April 16, 2019
It wasn’t just an epiphany that led Judy Goodzeck to start her own business. It was a near-death health crisis that developed while she was at university.
“I became very ill and my health started to decline. It began with poor energy levels, and got to the point where I was bedridden. I would have to crawl to the bathroom. It turns out I had an undiagnosed illness, that includes severe multiple allergies.”
Before she got sick, Goodzeck was an elite athlete living in remote Hay River, Northwest Territories. At nineteen, she headed to Canmore to train as a biathlete, skiing and shooting for Canada’s national team, and eventually wanted to go to medical school. As she learned about her allergies, Goodzeck realized how much what she was eating was impacting her life.
“I’m very prone to allergy development; I’m allergic to gluten, eggs, dairy, soy, bananas. The list is very long. I can definitely empathize with the difficulty of eating well on a restricted diet. But in changing my diet I was able to radically improve my life. That creates a pretty strong passion. So I took all of my experiences and started a food line.”
Goodzeck created Judy G Foods in 2006, which specializes in low allergen, healthy, yet indulgent foods.
“Our Gluten Free Pizza Crust and vegetarian Roasted Mediterranean Artichoke pizza are both universal foods, free of all ten of the Government of Canada’s priority allergens. After that our lineup progressively introduces cheese. We make a Lactose-Free Cheese Trio Pizza topped with a blend of organic cheeses, a full-dairy Pepperoni and Cheese, and a Ham & Pineapple Pizza.”
Judy G products can be found in the freezer section among the other pizzas at Calgary-area Co-op stores.
Whenever possible, Goodzeck says she chooses the ingredients for her product line locally.
“I am local and I’m passionate about it,” shares Goodzeck, “We have so much to be proud of. It’s very exciting to see Alberta be able to benefit from keeping its ingredients in the province. We are so rich in agricultural products, from meat to grain and more, and I really like to see that economy stay within our borders so people can have that connection to their food.”
Judy G Foods pizzas have been available at Co-op since 2012.
“I love that Co-op is local. They’re authentically local, they are fair in their business practices; it’s a healthy environment and you really feel like a partner, and that they want you to succeed.”
Passionate about helping even those with food intolerances and sensitivities indulge in delicious fun foods like pizza, Goodzeck says she made the motto of her company, ‘Keeping Life Delicious’.
“When you’re diagnosed with allergies and find yourself on a new special diet, you go into a grocery store and it’s all about what you can’t have. We are the change in that. We keep life delicious for everyone.”
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