Celiac Awareness Month has brought out a lot of positive and negative media points this year! One of these came up this weekend, concerning Bart's Bakery. The company has claimed for a while now that their cookies are gluten free. After emailing the them, though, we have learned that the cookies are actually not Celiac safe. The equipment used for their gf cookies is the very same equipment used for their regular poisonous-to-Celiacs cookie batches. It's one thing to have a factory that has a dedicated line for gluten-free foods (and most of these companies will display this information right on their box and/or website). It's another to use the exact same equipment and then brag about having the "best gluten-free chocolate chip cookies in the world."
Having seen their packaging and having emailed the company, Bart's would be a brand that I'd avoid. No cookie is worth the symptoms that come with Celiac, and I also disagree with their packaging and marketing. It seems to me that their cookie packages aim to reel in customers with gluten issues, regardless of whether or not the products are actually safe for them. I probably wouldn't have felt led to post a blog about it though.
And then this happened.
Bart has gone out of his way to defame a Celiac-community advocate who was merely trying to keep his fellow Celiacs safe. Bart has resorted to cyber-bullying, he has created a fake website, he has spread rumors and lies all over his facebook page, and he has treated those who question his company ideals and policies with extreme derision and disrespect.
Even with all of the drama and scrutiny, Bart stands by his "gluten free" statement, despite his own marketing team flat out stating that the cookies are not Celiac friendly.
He has shown that he has no respect for his customer base's health or dignity.
This, unfortunately, seems like a case where money talks. It's one thing to write a facebook message, only to be ignored or insulted by this company's owner, and another to alert the shops who carry his product. If you are someone who has been affected by (or knows someone who has been affected by) this company's blatant lack of common sense and decency, I would urge you to leave a comment on their Amazon products and/or write to the shops who carry their product (namely Whole Foods). Perhaps this is the perfect opportunity for Celiacs and their advocate peers to stand up to those companies who think they can dupe us for some cash.