Wishing for a Nut Free Bakery

You may have read the story about why I started Eddie G's Cookies however, I want to share parts of my story growing up with food allergies.  I think it is important that parents of children with food allergies learn from my experiences and try to make the world a safer place for them. It is also important to note that children growing up with food allergies can experience everything their world has to offer, it might just be a little different and that's ok! I hope in reading my stories you will find that you and your children are not alone and there are others who have helped pave the way for safe eating. 

In 1999 I was the second person in my elementary school to ever have a nut allergy. Teachers, parents and students did not know how to handle the situation very well but luckily, we all got through it. Especially in the early days of elementary school, I was excluded from a lot of events surrounding food. Those were the days where every student's birthday was celebrated by their parents bringing a treat in for the whole class. Homemade or store bought, it didn't matter, I wasn't eating it. "There are no nuts in this, she can eat it," were the claims I overheard the parents saying.  Right, but my little 5 year old mind was thinking, were those doughnuts next to the ones that had nuts? Were you eating a handful of almonds while you were baking those brownies at home?  

My parents did everything they could to make sure I could still enjoy a treat with the rest of my friends. That meant eating a store bought Rice Krispie treat from the box my mom had brought in, kept in the teacher's closet.  I don't remember feeling embarrassed, it would be more embarrassing to have an allergic reaction and be rushed to the hospital in the middle of the school day...but, this was probably the first time I thought, if there was a bakery that was completely nut free, we could all enjoy the same treat together. 

I also have memories of being in Girl Scouts and the leaders had put out a tray of Girl Scout Cookies.  One of them pointed to the tray and said, "here I put the Thin Mints out for you, there are no nuts."  I stood there and saw the Thin Mints unwrapped and touching the peanut butter filled Do-Si-Do's.  As I turned around to get the snack my mom packed, I saw another girl licking the peanut butter off her fingers and I made a mental note to not sit next to her that day.

The list goes on, these types of events happened on a weekly basis. Every time it happened I thought about how awesome it would be if we could all enjoy a really good bakery treat together. I knew it didn't have to have nuts to be delicious and fun. The idea of a nut free bakery was a dream at that time.  

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