Pamela's Products

IF YOU’RE AT the grocery store searching for a sugary fix that doesn’t involve the words “Bisquick” or “Toll House,” be sure to look for the pastel bags of gluten-free goodies on display down the aisle. Founded in 1988, Pamela’s Products is the brainchild of Pamela Giusto-Sorrells, a third-generation purveyor of natural foods (though it’s worth noting that no one in the family is actually gluten-intolerant) and San Rafael resident. Giusto-Sorrells grew up spending time and working at Golden Crescent Health Foods, her grandparents’ San Francisco store, which had a bakery full of alternative sweets. The only problem? They weren’t all that tasty. After consuming countless dry and uninspiring gluten-free goods and bread that seemed like the only options within the genre, Giusto-Sorrells left the family business to create her own company, founded on the premise that wheat- and gluten-free could actually taste great. That factor was essential to success, given that gluten-free wasn’t trendy in the 1980s — Pamela’s goods had to stand out for flavor, not health benefits. PHILOSOPHY Pamela’s was created for food-lovers who value taste as well as health. For those hoping to enjoy a short stack of pancakes sans the usual heavy serving of lethargy, Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix is a kind of breakfast miracle. The mix was Pamela’s first official creation and remains the company’s signature and most popular product — ranking No. 1 in the natural pancake market, higher even than mixes made with wheat. THE SCOOP Brownie, cornbread and cookie mixes are also available, along with a selection of ready-made treats. Pamela’s Products are sold in grocery stores all over the country and some shops in Canada. Should you find yourself craving gluten-free graham crackers while in Europe, you can order Pamela’s on Amazon. WHAT THEY SAY “As a child of the 1960s, brought up with carob-chip cookies and nine-grain bread, I dreamt of Wonder Bread and Hostess cupcakes. It was really unfair for the kids at school who had to eat the horrible gluten-free products my family made — no one was going to share their food. That was the whole reason for starting down this road.”