To celebrate the launch of the project, Coeliac Sanctuary interviewed our founder, Emma Killilea, who is writing the book.
Founded by Alison, who suffers from a gluten intolerance, Coeliac Sanctuary is a source for those on restricted diets to discover the best places to eat out and products to try. Read on to find out more!
Coeliac Sanctuary Interview Delicious Alchemy
This week we did a short interview with Emma, the owner of Delicious Alchemy, a fabulous company who produce many fantastic packet mixes and oat-based products. In the past, we have had a fair few dealings with them – especially when it comes to competition prizes!
At the moment, they have some new ventures going on, including a charity and producing a book. We got to talk to Emma about these amazing projects – read her interview below and remember, if you can provide even a couple of quid to help produce what sounds like an amazing asset to the gluten free kingdom, click here: bit.ly/DACrowdfund
Here at Coeliac Sanctuary, we have done a lot with Delicious Alchemy in the past, but for those who don’t know who you are why not tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
My name is Emma Killilea and I founded Delicious Alchemy 10 years ago. I did it because I have coeliac disease and I wanted to improve the food on offer to people on a restricted diet. I’m really proud that we were the first company to launch gluten free oats into the UK retail market. These days, I work a lot on the oat farming side of the business because we now grow our own gluten free oats to ensure their quality and safety. I am also writing a book to help people understand the reasons for going on a gluten free diet and how to make that difficult transition from gluten filled to gluten free.
You have some really fantastic products available, we loved the ease of the limited edition Christmas Cake mix! What is your favourite Delicious Alchemy mix?
My view is, it’s not dessert unless there is chocolate in it! So not surprisingly, my favourite is the Chocolate Brownie mix. It is just so chocolatey and gooey but it also has that perfect crisp top. It’s won loads and loads of awards, which is fantastic but not surprising in my opinion. I’ve never tasted anything so delicious – whether it contains gluten or not.
Can you tell us if you have any plans for any new delicious products?
We have a product pipeline as long as my arm! Keep your eyes peeled!!! I can’t say any more or the product development team would lynch me! Recently you announced a few pieces of fantastic news – let’s start with your charity endeavours.
Last month, the Delicious Alchemy Charitable Foundation was announced, what is the charity all about?
This year, in honour of our 10-year anniversary, we have set up a charity to help us to meet our company aim, which is to improve the lives of people on a restricted diet, day by day. It gives us a vehicle with which to do many different things that improve people’s lives. For example, we are donating food into food banks such as those supported by the Trussell Trust. We are donating money to scientific and medical research programmes that aim to improve patient symptoms or even find a cure to gluten-related conditions. We are also donating money to established charities that share our aims. Because I have coeliac disease and a severe wheat allergy, I know what it’s like to have to live on a strict gluten free diet – it’s hard, so we set up the Foundation to improve things.
At the moment the charity is not yet fully set up, when do you expect the charity to be fully finalised?
We submitted the final paperwork in January and we are waiting for the Charity Commission to approve it. I have called them and there is nothing amiss other than they are swamped and they cannot get to it.
You recently started your first fundraising campaign in order to write a book. Is it going to be your typical gluten free cookbook or something a little bit more?
The book will be different to the others on the market in lots of different ways. I did a lot of research before starting it and I found that all the other books on the market lack detail and thoroughness. Our book will be the first, definitive, one stop shop guide to a gluten free diet because not only will it explain the diet and the conditions it treats, it will also incorporate a full meal planner and a large number of easy to cook recipes to get people started. It will contain high production values and this will really make it stand out. It will be bright, jolly and vibrant whereas all of the other books on the market have low production values and look dowdy.
Excellent photography sells food books and as such, there will be 60 recipe shots in ‘Goodbye Gluten, Hello Delicious: Your Guide to Going Completely Gluten Free’. They will be professionally photographed by our trusted suppliers (see deliciousalchemy.com/recipes for examples.) This will enhance the experience for users and encourage them to buy the book and also, to try the recipes. Almost all the other books on the market have skipped food photography altogether and where they have tried, the photographs look like uninspiring stock pictures. It will be aimed at a UK market – all the other books are written for the US market and it will also contain all the latest research on conditions that benefit from a gluten free diet. I could go on and on…
We know that you follow a gluten free diet yourself and intend to share your experiences in the book. Personally, we think this is fab, as so many people feel alone when they are transitioning. What was it that made you want to share your story with everyone?
I think it really helps to feel part of a community of people who share the same problems and experiences. You feel less isolated and therefore happier! But also I’ve been through it and I’ve learned a huge amount about how to deal with a gluten free diet in every social situation. My experiences should make it easier for people to transition because they won’t have to learn the hard way!
To create the book you are going to be relying on a fundraiser, this sounds like the perfect opportunity to raise money for your new charity too – are some of the proceeds from the book going to aid the charity?
All the proceeds of the book will be going to the Foundation. I am writing it to both help people and to raise money to help people more! I sound like a saint, don’t I? I’m far from it! However, I am very passionate about helping people who need to live on a gluten free diet. It really drives me. If any of your readers can spare a few pounds to put towards the food photography in the book, that would really help us. There are also a set of rewards for larger donations from £25 upwards. Here is the crowdfunding page: bit.ly/DACrowdfund – all you do it press on ‘Contribute Now’.
This interview was originally posted on the Coeliac Sanctuary blog – see it here. If you have any questions about the crowdfunding project, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Don’t forget to hashtag #DACrowdfund!