It all started in my early teens (around 17 years ago) when I became unwell and no-one could really work out why (tiredness and re-current infections were my main symptoms). After many upheavels such as moving to a closer school and giving up swimming (my passion at school) blood tests revealed I had very abnormal liver function. Once all the major hepatitis's had been ruled out, the medics were at a loss to what was really wrong with me. I lived with feeling unwell for quite a few years and then in my late teens a new patient of my mothers (she's a G.P) had similar symptoms to me and had become much better on a gluten free diet. She then went on to find some research that had been done on the correlation of liver function and coeliac disease (we're talking about 13 years ago now so any research on coeliac disease wasn't widely known).
So, I gave going gluten free a go and no surprises I improved immediately, my energy levels soared just within two weeks! My mum pushed for me to have the relevant tests as the other doctors dealing with me didn't really believe I could have coeliac disease because I wasn't anaemic or stick thin (in fact because I had to give up the sports I loved I had become overweight). The biopsy for coeliac disease came back as inconclusive but as I had got so much better on the gluten free diet I was going to stick to it whether anyone else told me to or not. As you can probably imagine I was sick to the back teeth of tests and hospitals by then! In hi-incite I probably didn't gorge enough on wheaty products on my gluten challenge and now doctors who are much more knowledgeable about the condition feel that it's pretty certain that I do have coeliac disease. Also my liver function tests went back to normal within 6 months of being gluten free!
It wasn't until after a few years of living gluten free that I started to experiment with gluten free baking. I think I was so relieved to feel better that I thought not being able to bake 'normal' products was just something I had to live with. I had always loved baking and along with my gorgeous doggy it was something that kept me sane while I was at home all the time during my teens. It was while I was traveling in australia about 7 years that I discovered gluten free cakes in cafes that tasted nice- this was amazing to me and to cut a long story short I started Especially Delicious when I came home and the company went into specialising in free from celebration cakes in 2008.
I feel very blessed that after all those years of feeling yuk I have been able to build a great business to help others who have to live on restricted diets be able to enjoy great cake.