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Did You Know… ? Gluten Free

Did you know… that “Gluten Free” got its start in Ventura County?

Before there were strawberries, lemons and avocados, the lima bean dominated  the agriculture scene in Ventura County’s coastal plain. Ventura County was the first to grow lima beans outside of their native home of Peru. Eventually, the lima bean became the source for the term we now know as gluten free.

Bill Baker’s 1939 World’s Fair cake

In the 1920s, a baker by the name of William Baker (who’d changed his name from William Koch) began working at a bakery in Ventura. The lima bean would become the inspiration for his vision of creating what he called wheat-less flour. He later opened the Bill Baker Bakery in Ojai and started working to perfect his wheat-less flours, utilizing soy and lima beans he bought from local Ventura County farmers. Mr. Baker made a wide array of offerings from bread to pastries. He marketed the products as health food almost 100 years before gluten free was even a term.

Way to go Mr. Baker and Ventura County Farmers!!

A gluten-free diet – definition

A gluten-­free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and a cross between wheat and rye called triticale.

A gluten‐free diet is essential for managing signs and symptoms of celiac disease and other medical conditions associated with gluten.


  1. Interesting tidbit. Thank you.

    • Samantha Zell you are very welcome. We love that Ventura and Ventura County are the first for so many things

  2. And Li Mor Cakes makes gluten-free sweet treats

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