Bettie Jean worked for 25+ in the food industry to help support her growing family and make ends meet. Serving, cooking, planning, bartending, etc… Meanwhile, it was no secret around her neighborhood that she had some unique abilities with cooking and especially with desserts. People were always pleased when her gifts would be showcased at family get-togethers and parties, like New Year’s Eve, which was always catered with several courses and hors d’oeuvres. The consensus was always that everyone enjoyed the delicious offerings and she enjoyed making them…
In March of 2012, after some months of frustrations serving at a dying restaurant, she decided to follow a crazy idea, a dream, to try selling some of her baked goods at the local farmer’s market in Ocala.
With the low cost of a booth at the market, and a family who would gladly eat anything that didn’t sell, it seemed like an easy-enough risk….
The initial response was a good one, enough to keep the dream alive for now. So baking for the next Farmer’s Market became a regular rhythm of every week. After a few months she had received countless requests from customers who were interested in items that would be safe for children with allergies or that met certain, strict dietary requirements. At first this seemed like a nuisance, since she had little experience in that realm and the ingredients were far more expensive. However, following her heart for her customers, she began to dabble with vegan items. Learning how to cook without dairy and still get great results was no easy task, but soon she was selling these items along side her other products. This gave her the confidence to begin working in the Gluten-Free realm.
This too was met with success! Not to mention many failures, many throw-aways, tons of research, and many taste-testings (good and bad). Once customers started to get enthusiastic about the products that she was producing, Gluten-Free began to take over. She wanted to make things that were so good that people wouldn’t know, or even believe, were Gluten-Free. She also wanted to make Gluten-Free products with integrity, which meant taking several steps further into risk with her business. And that is exactly what she did.
Fast forward to today…
Bettie’s business, SaraFay Farm Gluten-Free Bakery, has a store front bakery that is open during the week. Her products are regularly at 3 separate Farmer’s Markets and she makes hundreds of Gluten-Free products every week! Her bakery has been featured in several magazines and newspaper articles and her products are even stocked in some local stores and restaurants. She continues to experiment and research, constantly seeking to improve her craft and meet the needs of her customers.