Making Gluten-Free, Worry-Free!

That Girl Is Amazing: Joan Schmidt and Barbara Callanan

Sisters Joan Schmidt and Barbara Callanan were both looking to reinvent themselves, so they decided to pool their skills to form their own business. Schmidt, a registered nurse who also holds an MBA in healthcare and hospital management, had been a stay-at-home mom and volunteer while her sister Barbara, a Culinary Institute of America graduate with an MS in Management, had been working in the food service industry.

Callanan who was diagnosed with celiac disease later in life, after years of misdiagnosis, was eager to a fill a gap she felt was sorely needed for those suffering from celiac disease and gluten intolerances. Though celiac disease and the gluten-free lifestyle have become more mainstream, Callanan still found going out to dinner problematic due to lack of gluten-free options and the question of safety. She found that many restaurants that did offer gluten-free items lacked education regarding method of preparation making the food unsafe.

If there is cross contamination, even a sixth of a teaspoon can make someone sick,” said Callanan. “There are also many products that contain gluten which would surprise the average consumer such as soy sauce.”

So necessity proved to be the motherhood of invention. The sisters formed JCB Consulting to educate food providers and the public. The business provides gluten-free dietary solutions to the hospitality, healthcare and education sectors as well as individual client care.

Callanan found teaming up with her sister, Schmidt a registered nurse, has given them a competitive edge in educating establishments regarding the medical necessity of maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle for those suffering from celiac disease.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder whereby the body attacks the villi in the small intestine when gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye is eaten causing malabsorption of vital nutrients which leads to malnutrition and other health maladies.

According to The Celiac Sprue Association one in 20 Americans have some form of gluten sensitivity and one out of 133 Americans have celiac disease.*

“Serving this population the right way can be a new if not increased revenue stream for restaurants,” said Schmidt.

For commercial clients such as restaurants, JCB’s customized plans focus on developing nutritionally sound gluten-free menus and recipes, implementing policies and procedures including safety guidelines and educating and training staff. They can also guide establishments in obtaining agency certification as a gluten-free venue.

Individual counseling includes pantry stocking, recipe and menu planning and kitchen safety to aid the newly diagnosed or long-term celiac or gluten intolerance sufferer.

For further information visit or call 516-384-6165 or via email at

*University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research


  1. Love this. My daughter has EE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) and wheat/gluten is one of her triggers, so we are gluten-free. The GF industry and people’s knowledge of it have come so far, but there’s still a lot of awareness that can be shared.

    Great post.

    • Thanks Tia. That’s what I love about JCB’s story – their understanding of celiac disease and gluten intolerances. What’s better than two sisters joining forces for such a great cause!

    • Thanks Tia for your support. My sister and I are passionate about increasing the awareness and assisting, particularly the hospitality industry, in servicing the gluten-free patrons so they can eat out with confidence, knowing that their meals are being prepared correctly and that they will not get sick. I hope your daughter is doing well.

      Thanks Vilma for such a great blog posting and helping us get the word out about such an important topic.

      Joan Schmidt

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