sponsoring gluten-free girl and the chef


If you’ve come to the site today, looking for new recipes, you might have seen a small change in the right-hand column over there. (And if you’re reading this on an RSS feed, you’ll want to come to the site.)

There’s a big link to Bob’s Red Mill there now. Why is that?

Well, you see, we’ve been dreaming of this for a long time. Danny and I both adore this space, this community of people, the chance to do this work. As we tweak recipes and read pages, in the very last chance to make changes to our cookbook, we have been talking about how grateful we feel. As our passion for good food and feeding people safely, great baked goods, and ridiculous stories grows stronger every month, we feel more sure. We want to be doing this for a long time.

We want to write more cookbooks. Danny wants to keep inventing dishes at his restaurant. I want to tackle more breads and cookies and that damned puff pastry. We want to keep talking with you.

We’re also going to be here more often, and more regularly. (You might have noticed more posts this week than most.) We’ll be doing posts here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from now on. We’ll be doing cookbook recommendations, new baked goods, a complex recipe from the chef every other week, a simple recipe from the home cook every other week, island photos, and videos of Danny demonstrating new techniques. We’re excited. And we know we’re going to be busy.

In order to do this well, we need to be able to put our full focus on the work of this site. Rather than chasing after little writing assignments and taking more freelance gigs, we decided to put ads on Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.

After all, most blogs have ads now, right? You’ve seen them too. Some of them flash. Some of them have nothing to do with the content of the site. A few might feel useful to you. We thought long and hard about connecting with an ad network, letting them do the work, and just take whatever ads we received.

But we couldn’t do it. We found ourselves wincing at some of the ads we saw on some of our favorite sites. You don’t have much control over the ads you get with most networks. And when it came down to it, we just couldn’t have a giant color ad for wheat crackers here.

So we took months figuring out how to create our own ad network. The amazing and generous Amanda Soule gave me guidance on how she doesthis with integrity, as well the stucture of how she runs her sponsorships. We could not have done this work without our incredible website designer, Kaytlyn Sanders of Beneficial Design, and Kaveri Subbaro, the savvy compassionate lawyer whom we met through Kaytlyn. This has been a labor of love for us all over these past many months.

Today’s the day.

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be adding more companies to the site. What felt really important to me and Danny both is that the ads you will see will be of use to those of you reading. If you wonder how to find a flour we mention or a food we really love or a place to buy kitchen supplies that has made our lives easier, you’ll be able to click on the links of our sponsors and find them immediately.

(I always loved that old tv phrase: “And now a word from our sponsors.”)

You should know that we will be limiting the number of sponsored ads here, keeping them only to companies we truly love, the ones who make food we eat happily and do business in a way that makes sense to us.

(If you are part of a company that feels like the right fit for us, let us know.)

We are all a community here. We’d like you to support the companies that help make this community feel well-fed by clicking on the links over there to the right when you can.


Danny and I are both honored and ecstatic that our first sponsor is Bob’s Red Mill.

If you are gluten-free, you need Bob’s Red Mill.

This wonderful company, dedicated to bringing great whole grains to the world, makes over 400 products, some of them organic, and many of them gluten-free. They not only have a deep understanding of how to produce good food that is safe for those of us who cannot get a speck of gluten in our systems, but they also have an entire facility dedicated to producing gluten-free foods. (I love their symbol: a grain of wheat with a big red line through it.)

To quote them:

“Bob’s Red Mill has been praised again and again for our dedication to producing products that are free from gluten. People suffering from celiac disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergies, or who are avoiding gluten for other health reasons can feel assured by the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free symbol on all our certified gluten free products. This symbol informs those following a gluten free diet that our products are produced in a dedicated facility free from wheat and other gluten-containing grains or derivatives.

We segregate our ingredients and thoroughly clean our equipment between production lines. This symbol also informs consumers that while there is no recognized standard, we only place our gluten free symbol on those products that meet our standard of no more than 20 parts per million which we establish through a gluten test performed in our quality control laboratory. Each product is tested before milling and after packaging.

In an effort to better serve our allergen sensitive consumers, our gluten free facility is also dairy and casein free.

We have hundreds of gluten free recipes available on our website and a customer service staff ready to help customers who need assistance adjusting to this lifestyle.”

One of the highlights of my book tour in 2007 was the chance to make an appearance at the Bob’s Red Mill store in Milwaukie, Oregon. As excited as I was to meet people, I kind of just wanted to wander the store in awe. This is whole grain mecca.

(And I had the chance to meet Bob himself. He was wearing the hat! Did you hear that Bob recently retired and gave the company to his employees? Now that is a mensch.)

Danny and I both want you to know this: there has been at least one package of Bob’s Red Mill flour in our house (and often times, 20 more) every single day since I was diagnosed with celiac.

Honestly, we could not do what we do without Bob’s Red Mill.

Thank you, Bob’s. (And thank you to Cassidy, who helped make this happen.)

If you ever read one of our recipes, and see a flour you don’t recognize or can’t find at your local grocery store, just click on that Bob’s Red Mill link and start ordering.

44 comments on “sponsoring gluten-free girl and the chef

  1. Cegoodner

    We love Bob’s Red Mill! We have at least a dozen little bags of flours in our cupboard as I write this. Seems like a great fit for everyone involved!

  2. Kathy

    Hi Shauna,

    I’m an Australian, so the Bob’s Red Mill link will not be of personal use to me, but as I have commented on a number of other blogs I read recently, I think thematically related and appropriate ads / sponsorship add value to a blog for readers, not the opposite. A couple of great parenting blogs I read have recently introduced sponsors and already I have found a terrific new ecological / fair trade online toystore and a children’s clothing shop via one of them. This enhances my experience of these blogs greatly.

    Long-winded way of saying, more power to you and I look forward to seeing what sponsors you get!

  3. Cove Girl

    After I was first diagnosed with Celiacs Bob’s Red Mill was the only thing that I felt I could go to safely, and it still is, although I’m more adventurous these days with what I’m willing to take in safely. My friends, when wanting to make something special for me, always go to Bob and more than once I’ve had a generous benefactor at church leave me bags of his GF baking mixes:) YAY for Bob!!!

    BTW, I <3 the banana bread!!! Very YUMMY:)

  4. Cove Girl

    After I was first diagnosed with Celiacs Bob’s Red Mill was the only thing that I felt I could go to safely, and it still is, although I’m more adventurous these days with what I’m willing to take in safely. My friends, when wanting to make something special for me, always go to Bob and more than once I’ve had a generous benefactor at church leave me bags of his GF baking mixes:) YAY for Bob!!!

    BTW, I <3 the banana bread!!! Very YUMMY:)

  5. Cove Girl

    After I was first diagnosed with Celiacs Bob’s Red Mill was the only thing that I felt I could go to safely, and it still is, although I’m more adventurous these days with what I’m willing to take in safely. My friends, when wanting to make something special for me, always go to Bob and more than once I’ve had a generous benefactor at church leave me bags of his GF baking mixes:) YAY for Bob!!!

    BTW, I <3 the banana bread!!! Very YUMMY:)

  6. Sweet @ Adventures in Veg

    I totally agree that sponsors/ads, when used well, are a great resource for readers.
    When it’s obvious that the blogger actually uses the service/product regularly and is not just trying to put in ads to make money, it’s a bonus for the reader.

    I love your site and I think any regular readers will know you two would not just do something like this without a lot of careful thought and planning. So I totally trust that your ads will be of use rather than use-less. Best of luck with it!
    Aoife

  7. jjlliiaa

    You did the right thing, and we all benefit. You get more time to write and cook, and we get more of your wonderful writing and delicious recipes. Bob’s Red Mill is the best, and so are you and Danny.

  8. Jenn Sutherland

    Bravo! I truly appreciate that you’re taking the path of supporting the site with the companies you believe in. Every time I’ve purchased an ingredient for my kitchen or a gadget for my countertop (like that wonderful rice cooker), I’ve been thrilled. I trust the GFG&C Seal of Approval and look forward to seeing what companies are smart enough to align with the community you’ve created here!

  9. Meg

    Congrats on the new sponsor! I love Bob’s Red Mill products, both without gluten and with. I recommend their products to friends. Awesome. Love the blog, too — happy for you guys!

  10. Debra

    We love Bob’s Red Mill too & have been using their products for years…I appreciate your careful consideration of your sponsors. That definitely is a ‘right fit’ for me! Thanks! And best wishes in the work you love!

  11. Trysha

    Amazing! I’ve been a long-time reader (I think the first post was when you were married. I’ve never commented though. Seeing this really excited me. I had never heard of Bob’s Red Mill before I started reading your blog. Congrats on getting such a great company. Why does this feel (to me at least) more like a partnership than advertising? Good stuff, Ahern’s.

  12. elle

    Yay for Bob’s Red Mill! Yay for Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. That’s the order I found you after I was evaluated. You are a BASIC on my blog roll and I look forward to all you have to say and recommend. Bless you!

  13. silly aunt sarah

    Whoohoo!!!
    i love Bob’s Red Mill! What a perfect pairing. Congrats, you deserve all the best!

  14. sparkleplenty

    I think it’s great. I have no doubt you’ll be very thoughtful with regard to the choice of your sponsors and we’ll have better access to like-minded companies. Plus, as a small business owner and part-time writer, I know how nice it will be to reap some financial benefit from all your hard work. If this means more posts from you and more freedom for you, that’s fantastic!

  15. Jen Yu

    Good for you!! People who balk at sponsorship generally have no clue how much work goes into a good food blog.

    I think you know as well as I do that you and Danny could rake it in if you wanted to. But I love that you’re doing this with principle and starting off with Bob’s Red Mill is such a wonderful wonderful way to do it. I love his products, love his company, love him and his ethics. Thank you for thinking this through with your heart as much as your head. Love you guys.

  16. Anita (Married... with dinner)

    I’m not celiac, and I still love Bob’s — they have great products, and great values. I’m glad they’re supporting you. :)

  17. Beth

    I can’t imagine who would possibly begrudge you the opportunity to make a living doing what you love. If advertising allows us more recipes, more stories, more pictures, more YES? Then bring on the advertising!

  18. Dana

    As always, you have handled this issue with grace and tact. I am so excited for you and we all will benefit from getting more frequent posts from you and Danny. Congrats!

  19. I Am Gluten Free

    Shauna — I think Bob’s Red Mill is a perfect way to begin advertising on your blog. They are so supportive of people with Celiac and/or those who want/need to follow a gluten free way of life. I totally support your decision to put carefully chosen ads on your blog. It helps to pay for some of the products that I purchase as I continue to explore cooking, baking, and blogging about my gluten free recipes. And btw, based on your recommendation, we hired Beneficial Design to create our new website. It hasn’t been launched yet, but I’d like to let others know that Kaytlyn has been wonderful to work with, not to mention how talented she is. Much continued luck to you and the chef!

    best,
    Ellen

  20. katygirl

    Another conscious and conscientious decision from a favorite blog. You guys (and Bob’s Red Mill) do it right every time. Congrats!

  21. Green Key

    I really appreciate the way you are approaching the incorporation of ads to your site. The certainly can be a great resource to readers. And Bob’s Mill rocks!

  22. Deborah

    Bob’s Red Mill is just down the street from me which makes me happy. It is wonderful to be able to hop down there and get just a little if that is all is needed or I can afford at the time. That you for your website.

  23. Tara

    Congratulations on finding a way to make this work for you (and help us!)
    The day I decided to go gluten-free (just 2 weeks ago!) I went to the store and Bob’s Red Mill was the only option I could find.
    I had been buying his (or should I say “their”) other flours and mixes for a while and was delighted to see I could get tapioca flour, amaranth, xanthum gum…everything I needed to make the recipes from your book!

  24. La Dolce Vita

    good for you! I always use Bob’s Red Mill and why not have a sponsor that has integrity and great products!

  25. janiejane

    You deserve sponsorship with all the work you do and with the tremendous benefits you share with all of us. Of course we use Bob’s!!

  26. La Niña

    We can’t live without BOB. We order by the case. (At least we order the GF oats by the case!)

    Bob is amazing for what he has done… and he is a model for what other businesses should do.

    You belong together like beans and rice, like peanut butter and chocolate, like anything improved by combination!

    Don’t apologize for being sponsored. Celebrate!!!
    Here is the recipe:
    GFG & C + Bob = xoxoxox!

  27. Nurit

    Good for you to add ads and make some money of your gorgeous blog and hard work. And I think it’s great that you hand pick those companies that sell better, healthier products and not those who make us wince or cringe. Great job!

  28. Cami

    Last week my son and I were walking out of the Bob’s Red Mill in Oregon and he asked me if Bob’s a real person. Guess who was walking up the sidewalk toward us? That’s right, it was Bob!! We chatted with him for a couple of minutes and he gave my son a wooden nickel (good for a free baked good in the store). What a great person, no wonder his company is so great!!

  29. RosieGirlDreams.com

    I appreciated this post so much. I run across so many blogs which I enjoy reading, that are literally cluttered with advertisements completely unrelated to the blog topic…and I’m still trying to figure out what I think of it all as I started my own blog recently. I’m glad you guys have decided to run ads that will further support your hard work and allow you to do it. And doing it so conscientiously just adds to your credibility and respect for your audience. It’s much appreciated.

  30. Tara

    I love Bob’s!! And lucky me, the mill is only a quick 10 minute drive from my house. It’s where I get all of my gluten free goods!

  31. CherylK

    I love Bob’s Red Mill…have been buying their products for years. It’s the same thing with your blog…even though I am not on a gluten-free diet, I love your recipes. They’re healthy and delicious…what’s not to like? Same thing with Bob’s Red Mill. Healthy and delicious. Hat’s off to you!

  32. Tara

    I can think of no better first sponsor for you two than Bob’s Red Mill! Good for you!

    I also really appreciate that you have decided to do this in the same spirit as SouleMama (a fellow Mainer!), as a “sponsor” sounds so much more kindred and cooperative than an “advertisement” does. Really sets a great tone.

    Once again, you are an inspiration! The more time you can devote to gf puff pastry, the better, I say!

  33. Kate

    Good for you! There’s nothing wrong with useful and beneficial advertising. I am lucky enough to live just a few minutes away from Bob’s. It’s one of my favorite places in Portland.

  34. Kimmie

    I used to walk past BRM stuff and think — sheesh that is overpriced fancy weird flour — now I am so thankful to have them and hope they will be around forever

  35. LaurieA-B

    Like you, I dislike a lot of the advertising I see on websites–but after reading this post and seeing the attractive ad, I am actually looking forward to seeing what ads you have in the future. Who would have thought it?

    My parents live not far from Bob’s Red Mill and one year at Christmas they gave us a gift pack of flours and mixes; it was one of the best presents ever.

  36. Meadow

    I have always wondered why you did not have them before. You are providing immense value to your readers, you are obviously passionate about this site and what it offers, so why not monetize it? I love supporting people who follow their passions. Inspire away, and do what you need to do in order to make that happen.

  37. smilinggreenmom

    Oh yay! Boy, I wish I could remember if it was Bob’s Red Mill or not, but we tried a pancake mix made with Kamut Khorasan Wheat which we just loved! Since it can be tolerated by some with gluten issues, we wanted to try it and it was awesome! Thanks for being so upfront and honest and staying true to your site :)

  38. Anonymous

    sounds like a perfect pairing to me. best wishes on your little change as I’m sure it will only create more ways to offer all that you do. thank you for sharing so much of your goodness!

  39. abbie

    as previous readers have said, I too congratulate you for taking this step! I am eager to see who you find out there supporting the gluten-free world. It certainly takes some of the researching job off my shoulders. Thanks for recommending great GF sources to the rest of us!

  40. Michelle

    Last year I took my four year old son to tour the mill at Bob’s Red Mill. It was a guided tour and we learned so much about the history of the mill and Bob’s life. We were both fascinated and my son loved seeing the mills in action. At the end of the tour I discreetly asked our guide, “Is Bob still living?” At that exact moment he walked around the corner! I was so embarrassed. He was very gracious, however, and handed my son a wooden token to use at the store for a baked good. We felt like we had met a movie star! He looked exactly like he does on the packages, red hat and all! Next we went to the outlet store, which is just down the road. We spent two hours in there…so much fun to look at everything and we were especially pleased to get to buy a lot of our products in bulk, at a fraction of the cost. There is also a wonderful deli inside the store. We sure enjoyed our wheat-free french toast and a grilled ham & cheese–items we had not tasted for so long! So, if you live in the Pacific NW (and GF Girl, I know you do!), be sure to make a trip to visit Bob’s Red Mill. It is just outside of Portland in Milwaukie and definitely worth the visit. The tours are given daily (weekdays) at 10 a.m.

  41. Merritt Gilbert

    Congrats! And I love Bob’s Red Mill. He makes being a Celiac so much easier. I couldn’t live without the flours, bread mixes and the pizza mix! Yummy.