With an eye on the food allergy community as a unique group of consumers since 2008, we're on a quest to find and share ways to continue enjoying the good things in life allergen-free.


07 October 2013

Halloween with Food Allergies a la A & J Bakery

Instead of feeling anxious or worried about Halloween the way I did the first year or two after my now 10 year old son was diagnosed with peanut and nut allergies, I actually look forward to Halloween. It's a lot of fun, and I know he can safely enjoy it just like all the other kids. Every year, we enjoy peanut-free, nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free candy corn from Rhode Island's A&J Bakery. Last week, we were the happy recipients of a package containing A&J's candy corn, maple biscotti, birthday cake biscotti, white chocolate raspberry biscotti and two adorable large iced pumpkin sugar cookies. Anyone who has been following Food Allergy Buzz knows my sons and I love A&J Bakery. We're biased; I'll say it straight out. We've been enjoying baked goods and other sweets from A&J for many years now. I've known the owners for years now, and I have heard Joe explain the efforts he goes thru to source pure, un-contaminated (with peanuts, nuts, gluten...) ingredients. I know, when A&J says something is peanut-free, they mean the ingredients come from a pure peanut-free source AND their bakery is peanut-free. And tree nut-free and gluten-free too!

 
This year, the candy corn comes in attractive, handy reseal-able packages perfect for enjoying at home or gift-giving. We enjoyed trying new biscotti flavors. The maple is quite tasty and I like it with a cup of coffee. My sons got to work eating the birthday cake flavored biscotti right away. Still, my favorite biscotti flavor is the white chocolate raspberry! The three of us shared the delicious big iced pumpkin sugar cookies. The sweet icing and soft sugar cookie is--like all the goodies at A&J--peanut free, tree nut free, and gluten-free.
 
A&J is a family business, owned by Amy and Joe Hitzemann, both graduates of Johnson & Wales.
They are always busy at work coming up with new products. Joe got his start in Opryland and then worked as a bakery manager at Stop and Shop. Amy has been a teacher for years, and is getting her 2nd Master's, now in Counseling. These days, Joe is hard at work at A&J Bakery, from the wee hours in the morning. Amy continues her work as a teacher and then heads to work at the bakery later in the day to do cake decor. They're also parents too! I'm not sure how they do it all. I have a theory--either they don't sleep or they have cloned themselves. But seriously, they're two of the hardest working people I have ever met.
 
A&J is a great place to get your food allergy friendly Halloween goodies. (and don't forget their world-famous allergy friendly gingerbread house next month!) Visit their website, www.ajbakeryri.com, for more info and to check out your options.

Disclosure:My sons & I enjoyed a Halloween package courtesy of A&J Bakery for review/sharing on Food Allergy Buzz.
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