Company Profile: Namaste Foods

Several years ago I tried a sample of a brownie at the Moscow Food Co-op. My first thoughts were: “This is just a delicious, moist, super-chocolatey brownie – what is it doing at a health food store? It must be missing something, but it doesn’t taste like it’s missing anything.” Then the woman providing the samples told me it was “gluten-free”, a term I had not yet heard of.

Fast forward several years and it seems I can’t go a day without hearing or seeing the term. Namaste Foods has continued to create foods that are not only gluten free but are also free of wheat, corn, soy, potato, dairy, casein, peanuts, and tree nuts--- and they still don’t taste like they’re missing anything. They also don’t use any genetically modified ingredients in their products.

It all began in late 1999, when a friend of Coeur d’Alene mom Daphne Taylor shared her disappointment that she and her preschool son had to be excluded from sharing in special treats due to Celiac Disease. Daphne thought it would be a fun challenge to try to make a delectable treat that could be eaten by her friend and her friend’s son. So she did a bit of research and decided to make a Celiac-friendly brownie. Her very first recipe turned out perfectly and it is the same recipe Namaste Foods uses today. Soon thereafter, Daphne’s 9 year-old-son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. While researching his disorder, she ran across information that said some children on the Autism spectrum benefit from a diet free of gluten and casein. This kicked her interest in modifying common foods into high gear and in 2000 she founded Namaste Foods. Daphne now employs 16 women who all work from their homes.

Because Daphne likes to give back to the people who have helped her business become so successful, Namaste Foods donates regularly to the Celiac Sprue Association, Gluten Intolerance Group, Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, and several others. And since her business grew out of just wanting to help a friend in need, she allows one employee a month to select any non-profit organization that is near and dear to their hearts for a donation from Namaste Foods.

The Moscow Food Co-op continues to carry the Brownie Mix that I first tasted so many years ago, as well as Namaste Foods’ Waffle and Pancake Mix, Spice Cake, Bread Mix, Perfect Flour Blend, and most recently their Sugar-Free Muffin Mix. Kerry Morsek, the Co-op’s Merchandising Manager, tells me they’ll start carrying even more of their products soon!

Namaste Foods Company Snapshot
Founded in 2000
Headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Certified Gluten-free and Kosher
Production facility rated “Superior” by AIB International Baking Auditors
Information from this article and more can be found at: www.namastefoods.com

Amy Newsome loves that the Co-op is now carrying Namaste’s Sugar-Free Muffin Mix, which can be used as a base for any flavored muffin. She thinks a cranberry orange muffin would be perfect for this time of year.