Everyone knows that the Baker Man can – but even he would be hard pressed to provide baked products that cater for wheat, gluten, lactose, eggs, nuts, soya, chemicals and preservative food allergies. Diana Swales’ company, The Allergen Baker, is clearly one up on the proverbial ‘Baker Man’, since it provides alternative niche foods that are safe to eat, whatever your allergy. A sufferer of celiac disease, Diana’s discovered that her children also suffered from preservative allergies, leading her to develop a bakery specialising in providing safe food for people with food allergies. Her company’s products are made in small batches by hand, by people with food allergies, as they truly understand that it can cause serious harm if the business is not absolutely sure about how its products are produced. Since her end customers are people with food allergies and vegans in particular, the business currently supplies health shops and two Spars, although Diana adds that the company has also been approached by Pick ‘n Pay to service its speciality shops. She hopes to ultimately cover Pick ‘n Pay on a national scale, by opening a string of smaller operations servicing specific areas. She says that her future plans include developing a fresh pastry dough that can be shelf stable for two to three days, as well as to market a range of frozen food products. She is confident in her ability to achieve this, as the company already has numerous flour combinations that serve as replacements for normal flours, so developing new products is a relatively short process. Diana points out that the Allergen Baker is on the cusp of greatness, as the need in the market for such products is growing. At the same time, she says, she remains committed to her desire to keep abreast of market changes by developing new products and her need to remain a production leader in allergen products, at affordable prices for all.