Big cities often get big play when it comes to gluten-free finds and innovations. But recently I’ve heard of some new smaller, businesses which offer great gluten-free food options outside of our busiest metropolitan area – Minneapolis-St. Paul. What’s convenient is the fact that both of these shops are on their way “Up North” for the summer cabin season. So pack up the boat this summer, head up Highways 10 and/or 371 and grab some gluten-free food on the way.

Gluten-Free Pizzas in Royalton

Yes Royalton! (I can say that because I grew up 10 miles away). It is a small town along Highway 10 sandwiched between St. Cloud and Little Falls. To be honest, after managing a gluten-free lifestyle for my daughter for nearly nine years, I never would have expected cutting-edge, gluten-free pizzas to be made here. But they are and I’m extremely happy about it and proud to tell everyone.

Just out of the oven and ready to eat!

Just out of the oven and ready to eat!

Gourmet Parlor Pizza, along Highway 10, has organic and gluten-free pizzas available for you to pick up and bake at home. They also can ship their products. The toppings are all organic and include cheese, pepperoni, sausage and pepperoni and sausage. There is no posted price on the pizzas if you buy them at the business. I do have an email into the company, but I have not heard any details as of this post. You may want to check back for an update.

My brother LOVED them! My nephew, who can usually tell when something’s gluten-free had no idea the Gourmet Parlor’s pizza he was eating was gluten-free. I liked it as well. The one I tried was pepperoni (and ask anyone in my family, I don’t eat pepperoni, I’ve been picking it off since I was 5). So in this case, I went about my normal routine, picking off the pepperoni, then baking it. I thought the cheese version I was eating was very good. The crust is thin, but not too thin. It’s not as thick as a “homestyle” you’ll find at restaurants either. It was crunchy and had a great flavor to it.

One downside may be the cost to have pizzas shipped. For two 11-inch pizzas the total cost is $43.58 (about the size of a regular-sized frozen pizza). But the cost does include packing the pizzas in dry ice and a cooler and shipping them.

Jewel’s Specialty Food Market

In Brainerd, just a block or so east of Highway 371 and one block off of Highway 210, lies Jewel’s Specialty Food Market. The owners say Jewel’s is, “…the only store in Central Minnesota dedicated exclusively to serving customers with gluten intolerance and food allergies.” In fact the owners have family members with celiac disease and other food intolerances, which I think would make them very easy to work with when finding your favorite products.  So next time you’re in town it might be worth your time to see what Jewel’s has to offer. **Jewel’s has closed since this post published in 2009.

If you want to know more about Jewel’s Specialty Food Market, representatives are coming down to the Twin Cities to serve out samples at the Making Tracks for Celiacs fundraising event in Victoria, Minnesota on May 16th.

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