Sunday, February 01, 2009


Ever since early childhood years Lauren has expressed a desire to become a pastry chef.
In school I paid Lauren some $$ for each "A" on her report card, which to be honest became very expensive, when in the US all she brought home was straight A's. Yes, there was a bonus attached to a straight "A" report card. Very expensive, let me tell you.

We were pretty sure that in her teenage years there will be a change of mind and Lauren will go to university which would have been a breeze for her. No matter what she does, Lauren does it well. So university would have been the logic choice.

But no, she did not change her mind and at age 16 I shipped her off to Austria where she could take part in my friend's bakery near Vienna and maybe he would make her work so hard and wake Lauren up at ungodly hours, which I was sure would change her career choice.
Ehm, not. Lauren showed up daily at 6am, six weeks long, or whenever the boss told her to be there. And this was an unpaid gig, food and accommodations only and she toughed it out. And loved it. All hopes for a brain surgeon daughter lost....

The following fall we moved back to Calgary and Lauren finished High school in a flash (online to boot) so she could apply at SAIT's Pastry & Baking course.
I asked Lauren what she would say to the teacher who interviewed for the course and her logic response was she wants to start a gluten free bakery to explore that much needed niche one day.

Needless to say she got accepted and got going with Gusto on the course at SAIT. Though Lauren kept mentioning her desire about GF baking, she kept telling us that the response from her teaching staff was luke warm at best. Celiacs disease was just not on SAIT's radar at that time. Too small a market for them to introduce some courses within the course? She was getting frustrated but kept up her learning.

After the first year at SAIT Lauren felt she would learn more, experience more and contribute more to her goal of GF baking if she would quit the course at SAIT and start a business with her mother. I was not the happiest about this decision, but I know that she inherited an incredible stubbornness from her mother and I would loose this battle. So I never started one. (I have been bloodied before in this family).

So GF PATISSERIE was born in humble beginnings at the Bearspaw Farmers' Market last May and it grew quickly into what it is today. Still a Micro business, but a well known one within the Celiacs community and beyond. And growing fast.
Besides getting a really great response from loyal customers and peers alike, maybe the most validating reward is that SAIT now keeps sending teaching staff and students alike to GF Patisserie to check out their excellent gluten free baked goods.

SAIT over the years has turned out some great success stories in many of their offered courses,
from oil & gas to the hospitality industry and I would think that Lauren ranks right up there as as a girl with guts who got out and did it. "Stop talking, start walking." I know she made her chefs at SAIT proud.
Lauren is a trailblazer and sometimes recognition comes late. But better than never.


Anonymous said...

wow! That's pretty awesome how much she went through and kept on going! I'm glad the bakery is working out so well! I admit it is some of the best baking I've had! And hope for anyone who may have celiac disease!

Good job!

H.Peter said...

Thanks Lorne.

The girls really are excited about your support.

Allison the Meep said...

What a cool girl! You must be really proud.

Allison the Meep said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dana Wax said...

What a lovely post..and what a dedicated girl!

I'm very impressed, please do pass that on for me!!

H.Peter said...

hello Dana,

I will for sure tell her.
How is the wather in Mich.?

H.Peter said...

Hi Allison,

Lauren is a great daughter.

Maureen "Hold The Gluten" said...

What a fantastic story! You must be SO proud!! I think Lauren's parents had something to do with her dedication and drive :)

GFE--gluten free easily said...

I didn't know the whole story (or even that Lauren was your daughter with Victoria)---how very cool! I love it when a person is dedicated to their cause and doesn't go by the rules ... the greatest business people OR even the happiest people rarely go by the rules. Please pass on my kudos as well!! One day she can go back and teach the gluten-free portion of that training!


H.Peter said...

Hi maureen,

yes, Lauren's motehr is very stubborn, hahahahahaha
That's where she got that from

H.Peter said...

Hi Shirley,

what rules? hehe.

I will pass on your message to Lauren