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Fifi's gluten-free flour power helps launch first coeliac friendly cafe

Fifi's gluten-free flour power helps launch first coeliac friendly cafe

With glass domes housing candied orange-topped chocolate cakes, stands piled with rotund scones and traybakes filling every space on the counter, Fifi’s could be just like any other coffee shop.

But the Rosemount cafe is actually Aberdeen’s first gluten-free cafe.

With one in 100 people suffering from coeliac disease, whereby the only treatment is to cut the proteins found in wheat, barley and rye from their diets, eating gluten and wheat-free has become a prominent issue and subsequent problem for those with intolerances looking to eat out.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

The risks of cross contamination can be incredibly severe and prompted cafe owner Fiona Kozak to realign her small Rosemount cafe’s message to make coffee and a cake available to everyone in the city no matter their diet.

She said: "Before we were serving some gluten-free products, as there was always a certain demand for it but we were just serving a small amount."

But Ms Kozak explained the decision to go gluten-free at Fifi’s was in fact prompted by her husband’s discovery of allergies following a trip to the chiropractor.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

"It was actually my husband who had attended a chiropractor for an injury but the chiropractor also recognised he had allergies.

"She said he should try and cut gluten out of his diet so we made the change at home and I just saw a dramatic change in him."

Having seen how her husband’s change in diet had benefitted him at home, Ms Kozak was determined not just to bring gluten-free products to her cafe but to ensure that the quality and taste would remain of the highest standard.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

Assisted by her husband's chiropractor, Dr Eline Pedersen, who offered advice on catering for those with dietary restrictions, the cafe devised a menu filled with soups, bagels and sweet treats with a daily specials board.

The board also included health tips and details of the cafe's occasional evening events whereby diners can bring their own wine and enjoy a gluten-free night on the town.

She said: "I didn’t want to offer less choice or for the quality to go down so I spent a lot of time researching where I could get different products from and which ones we could make in house.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

"The texture of things is slightly different – a normal scone is light and fluffy whereas gluten free flour is denser so it has a different consistency but I’ve just said to the girls [who work in the cafe] that they just need to communicate with the customers and explain it's slightly different."

Since launching the cafe as a completely gluten-free space, the response has been "really positive", according to Ms Kozack, even from those without a diet restriction, with bagels a favourite with regulars and the homemade cake of the week often proving so popular it becomes cake of the day.

  (STV)
via STV via STV

Ms Kozack added: "Normally coeliacs go into a normal cafe and can have one or two things, whereas here they can have everything. The response has been really good because there is so much choice."

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