Williamsville mom opens gluten-free bakery, inspired by her kids

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Tina Syracuse will soon open a gluten-free bakery.

Most people are inspired by their kids in some form. But Syracuse says her son and daughter have encouraged her to adopt an entirely new career.

Now she’s baking her way into this new business.

Tina Syracuse didn’t think anything could be wrong with her son, Brian. But at age 5, he was tested for Celiac Disease.

She said, “I didn’t know what it was, I had no idea. I never heard the word gluten. What is gluten?”

The disease meant Brian had to be gluten free. Tina Syracuse said, “He lived on peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese and pancakes.”

But in 1999, Syracuse says there weren’t a lot of gluten-free options out there, like you see today. She said, “It absolutely launched me into a direction of finding or creating something that he could eat. It gave me something to pursue.”

And pursue she did. Out of his diagnosis, she created “Brian’s Best” breads, which for years, was baked out of her Williamsville kitchen.

She said, “It was all driven by love for my boy.” She didn’t want her boy to miss out. “Mommy’s have those moments that are just catapulted by love and devotion for your child.”

Brian said, “It was always nice to have someone there for you.”

Word spread about Brian’s bread. Syracuse said, “The response was fabulous. I felt like Sally Fields. “They like me, they like my bread!”

People would line up to get a slice. “The orders were much too high than what we could accommodate from our bakery at home,” Syracuse said.

Now, it’s become the family business, and they are expanding, and dreaming. “The thought, the dream, is to have that bakery in order, and hire people with disabilities to serve people like my son, Brian and my daughter Claire.”

Claire, who has down syndrome will soon have a new gig. “I’m finding that there are not a lot of avenues in which they can build their self-esteem and have a sense of belonging.”

Syracuse wants to eventually have the bakery completely managed and staffed by people with special needs. “I didn’t sign up for this. It’s something that I did in response to love, no different than any other parent would, anywhere.”

Serving the needs of people with gluten intolerance, but also serve the needs of people with special needs. Pat Syracuse, Brian’s dad said, “If we can help one person obviously we did everything for Brian from the beginning, and I think the community is benefiting from it.”

“I think that the Western New York community would embrace that idea, I really do. People in Buffalo are nice and I think they’d come along with this.”

Brian’s Best will be open on 247 Cayuga Road.

You wont find wheat, corn, canola, soy or preservatives in Brian’s best products.

They can also be found at the following locations:

Anderson’s:  7 locations throughout WNY (since 2011)

Betty’s, Virginia St., Buffalo (since 2010)

Best of Health, Kenmore (since 2007)

Clarence Center Café (since 2015)

East Aurora Co-op (since 2016)

Homegrown Bistro, Orchard Park (since 2016)

Feel Rite, 5 locations (since 2016)

In and Out Pasta (since 2014)

Lexington Co-op (since 2015)

Pizza Plant; 2 locations in WNY (since 2009) 

Sweet Peak Bakery, Hamburg (since 2017)

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