Teacher’s gluten-intolerance leads to second career


Nick Marakhovsky

Mrs. Whittington stands in her kitchen with a batch of freshly baked cookies.

Baked to perfection, the cookie packs sensational flavor into a delightful treat. When she’s not hard at work grading papers for the 9th grade CLUE English classes, Mrs. Sandie Whittington is busy baking for her own cookie business, Miss Sandie’s Gluten Free Baked Goods.
Other than offering a fulfilling dessert, she began this business with a goal in mind. These cookies are gluten-free and made with her original recipes. She works in a commercial kitchen and hopes to allow an alternative to people with a gluten-intolerance like herself.
At age 15, Whittington was told she had severe stomach problems with many failed attempts at finding helpful medication. Although doctors dismissed diet as a possible culprit, she set an appointment for food allergy testing. With that, she found her answer.
“I started buying gluten-free cookies and things in the stores, and they were very expensive and tasted horrible, and I had always been a baker and so I decided to start experimenting,” Whittington said.
Drastically changing her diet greatly improved her health. Inspired, she opted to share. Although some may be deterred by the phrase “gluten-free”, others would disagree.
“I wouldn’t have been able to tell that it was gluten-free. It tasted just like a normal cookie, if not better,” Justin Kouch (10) said.
Mrs. Whittington’s cookies can be found at eight different locations: Miss Cordelia’s Groceries, Otherlands, Superlo, City Silo Table + Pantry, Doc’s Wine Spirits and more, The Curb Market, novel. and Buster’s Liquors and Wines. In the future, she hopes to expand to Whole Foods as well.
Fueling her entrepreneurial spirit, Mrs. Whittington hopes to expand after retirement. Her vision involves hiring a staff, perhaps former students, as well as creating awareness for those with food allergies.
“If I could shine a light on this, that somebody is having severe stomach problems and they’re not getting any help from doctors because the medicines they gave me never helped,” Whittington said.