Silly Yak Foods was founded in 2001, the brainchild of Rosemary Hanger and Robert Hinterding.
Having been diagnosed with coeliac disease after a long and frustrating series of illnesses, Rosemary discovered a new frustration – the lack of quality food products and dining alternatives available for people trying to live on a wheat free, gluten free diet! In response, Rosemary and Robert opened Silly Yaks Cafe, Melbourne’s first 100% wheat free and gluten free dining venue.
At first, the idea was to serve coffee and cake, offering perhaps a few gluten free biscuits or gluten free muffins as well. But the customers had other ideas. Before long, Silly Yaks had been transformed into a full service gluten free cafe and restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch six days per week.
But it didn’t stop there. To provide a full service cafe, a whole suite of gluten free recipes was required. Rosemary and Robert had already developed a small library of recipes in their home kitchen: gluten free bread recipes, gluten free biscuit recipes, a gluten free pastry recipe and some recipes for gluten free cakes. More was required to support the growing business, so they set to work in the cafe kitchen. Soon the cafe was bursting with new and delicious gluten free products, all developed to add spice to the cafe menu.
From this point on, the evolution of Silly Yaks Cafe into Silly Yak Foods was inevitable. Gluten free products developed initially for the cafe menu were offered for retail sale in the cafe. Rosemary and Robert were approached by other retailers who wanted to buy the products to re-sell – a small wholesale business developed. As the business grew, a separate gluten free bakery was set up, servicing the requirements of the Silly Yaks Cafe and the growing list of wholesale customers.
Rosemary and Robert are now retired and Silly Yak Foods is now a major Australian gluten free food manufacturer. The cafe was sold in 2008 to SACS Gluten Free, who still operate it as a 100% wheat free and gluten free environment and with whom we still maintain a close relationship. SACS Gluten Free continues to be a major retailer of Silly Yak Foods’ range of 100% wheat free and gluten free products. Silly Yak Foods manufactures and distributes a range of premium quality 100% gluten free and wheat free food which is sold throughout Australia and New Zealand. We remain dedicated to Rosemary’s vision of high quality wheat free and gluten free food.
“Here at Silly Yaks we believe that our food should be good food first and gluten free second.”