Amelia and Susan
Their work in the restaurant business started back in 2010, when Susan and Amelia were enlisted by a Lebanese friend of theirs, Lena, to run her restaurant after her husband died. Because Lena had celiac disease, meaning ingestion of gluten leads to damage in her small intestine, The Ladies wanted to help provide her restaurant with delicious gluten-free dishes.
“We did that for a year, and it was great training for us,” Susan said. “We made every mistake we probably could have.”
Susan and Amelia finished their time at the Lebanese spot when their friend returned and found a buyer for the restaurant. The pair then opened their own gluten-free restaurant, Senza, in 2012.
“Everybody who came was amazed because it was a fine dining restaurant,” Amelia said. “We actually won the Michelin Star twice there, which was incredible.”
The issue of gluten intolerance has long played a role in Susan’s life, whose daughter developed serious issues with digestion. Ever since, Susan has been interested in the science of food and finding solutions, constantly developing and perfecting new gluten-free recipes.
“Susan is very persistent in finding nutritious gluten-free options,” Amelia said. “She doesn’t want to just give people empty calories.”
The Ladies closed Senza in 2015, and opened a new café in the same space – Wheat’s End Café. Instead of serving dinner like its predecessor, Wheat’s End provides tasty brunch options. However, like Senza, it is completely gluten-free.
“We are very particularly strict,” Amelia said. “We need to be a safe place for people who are extremely gluten intolerant, so there is no gluten allowed inside the café.”
The Ladies are happy with their café and its performance so far, but have big plans for the spot and their products. They hope to find an investor who understands their dream and can help them expand more into the wholesale business. Currently, their products can be found at LYFE Kitchen, Hannah’s Bretzel and The Little Beet Table.
“In order to serve a greater number of wholesale customers, we have to find someone who knows a lot about this already,” Susan said. “We see a lot of potential in this business.”
As they expand, The Ladies continue their mission at Wheat’s End – making gluten-free products that sacrifice nothing in taste, texture and nutrition.