HAMERSLEY friends Hanako Frawley and Rhiannon Davies are relishing the opportunity to showcase their business at the Perth Gluten Free Expo on March 16 and 17.
Ms Frawley was diagnosed with coeliac disease in 2017 and found it difficult switching to and maintaining a gluten free diet.
Combining her experience and Ms Davies’ graphic design skills, they created Coelihack last January, offering a range of kitchenware products and an online resource and discussion space for people living with the autoimmune disease and gluten intolerance.
As little as 50mg or one hundredth of a slice of standard bread can damage the small intestine of someone with coeliac disease so cross contamination is a major issue.
“In a multi-person household it’s hard to track gluten cross-contamination and clearly labelled kitchenware can at least make everyone aware of what items they should or shouldn’t use while in the kitchen,” Ms Frawley said.
“We really couldn’t find any other products on the market that were designed to help with this issue.”
They offer menu planners and shopping lists as well as tea towels, aprons, oven mitts and tote bags that are sustainable and ethically made.
“We think our kitchenware and stationery can help gluten free individuals and the family, friends and work colleagues around them in their day to day life,” Ms Davies said.
“Eating gluten free often seems to be surrounded with negativity, so we wanted to counter this by creating a something that would instead feel positive and empowering.”
The expo falls during Coeliac Awareness Week from March 13 to 20 and Ms Frawley said she was eager for people to understand more about the disease, which she said navigating could often be exhausting and stressful.
“Eating gluten free for many individuals is not a choice, so more co-operation and understanding from non-gluten free individuals would be helpful, especially when eating at restaurants,” she said.
“If a restaurant doesn’t believe they can cater for me, I would rather they be honest and let me know rather than attempt to make something gluten free without understanding about cross contamination, or contains and may contain statements.”
The women said they were thrilled to be part of the expo and having recently launched an Etsy store, are hoping to reach people around Australia and overseas.