Leticia Womack has filled a wide array of roles in her young life, from college graduate to Army wife and an analyst for a Fortune 500 company. But her newest endeavor, as owner of Lety’s Gluten Free Bakery, could be her greatest challenge yet.
Womack graduated from Baylor University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and started a career at Accenture as a consulting analyst. On the outside, everything seemed perfect. But Womack was unfulfilled, uninspired and unhappy.
“It’s a very different lifestyle,” she said, “There is a lot of traveling and sitting in front of a computer all day… it didn’t challenge me.”
Not satisfied with her career, Womack came up with another plan. In September she left Accenture and in October signed up for baking and pastry classes through Central Texas College’s culinary arts program. She also joined a cottage food movement in support of the Texas Baker’s Bill, which rallied home bakers in Texas to voice their support for House Bill 970. The bill passed, allowing home bakers like Womack to sell their low-risk foods outside the home at farmers markets and community events.
Womack opened the first gluten free bakery in the Killeen area in her home on Monday. According to glutenfreeregistry.com, the closest bakery of its kind is in Austin.
Lety’s Gluten Free Bakery specializes in 100 percent gluten free made-to-order cupcakes, cookies, cakes and more.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without my husband’s support, he’s been in the Army for nine years and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to pursue my dream without him” Womack said. “He was diagnosed with Celiac disease about a year and a half ago, and that’s when I really started getting interested in baking gluten free products.”
Celiac disease is a digestive disease that affects and damages the small intestine and can interfere with absorption of nutrients from food, causing fatigue, vomiting and pain. People who have the condition cannot tolerate gluten, rye or barley. With nearly 3 million Americans now diagnosed with the disease, and that number steadily rising each year, gluten free has become a serious diet throughout the country.
“Getting diagnosed with Celiac disease really impacted my life and what I could do with the Army,” James Womack said.
With the diagnosis James Womack cannot be deployed, as the Army does not offer gluten free MREs.
“But more important than that it impacted my health and how I deal with day-to- day events,” he said.
With his future in the Army still uncertain, his future with the bakery is firmly set in stone.
“He’s my taste tester,” Leticia said.
For more information about Lety’s Gluten Free Bakery, call Womack at (832) 618-4704.