News Feature

Castine
Originally published in Castine Patriot, April 26, 2018
Pink House Products flips breakfast with healthy mix

A partnership

Peter Cooperdock, left, and wife Connie Curtin transform their kitchen into a production room to create their waffle and pancake mixes.

Photo by Monique Labbe Order prints of selected PBP photos.

by Monique Labbe

For Connie Curtin and her husband Peter Cooperdock, Sunday mornings are waffle mornings.

Waffles have played a key role in the family’s weekend breakfasts for years, but when a gluten allergy and a pre-diabetic condition arose, the couple had to rethink their approach.

“We went several years without our weekly waffle breakfasts,” said Curtin. “We decided to try to change up our recipe and see if it would make a difference.”

It did, and from that trial and error period, Pink House Products was born.

Curtin and Cooperdock were able to find ingredients that were not only gluten free, but low-glycemic and all organic. All of this, said Curtin, without compromising on taste.

“We’re really particular about the taste,” she said. “We wanted to create a product that wasn’t just healthier, but it also tasted good. This checks all the boxes.”

The dry waffle and pancake mix is available in buckwheat and oat millet, and only requires the cook to add the wet ingredients prior to pouring on the skillet.

Curtin and Cooperdock make and package the mix from their pink home in Castine, which gave the inspiration for the name of the company. Their kitchen turns into a production room a couple days a week, as well as a storage area.

“That’s one of the best parts of this,” said Curtin. “I love when it’s Peter and I in the kitchen and we’re doing this together.”

The production of their mixes is more complex than just putting ingredients together. Because the product is marketed as gluten free, there are certain tests Curtin needs to run before the mix is packaged.

“There’s a science to it,” she said. “We’ve learned that just because something says gluten free on it, it does not mean that it is 100 percent gluten free. Anything under 20 [parts per million] is acceptable, but 10 is better, so that’s what we shoot for.”

Curtin has a background in health and nutrition, as a midwife who did nutritional guidance for expecting mothers. Still, she enlisted the help of food experts along the way as they worked to perfect their recipe.

“It has been an interesting experience,” she said. “We aren’t expecting much from this. If I could start making a profit with it this year, that would be great.”

The product just hit stores on April 18, available at the Blue Hill Co-Op and TradeWinds in Blue Hill.