In a sad twist of fate, a bakery owner in Willmar developed a gluten allergy this summer that caused asthma attacks bad enough to force her to shut down her business.
Christina Hanson, who owns Timeless Traditions Cakes and Confections with her husband Travis, says her new gluten intolerance made it too difficult to work with regular flour, and she doesn't have the necessary expertise working with gluten-free products to switch over. See also: Gluten-Free Food Trucks: A Handy List
"Getting a gluten intolerance to flour wasn't exactly the hand I wanted, but that's what I was dealt," said Hanson.
"The gluten intolerance part is bearable, it is. You can live without gluten in your diet. But the asthma with the flour, unfortunately once I'm here and the flour gets up in the air I start having breathing attacks. It's scary."
The Hansons have been running their French-style bakery for three years and may start up a gluten-free food truck while they attempt to master baking sans gluten. Right now the biggest road block is that, well, gluten-free baked goods just aren't that delicious.
"There's a different taste level. To me, and I'm still working with gluten-free, but to me it doesn't taste good," said Hanson.
Luckily Travis has a job tentatively lined up to help the family with the transition. Timeless Traditions closes at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Send news tips to Ben Johnson.