Doug Davidson is owner-operator of Gramma Dee’s Gourmet Snacks, including gluten-free cheese bread and cake mix.

Gluten-free goodies made with Gramma’s recipe

Langley man who fell in love with Brazil snack has made a version for everyone in B.C.

When Doug Davidson moved back to Langley after living eight years in sunny Brazil, he missed the the traditional snack food they served everywhere. Called Pao de Queijo — translated to ‘cheese bread’ — the bite-sized snack is eaten with coffee in the morning, with soup for lunch or just as an appetizer.

“Their cheese bread is served everywhere, on food trucks, at the Starbuck’s, in stores, everybody ate it for breakfast, with lunch, as a snack,” said Davidson.

So, along with his wife Sandra, a native of Brazil, they started trying to recreate that delicious cheese bread here at home, using Sandra’s grandmother Dee’s recipe.

“But we couldn’t quite perfect it because we couldn’t get the same cheese they use in Brazil,” Davidson said. So after many trials and errors, they came up with the perfect mix of blending four cheeses including mozzarella and provolone.

What came out of the oven was that long-missed Brazilian cheese bread – crunchy on the outside and soft and cheesy on the inside.

They didn’t want to keep this tasty morsel to themselves so with a leap of faith, Davidson decided to try and sell them.

Davidson took the plunge, creating the company ‘Gramma Dee’s Gourmet Snacks,’ in honour of Sandra’s gramma and started selling the cheese bread balls at farmers’ markets around the Lower Mainland.

“Lots of people loved it so much, they kept asking where can I get this year-round? There was nowhere, just me. So we decided to try and get it into stores.”

The traditional recipe calls for tapioca flour so the bread is naturally gluten-free — which is a real hit for Celiacs and the growing population of people with gluten intolerance.

The machine that forms the cheese bread balls had to be imported from Brazil. It took Davidson six months to master it.

Gramma Dee’s offers three flavors: traditional cheese, jalapeno and garlic.

Now, the Brazilian staple is sold in the produce frozen food shelves of around 70 Save On Foods throughout B.C. It’s also available at Langley’s Nature’s Fair.

“Sales increase 30 to 40 per cent year after year,” said Davidson. It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s his passion now.

A few years ago, the Gramma Dee’s product line expanded. Sandra created a vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake mix that doesn’t compromise on flavour.

“It truly is the most chocolatey, moist cake I’ve ever tasted. Lots of gluten-free, dairy free cakes taste like cardboard, but this one delivers.”

This year, Gramma Dee’s cake mix was nominated at the Gluten Free Trade Show as product of the year. It came in fifth place. The cake mix is available in 120 grocery stores across B.C.

The whole bag of mix can make 80 mini cupcakes, which is how they serve it at trade shows and local grocery tastings.

Recently, Gramma Dee’s received a small business grant under the provincial government’s Buy Local program that promotes local agricultural and food businesses.

With that money they were able to test out the perfect gluten-free, nut and dairy-free pesto sauce. Containing kale, hemp and spinach, Davidson thinks he has a great product but it’s still in the beginning stages and not on the market . . . yet, he says.

Running your own business, right down to doing the baking and delivering, is a lot different than his previous work of running restaurants and bars in the U.S. and Mexico.

His industrial kitchen is here in Langley and he delivers his own product to stores.

But for every happy customer who turns out to love Gramma Dee’s cheese bread, it makes the challenges worthwhile, he said.

To learn more go to of check out the Facebook page.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Gators depth leads team to Valley title

Walnut Grove’s Kevin Kao earns most valuable player honours in leading Gators to victory

Thursday summit at Langley Events Centre outlines sprinkler benefits

Township stresses importance of residential sprinklers in homes

A new high for Spartans hockey program

Trinity Western hockey team has won 18 games, a new benchmark for the program

Poppy students lead the way for Langley United Wrestling Club

Four gold and three bronze medals for Langley wrestlers in advance of provincial championships

New group for parents of overdose victims launched by Langley mother

There is a lack of long-term resources for grieving parents

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

BC BUDGET: Tobacco tax hike may spark black market

NDP government adds another 56 cents per pack as of April 1

4 treatment centres to open in memory of B.C. teen who died of an overdose

A treatment centre for addictions is opening in Penticton after the first one fell through

BCHL Today: Merritt peaking at right time and Taylor signs with UNH Wildcats

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Violent sex offender found not guilty of breach for smoking marijuana

Once designated a dangerous offender, Kevin Miller reportedly back at Chilliwack halfway house

Video: B.C. firefighters featured in quirky video

Oliver Fire Department posts video about their B.C. volunteer firefighter spring training seminar

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Two more medals push Canada into third place

A gold in ski cross and a bronze in bobsleigh as men’s hockey advances to the semis

5 to start your day

NDP rolls out first budget, piano teacher accused of sex assault involving former students and more

Trudeau reiterates denial of Sikh separatists in cabinet, condemns extremism

“We will always stand against violent extremism, but we understand that diversity of views is one of the great strengths of Canada.”

Most Read