Our Trip to Kinnikinnick!

Have any of my readers visited the Kinnikinnick bakery in Edmonton, AB, Canada? I was incredibly lucky to be invited down to check them out, and test out some of their product! We were met by Marina Michaelides, who is Media and Communications for Kinnikinnick. She spent over an hour showing us through the location, and answering all of our questions. The bakery is located at 10940 120 Street, which is affectionately known as K1. Let me tell you about K1, K2, and K3. K1 is where Kinnikinnick creates all of their delicious donuts. If you haven’t already tried them, I recommend you do. Their current flavours are Pumpkin Spice, Chocolate Dipped, Cinnamon Sugar, Maple Glazed, Vanilla Glaze, and their new revolutionary Soft Donuts, which come with their own squeezable packet of glaze so that you can adjust their sweetness! We were lucky enough to get a tour of the facilities, led by their Production Manager, Hans Jorgesen. For safety and health code reasons, we were only allowed to be in a specific section, so Hans was gracious enough to take some video of the donut production line for us! Did you know that they produce approximately 5000 donuts per day? Amazing!

K1 (they call the facilities K1, K2, and K3 because it’s easier than saying Kinnikinnick 1, 2, and 3), is also the home of K3, which is where all of the wonderfully fresh baked goods are made for the storefront. You can get things there that aren’t readily available at your local grocery store, or online, so it’s worth it to make the trip if you live in the area. This is the location where they make their pies and cakes for the store. You will find fresh baked cheese and red pepper twists, parmesan pepperoni buns, dinner rolls, hamburger buns, muffins, tarts, cupcakes, along with many other goodies. Do you need a birthday cake made? Give them a call! The K2 location is the second largest gluten free bakery in the world, and it is where the remainder of their packaged, baked goods are made and shipped all over North America. They are in over 15,000 retail locations!

We were lucky enough to come home with some of these goodies, and what a treat they were! From top to bottom are as follows: Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies, Caramel Cinnamon Bun, Glazed Cinnamon Bun, Sugar Cookies, Cheese and Red Pepper Twists, Dinner Rolls, and Parmesan Pizza Buns. The Dinner rolls were by far my favourite. The texture of those rolls are amazing, and even held up to being frozen and thawed the next day. I will be purchasing a bunch for my Christmas dinner! We were given other items to test out also, and we will be sure to include them in our Instagram feed, so watch for those!

While the in-store bakery items are very impressive, most people know Kinnikinnick for their frozen and prepackaged items. Some of their prepackaged mixes include their flour blend (which I used to make some amazing gingerbread loaves that you can find here), Panko Style Bread Crumbs, Graham Style Cracker Crumbs, Angel Food Cake Mix, Pancake and Waffle Mix, Cake Mixes, etc. I buy a lot of the Kinnikinnick frozen items, such as breads, bagels, hamburger buns, hotdog buns, english muffins, pizza crusts, and a host of other items. You can find a listing of all of the products they offer on their website at https://www.kinnikinnick.com/, or you can click here to go directly to their product index.

One product that I am really looking forward to trying is their frozen Waffles. Unfortunately, because freezer space is at a premium in grocery stores, the waffles don’t get the advertising like their breads do, so I wasn’t even aware that they made prepackaged waffles. Kinnikinnick will be doing a big push on those in 2018, so watch for their advertising! They currently come in Cinnamon Brown Sugar, and Original flavour, so if you can’t find them at your local grocery store, come on down to the retail storefront and pick some up. If you don’t live close to the store, you can order online! Kinnikinnick ships anywhere in North America through their website, and if you spend $50 online, you get free shipping! Not in North America? Try Amazon UK! While the online deal that Kinnikinnick offers is not available through Amazon, you can still order some of their prepackaged foods, and have them shipped overseas to enjoy the delicious items that Kinnikinnick provides.

Let’s back up a little, and give you a brief history of Kinnikinnick Foods. It had humble beginnings in the 1980’s, starting off at the Farmers Market in Edmonton, and built themselves up from there. They are a legacy brand, and have 25 years of experience making gluten free items! The creator, Ted Wolff Von Selzam, soon had more and more people interested in his gluten free goods, so he opened a store front. By 1996 he was supplying gluten free foods to smaller markets in BC and Saskatchewan. By then, Jerry Bigham had become a regular customer because his wife, Lynne, was Celiac. They became a part of the company in 1997, became the sole owners in 2005, and the rest is history! You can read more on their story, here.

Kinnikinnick has become a trusted brand for Celiacs and allergy sufferers because of their stringent quality control. Before anything leaves the production floor in any of their facilities, batch controls are set in place, and products are tested to ensure that they meet industry standards. Testing is done to approximately 5 ppm (parts per million), which is far better than the required 20 ppm! As a celiac, I feel completely safe eating their product, and now that I’ve toured their facility I can honestly say that I trust their process. Not only is their product safe for Celiac and NCGS consumption, a lot of their product is also safe from the top 8 allergens (some pastry items do contain egg, so please read your labels carefully). In the coming year, they will be changing their soy ingredients to sunflower, which will open up their products to more allergy sufferers. All of their products are free from preservatives and artificial colourings also!

Speaking of “Free From”, Kinnikinnick will be rebranding in 2018 as Free From! New packaging will be rolled out, and you will be seeing some new products as well, including 3 new muffin flavours.

Kinnikinnick Foods are a family and community oriented company. They are passionate about giving back to the community, and helping everyone with gluten free dietary restrictions enjoy the food they can eat. Not only can you shop in their retail location, but you can also attend their events in their test kitchen on location. Today, December 15, their Corporate Chef Lori Grein is hosting a Cookie Extravaganza! You can head down to the store front between the hours of 10:00am and 1:00pm and watch Lori bake up a batch or two (or three) of delicious gluten free sugar cookies, and taste test them. I’ll be there! Lori holds these in store events monthly, and they usually focus on a specific range. Recipes can be found at their website here! Check out their Facebook page for more info on their events, by clicking on the cookie photo.

I mentioned that Kinnikinnick Foods are community oriented. As you know, the holiday season is hard on many families, unfortunately. Food bank usage is up, and when you have allergies or food sensitivities, using these facilities becomes even more difficult. Kinnikinnick Foods are committed to helping those in need, and they offer 2 different sized, prepackaged, gluten free hampers in store for you to purchase. Last year, they donated 600 hampers! The larger hamper is $20, and the smaller is $10. The best part is that Kinnikinnick will match your donation. So when shopping, please pick up a hamper if you can!

I consider myself very fortunate to have been able to tour the K1 facility, and meet the amazing people there. I was welcomed warmly, and not only left there with some amazing goodies to try, but I also left knowing that I was going to be safe doing so. I can’t describe how wonderful it felt to walk into a storefront like that, and not have to check labels for gluten or wheat items. If you’re looking for that same feeling, please visit their storefront, shop through their website, and come in for their events. You won’t be disappointed! Now, I’m going to go eat some fresh baked sugar cookies. Come join me at their storefront, located at 10940 120 Street, Edmonton AB.

Happy Holidays!

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