After ALI GRAEME became aware of some food allergies in her family, she turned to one of her oldest passions for answers: baking. Having recently retired as partner of a small, entrepreneurial international trading company, Graeme devoted her newfound free time to experimenting with food substitutions. Through some trial and error and a good doctor, she learned that her family had Celiac disease. “I spent years learning about gluten substitutes to create a flour mix that would allow my family, and others, to enjoy all of our favorite baked goods,” Graeme says. “Once I perfected my flour blend, I began the process of developing my recipes. I brought these treats to every family, social, or sporting event and asked for feedback.” Eventually, with encouragement from family and friends, she started Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery, LLC. “My friends now consider themselves the first Sweet Ali’s test market!” she laughs. Though not a baker by education, Graeme has found that her background in science and analytical skills (she majored in Biology at Drake University before going to the London Business School) have helped her make Sweet Ali’s successful. Her business style is a combination of “passion and precision to create delicious products that allow the gluten free community to fully enjoy food again.” While embracing transparency in her ingredients and generosity in her business, she encourages her employees to be dynamic participants in Sweet Ali’s success. It’s no wonder she considers her dad, “a man of strong ethics, with a curious and entrepreneurial mind,” her role model. Like father, like daughter.
Sweet Ali’s Gluten Free Bakery is located at 13 W. 1st Street in Hinsdale. For more information, call 630-908-7175, or visit sweetalis.com and on Instagram @sweetalisgfbakery.