see an organic baking line. He submitted a list of items, and within a short time CNF was carrying a variety of Lakeview Bakery organic breads and baked goods.
Another opportunity came to Brian in 1996 when the director of Calgary’s Celiac Association approached him and asked him to start incorporating gluten-free options into the bakery. This has been another very successful line of products for Lakeview Bakery. At the time, people with Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities mostly had to make do with frozen bakery products coming from a long distance away. Brian says that many people feel a sense of relief that they have found a local source of gluten-free baking that is baked fresh daily, and no longer have to eat from a deep freeze. Lakeview even has an entirely separate facility that makes the gluten-free foods, so that those with extreme sensitivities are can feel completely confident about what they are eating.
Gluten sensitivities can be very challenging, and according to Brian, many people that have been newly diagnosed come into the bakery with a long list of things they can no longer eat, looking quite dismayed. When they discover the variety of breads, buns and treats available through Lakeview, Brian finds they often become customers for life and are extremely grateful for options that are tasty, nutritious and “normal” foods that they can still eat, just in a new way.
Brian is very committed to supporting local suppliers and staying as close to home as possible when it comes to his ingredients. Many of the flours come from Saskatchewan, for instance, and the honey he uses is from Alberta. The fact that his business is allowing money to circulate in and stimulate the Alberta economy is important to him, and he finds many customers are choosing to support businesses that operate responsibly.
Check out the baked goods section of your local Community Natural Foods to find popular organic and gluten-free offerings from Lakeview Bakery like spelt bread and buns, sourdough spelt bread, kamut and golden flax buns, rice breads, gluten-free muffins and coffee cakes, pumpkin and apple pie, and much more!
By Lauren Mangion