Good By Design

Local food company cooks up something special

Posted on January 1, 2018

It was a frustrating unsolved mystery for Diana Benedek. Suffering from long-term chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and a defective thyroid, Benedek was tired and drained. A highly trained career scientist and civil engineer, with degrees in microbiology and immunology, she always followed a rigorous routine to solve complex problems, but the married mother of two couldn’t make any progress on this one. Depression crept into her otherwise successful life.

Finally, at the urging of friends and family, the Rancho Santa Fe resident met with several alternative medicine specialists. The conclusion was a sensitivity to gluten and soy. Benedek couldn’t believe it was that simple. According to previous blood tests, she didn’t have Celiac disease — the standard allergic marker — but she decided to change her diet anyway.

2Good2BSlowly, Benedek’s energy started to return, though she wasn’t at 100 percent. After more time and research, she realized that in replacing the loss of gluten and soy, she had dramatically increased her consumption of corn. That change felt like the next step. “I learned that more than 245 diseases are food- or allergy-related,” Benedek recalls.

With renewed energy and a few years of work, Benedek had a new mission and soon, a new business. In 2011, she opened 2Good2B, a 100 percent gluten-, soy-, and corn-free bakery and café in Encinitas that serves breakfast, lunch, and early dinner, in addition to making and selling specialized baked products. Dishes include traditional staples like omelets, pancakes, breads, quiches, sandwiches, salads, pastas, and meat entrees. There are dairy-free and vegetarian options. Items like cupcakes, breakfast items, breads, and holiday treats are available for take out. Customers can also special order wedding and custom cakes. Plus, everything is peanut-free.

The team makes everything from scratch in their own kitchens. They grate cheeses, brine meats, blend dressings, and create special baking blends to ensure nothing contains any of the items they want to avoid, including MSG and preservatives.

Benedek feels like she is really helping the community. “I have so many stories from the store about people and children we have helped. It’s not only my story,” she says.

She recalls one story from a mom who said her ten-year-old daughter was having “growing” pains and was two years behind in reading, even with the help of tutors. After removing gluten and corn from her diet, the girl excelled without any tutors, and a year later was at the top of her class, winning awards. “Gluten was fogging her brain and corn was giving her pains,” Benedek says.

With another bakery and café in Rancho Bernardo that opened in May 2017, the company is now delivering Benedek’s brand of healthy food to a wider audience.

Although still active in other business pursuits, 2Good2B is a passion for Benedek. “It’s time to pass the message to others,” she says. 760.942.4663, 2good2b.com James Ferraro