Rockwood grad opens gluten-free bakery
[Originally appeared in the Somerset Daily-American, November 25, 2018 by Cody McDevitt]
Baking is an art, not a science. As dependent as it is on proper measurements, Danielle Tissue says it’s even more dependent on the creativity and vision of the person making it.
“I like to create things with my hands and then I get to taste it,” Tissue said who recently started a gluten-free baking shop in Somerset County. “Unlike photographers, they don’t taste it. But you can create something beautiful, and get it to eat. I love to eat. I’m an Italian woman and we love to eat.”
Tissue, a 2005 Rockwood Area High School graduate, launched Food Fairies LLC, a startup pastry business out of Rockwood that caters to people with allergies to wheat, barley, malt and rye.
She takes orders through her phone and Facebook page. She has big plans for the future, including a Somerset County storefront and a food truck that will travel the turnpike and serve the palates of Pittsburgh.
She targets customers with Celiac Disease, which is an inherited autoimmune digestive disorder in which affected individuals who cannot tolerate gluten, a protein constituent of wheat, barley, malt and rye flours, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.
Tissue researched online to inform her baking, though it never includes an encyclopedia. She studies blogs and recipes she finds through Google. From there, she brainstorms things she can create. She got involved in gluten-free baking when she had an allergic reaction a few years ago to wheat-based food.
“I would say the gluten-free baking in general is difficult because it requires you to take different steps,” Tissue said. “You have to replace where the gluten is lacking. It takes some research and knowledge. I’ve been passionate about it and I just landed on how to get my blends correctly. But I struggled at first. Things would not turn out at first. But you have to keep researching and figure it out.”
Tissue served in the United States Coast Guard. During her time in the service, she cooked for sailors aboard a ship near Bahrain.
Following her discharge, she lived in Seattle for three years. She moved back to Somerset County in early 2017. She worked at the YMCA in Fort Hill, where she was the dietary cook. Now she is employed at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, where she bakes and sells cookies.
“I like to create things with my hands and then I get to taste it. Unlike photographers, they don’t taste it. But you can create something beautiful, and get it to eat. I love to eat. I’m an Italian woman and we love to eat.”
“I love working there. It gives me the ability to use my knowledge,” she said. “They have a customer base and I get my experience with that.”
Tissue said her passion for home-cooking came from watching her mother prepare meals every day for four children. They seldom ate out.
“That’s what I want to bring to the county and my children someday,” Tissue said. “I really hold that dear. I’m thankful she did that. We could have been eating McDonald’s.”