How did my family business, The Cookie Barrel, who in the last year used nearly 20 tonne of sugar in our bakery ... suddenly decide that we needed to look into Sugar Free baking???



I was tired, overweight, very tired, on a variety of medications for assorted illnesses and tired – did I mention I was always tired? I remember my dad’s fatherly concern to mum, “She really shouldn’t be this tired all the time.”

My husband, who also works in our business was in the same boat as me. Something needed to change for us, but what? How? We had tried so many ways.

Well the change started with my dogs. Of course! Anyone who knows me will shake their head in amusement and roll their eyes and say, “Of course it started with your dogs”.

(I breed Dobermanns and my passion for Canine Nutrition & Holistic Health Care is something of an ongoing source of amusement to my family). 

Danielle Grosse

Owner/Keto Advocate


In late 2017, I attended a full day seminar with Dr Ian Billinghurst, internationally renowned author of Pointing the Bone at Cancer and the godfather of Raw Feeding for dogs. I was introduced to the term Ketogenic Diet for the first time.


Little did I know a year later it would drastically altered my life, that of those around me and then onto the larger community of Perth. I took everything I learnt that day about canine nutrition, ketosis and started researching the benefits of applying this to myself.

November 2017 I embarked on our 'clean eating' journey, cutting out processed carbs, removing sugar from our diet and learning about the good fats in life. Six months into our changed eating, my husband and I were bursting with energy, excess weight had fallen off us (and is still disappearing!), all blood tests came back from the doctors in the 'spot-on' range and we were both 'medication & disease free,' much to our doctors amazement, for the first time in years! I’m proud to say the flow on effect of our healthy eating also changed the lives of many close family members and friends and I love the thought that we are responsible for the improved health in so many people. 





It wasn’t until a meeting with a new potential client (one of Perth’s leading hospitals) when we were discussing dietary requirements that she innocently asked me, “Oh, so what can you eat from your range then?”

"Um, nothing." I replied.

Wow – talk about a wake-up call. Here I am feeling the best I have in my 40 something years and I choose not to eat a single thing in our own companies extensive range of great products! Time to put my money where my mouth is and start looking after the people that like myself have chosen to cut out carbs and sugar. It can’t be hard surely? 

Enter the search for a suitable natural sweetener or sugar replacement to use across our range of products. We first started our trials with Erythritol – perhaps my preferred choice of sweetener due to its almost negligible effect on blood sugar levels and a rating of only 1 on the Glycaemic Index (compared to Sugar at 65). However, the feedback from our taste testers (both Keto and non-keto eaters – as we believe to encourage people to make healthier choices ... product must taste good to everyone!) was the unpleasant cooling effect it leaves in your mouth – it was confusing flavours and left a lot of screwed up faces around the place. 


Xylitol was next on our list and we must admit we were extremely happy with the outcome of production trials when using this. Our own staff couldn’t believe the cookies and slices in particular were so low carb and didn’t contain any sugars. I’m still working on its use as it is also a product that is extremely toxic to dogs and being so near and dear to my heart – I remain on the search for an alternative . . . stay tuned!