Pizza, calzones, empanadas and pot pies are all delicious, there's no debate to be had on that. However, thanks to the efforts of a Cleveland-area food entrepreneur, those flavorful goodies are now healthier, too.
Terry Thomsen, founder of Frickaccio’s Pizza Market
in Fairview Park and the West Side Market
- where their pizza bagels have been a staple for more than 30 years - launched Feel Good Dough
in January. Thomsen's new venture is a line of USDA-certified organic frozen dough balls, which their proprietor says are vegan-friendly and GMO-free. The all-purpose dough, made in a 3,000-square-foot production and retail space in Fairview, can be used for both dinner and dessert recipes.
"It's good for pizza, dinner rolls, or anything else that's 100 percent clean without GMOs or pesticides," says Thomsen.
Though Thomsen previously trucked in organic artisan breads and dough balls, her latest enterprise is a good option for people with food allergies or difficulty digesting gluten. Feel Good Dough recently partnered with Milwaukee-based Red Star Yeast to utilize the company's 100 percent organic yeast, a move Thomsen says will keep her treats pure.
"I insisted on 100 percent organic including the yeast," she says. "This is not a common practice for many manufacturers, which are just 'made with' (organic ingredients) or 90 percent clean. We chose not to be like the rest."
Thomsen, a Lakewood resident, exhibited her homemade dough last month at the Fancy Food Show
in New York. Upcoming is Expo East
in Baltimore, where she will display Feel Good Dough for potential distributors.
Consumers can find the frozen dough balls today in 12 states. Locally, Heinen's
, Whole Foods
, Mustard Seed
and other local markets carry the product, with Kroger's and Giant Eagle serving as future potential landing spots.
Thomsen initially test-marketed the dough out of her West Side Market location. After getting picked up by Heinen's, she tweaked the recipe to withstand additional heat for grilling and baking. Clean ingredients aren't cheap - Feel Good Dough's suggested retail price is $5.99 - but healthy eating is worth the price, the business owner says.
"It's about being a grandmother and making something for families," Thomsen says. "Knowing people are eating it without stomach issues makes me feel good."