Our son, Alex, was born at 25 weeks gestation weighing 1lb 15oz. He spent 96 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit before being discharged. His first seven years of life were filled with nutritionists, pulmonologists, gastroenterologists, orthopedics, various therapists and many, many trips to the emergency rooms and pediatric units. By the time he was four years old he had had at least six major surgeries. He was on a feeding tube for enteral nutrition because he did not tolerate eating by mouth. He was 7 years old and while he would eat some orally, we relied on the tube feedings to keep him growing. We tried just about everything we could think of to help him until one day a friend suggested we try the GFCF Diet for him (gluten-free, casein-free). I thought for sure that he would stop eating completely and we would be back to 100% tube feedings but to our surprise he started to eat… a lot. After 6 months gluten-free, we stopped using his feeding tube and after a year, his feeding tube was finally removed. What we didn’t realize for a very long time was that he has Celiac Disease (confirmed through lab analysis) and a gluten-free diet was the only way to help him heal.
Over the years Alex learned that the best way to get me to create something new was to say “well, it’s not like you could make that gluten-free,” or “I bet you couldn’t make that gluten-free!” Like a sucker, I always fell for it and ended up baking up whatever his heart’s desire. Having been a professional baker before we went gluten-free, I took it as a challenge to try new things. I started a blog that chronicled my journey in re-learning how to bake.
In 2014, we opened Kickshaws Downtown Market in Fredericksburg. Very quickly we realized that the baked goods were a huge demand and continued to grow. Since we were very in tune with the needs of the allergy community, we decided to make our baked goods free from the top big allergens completely. As the Market and eventually Kitchen developed so did the Bakery.
When we closed Kickshaws Downtown Market in 2018, we knew we would continue the mission we always had, bringing good, clean foods, to the community. As we move forward into 2019 and beyond, Kickshaws will continue as Kickshaws Gluten-free Bakery, focusing on a café style bakery fit for vegans, allergen sensitive folks and the community by and large. We are excited as we take our next steps including our move into Dominion Public Market later this year. In the meantime, we hope to see you at the Farmers Markets!