Profile: Maegan Cookson

Maegan Cookson: Boon Bakery, Owen Sound

We asked Maegan Cookson, owner of Boon Bakery in Owen Sound – the best place around for gluten-free goodies, one question: Why do you do what you do?

Here’s what she had to say…

“Well, the short answer is I can’t help it! And the long answer is, in no order:


Passion for food. And when I say ‘food’ I mean food made from scratch with human hands. Food that brings the body and the mind nourishment and joy.

Creativity and Curiosity.

What if we lived in a world where wheat, barley, and rye didn’t exist? What would baked goods look like? Taste like? Smell like? What textures would they have? What can millet flour make? What can oat flour do? What happens when you blend buckwheat and brown rice flour? There are so many underutilized flours to choose from! It is an exciting culinary adventure myself and my team are on. Gone is the need for “all-purpose” gluten-free blends that don’t perform and are misleading to the average home-baker. It is my experience that there is no such thing as a gluten-free “all-purpose” blend to bake with. The only way to get good results in gluten-free baking is to blend flours tailored to each recipe. So that’s what we do! And you can taste the difference.

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Community through food and place. Food brings people together. The more connection we have with each other the further we get away from the large corporate offerings that do nothing for us and move money away from the local economy and into the pockets of global market food chains and oligopolies. Having small business food and beverage options in your neighbourhood means you meet your neighbours and members of your community and connect over similar values and likes. That is why I chose downtown Owen Sound as the location for the bakery.

Personal Need.

Discovering myself and my son are better off without gluten and dairy meant I had to get creative and develop recipes that worked. If I wanted to eat good gluten-free bread I was going to have to make it myself! If I wanted to eat a dairy-free Nanaimo Bar I was going to have to make it myself! Good alternatives are hard to find so I made them happen for myself and my son and wanted to share them with others. And choice! It is so hard to find choice in gluten and dairy-free options. That moment when someone asks, “what is gluten-free or dairy- free here?” And I say, “everything” and their faces light up with pure joy brings me much fulfillment and gives me great purpose.

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Joy through food. Making people happy makes me happy. Satisfaction. Satisfaction with food. Food for myself and the need to share that with others so that they can have satisfaction too.”

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