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Bryn Pears was once a high flyer in the IT world. Things began to change in 2002 when he joined a fledging Melbourne café serving coffee and gluten-free cake.

Within 12 months the business had become a full-service restaurant, retailing 35 different products that were baked in the café kitchen.

Wholesale enquiries began to arrive from health-food shops and specialty stores wanting to resell the product.

In 2003, a separate facility was created for the bakery, and in October 2008 Pears sold the café to a third-party, and Silly Yaks was born.

Looking at the gluten-free industry, he saw it was a niche market in its infancy.

“It has turned out to be a much larger market than any of us who have been here for a long time expected it to be. It continues to grow at double-digit growth globally, so much so that big companies are starting to get involved.”

Silly Yak Foods sees itself as a special dietary requirements food company. “GF is too narrow a niche, because we cater to a lot of other dietary requirements. We are a clean label company,” Pears says.

Packaging News

Labelhouse has cleaned up at the Victorian Printing Industry Creativity Awards (PICAs), collecting two gold and two bronze medals at the event, which also saw Pandoras Boxes collect two golds, and CCL take one.

The upcoming Print21 + PKN LIVE New Frontiers In Packaging Print event will deliver five major benefits to packagers attending the day, according to the organisers.

Christina Condos from label converter Labelhouse has been named as one of two Victorian finalists for the Media Super Young Executive of the Year Award.