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Travel Gluten Free

Aug 9, 2021

Travel Gluten Free Podcast

Episode 148

Celebrating 30 Years of Gluten-Free Goodness with Jerry Bigam of Kinnickinnick Gluten Free Foods


Welcome to the Travel Gluten Free Podcast, where you can listen in on how to lead a gluten-free lifestyle with more fun and ease! Travel Gluten Free gives you valuable information from finding a safe restaurant to knowing what food is safe to eat when you travel; I'll be with you every step of the way on your gluten-free journey. Lead your gluten-free life, don't let being gluten-free lead your life. Enjoy Food, Enjoy Travel, and Enjoy Life with your show host, Elikqitie!


Jerry Bigam joins me today to chat about the history and development of his delicious and tasty line of gluten-free foods and gluten-free snacks. Jerry and Kinnikinnick have spearheaded many firsts in the world of gluten-free food, including the first food company to sell food from a company website and is currently the only family-owned gluten-free food company. Listen in to discover how Jerry grew the business to what it is today, how Kinnikinnick is celebrating their 30th anniversary, and the new gluten-free items they are producing for their anniversary celebration!


Meet Jerry Bigam


Jerry is a native Canadian whose wife was diagnosed with Celiac disease in the early 90s. With a lack of good gluten-free food, Jerry and his wife found Kinnikinnick and decided to purchase half the company. He took Kinnikinnick from a 3,000 square foot facility selling in Canada to a multinational gluten-free brand. You can find out more about the history of Kinnikinnick on their heritage page.


Why Kinnikinnick?


Kinnikinnick is the name for Bearberry, the favorite fruit of Canadian bears. Naturally high in Vitamin C, these bright red alpine berries are a vital food source that lasts the local bears through the winter.  Native Americans prize them as well, using them in pemmican which is a nutritious mix of meat protein and fat that lasts for years, similar to beef jerky.. In Algonquin, Kinnikinnick also means ‘mixture’, referring to its use with tobacco and believed to carry the smoker’s prayers to the Great Spirit. Tea from the leaves is also used to treat urinary tract diseases and can help with obesity.


History of Kinnikinnick


In 1991, Ted Wolff and Gudrun Von Selzam moved to Canada from Germany. After stints working in health food stores, they came up with the idea of producing allergy-conscious foods for Edmonton's Farmer's Market. With Ted in charge of recipe development and Gudrun running the marketing department, Kinnikinnick was born!  


In 1992, Ted and Gudrun had enough of a following to open their first store, a tiny 250 sq ft space on Whyte Avenue. The following year, they expanded and moved to a 1,500 sq ft store selling made-from-scratch gluten-free creations as well as cookies and pasta. The little business with a big heart begins to boom, and so does their family with the arrival of daughter Robin.


Ted and Gudrun doubled the size of their business by taking over the space next door and opening their doors as the first gluten-free restaurant café in Canada! Within a year, their constantly evolving line of buns and baked goodies are selling in health food stores in Canada. 


Lynne Bigam, their #1 customer, diagnosed with Celiac disease, is impressed with Ted and Gudrun's goodies. She and her husband Jerry decided to buy into the company and expand their focus on building new markets. 


The Premier Brand for Gluten-Free Snacks, Gluten-Free Desserts, and Gluten-Free Goodies!


Kinnikinnick has been creating, developing, and distributing dozens of gluten-free foods to Celiac and others who cannot eat gluten-free. Their distribution is now worldwide, and gluten-free peeps can order their products to have them shipped anywhere in the world!


Happy 30th Birthday Kinnikinnick!


Kinnikinnick is celebrating its 30th birthday, and Jerry would like to offer Travel Gluten Free listeners a 10% discount when you use the code TravelGlutenFree at checkout! Order $55 or more and receive your discount when you checkout in your cart! 


Fill your cart with one of Kinnikinnick's new goodies, such as their new vegan and gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, their soft and fluffy hot dog buns, and their flatbread crusts. And remember to join their Summer S'mores competition where you can win BIG with Kinnikinnick by showing your summer s'more recipe made with their delicious gluten-free graham crackers!

The Guide to Traveling Gluten Free


Are you anxious about traveling with Celiacs Disease? Does the thought of getting sick on vacation worry you to no end? Unsure of what travel options are safe and how to choose a safe restaurant away from home for you and your children?


The Guide to Traveling Gluten Free will walk you through the process of planning and enjoying your next gluten-free travel adventure! Take the guesswork out of how to travel, where to go, and how to eat safely when you follow the information in my guide. Whether you are celiacs or gluten intolerant, my guide will give you handy information to delight in your next vacation experience!


Learn how to take a trip safely, what questions to ask when you are at a restaurant and which online tools and apps to utilize to find safe, dedicated gluten-free restaurants and food options. Find out what stores to shop at to purchase gluten-free food, determine if a restaurant is gluten-free or celiac friendly, and when you should walk out of a restaurant. 


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***Disclaimer: All content found on the Travel Gluten Free Website, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. Material contained on Travel Gluten Free website, podcast, and social media postings are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice, Travel Gluten Free website, podcast, and guests present content solely for educational and entertainment purposes, and use of this information is at your own risk.***