Areej Jomaa

04 Mar 2013
By Ahlanlive.com

The founder of Sweet Connection

For anyone with food allergies, those little treats need not be off limits, thanks to a mum-of-three opening Dubai’s first gluten-free kitchen.

You opened your kitchen in February 2012. How has it been received?
Really positively. Doctors have been referring their patients who have food intolerances to me. People are so excited to be eating bread, cookies or croissants again that they thought were totally off limits. I also have a large customer base in Abu Dhabi and across the Gulf. A lot of my customers don’t have any food restrictions at all, they just love the taste and enjoy the health-conscious focus of my recipes.

So, how did it all come about?
As a labour of love for my sister who was diagnosed with coeliac disease. I have always been passionate in the kitchen, so it was an exciting challenge to create baked goods she could enjoy that were all gluten-free. The encouraging feedback I received really paved the way. After moving to Dubai in 2008, I noticed a pronounced vacuum in the market and demand for my products grew.

Apart from being gluten-free, what makes your products different?
They’re all freshly baked using organic, fair-trade ingredients. They’re not pre-packaged or processed. Each of my recipes is adjusted to suit specific diets.

Are you hands-on in the kitchen?
I could not be more hands-on. I bake the greater majority of our products and closely supervise everything else.

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