You wouldn’t know it from their deceptively unassuming fluoro attire but these two men are international gluten free food heroes. Max and Frank Buontempo are the brothers behind Orgran
– one of the world’s gluten free food powerhouses.Today, from their amazing factory in Carrum Downs, they make and export gluten free cereals, flours, pastas, biscuits, crackers and more to 55 countries around the world.
You’d think with the rise and rise of “gluten free” these guys would be household names. But Max and Frank prefer to keep a pretty low profile concentrating on making and selling good food rather than producing some attention grabbing marketing vehicle like a gluten free My Kitchen Rules.
Max and Frank are old school; they started Orgran 30 years ago in Box Hill when there was very little gluten free food available. Working things out themselves they pioneered the use of now popular grains like buckwheat, quinoa and amaranth. And as you may have experienced yourself getting things right with gluten free isn’t easy and Max and Frank freely admit to producing a “few duds” through the years.
As the business has expanded Max and Frank have steadily grown their gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, GMO free, vegan friendly range to about 90 products of which, as of this week, Fair Food has about 45.
Which brings us to last Monday in the Fair Food warehouse when Alex, Fair Food’s grocery buyer, was jumping out of her skin with excitement as two pallets or Orgran products were forklifted off the delivery truck. Alex has been working day and night to get those products into the webshop (well actually just days – she has to go home to take care of her dog and go swimming and things.) Anyway after a marathon effort she got them all online and if you’re keen you can find all of Max and Frank’s Orgran foods here.
Okay now for a heads-up – Orgran aren’t Certified Organic, they use locally grown, organic ingredients where possible but when organic isn’t available they source conventional substitutes – this means they can always supply their customers who depend on gluten free products (which is their top priority) even when they are faced with organic shortages.