Elmira/Corning Regional Airport
Millport Gluten Free Store Opens
Written By: Tanja Rekhi
MILLPORT (WENY) -- Lots of people have been going gluten free over the past couple of years. Some, because they have Celiac disease, a genetic autoimmune disease triggered by eating gluten; others, because it's been trendy.
What started as a personal quest for Cindy McCarthy turned into a family business.
McCarthy 's 4-year-old daughter, Serenity, who has Down Syndrome, was having digestive issues two years ago.
So, Cindy decided to have Serenity try going gluten-free, thinking maybe it was Celiac disease.
"She started improving," said Cindy.
Little Serenity didn't have Celiac disease, but her parents found removing those foods from her diet were making a difference.
"That was the beginning of our journey," said Cindy. "Since then we have three more kids that can't have gluten. And we have 12 children and our grocery budget is already high,"
To cut costs, she started buying gluten free in bulk for her family and opened Main Street Millport Mercantile up to give people more options close to home.
"I know there's some who think it's just a fad, they did Atkins, they do whatever the newest thing is, but I think our food has been modified enough that grain isn't what it used to be," said Cindy.
Perhaps the biggest debate.
Registered Dietician, Anthony Patricelli says people shouldn't diagnose themselves because going gluten free, when they don't have to, could have adverse effects.
"A gluten free diet can be deficient in certain nutrients such as fiber, iron, b-vitamins, so you really have to be careful," said Patricelli.
The only way to know for sure, is seeing a doctor.
Patricelli is glad though, that there are more resources for people with dietary restrictions.
And that's what Cindy's store hopes to offer - a community hub for people looking to explore their options, and connect with others who live gluten-free.
Her shop is open Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.