Lindy Pine and Devin Rusk are the co-founders of So Good Gluten Free, a company located in Temecula, California. So Good is fairly fresh in its origins, but Lindy and Devin have an admirable vision for high quality gluten-free ingredients. Their products are innovative and delightfully minimal in processing. The So Good entrée line offers all the balance and comfort of a home-cooked meal. Residents of Temecula and those living within a 25 mile radius can enjoy the perks of So Good's free delivery, but almost the entirety of the company products can be ordered online.
So Good Gluten Free: Interview with Lindy Pine
LovetoKnow (LTK): Did you have a particular health journey that led down the path of gluten-free dieting? How did your company come into existence?
Lindy Pine (LP): In 2005 I found out that I had an autoimmune thyroid disease, called Hashimotos Thyroiditis, and through my own research I found out that it would be beneficial to me to give up eating gluten. For the next 5 years I created many new dishes and gradually my family and I became gluten-free. My husband and I were frustrated though at not being able to find great tasting, affordable gluten-free food and so we decided to launch our own company, and "So Good Gluten Free Foods" was born!
LTK: Some of your gluten-free products involve quite a bit of culinary expertise, such as the "So Good" entrees. Did you have any prior culinary experience, and, if so, would you consider the realm of gluten-free cooking to be more of a challenge than cooking for a more standard diet?
LP: I have always been a pretty good cook, but I don't have professional qualifications. I did find it to be a challenge at first when I realized how many ingredients I needed to work with - especially in the baked goods where I used flour combinations - but, after some practice, I started making great food. I guess I found my true vocation!
LTK: Every gluten-free chef has her preferred ingredients. For example, your gluten-free macaroni and cheese dinner features a corn and quinoa pasta mix. Are there any specific gluten-free flours or grains that you prefer to use over others?
LP: I do have specific flours that I use actually. Potato and tapioca starches are almost essential in baked goods because they make them light and fluffy, mimicking the feel of gluten. However we believe that it's very important to make sure that we're using high fiber flours that promote great health so we use millet, sorghum and teff flour in our breads and organic brown rice flour in our baked goods due to their excellent nutritional properties.
LTK: The "So Good" philosophy is founded on whole foods and fresh produce. Many people attempting a gluten-free diet find themselves shopping in the gluten-free processed foods aisle, and even a gluten-free diet can become carbohydrate heavy. Do you have a specific opinion regarding what ratio of gluten-free foods should be carbohydrate-based as opposed to vegetables, fruits, and protein sources?
LP: When people become gluten-free for health reasons or by choice, we believe that in addition to this they need to consider what else they should be changing in their eating habits to become healthier. That's why our products contain no soy, preservatives, or additives and, where possible, we use organic ingredients. If people eat a balanced diet of high quality prepared carbohydrate and protein foods such as ours and combine this with eating plenty of fruit and vegetables then they will maintain great health.
LTK: Celiac disease was once the headliner of the gluten-free movement. However, many people are now going gluten-free for weight loss purposes and other medical reasons. Is the bulk of your clientele gluten intolerant, or are there more factors at play when it comes to their dietary choices? And how has your menu evolved to meet such needs?
LP: It's true, there are many different reasons why people follow a gluten-free lifestyle. We make products not only for celiacs, but also for people who are gluten intolerant, or dairy intolerant, and for people who have autism and are following a gluten-free/casein-free diet. Our menu has adapted to offer either gluten-free or dairy-free as choices on our website and additionally we are happy, where possible, to meet a customer's needs, such as making an item sugar-free, egg-free or vegan.
LTK: Your company manufactures one of the rarest gluten-free dessert ventures, a gluten-free tiramisu. How were you able to create a tiramisu that looks as bouncy and light as it appears in the photos without the use of gluten?
LP: The secret for us is that we make the tiramisu to order from scratch, using all fresh ingredients and genuine Marsala Wine. You can really tell the difference between our food and typical factory produced gluten-free food.
LTK: Are there any products in the "So Good" line that you feel deserve special attention?
LP: All of them!
LTK: Many of your products are available for delivery. Do you ship only within the state of California or is most of the "So Good" line available nationwide?
LP: Yes, we ship all over the country as well as delivering locally and shipping within California. The only difference for shipping long distance is that we usually have to freeze the items hip because we want to make sure they arrive in great condition. All of our products freeze very well and maintain their quality when they're defrosted.
Contacting So Good Gluten Free Foods
For more information about So Good Gluten Free Foods and for access to the entire product line, visit the official So Good website. Would you like to see a certain food item offered on the So Good menu? Be sure to write Lindy and Devin with any questions, suggestions, comments, or product reviews by using the So Good contact directory.