Made in Idaho: Sun Flour Mills provides gluten free baking options from Nampa

Posted at 9:41 AM, Nov 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-22 11:41:46-05

Brenda Lovell is one of many mothers navigating life with her child's food allergies. Her daughter, Kelsey, had dietary issues through middle and high school until doctors found out what was wrong.

"We finally figured out she was intolerant to gluten and dairy, and she was so sick that even eggs bothered her at the time," Lovell said.

With the daunting task of changing family eating habits, Lovell turned to Sun Flour Mills baking mix.

"The physician who helped us figure this out actually recommended Sun Flour Mills because it was a product that didn't have dairy or eggs in it. Most of the products out there that are gluten free have either dairy or eggs," Lovell explained.

In 2014, Sun Flour Mills was for sale. The Lovell family took the plunge and bought the business, and recipes, to the gluten free dairy free mixes and flours they love.

"I think it just caught me at the right time. It was an emotional purchase, as far as I knew it was a great product," Lovell said. "It doesn't taste like cardboard, all of the things that you think of gluten free right? Dry, dense, icky, people don't usually know that it's gluten free."

Now five years later, Sun Flour Mills operates out of the Small Business Development Center's Business Accelerator in Nampa.

"If it wasn't for the SBDC we wouldn't have a space. I wouldn't have the guidance. When I first went to them when I first bought the company, I felt like I was herding cats because there was so much to do," Lovell laughed.

Sun Flour Mills offers mixes for chocolate cake, pumpkin cake, sugar cookie, rolls and sandwich bread, pizza crust and french bread, and two flours. A Nampa co-packer helps in the large packaging process.

"They have our secret recipes, they blend everything, they package everything for us, and get it ready to ship. They make sure everything is compliant, all the certifications are in place, and they have the raw ingredients that we require to make our product taste so good," Lovell said.

Then the boxes come back to her SBDC warehouse and Lovell ships directly to Winco, Natural Grocers, the Boise Co-op, and online customers.

Her family helps out too, including daughter Kelsey, who runs the company's social media pages from her home in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"I love working with her because it allows us more to talk about every day, and really the product is because of her right? I wouldn't have ever learned about Sun Flour Mills and then bought the company if it wasn't for Kelsey and all her health issues. Now it's just fun because we have lots of things to talk about other than baby stuff and grandma stuff and mom stuff, but also about business, and she's good at it," Lovell smiled.

The "Made in Idaho" mix is giving a tastier option to those with food allergies, and making the gem state proud.

"It's nice to have the company here just to help our valley grow, keep it home, and show what Idaho has to give to the rest of the country," Lovell said.

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