Tonawanda News


August 18, 2013

NT native abandons retail to kick start gluten-free baking business

Leap and the net will appear. 

This age-old adage was never fully realized by Christine Goerss-Barton until March, when her spiritual retreat group leader offered her these simple words of wisdom during a spiritual retreat to India. A leap of faith and push from the universe is also what took the North Tonawanda native to India and eventually led her to open her own gluten-free baking company. 

“In November my grandmother passed away. My grandfather, who died shortly before I was born, was born in India because his parents were missionaries. I was doing all of the photo scanning for the memorial, and I (was) seeing all of these pictures of India that came from (my grandfather’s) collection from the 1920s,” Goerss-Barton said. 

Around the same time, she received a Facebook request from a grade school friend who was leading her first spiritual retreat to India. It seemed as though destiny was calling Goerss-Barton, and the decision to go unknowingly became life-transforming for the 28-year-old, who returned to the States anew. She turned down a retail management job offer at the Galleria Mall in order to pursue her dream of opening up a gluten-free bakery. 

“I left knowing I was going to come back to a job offer that I accepted at the mall, which wasn’t a bad job, but I think my heart really wasn’t in it,” Goerss-Barton said after reflecting on her trip. 

On the first night of the spiritual retreat, the group found a cafe to sit in and enjoy their first genuine taste of India in Rishikesh, an Indian country where by law, all food is vegetarian and cows are a sacred animal, free to roam the streets, Goerss-Barton learned. While eating at the cafe, she observed how simply and peacefully the country’s natives lived. 

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