A t first glance, 2B Whole Gluten-Free European Bakery’s baked goods may look like traditional, decadent European treats. Even upon tasting them you may think so. But, there’s more than meets the eye at 2B Whole. All of the products are gluten free, and many of them don’t contain other allergens like dairy, egg and soy. The bakery even offers a paleo line for the Crossfit inclined.
The woman behind the Alpharetta bakery, Toula Argentis, has been a baking enthusiast for more than 20 years but didn’t always dream of opening a bakery. So how did she get here? The driving force behind her becoming a small business owner was her two sons. Her oldest son had been diagnosed with a neurological disorder – he wasn’t eating, and he was losing weight rapidly. Fifteen years ago the gluten free scene was not what it is today. The food that was available didn’t taste very good, and it was much more expensive. So Argentis went on a mission.
She decided that to get something done, she would have to do it herself. She discovered the gluten free recipes she was using just didn’t taste good, or they didn’t work, so she began tweaking them. Almost every recipe she liked had been carefully modified. But, there was a payoff. “They started eating again and I was happy,” said Argentis.
Not only were the boys happy with the food she was making, but her older son started to show more focus and perform better in school. And, she didn’t have to cook two menus to include gluten free foods and traditional foods.
The more she baked for the boys, the more she realized she wanted to share this passion with the world. She started with shared kitchen space in Kennesaw taking wholesale orders, and eventually evolved her business into her storefront in downtown Alpharetta. All of this, while working full time at a corporate job, until earlier this year. Now, she goes beyond gluten free breads and has expanded her line to include pastries, pizza dough and breakfast items.
She also has advice to offer for parents who may be facing similar challenges. “Don’t get discouraged and don’t panic.” She recommends looking at all the available resources (including herself) and talking to holistic practitioners as well as traditional medical practitioners. Additionally, she will be doing a monthly wellness talk at Lako Family Chiropractic in Roswell as a way to offer more support.
Her sons’ health was the impetus for her bakery, but they’re also her inspiration. Even still, “They’re my little taste testers.”
You can find 2B Whole Gluten Free European bakery at 42 Milton Avenue, right across from the square. The shop is closed on Sunday and Monday, but open 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Thursday; 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturday. You can also order products online at 2BWhole.net.