Spokane Couple Goes Against the Grain

by Sheila Julson

A few years ago, Dave DuPree and Teri Delany noticed how wheat essentially dominates the grain industry, with products from bread to pasta to baked goods, all primarily wheat-based. So when customers at their coffee stand, Latah Latte, and at their restaurant, Latah Bistro, started asking for gluten-free products, it sent the husband and wife team on a quest that led to their current venture, Flour Farm LLC, under which they market their Flour Farm Organic Gluten Free Flour Blend. The nutritious mix of sweet white rice, brown rice, tapioca flour, almond flour and coconut flour has quickly become a favorite among people with gluten allergies and sensitivities, as well as people seeking variety and additional flavor in their grains.

“Gluten-free is an advantage to this flour, but it’s not a definition of this blend,” DuPree emphasizes. “It also tastes better, and it’s fully certified.” After countless hours, trial and error, and lots of recipe experimentation, Delany hit on a formula they were happy with. They started using it to make HandPies for Latah Latte, which became one of their bestselling items.

DuPree and Delany have since sold the coffee stand and restaurant to focus on Flour Farm Organic Gluten Free Flour Blend, which they officially launched this past April. While DuPree doesn’t have any known food allergies nor follows a specific diet, he says that his eczema went away after reducing wheat from his diet, and he also had more energy. Delany had suffered from digestive issues during much of her adult life, and standard medical treatments and tests failed to determine the problem. With the help of a naturopath, it was determined that gluten is the culprit. She now feels healthy and energized.

Although wheat has been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years, DuPree notes that in recent decades, scientific modifications have changed wheat considerably, altering the crops for higher yields and fast production. “The commercial baking industry demands more gluten in their flour so it will rise higher and form bigger loaves,” he says. “That high gluten content is hard to digest. The body doesn’t like it; you might as well just eat chewing gum.”

Flour Farm Organic Gluten Free Flour Blend is available in 30-ounce recyclable pouches or 25-pound bags online through Amazon. It can also be found in stores including My Fresh Basket and Huckleberry’s Natural Market. DuPree and Delany also plan to do in-person demonstrations with samples of food made with their flour. Their website serves as a rich resource, listing both sweet and savory recipes that are friendly to those new to gluten-free baking.

“With every recipe, I provide alternatives,” Delany says. “If you have an allergy, I list options you can use to swap out an ingredient, such as substituting nut milk for dairy. I’m a foodie, but I’m also gluten-free and I insist that my food tastes good. My recipes have been tested by customers, family, friends and even total strangers.”

DuPree emphasizes that providing a superior product requires transparency. They personally have visited every grower and supplier from whom they source grains. “We don’t go out there with a scythe, but we’ve been to California to see our organic rice farmers, and we’ve been to coconut growers in the Philippines,” he says. “We also look at their labor practices to be sure workers are being treated and paid fairly.”

Not only does that traceability set Flour Farm Organic Gluten Free Flour Blend apart from other baking products on the market, but DuPree notes that other gluten-free flours on store shelves try to mimic the rise, feel, texture and flavors of wheat flour by excessively adding additives such as xanthan or guar gum. “We didn’t come at it like that. If someone wants to make bread or pie crust, they can add those things if they like,” he says. Some of Delany’s recipes call for those gums, but many don’t, because of her extensive research and finding simple alternatives to costly ingredients commonly associated with gluten-free baking.

DuPree and Delany also donate half of their proceeds from website purchases to Second Harvest food bank in Spokane. Funds are tracked through an affiliate link on Amazon. “We donated for a few years at the restaurant,” DuPree says. “There’s no reason why people in any country should be hungry, there’s so much food out there.”

For more information about Flour Farm Organic Gluten Free Flour Blend or to order, visit Flour.Farm.

Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.