Love Bread Again!

“Free-From” Business Spotlight: Christi Skow, Founder of Canyon Bakehouse (Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Bread, Bagels, Brownies, and More!)

True Story: one of my favorite things in the world is exploring supermarkets when I’m traveling abroad. During my trip to Rio De Janerio in Brazil last December I discovered a variety of amazing gluten-free treats. My favorite find wasn’t a native Brazilian product, it was a gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free loaf of bread all the way from Loveland, Colorado!

Everything Nut-Free, Gluten-Free Bagel with scrambled egg whites and veggies.

As I walked through the market and made a beeline to the gluten-free section my eye caught the package of Cinnamon Raisin Gluten-Free bread from Canyon Bakehouse. I turned over the package to inspect the ingredients (I’m always on the hunt to avoid any nut ingredients in addition to gluten), I was pleased, even shocked to see the proud declaration of Nut-Free, Dairy-Free, AND Soy-Free. Was this real? I could hardly wait until breakfast the next day to try it. The verdict? Amazing! It wasn’t dense like many gluten-free breads, and had the texture I truly have missed. I also love that the ingredients of all Canyon Bakehouse products are nutritious, made with 100% whole grain, all-natural, non-GMO ingredients you can find in your pantry, such as organic agave and extra virgin olive oil. Since I’ve returned from my trip, Canyon Bakehouse has become a staple in my household. The best part? My husband and I can BOTH eat their delicious breads, brownies, bagels, and focaccia.

Christi Skow, Founder of Canyon Bakehouse

I was lucky enough to talk with Christi Skow, the founder of Canyon Bakehouse about how she got started, the qualities she loves in bread, the importance of healthy ingredients, and more!

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Brownie Bites

AFW: Tell me about what inspired you to start Canyon Bakehouse. 
Christi: I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and as a lot of people quickly find out, bread was what I missed the most. It’s easy to overlook how much bread is a staple in our diets toast, sandwiches, PB&J for kids, so that became our mission. Not only did we work to bake gluten-free breads that tasted like “real” bread, but we also wanted to make breads that weren’t full of junk and free from other common allergens.

Freshly Sliced 7-Grain Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Bread from Canyon Bakehouse

AFW: I love that the mission of Canyon Bakehouse is to “Love Bread Again.” What qualities do you LOVE in bread that you missed most after going gluten-free?
Christi: The texture! There’s something about being able to squish the bread that makes it so appealing. If it crumbles in your hands it missed the mark it has to be soft!

Plain and Everything Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Bagels from Canyon Bakehouse

AFW: Many gluten-free products are dense, tasteless, and lack texture. Your master baker helped to create breads that are free from gluten and other allergens, but hold the taste, texture, and feeling of “real” bread. Was this easy to achieve, or was it a learning process?
Christi: Bread really is one of the hardest gluten-free foods to make, period. Developing a recipe that also used wholesome, all-natural ingredients and was free from other allergens (dairy, nuts, soy and casein) was a big challenge. We set the bar pretty high for ourselves knowing that if we could get this right, the door would open for lots of other opportunities. It definitely wasn’t easy to achieve. It basically took us from the time I was diagnosed (2007) to our first retail sale in 2009 to get it right baking loaves in our kitchen and working by trial and error. But when you look back, it was definitely worth it, and we really do believe it’s possible for people with food allergies and intolerances to love bread again.

Rosemary Thyme Focaccia from Canyon Bakehouse

AFW: Another element I love about your products is that they’re not just allergen free, but also made with 100% whole grains, no GMO’s, and ingredients you can find in your own kitchen, versus filled with ingredients that aren’t particularly healthy. Why was this important to you?
Christi: For us, replacing gluten-filled bread with gluten-free bread that was packed with a long list of unhealthy and unpronounceable ingredients wasn’t worth the trade-off. You’re not doing your body any favors by replacing one harmful ingredient with ten others. While our products were created based on my diagnosis with celiac disease, it was also important to make products we felt good about feeding our families, and for anyone looking to eat healthier. As a mom, I know it’s so much easier to buy one loaf of bread the whole family can eat, which is why we worked so hard to make them healthy and kid-approved.

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Brownie Bites from Canyon Bakehouse 

AFW: Your newest products are focaccia, bagels, and brownie bites, which I can honestly say I’m OBSESSED with! What inspired you to branch into these offerings?
Christi: Honestly, there were a million different product ideas we had been floating around for a while, but just like our bread loaves and buns, bagels were one of those foods that we felt were most under-served and missed. The brownies were really just a fun step into the dessert baked goods direction and of course people love them!

Plain Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Bagels from Canyon Bakehouse

AFW: What do you envision in the future for Canyon Bakehouse?
Christi: We’ve been able to help so many people with food allergies over the past 6 years and we only hope to keep expanding our reach. We’ll no doubt have more products down the road and more ways to make living gluten free easier, tastier and healthier

AFW: Describe Canyon Bakehouse products in three words.
Christi: Love Bread Again!

Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Dairy-Free Brownie Bites from Canyon Bakehouse

Thank you Christi for taking the time to speak with me! As a special treat, I’m giving two readers a goodie box full of all Canyon Bakehouse’s products. You’ll get the chance to try all their tasty offerings. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

29 Comment

  1. Very informative . My celiac daughter loves Canyon bread but unfortunately it is hard to find so when I find it I stock up. Thanks for a great interview.

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Thanks for your kind words Danielle!

  2. I would love to try the original Canyon Bakehouse bread. Every GF bread I’ve tried has been flavorless and super dry and crumbly. Their bread looks like it would be tasty!! I want turkey sandwich now!!!:)

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Turkey sandwich on seeded rye from Canyon Bakehouse! So delicious! 🙂

  3. Audrey banada says: Reply

    This is close to perfect for our family. Gluten free dairy free and nut free. One son is allergic to nuts the other is allergic to nuts and dairy. And I am sensitive to both as well. Please please pick me! Hehee

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Wow! That’s tough Audrey, keeping my fingers crossed for you 🙂

  4. I would love to try everything!

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      It’s ALL delicious!

  5. I just entered for your give away. So happy to have found you and follow you. I suffer from multiple food allergies myself and your blog and IG posts have benefited me tremendously. Keep them coming. Xoxo

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Thank you for your kind words! That truly makes my day! So happy to be a helpful resource for you 🙂

  6. Canyon Bakehouse makes the best gluten free bread! I don’t feel like I am missing out on food anymore.

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      🙂 Yes!

    2. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Isn’t it the best! So delicious!

  7. Katie Collar says: Reply

    I have yet to find a gluten-free bread that I love, so it would be great to try Canyon Bakehouse!

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      You will love bread again once you try Canyon Bakehouse! So good!

    2. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Thanks Katie! 🙂

  8. Oh these would be awesome to try & winning would be even a sweeter deal thanks for the contest!

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Thanks Paula! Crossing my fingers for you!

  9. Yulia Kazakova Hatton says: Reply

    My daughter is 17 months old and has never had a slice of bread. She’s severely allergic to dairy, egg whites, sesame, and peanuts. Since her diagnosis our bread choices became limited and I am too scared to give her any store-bought bread out of fear of cross contamination. We would love to try these baked products. Especially, if they are also sesame free. Thank you!

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Wow! That’s a lot to deal with. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

  10. I would love to try the brownies. Thank you!..Pat

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      They’re dangerously good!

  11. Lauren Thomas says: Reply

    My daughter is almost 2 and has never enjoyed bread products 🙁 she is wheat, egg., dairy, sesame, peanut, almond, cashew, and hazelnut allergic. I’ve tried making muffins, breads etc and they don’t come out right and she won’t eat them. Are these products egg and sesame free as well?

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      Hi Lauren,
      The bread is dairy-free, but not egg-free. There are also some flavors that contain sesame.

  12. I would love to try the cinnamon raisin bread and the bagels

    1. The Allergy Free Wife says: Reply

      I LOVE their cinnamon raisin bread, and the everything bagel is..everything!

  13. The bagels are definitely the most interesting to me. My daughter (CD) would probably love to try the brownies. Lol!!

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