Anna Petrova, the CEO and Founder of Hillsborough-based Wolfe Cravings Food Co., grew up making food from scratch with her grandmother.
“I always say that food is an international love language,” she said.
But it can sometimes be hard for people with Celiac disease—like Petrova’s husband—to partake in this love language. Petrova said she would “cheat” on her husband with gluten. She felt frustrated that she had to eat separately from her husband for some meals, especially while eating dessert.
This is why she created Wolfe Cravings for people with gluten sensitivities to be able to enjoy delicious treats. The startup is a consumer packaged goods (CPG) brand selling decadent, gluten-free desserts.
“I can confidently say everything is Celiac-safe,” Petrova said.
Petrova bakes the goods herself out of a commercial kitchen called Piedmont Food Processing Center in Hillsborough, where Wolfe Cravings is based.
Petrova was selected to be in the 2021 cohort of NC State’s Miller Fellowship, which helps NC grads work fulltime on their startup by providing a monthly stipend and additional resources. She is currently a part of the 2023 cohort of the Andrews Launch Accelerator (ALA), also out of NC State.
After earning her bachelor’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, she got her masters degree in the Industrial and Product Design program at NC State.
Wolfe Cravings currently offers tiramisu, an Italian coffee dessert, and ice cream sandwiches with chocolate chip cookies as the “bread.” Petrova’s desserts are sold at Steve’s Garden Market in Hillsborough.
She aims to move her products into more grocery stores and offer more dessert options. She also plans to sell her products online in the future.
“The next goal is to try and reach more people, so I’m trying to get into more locations,” she said.
Even though the glass jars that Petrova uses for her tiramisu are more expensive than plastic packaging, she wants to be environmentally conscious of the trash she produces. She said she was influenced by her past internship at Don’t Waste Durham to use glass instead of plastic.
Petrova will be selling her desserts at the “Festa Italiana” in Raleigh on Sept. 23. She is planning to attend other monthly pop-ups. She wants to give people more options for desserts.
“It is quite limited, unfortunately, in the gluten-free space,” she said.