What started the journey:
In August 2017 my youngest daughter, aged 6 at the time, started complaining about sore tummies. In the beginning it was once every week. We put it down to the recently started swimming lessons and the dolphin wriggles she had to do there.
The complaining increased from once a week to nearly daily. We suspected the monkey bars at school to be the reason.
Then the complaining began daily and she stopped eating. I realised that a bit more was going on here. So we went to see our GP who ordered all sorts of tests to start the elimination of causes. All tests came back clear bar one! Our daughter returned postive anti-tTG and Endomysial antibodies test results. I remember the phone call from our GP late on a Tuesday evening. While her levels where not extremely high they certainly caused our GP concern. So he referred her to Starship hospital for further investigation. For us parents the worls changed overnight. What would this mean? We had heard of Coelaic Disease but had no real connection to it as so far we only knew a few people having it and we honestly didn't know much about the autoimmune disorder.
When our older daughter got diagnosed a year later, we made the decision to all go gluten free as especially my older daughter really struggled with the change. Her symptoms were all in her behaviour so for her having to change her diet overnight came as a great shock, even though we already had one child on a gluten free diet. We felt that it was fairer for the girls that they could eat everything in our house and that this was their safe place when it came to food. Our son is not coeliac and he can eat what he likes when out of the house. We all find this arrangement working really well and so far we have managed to keep gluten accidents to a minimum.
What going gluten free ment for me as a mum:
I am a chef by trade and was preparing most of our family meals from scratch pre diagnosis. We enjoyed fresh homemade pizza and pasta plus our own fresh baked bread and treats.
When our first daughter was diagnosed I lost most of my kitchen mojo. I struggled to get my head around gluten free baking and we started buying far more ready to eat products so that my one daughter wouldn't feel so bad if she couldn't have all of the lovely things mummy made. But there where plenty of tears on both sides - hers in disappointment and despair and mine out of pure frustration of not being able to give her nicer things to eat. I felt empty and at a loss.
The recovery from the initial shock:
A trip to Germany for 6 month opened my eyes to what is actually availabe for coeliacs outside of New Zealand. All for a sudden there was no limitation on choice, every supermarket chain had their own brands plus the staggering amount of diversity within the products is just amazing. Once we returned to NZ we started ordering from Germany at an extarodinary cost, just to give our girls a bit of the choice they appreciated while in Germany.
The start of YetteMoosh:
I wanted to share this choice with others. There surely must be a way to get more gluten free products to New Zealand. But when I started my journey to import, I very quickly realised why there are not more products. The rule here in New Zealand of not allowing anything over 3ppm of rest gluten to be labelled gluten free limits your market very quickly. Most of the rest of the world produces to <20ppm, which is nearly 7x higher than the Australian and New Zealand law allows.
I spend hours surving the net to find producers that can guarantee me that their products are produced to <3ppm ( or nil detected). I found a couple of companies and they were happy to give me and my idea a go. So in the middle of 2019 I ordered my first shipment of 3 pallets full of gluten free food from Europe. We test the products here and make sure that they meet the requirement of the New Zealand market.
Since then we have not only grown the imported range but also started stocking a lot of New Zealand made products. Our aim is to provide fast and efficiant service to everyone following a gluten free diet and supplying high quality products at fair prices.
What the future holds in store:
We are constantly looking at improving our range and service. We are currently planning a training kitchen to give you the opportunity to learn from us and become confident in creating your own yummy gluten free homemade meals and treats. We are looking at partnering with other small businesses to give you the chance to visit workshops involving your body and soul to create a wholesome and healthy experience.
We are also planning on offering catering using our products and would love to create fresh, high quality products like fresh pasta and pastries that you can order from us and enjoy at home.
So watch this space as we are revving up the gears to get creative and to expand our services to you, our most valued asset.
Thank you for your support!