Udi’s, the Denver-based catering operation, artisan bakery, and mini-chain of cafés, has announced that it will soon stop offering its gluten-free line and return full focus to the traditional bread on which the bakery was founded in 1994. Although the gluten-free line has been quite successful, Etai Bar-On, son of founder Udi, noted in a press release that “the life cycle of the gluten-free business is complete.” In 2012, Udi's Foods sold their gluten-free business, along with the Udi's name, to Boulder Brands for $125 million.
In addition to the sale of their specialty line, Udi has announced more big changes: Udi Bar-On will be passing down the major operations of the family business to his son Etai, although Udi will still be involved. Udi’s has recently announced a campaign to rename the restaurants as part of the sale to avoid any confusion with the more popular gluten-free company. Names will be accepted until Jan. 31, and then voting will take place from Feb. 3 to Feb. 14. Finally, the new name and logo for Udi’s will be announced on April 2. For those interested, the top three finalists will be awarded prizes, which you can read about here.
The era of Etai will mean a return to the traditional baking techniques long cultivated by the family, with high quality industrial equipment. “The gluten-free business was created as a means to reinvest and support our existing businesses, including the artisan bakery. We dedicated years traveling the world learning, tasting, and perfecting our craft of creating traditional, European-style breads," Etai said in an email. Now, the family will go back to its original goal of offering traditionally-baked bread with superior ingredients to a national audience. “The possibilities are infinite and we can't wait to pursue each and every one.”
If you’d like to participate in the selection of Udi’s new name, vote here. The baking company’s new name will be announced on their website and via social media at 9 am on Wednesday, April 2.
NOTE: An earlier edition of this story stated that Udi's Gluten-Free Bread was changing its name due to an acquisition by Boulder Brands. A correction has been made to note that Udi's Gluten-Free Bread will retain the Udi's name, while Udi's Food — which operates the remaining catering company, artisan bakery, restaurants, and cafés — will change its name. We sincerely apologize for any confusion this has caused.