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Coborn’s Builds Gluten-Free Bakery, Products Begin Hitting Stores This Week

coborn's g free

Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 10:10 am

Coborn’s Inc. has built a gluten-free bakery “from scratch” to meet the demand for fresh, gluten-free bakery treats at its 50 midwestern supermarkets and its online delivery company, CobornsDelivers. The bakery is housed on the Coborn’s corporate campus across from the company’s central bakery and has begun production of 20 specialty bakery treats. Go here to see a two-minute video by Plant Manager Bob Leuth is available online.

“More and more of our store guests have been asking for fresh gluten-free bakery items, as more people today have gluten allergies than ever before or are simply changing their diets. It is challenging to find products that are not frozen,” says Dennis Host, VP of marketing at Coborn’s. “We set out to work on a plan to build a gluten-free scratch bakery that is completely separate from our central bake shoppe, and we’re excited to introduce this new product lineup to meet the needs of our guests.”

The products are appearing in Coborn’s, Cash Wise and Marketplace Foods stores this week. They will have their own display and will be marked with the “G Free Bakery” label.

Broad selection

The company’s bakers tested hundreds of recipes to find products that are both gluten free and delicious tasting, according to the St. Cloud, Minnesota-based grocery chain. They partnered with Michigan-based Dawn Foods, which is NSF certified, to test production and recipes. The initial 20 products include muffins, hot dog and hamburger buns, sliced white bread, cupcakes, cakes, bars, cookies and brownies.

Muffin flavors include Double Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chip, Banana, Blueberry and Cranberry Orange. Frosted cupcakes come in both White and Devil’s Food; the bars are fudge brownies and chocolate chip bars. Available cookies are Sugar, Raspberry, Chocolate Chip and Double Chocolate Chip—in two sizes. The frosted cakes are available in White and Devil’s Food. As seasons change, additional items will be added into the mix. In September, sugared cake donuts will be available. The flavors have been developed to appeal to all guests, whether they have a need for gluten free or not, Coborn’s says.

Food safety

Coborn’s says the “G Free” bakers recognize that even the slightest amount of gluten can be detrimental for some consumers.

“The integrity of our products for our guests is of utmost priority; that’s why we invested in a brand new space and all new equipment,” says Kim Kockler, food safety and nutrition manager for Coborn’s. “Whether our guests choose gluten-free treats by choice or necessity, we appreciate the peace of mind in knowing that those who select our products can trust the integrity of what we’re offering.”

Coborn’s says it has invested in additional safeguards to ensure its gluten-free claim holds true. All ingredients entering the bakery and finished products exiting the bakery are tested to confirm the absence of gluten. The new bakery facility is in a separate building from the company’s conventional bakery to ensure there is no cross-contact with gluten-containing ingredients. Everything in the G Free Bakery has been built solely for the new bakery, from the new ovens and pans to the utensils and employee uniforms.


G Free Bakery has begun the gluten-free certification process through the Gluten Free Certification Organization. Gluten-free certification is not required; however, Coborn’s says it is actively pursuing it. Certification involves many steps, and the process will take at least four months from the application date. As part of the certification process, the bakery tests all of its finished products to ensure they meet the 20-parts-per-million guideline set by the FDA.

G Free Bakery is managed by Leuth, and production is managed by Production Manager Jim Majchrzak; it is in production seven days a week.

Coborn’s reveals ‘Location of the Year’ in each division

In other Coborn’s news, the company says it has evaluated all of its 120 retail locations and determined the Location of the Year, with one location per division.

• In the Coborn’s division, out of 29 stores, the winner is Coborn’s on Pine Cone Road in Sartell, Minnesota, which is managed by Ryan Rothwell. Honorable recognition was given to Coborn’s in Ramsey, which is managed by Vicki Wredberg.

• In the Cash Wise division, out of 17 stores, the winner is Cash Wise Foods in Minot, North Dakota, which was managed by Kim Pick. Honorable recognition was given to Cash Wise in Hutchinson, which is managed by Glenn Woelfel.

• In the Convenience division, out of 15 stores, the winner is Holiday in Milaca, Minnesota, which is managed by Dayna Knudsvig.

• In the Liquor division, out of 40 stores, the winner is Coborn’s Liquor in Little Falls, Minnesota, which is managed by Dan Moe.

• In the Pharmacy division, out of 36 pharmacies, the winner is Coborn’s Pharmacy in Mora, Minnesota, which is managed by Amber Axtell.

• In a division comprised of a variety of smaller locations, which includes a commercial bakery, a dry cleaning company, five video stores, four Save-A-Lot stores, two Ace Hardware stores, a Subway, a floral shop and a distribution center, the winner is Country Floral in Williston, North Dakota, which is managed by Cathy Thorson.

These locations were evaluated and scored based on three areas of criteria, consistent across divisions for 2014, including employee engagement, financial goals and the overall health of the location. Each of the winning locations received recognition at the company’s annual ESOP celebration, along with a plaque and cash prize.

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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