Kathi Thiboutot had a strong motivation for opening Healthy Haven in Tiverton. The business - an all gluten free specialty store - was born of her own experience.
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 21 years ago. I've lived it for 21 years. I've learned a lot over the years, she said. Ms. Thiboutot investigates every product before adding it to her store.
She asks the vendors and the manufacturers numerous questions. Many of the items available at Healthy Haven are also free of other ingredients which some may need to avoid, including eggs, soy, yeast, and dairy/casein. More than 1200 different gluten free products from over 70 vendors, are available at the shop. Two local bakeries supply fresh goods to Healthy Haven, from muffins, pita bread and pies, danish, donuts, cannoli and eclairs.
Ms. Thiboutot opened the store in September of 2007. She said that was soon after gluten free foods underwent some dramatic changes. The gluten free foods have changed a lot in the last five years. Texture and flavor is so much better, she said.
Ms. Thiboutot said Healthy Haven is the very first all gluten-free health food store in New England. The shop draws in customers from as far away as Connecticut and New Hampshire.
Free samples: Every day, three or four gluten free products can be sampled at the store.
Location: 80 Main Road, Tiverton, RI
Hours: Tuesday , Wednesday, and Friday: 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Thursday,10 A.M. to 7 P.M. Saturday 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. The shop is closed Sundays and Mondays.
Not just food: For those with sensitive skin, the shop also carries specialized laundry detergent and household cleaning products.
For more information, check out www.healthyhavenRI.com.