Yippee! It’s Gluten Free provides desserts for everyone


Ashanti Thomas

Courtesy of yippeeitsglutenfree.com A “Chocolate Crinkles” cookies featured on Susan Cole’s food gallery.

Adriana Hernandez-Santana, Features Junior Editor

It’s never easy learning you have a dietary restriction, but lucky for us, the new Yippie! It’s Gluten Free, a bakery in Mattoon, has been taking strides to help make finding desserts a little less stressful. 

Home baker Susan Cole said that ever since she was a kid, she loved to bake.

Since becoming an at-home baker, she’s been super happy to be able to share her treats with the people of Coles county. 

How it works is quite simple. The customer goes online to her website, https://www.yippeeitsglutenfree.com/home and finds the menu. After people decide on what goodies they would like, they can contact her either through a phone call, messenger or a text message. 

Once a date and time is set, Cole gets to work on the order. The customer comes in, pays cash and goes home to share these treats with their family. 

Starting a bakery, although sounds cool, was not originally the path Cole thought life would take her. 

Courtesy of yippeeitsglutenfree.com
An “Orange Juice Bundt Cake” featured on Susan Cole’s food gallery. (Ashanti Thomas)

Cole knew that she was lactose intolerant. Until 4 years ago, she also learned that she was a diabetic. 

She tried diets such as keto, drinks, everything one could think of. When she first started cutting out gluten, she admitted it was a big transition. 

Even though her blood sugar didn’t change, she felt better. Her and her nutritionist learned that she was indeed allergic to gluten. 

Learning how to cook was hard. Cookbooks were overly complex, and there were few little local places that offered safe foods for her. Cole says she felt like the only thing she would be able to eat was veggies.

But after a while, I realized that I was making it harder than it needed to be, just like those complicated cookbooks,” Cole said. “I found simple ingredients that could replace those that contained gluten, and gradually enjoyed cooking and baking again, converting many of our family recipes to be gluten free.” 

After making the transition to be gluten free, Cole realized that there was a need for gluten-free foods. 

Courtesy of yippeeitsglutenfree.com
Susan Cole is a baker who makes gluten-free cookies, cakes, snacks, and bread from her own home. (Ashanti Thomas)

The Coles County area doesn’t have a designated place for those with a gluten allergy to be able to eat at. Most options are further out and pricey, so Cole started her own.

“The kitchen is once again my happy place, so after some long talks with the Coles County Health Department, I had a plan,” Cole said. “I would become a home baker. In March of this year, Yippee! It’s Gluten Free! was born.”

Working through the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce, Cole was able to get her gluten free bakery message out to the town. Her Facebook page helps spread the word.

Since starting her at-home bakery in March, Cole has been able to gather up quite a few customers. She’s become so popular in town that she’s even gained a couple regular customers. 

Some of the more popular orders include the chocolate chip peanut butter cookies and the caramel corn. 

Even though having her own at-home bakery is amazing, Cole says that she does have one main goal: make gluten free food taste exactly like what everyone is used to eating. 

“So a lot of people that aren’t gluten-free think gluten-free food is horrible,” Cole said. “They don’t give it a chance. That’s another goal that I have. You’re not gonna convince everyone. But if you can convince a few people that you don’t have to be gluten-free to eat gluten-free, [that would be my goal].”

Courtesy of yippeeitsglutenfree.com
Susan Cole’s bakery menu features cookies and cakes as well as many other delicacies. (Ashanti Thomas)

Cole understands that a lifestyle change like this is far from easy. From having to relearn how to cook all the way to planning what to eat at the family dinner, it can be intimidating. 

Thanks to Cole and her bakery, she does her part in not only including those with gluten allergies, but also spreads her delicious treats to everyone. 

“Because I had such a difficult time converting to gluten free eating, I wanted to share the knowledge that I had gained so others would not have to struggle the way I did,” Cole said. “The primary reason for Yippee! It’s Gluten Free! is to supply baked goods that can help with some of these issues.”


Adriana Hernandez-Santana can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].