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A Humble Start

A Humble Start

My phone presented me with this picture. Usually, my phone would send me a picture of something more significant--my kids, my family, perhaps a vacation. But…maybe that Google algorithm is even smarter than I thought, as this is a very important picture to me.

So what’s the deal with the barrel?

This picture is from The GFB’s first production facility--basically a food-safe garage. Back then, some of our ingredients came in these barrels, so for the first few years of The GFB, these barrels represented a big part of my income.

Luckily, they have various secondary usages—think rainwater collection or planters or even the flotation part of floating docks. Whenever we had empty barrels, I would excitedly post them on Craigslist, which helped us clear out space on our tiny production floor, upcycle instead of throw out, and put some cash in my pocket at the same time.

I can still remember getting $45 for two used barrels or even $60 or $70 for three barrels and how good that felt. It was my first income from The GFB. It meant hope, it meant better things to come, and more importantly, it meant we had actually sold enough product to use an entire barrel!

Thankfully, due to our loyal customers and all the hard work of The GFB team, we continued to grow, and as a result, those barrels were replaced by bigger containers as we bought larger and larger quantities of ingredients. Don’t worry, we’re still upcycling the bigger containers to farmers or growers instead of throwing them out—a choice that supports our zero-waste facility goals.

As we emerge from Covid (hopefully) and work to evolve into the next and best version of The GFB, this photo of a humble barrel still inspires me.

The barrel reminds me of our start, when we were figuring out how we could make gluten-free food that also made people happy. I’m pretty proud that we’re still making good-for-you food in even more good-for-you ways—including our latest commitment to powering our plant with wind and solar power instead of fossil fuels.

So I’ll keep that boring barrel in my phone. And as always, I would love to hear your feedback and ideas--please feel free to contact me at