I first met Christine Ruggio, the owner of Sweet Christine's Gluten-Free Confections, at the duPont Hospital for Children's Celiac Conference two years ago. At the time, she had just started her fledgling business and was sampling her homemade cookies at the event. Since then, demand for her all-natural cookies and other baked goods has grown so much that Christine, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005, opened Sweet Christine's Bakery last year in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
At her bakery, Christine offers gluten-free items exclusively as part of a menu that includes sandwiches, salads, pizza and, of course, lots of sweet treats. Christine, who is a fellow University of Delaware alum, kindly sent me some samples of her products. My kids and I particularly liked the sweets - the rich chocolate brownies, soft chocolate chip cookies and the rich, gooey lava cake that I warmed for about half a minute in the microwave oven. What was left of the white sandwich bread I used for sandwiches kept its softness for a few days at room temperature before I sliced and froze the rest of the loaf.
If you don't live or work near the bakery, Sweet Christine's bread items and desserts are available for online ordering and at retail locations throughout the Delaware Valley. Sweet Christine's will be at the vendor fair at this year's duPont conference, coming up this Saturday, September 26 in Wilmington, Delaware, and the Appetite for Awareness event in Philadelphia on September 30.