Cafe caters to gluten-free community

March 29, 2009 7:01:30 AM PDT
According to the University of Chicago, One-third of the population has some kind of gluten sensitivity.Finding gluten-free restaurants can be challenging but not impossible. Knowing the challenge of eating gluten-free food, Rosemarie O'Carroll opened a bakery and cafe that has everything you can eat to keep you healthy and your stomach full.

Looking at all these mouth watering goodies, you would never guess that they are made with gluten-free products. Rosemarie O'Carroll is the owner of Rose's Wheat Free Bakery and Cafe in Evanston.

"We've been open about a year now, and we cater to gluten-free, allergy-friendly community. We have all of everything here is gluten-free, corn syrup free, we're trans-fat free, a lot of our stuff is dairy free," said O'Carroll.

O'Carroll got into baking because her three children have celiac disease.

"When you have children and they are going to school and they want to be like other kids, and I just started baking all the time, and I knew that what I was baking tasted a lot better than what I could find in the town," O'Carroll said.

Various sweets, breads and special occasion cakes are made here. They also serve breakfast and lunch.

"I love her breakfast sandwich, which has the egg and ham with cheese and the French roll," said Joe Hislop.

Hislop is a regular customer. He has IBS and other intestinal issues.

"And for years I could never figure out what the issue was, in terms of being really tired, having dry skin, a lot of intestinal issues. So I went on a wheat-free died from a recommendation, and as soon as I went on wheat-free diet it was almost in a few days I started feeling a lot better," Hislop said.

Prices at Rose's are a little higher.

"It does cost more for a loaf of bread, because I buy different kinds of flours in that loaf of bread," O'Carroll said.

Marla Kesslers drives in from the Northwest Side of Chicago.

"My son is diagnosed with a gluten-free allergy," Kesslers said. "He has an immune response to gluten, so I bring him here to buy the breads here for his sandwiches and any bakery products he might enjoy.

"It's very difficult to find good food for children. A lot of the gluten-free food have the textures or the flavors are different and for kids. It's very difficult to find gluten-free, kids' types of food that tastes, like normal kids would eat."

"All of her stuff, honestly, cupcakes, the cookies, anything if you really feel you're in the mood for a treat, it's really nice to come here, because literally, what she has on her emblem: you can have your cake and eat it too," Hislop said.

Rose's Wheat-free Bakery and Cafe is located at 2901 Central St. in Evanston. The phone number is (847) 859-2723. This is their only location. For more information, go to