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Whole Foods to close gluten-free baking facility, citing growth of third-party bakeries

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Some of the products produced by the Gluten-Free Bakehouse. Pic: Amazon
Some of the products produced by the Gluten-Free Bakehouse. Pic: Amazon

Related tags Whole foods market Amazon Gluten-free Gluten-Free Bakehouse

Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market is closing Gluten-Free Bakehouse – which provides gluten-free baked foods for the retailer’s southern region market – in March.

According to Austin, Texas-headquartered Whole Foods, it is no longer reliant on Bakehouse as the number of certified gluten-free suppliers has rapidly expanded over the years.

Whole Foods was the first grocer to respond to the growing customer demand for gluten-free products when it opened the Morrisville, North Carolina bakery nearly 20 years ago.

The dedicated facility was opened in 2004 after Lee Tobin – a Whole Foods Market baker with celiac disease who began developing gluten-free recipes on his own time – could no longer keep up with customer demand creating products from home.

The Gluten-Free Bakehouse has an onsite testing lab, which tests incoming ingredients and a sample of each finished product for the absence of gluten. The facility’s products are only available at Whole Foods Market stores in the US and Canada. The products are shipped to the stores frozen.

The plant closing is expected to impact 102 workers; however, the retailer is hoping to place them in other roles within the company.

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