What started as a change to her family’s diet has blossomed into a fully functional bakery and new adventure for Elizabeth Wood, owner of Consider it Joy Baking in Bluff Park’s Shades Mountain Plaza.

After her oldest son developed health issues doctors could not keep under control, Wood looked to the families’ diet to try and find relief for her son.

“The dietary change was a last ditch effort, and since it was so extreme, I felt like our whole family needed to be on board,” she says. The entire Wood family – including her husband, Jason, and children, Isaac and Matthew – went from a diet of processed foods to a completely Paleo diet. The change not only helped their son, but the rest of the family also experienced improved health.

The medical necessity for the diet led Wood to dive into learning a completely new way of cooking and preparing foods. “I had to educate myself about a new world of ingredients and food preparation,” she says. “During that time, I came across a Bible verse in the book of James: ‘When you are faced with troubles, consider it an opportunity for great joy.’ At the time, I had a hard time believing that.”

She slowly learned how to manage this new lifestyle and began to enjoy it. She also pulled from that Bible verse when naming her bakery.

Consider it Joy Baking opened its doors to an eager crowd in January. The grab-and-go grain-free bakery moved into a space previously occupied by Ashley Macs.

“It was truly exciting when I found out that a commercial kitchen space was coming available in Bluff Park. It is the community I call home, and it feels like this is where I am supposed to be,” Wood says. Since opening, the savvy baker has found herself selling and quickly restocking almost all of the baked goods.

The bakery offers a spread of delicious and healthy baked goods like muffins, cookies, crackers, granola, waffles, brownies and blondies. “Even the pickiest kids love the flourless chocolate-chip blondies,” Wood says. Her blondies are made with almond butter and honey.

For those looking for a high-protein snack, Wood has just the treat. She calls it a monster cookie, and it’s made with almond butter, coconut oil, nuts and seeds. She also makes cakes and cupcakes for special order, along with seasonal items.

If someone is new to grain-free eating, Wood prepares sample packs with different varieties of baked goods. Axana Foster of Better Bites LLC in Homewood also stocks delicious lunches like chicken, salmon and garden salads at the bakery. The two are hoping to add hot lunch options at a later date.

Because none of the ingredients used in Wood’s kitchen contain wheat, corn or soy, there are no dangers of cross-contamination, a concern to those with food allergies – especially those living with Celiac disease.

“I use nutrient-dense ingredients like almond and coconut, and I sweeten naturally with honey and pure maple syrup – no artificial colors or refined sugars here,” Wood says. “That’s a big draw for a lot of people. There is also the option of weekly ordering and pickup for my customers, especially those who try to stick to a gluten- or grain-free diet.”

The only exception for the allergy conscious are nuts. While nut-free items are part of the menu, the bakery does use almond flour and nuts as a staple in other items. For that reason, those with tree-nut allergies should note that all baked goods have been made using equipment that is shared with tree nuts.

While this new bakery certainly offers great shopping options for those with food allergies and intolerances, visitors don’t have to be on a special diet to enjoy all of the tasty goodies.

“While some of my customers are coming because of their dietary restrictions, most people are just excited to have found a place that bakes delicious, kid-friendly food with wholesome, real ingredients,” Wood says. “I couldn’t have asked for a friendlier, more supportive location than Bluff Park. I feel tremendously lucky to live and work here.”

Her family is also elated with the response from the community. “My kids are incredibly proud,” she says. “They love to talk the bakery up to their friends, which is adorable.”

Woods plans to offer classes that relate to a Paleo, grain-free lifestyle at the bakery in the future.

“I want to arm people with ideas, information and even recipes to get them and their kids on the right path,” Wood says.

The bakery is located at 759 Shades Mountain Plaza. It is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

For more information on Consider it Joy Baking, visit Consideritjoybaking.com or Facebook.com/mydeliciousgrainfreelife.