Kyra is the Rotorua Daily Post's police, emergency and court reporter.

Gluten-free options increase in Rotorua (+video)

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Reporter Kyra Dawson, who has coeliac disease, meaning she can't eat gluten, was excited to be able to eat fish and chips for the first time in years this week when she met the owners of a new gluten-free takeaway.

Two local entrepreneurs have opened a new takeaway shop with a difference, the entire menu is gluten-free.

Chef and co-owner Jason Monahan said the idea had been in the pipeline for a few years and when he and his business partner and co-owner Ramsey Murray sat down to finalise the menu they realised most of it was gluten free.

The Factory Smoke House & Grill, in the Te Ngae shopping centre, has been open for almost three weeks.

He said all the food was made from scratch on the premises apart from the buns and anything they didn't make was sourced locally.

Mr Monahan, the former head chef at Brew Craft Beer Pub, had been a chef for 27-years.

"I wanted to do something different," Mr Monahan said.

Ramsey Murray said they always thought a smokehouse would go really good in Rotorua.

"I thought it would be good to have a small team. Then you can control the food and the product and make it as good as you can possibly make it.

"Coeliac people have started to find us, we make sure everything is gluten-free, there is no gluten-based flour used, we don't have any gluten go into the deep fryer.

"I had a girl come in the other day and she was amazed, she looked at the menu and she was amazed that she could order anything off it that she wanted and that's a good feeling.

"Everything is fresh, that's one of the reasons that we called it the factory because we do everything here that we possibly can, if it's processed we are the ones that process it."

He said it was important not to cross-contaminate because that would defeat the purpose, they use separate grills and utilities for anything containing gluten - which they
don't have much of.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder affecting primarily the small intestine that occurs in people who are genetically predisposed.

It is caused by a reaction to gluten, which are various proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and malt.

Eugene Berryman-Kamp, spokesman for the Rotorua allergy awareness and support group, said he thought the rise of gluten-free awareness was great.

He said it was always hard for people with allergies and intolerance when they wanted to get takeaways.

"I applaud what they are doing, there are several allergy friendly shops popping up around Rotorua - Be Rude Not To and Lone Star are very good as well."

He said it was really important they didn't have cross-contamination.

"The fact that they keep foods separate is really important. That's a big deal. It's really important from an allergy perspective.

"A number of people don't appreciate that," he said.

He said it was great to see more options being made available for people with
allergies as awareness was spreading.

Some gluten free options in Rotorua:
- Be Rude Not To
- The Library Store
- Atticus Finch
- Solace Cafe & Restaurant
- The Factory Smoke House and Grill

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