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Bailey’s General Store carries more than 400 gluten-free foods

By Staff | Jun 10, 2009

Gluten, a special type of protein found in wheat, barley and rye, has become a food ingredient that many Americans have to avoid. For anyone diagnosed with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet allows the body to absorb nutrients from food. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), more than two million people in the United States now have the disease, or about one in 133 people.

Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel carries more than 400 gluten-free foods. With an estimated 45 residents and guests afflicted with celiac disease, Bailey’s employees now wear pins that read: “Need Gluten Free Ask Me!”

Rachel Lammers, Bailey’s Assistant Manager, was first asked by a customer for gluten-free food in March of 2008.

“After that, it just seemed to become an everyday thing,” Lammers said. “It’s now about as common as people asking for nut allergy-safe foods or Kosher items.”

Lammers initially was unsure which products were actually gluten-free. While some products are created specifically as gluten-free, not all products were clearly labeled. She put together a list of all 400 gluten-free products available at Bailey’s and ordered informational brochures on managing a gluten-free diet.

For more information on the gluten-free foods available at Bailey’s, log on to www.baileys-sanibel.com or pick up a list of items at the front of the store, located in the Bailey’s Center at 2477 Periwinkle Way.