Brittany ComakApr 19, 2018, 10:10 pm

Celiac diagnosis inspires teen to create healthy, gluten-free treats

Entrepreneurial baker brings protein-packed creations to Long Island stores

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PLAINVIEW — When Jake Solomon was diagnosed with celiac disease, he used his love of baking to create a business that caters to those with the autoimmune disease so that he and others could continue enjoying treats, sans gluten.

He started the business three years ago, at just 14-years-old.

"It was scary at first but I think that it was also in a way exciting because it was just something different that I hadn't really experienced before and I thought that I could use my diagnosis and help use it to help other people," Solomon said.

That help has manifested in his very own business known as Smart Choice Protein, a line of different foods he's created that he markets as gluten-free, as well as a healthier choice. He estimates that he sends out about 60 to 70 packages a week and his gross sales are in the six-figure range.

"A lot of the foods that I really liked to eat, I couldn't eat anymore. So, I had to study different flours and study different ingredients and what to put together to make a product that that would work and taste good at the same time," he said.

On his website, smartchoiceprotein.com, you can find edible cookie dough, pancake, doughnut, and muffin mix, among other dessert foods. He built up his presence completely online using social media.

"I get positive feedback from people who say, 'I haven't had pancakes in a while but you made a delicious, gluten-free, protein pancake that I can trust.’ It makes me happy that I can help other people like that," he said.

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