• TEN Team

Converting Challenge into Revenue

Updated: Oct 10, 2017

Rianne Lashley who is sensitive to wheat wanted to find a way for herself and others like her, to enjoy the same baked delicacies those without gluten allergies would readily have.

She says, “I wanted to offer all the treats that we are forced to avoid and dearly miss due to our wheat sensitivity including a variety of breads, coconut bread, coconut turnovers and cupcakes to name a few.”

What she never once thought was that a nickname bestowed upon her by co-workers would eventually lead to the successful start-up of her business.

Wearing the moniker “Gluten Free Café” proudly, Rianne was popular among her peers for consistently bringing gluten free baked goods for them to sample. “So, the name ‘Gluten Free Café’ readily came to mind when it came time to name my business.” She mused.

The rest, as they say, is history. After an abundance of encouragement from family and friends to start a business after they all fell in love with her gluten free goodies, Rianne decided to answer the call to create delicious edibles for gluten sensitive consumers, as well as those, who just simply enjoyed her delicacies.

Gluten Free Cafe is presently an online only bakery where persons order from the café’s menu on its Facebook page or regular customers receive a personalised email outlining what is available. And they then deliver yumminess straight to your door for free!

Rianne’s first interaction with TEN Habitat was at its annual Caribbean Start-Up Summit that was held in May 2017.

She recalls: “I was searching for a program locally to help me and I came across TEN Habitat’s annual Start-Up Summit which I attended. The summit introduced me to the inaugural Female Founders’ Boot Camp where I was successful at securing a place in the TEN Hybrid Accelerator Program based on a pitch of my business.”

The innovative baker says she hasn’t looked back since but says with a smile that TEN Habitat frequently reaches out with opportunities, advice and simply maintaining dialogue. “I couldn’t be happier. I am living my dream.” Rianne’s journey continues with the TEN Hybrid Accelerator where she is in the process of transforming the Gluten Free Café into an investor-ready business.

She is already planning her next move which includes increasing her market share by devising an exciting promotional strategy to reach key persons and to eventually open a physical location. It is safe to say that Rianne took a leap of faith and with the support of the TEN community and its global partners she is well positioned to land firmly on her feet!

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