KITCHENER -- Gluten-free alternatives have become popular over the past several years, but one Perth County family has a personal reason for deciding to produce a gluten-free flour, using the beans they grow on their farm.

Kim and Ben Dietrich along with their four sons, Brandon, Jacob, Dylan and Owen, are chicken farmers in Bornholm. They also grow 90 acres of beans, and turn some of that crop into their "Full of Beans" baking mixes.

“Our second son Jacob had a severe case of eczema that forced us to put him on a gluten-free diet," says Kim. "I grew up as family bean farmers. My mom worked for the bean farmers and she had this gluten-free Romano bean flour on hand, so I grabbed some from her and learned how to make some recipes out of it."

This incident was the inspiration behind "Full of Beans", a side business the Dietrich started in 2008.

Kim says “bean flour is really high in fiber and has a lot of other nutrients, so it’s a better option for gluten-free rather than corn or rice because it has more nutrients for the body.”

The beans are milled nearby in Hensall and then returned to the family farm for packaging.

The bean flour is used as the base ingredient for a variety of mixes, allowing people with gluten-sensitivity to enjoy more food options.

“We have brownie mix, chocolate chip cookie mix, spicy carrot cake,” says Kim. “Many of them are geared towards baking and kids needs, because that’s what I was using it for when I started the business."

You can find a map of the locations carrying Full of Beans on their website.

The Dietrich’s have also been doing porch delivery within Southern Ontario due to COVID-19 closures.