Ann Arbor, MI (PRWEB) May 22, 2013 - Right in time for Celiac Awareness Month, gourmet pizza chain Cottage Inn has launched gluten-free sandwiches in each of its stores. Cottage Inn has been offering gluten-free pizzas and cheese bread since 2009 to cater to customers who suffer from celiac disease or gluten intolerance. With several franchise owners having celiac disease themselves, Cottage Inn has personal ties to its gluten-free initiative.
According to the Vice President of Operations Deborah Masse, about 10% of Cottage Inn franchise owners have celiac disease or other digestive disorders, making their gluten-free offerings a welcome addition to both customers and owners.
Shayfi Broumand, who owns a Cottage Inn store in Ypsilanti, suffers from Crohn’s disease and says that eating a gluten-free diet has changed his life. He’s now happy to provide this option to customers who also suffer from similar digestive disorders. “Customers have told us they feel more energetic and don’t have as much joint pain after taking gluten out of their diet,” Broumand says. “We’re proud to provide gluten-free foods that don’t sacrifice on taste. Our gluten-free pizza crust really is delicious!”
The addition of gluten-free sandwiches to the menu is Cottage Inn’s solution for providing more variety to their gluten-free customers. Broumand says, “We wanted to work off our existing menu to make more items available to anyone with this dietary restriction.”
With gluten-free items on its menu since 2009, Cottage Inn got a head start on the gluten-free trend. “We could tell this was a major health issue with consumers and wanted to cater toward them,” comments Broumand. “The market was demanding gluten-free products, but other pizza chains weren’t offering.”
Cottage Inn takes precautions to make sure cross-contamination does not occur during the preparation phase. Employees are trained to use different utensils when handling gluten-free items and keep separate containers for ingredients that end up on gluten-free pizzas and sandwiches.
The gluten-free sandwiches currently come in four flavors: Italian, Ham & Cheese, Turkey & Cheese, and Veggie.
Founded in 1948, Cottage Inn has the distinction of being the first restaurant in Ann Arbor, MI to serve pizza. The Original Cottage Inn still operates as a popular restaurant in downtown Ann Arbor and remains the company’s flagship today. In 1975, Cottage Inn began to expand into carryout and delivery services to meet the demands of its growing popularity. Today, there are over 50 Cottage Inn stores and franchises in operation throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Northern Indiana offering a variety of menu items that include pizza, breadsticks, salads, subs, calzones, gluten-free items, and more.