Friday, November 12, 2010

I Attended the Gluten Free Summit at the General Mills Headquarters in Minneapolis!

The General Mills Visitor's Reception Area
When I started my Gluten Free Taste of Home blog a year and a half ago, I never dreamed it would take me to the General Mills headquarters in Minneapolis Minnesota, to serve as a voice for my daughter with Celiac Disease, and the greater gluten free community.  Unbelievably, that it precisely what happened!  Myself and 9 other gluten free bloggers were invited to attend a gluten free summit on behalf of General Mills.  Danna Korn, author of the book Kids with Celiac Disease and Founder of the R.O.C.K. support group has been working with General Mills developing their gluten free division, and was given the responsibility of choosing a group of gluten free bloggers to travel to the General Mills headquarters for an intensive one day gluten free summit.  By some amazing twist of fate, she invited me.

The gluten free bloggers and General Mills staff members at the gluten free summit.   I'm in the back row, 5th from the left. This photo was taken in the Betty Crocker kitchens by Jill of the Hey, That Tastes Good! blog.  Thanks Jill!  
It was a whirlwind of a trip, flying from my home in Washington to Minneapolis early in the morning and finally arriving to the hotel in the late afternoon.  I had the privilege of visiting with relatives from Minnesota that I haven't seen in over twenty years in the two spare hours between arriving at the hotel and meeting up with the other bloggers and General Mills staff.  What a gift that was!

The gluten free bloggers all attended  a "get to know you" dinner at Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano in Minneapolis later that evening.  Gluten Free bread, pasta, pizza, and even chocolate cake was served to the gluten free bloggers.  I tried the gluten free pizza, bread, and chocolate cake; all were quite good, with the pizza being my favorite of the three.  Dear Biaggi's, please open a location in the greater Seattle area soon!

Here are the gluten free bloggers who attended the gluten free summit at General Mills:

Amanda from A Few Short Cuts

Lynn from Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Jill from Hey, That Tastes Good!

Shirley from Gluten Free Easily

Linda from The Gluten Free Homemaker

Amy from The Savvy Celiac

Rachel from The Crispy Cook

Cinde from Gluten Free Taste of Home (that's me!)

Maureen from Hold the Gluten 

Vanessa from The Celiac Princess


Shelly from the Minneapolis Chapter R.O.C.K support group

It was my sincere pleasure to be in the company of this amazing group of gluten free bloggers!  I was truly sad when I had to say good by to them!  They are all dedicated, strong women, with a true passion for making a difference in the gluten free world.

I am not at liberty to say much regarding General Mills' plans for their gluten free division yet.  What I can tell you is that General Mills has shown genuine interest in servicing the gluten free consumer in more ways than one.  They were eager to hear the opinions of the gluten free bloggers at the summit, be it positive or negative. Being that General Mills is the 6th largest food company in the world, it is exciting to imagine the magnitude of the impact that their involvement in the gluten free community could bring.  As soon as I am at liberty to share more details, you will be the first to know. :)  For now, you can visit General Mills Live Gluten Freely website for gluten free recipes and resources.

Oil Painting of "Betty" herself,  from the Betty Crocker Kitchens in Minneapolis.  This was one of a series of framed oil paintings of Betty Crocker from the 1940's all the way through the present.  I chose to post this particular photo because this is the image I remember from my Mom's Betty Crocker cookbook when I was a girl; it takes me right back to my childhood (bell bottoms and all).
What I can share with you now is that I had the unique experience of baking with my fellow gluten free bloggers in the Betty Crocker Kitchens!  You may remember from past posts that I have been a Betty Crocker fan since I was a little girl.  In fact, back in the 1970's when I was in elementary school, I was crowned the "Betty Crocker Coupon Queen."  Seriously.  I still have the trophy to this day! If your scratching your head wondering how that came about, let me explain. My Sunday school class had a contest to see who could collect the most Betty Crocker Coupons for the church.  My Mom was an avid Betty Crocker consumer, and as a result I brought in the most Betty Crocker coupons.  In addition to receiving a big trophy, a handmade paper crown adorned with plastic spoons and forks was placed upon my head.  I was queen for a day.  A proud, 7 year old, plastic-fork n' spoon-crown-wearing queen. :)  From that moment forward, I have always felt bonded to Betty Crocker.  

Left to right: Linda from The Gluten Free Homemaker, Shirley from Gluten Free Easily, and I baking gluten free desserts in the Betty Crocker kitchens.  The Betty Crocker Gluten Free Dessert Mixes and the new Gluten Free Bisquick were the core ingredients used in the recipes.  
A big hello to my new gluten free blogger friends, I miss you and hope to see you again! Also a huge thank you to all of the wonderful General Mills staff and gluten free summit organizers who gave me this unforgettable opportunity to be a part of something very special.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was not compensated for this post, nor was I compensated to attend the gluten free summit.  The opinions I have expressed are solely my own.  Others who attended may have different opinions.  General Mills paid for my airfare, ground transportation, lodging and meals for the purpose of having me attend the gluten free summit.  Airport parking, baggage fees and meals at the airport/airplane were paid by me.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


  1. Great job, Cinde! I love how we all share our visit a little differently per our writing styles, perspectives, and personal histories. For example, who knew that you were the Betty Crocker Coupon Queen? Girl, you kept that little tidbit a secret! Visiting the Betty Crocker kitchens must have been super special for you! :-) Love the pics. I feel privileged to be in the one with you and Linda! And, hey, it looks like you caught the receptionist away from her desk, too. LOL

    It was so great to meet you, Cinde. Can't wait until we can all meet up again in the future!


  2. You are so sweet Shirley! Thank you!

    I look forward to seeing you again at the next summit. :)

  3. Cinde, it was a true pleasure meeting you, and baking with you. I agree with Shirley, it's interesting to see how everyone writes about the trip a little differently. I'm looking forward to us all getting together again.

  4. Thanks so much Linda! I am looking forward to it too. :)

  5. it's a bummer i couldn't go, i only live a couple of miles away from GM & both my oldest son & i are GF, anyway it was fun reading about this ! & i'm very happy with all the GF products GM is coming out with :)

  6. Thanks for your comment saganaga. :) I love the new gluten free General Mills products too!


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