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Meet Sharon Kane of Gluten-Free Sourdough Company in Ashland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sharon Kane.

Sharon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I live in Ashland, Mass. Following the birth of my child, I developed asthma, allergies, chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, intestinal problems and chronic exhaustion.

I worked my way through various conventional and alternative practitioners for six years and was finally diagnosed with systemic candida and leaky gut syndrome. I slowly recovered using alternative treatments and diet change. It took many years to detoxify my body and rebuild my bodily systems. I worked extensively with my diet and slowly built exercise back into my daily routine despite lingering exhaustion.

I had heard about the benefits of eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha tea, and water kefir, which all help balance the friendly bacteria that live in the digestive system. I began making and eating them and noticed gradual, positive changes. My digestion seemed to be more efficient and my energy improved. I also began making old-fashioned sourdough rye bread, which I loved for its rich taste.

My health was improving from the fermented foods but seemed to plateau. The asthma, allergies, and bronchitis had subsided which was amazing in itself, but I still had chronic sinus infections, intestinal problems and a tendency towards fatigue.

After having food allergy tests I discovered I had strong sensitivities to a number of foods including gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy. Forty-eight hours after removing those foods the sinusitis and intestinal distress cleared up! Sadly, because my beloved rye bread contained gluten. I had to give it up, as well.

I tried to find a commercial gluten-free bread that was also free of dairy, eggs, and soy but there was none available. I realized if I was going to eat bread I would have to bake it myself. I wanted to continue making sourdough bread because of the nutritional benefits and high digestibility and also needed the bread to be free of dairy, eggs, soy. I wanted to use whole grains and minimize the use of high starch flours, sweeteners, commercial yeast, and gums.

There was no information available on how to make gluten-free sourdough bread so I took what I learned from my rye sourdough bread technique and began working with it using gluten-free flours. After one whole year of many trials and many errors, I succeeded!

In 2013 I developed a genuine gluten-free sourdough bread mix. Since it is a truly fermented sourdough, the town and state boards of health required me to make it in a licensed commercial facility. I needed to find space to rent in an existing, dedicated gluten-free facility but there were no kitchens for many miles. I ended up renting a small office suite in my town and building it out into a dedicated gluten-free and vegan commercial facility.

The town board of health and building inspectors were very helpful in helping me build it properly. It was an exciting project, one that left me breathless most of the time. During construction, I began and ended each day with 20 deep breaths. This helped me clear my head and stay as calm as possible, which was really challenging at times.

After making and selling bread mixes at farmer’s markets, people asked me to just make the bread for them so I began making and selling Gluten-Free Vegan Sourdough English Muffins and Muffin Tops.

After creating a website, I was able to reach more people who needed my bread. I began to receive deep appreciations from customers around the country thanking me for my perseverance in making this difficult type of bread. And could I make some other products like cookies and other types of bread.

Over the past few years, I have continued to use high-quality real food ingredients to create exciting products such as Banana Bread, Corn Muffins, Scones, Coconut Bread, Cookies, and Brownies!! All Gluten-Free and Vegan!!

I began this journey needing very specific types of food to help recover my health. Now that I have accomplished that for myself, my deepest wish is to enable other people with dietary restrictions to eat beautiful, healthy, nourishing food.

Has it been a smooth road?
Starting one’s own business is always full of challenges. There are so many tasks that need to be done and most of us are good at many tasks but probably not all the tasks needed to run a business. Many entrepreneurs begin trying to do most everything themselves.

One day I made a list of all the tasks I did in a week: food production, clean up, ordering, marketing, photographer, sales copywriter, webmaster, making personal connections, administration, bill paying, visioning, strategizing, interviewing, hiring,…

In time, I learned it was not possible to grow while doing everything myself. Finding the right people for the right jobs was critical for the growth of the business. It is not easy for an entrepreneur to let go and hand tasks over. Gradually, the right people showed up, I began to let go and the business grew.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Gluten-Free Sourdough Company – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I named my company Gluten-Free Sourdough Company because it was all about sourdough and the digestive benefits sourdough bread offers. The sourdough process is as old as ancient times. It was the way humans made bread when we began making bread. I have chosen to continue the lineage of making sourdough bread because I believe it’s the healthiest method of bread baking for us.

Currently, many people have digestive and immune system challenges. Using ancient fermenting and sourdough techniques helped me recover from serious health challenges. I want to share what I have learned and help others recover their health.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Boston is a wonderful city full of history and natural beauty. The fact that there are so many colleges adds an enormous amount of intelligence and innovation.

My little town of Ashland is small and also full of history and natural beauty. The vibrant community is dedicated to bettering the lives of Ashlanders and everyone connected to it.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 30 Main Street, 2nd floor, Ashland Massachusetts, 01721
  • Website: www.glutenfreesourdough.com
  • Phone: 508-733-5399
  • Email: glutenfreesourdoughbaker@gmail.com
  • Instagram: glutenfreesourdough
  • Facebook: Gluten-Free Sourdough Company

Image Credit:
Eliane Cajolet

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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