This isn't a trick, the Loaf makes amazing organic, paleo and gluten-free breads and cookies that are definitely a treat! We bet you have tried a gluten-free treat in your lifetime that left a little something to be desired. Well not so with the delicious offerings from the Loaf! We sat down with owner and founder Johanna Dasteel to find out about why she started the Loaf and her philosophy behind why conscientious consumers deserve to enjoy tasty food!
UMLF: Johanna, tell us about your background and why you started the Loaf.
Johanna: I started The Loaf because so many people I love were struggling to find organic, delicious food without grains, dairy, or other inflammatory ingredients. What began as baking for myself turned into baking for friends, family...and now for for all of my customers! Introducing The Loaf: the first and only certified organic & paleo bread company in the country. We go beyond paleo: you'll never find gums, yeast, psyllium husk, flax, additives, or preservatives.
Treat yourself while loving your body!
UMLF: You are both certified organic and gluten free. That’s awesome! Why is this important to the Loaf?
Johanna: The Paleo way of eating prioritizes organic over conventional food, yet none of the paleo breads on the market were certified organic until I founded The Loaf. I was looking for products like mine in the grocery store and it turns out that a lot of other people were looking for the same thing! All of The Loaf’s products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility so as to avoid cross-contamination with gluten-containing ingredients. Many, many of my customers have Celiac’s Disease and are very allergic to gluten. So, producing our products in a dedicated facility is critical for our customers.
UMLF: Every business has its highs and lows. Tell us about a challenge you faced as a small business owner and how you overcame it?
Johanna: Great question! There are so many instances to choose from - it seems like I ride highs and lows day-to-day. Reaching my customer base has been a big, continuing challenge. You can put up a website and set up operations, but breaking through the Google SEO system and getting into stores is not as straight-forward as it may seem. In order to reach my customers, I stayed focus, incorporated the feedback of retail buyers I was pitching my products to, enlisted the services of marketing and advertising professionals, and pursued accounts with a dogged determination. I’ve even pinged buyers more than 20 times - emails, phone calls, office visits - before receiving a response or setting up an account . At some point, the buyers start coming to you, but you have to make a reputation for yourself and prove your concept and your sales before that happens. Persistence is crucial.
UMLF: How do you believe the Utah Microloan Fund has helped you and your business?
Johanna: UMLF came through with funding for me without which I wouldn’t have been able to finance the growth that my business needed at a critical time. I didn’t qualify for conventional business loans at the time and am incredibly grateful for the kind of funding that UMLF offers as well as their continued support and services.
UMLF: Tell us where we can find your products?
Johanna: Thanks for asking! You can find my products in Utah at Liberty Heights Fresh, Liberty Park Farmer's Market, Downtown Farmer's Market, Three Pines Coffee, The Market at Park City, Redmond Heritage Farm Stores, and Erewhon, a change of organic grocery stores in Los Angeles. You will soon be able to find us at HelloBulk Market in Salt Lake City and Whole Foods throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. You can also order our products through our website: www.theloafgrainfree.com. We ship nationwide!
To buy online or to find a local stockist visit:
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