In December of 2022 Natasha Landry and Denis Ouellet opened Gutsies, a 100% gluten free grocery store and bakery. The store opened its doors and the community welcomed them with open arms. They sell fresh baked goods and offer multiple gluten free products from Montreal and Toronto, along with soups and ready prepared meals. The frozen pizza dough is one of the best in town. The early morning pain au chocolat is a must try along with the banana muffins, just decadent.
We are so excited to have this amazing business in the BIA. We reached out to the owners of Gutsies to get to know more about them and how Gutsies came to be!
“Our eldest daughter, Maya, was diagnosed with Celiac disease 10 years ago and we got really familiar with the semantics of gathering everything needed to make our culinary life as normal as possible. In the last 10 years, we had never stumbled upon a gluten free specialty store, even if the need for such a place was evident, with a gluten free population growing at a crazy speed. After the pandemic, a health scare, we decided to take the plunge and create that gluten free haven. We aimed to make it a fun, appealing place to shop, a place with good music, where it smells good, and where the staff is knowledgeable and friendly, and most of all, where you feel welcomed. Our goal is simple; to make life easier for everyone on a gluten free diet, to give their taste buds a treat. Heck, to give everyone’s taste buds a treat, because our stuff is that good. We dare you to taste the “gluten free-ness”. Because we have associated ourselves with great partners, along with our pastry chef’s creations, and some of our family recipes, we are able to offer a wide variety of tasty food. Our store has eight different fresh breads, croissants, donuts, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, scones, brownies, a variety of sweets, cake slices and much more including, frozen meals, frozen goods, shelved items such as a variety of pasta, flour, cookies, crackers, breakfast items, cooking items, mixes, snacks, and local products. We are pretty proud of the variety of what we offer.
We currently have 10 employees, and we all have a great time being here. I think we all feel the difference we make in our customers’ lives and keep the atmosphere light and cheerful, in front of the store as well as in the kitchen. Seeing our clients’ faces when they walk in for the first time, especially kids, is probably what brings tears to my eyes the most. I often pinch myself when I stand in this place when the lights are out and it’s quiet, and it sinks in that we created this. It fills Denis and I with pride.
I think we are both surprised and overjoyed that after only 8 months, we have an established clientele and new customers visiting us daily. This store was something that was needed in this part of town, yes, but I think when our clients open that front door and step in, they feel like this was created for them, and they can also feel how genuinely happy we are to be able to make a difference in their lives. We’ve never worked so hard but we’ve never been so happy to do so! There is so much heart in this place, I know that our fantastic clients can feel that!”
“We knew that our little shop would probably attract clients from a bit farther than Orléans so the location was really close to the highway. We also loved the homey, community feeling of St-Joseph where little mom and pop shops line the street. We’ve realized that our clients love shopping in the older part of town.”
“I’ve always been creative. From home decorating, sewing Halloween costumes for my daughters and building furniture to decorating cakes with fondant or tap dancing. Everyone has always expected me to pick up one of these hobbies for a new career, but I went in a totally new direction with Gutsies, learning the ropes of owning and managing our little gluten free grocery and bakery.”