Absolute Confection, a peanut and tree nut free bakery, is the result of a combined passion for baking and of being a parent of a child with food allergies. Originally, I set out to have a career behind a desk in corporate finance. I was doing well on that path for about 12 years, at which point, I discovered my youngest child had a severe peanut allergy. This discovery put our family on a very steep and scary learning curve trying to determine what our little one could eat without potentially suffering an anaphylactic reaction. One of the first items off the list was any product from any bakery. I have always loved to bake so this didn’t present much of a problem for our family for most occasions. It was only as our little one grew older and came to recognize that he was being denied good looking and tasty treats from places we frequented that I suffered the hurt of having to deny him those goodies. As Nashville didn’t have a nut free bakery at the time, our little one came to accept the fact that his “normal” meant he couldn’t have bakery treats like other children or treats brought in to school.
The final straw came as one birthday approached and our family vacation schedule made it difficult for me to actually make the birthday cake for the party as we were going to be driving 14 hours the day before the party. I sure didn’t want to decorate a cake after that kind of road trip so I picked up the phone and called every bakery in the Middle Tennessee area. I kept getting responses to my inquiries about how they would prevent cross-contamination of my son’s birthday cake such as “We don’t put peanuts in cakes.” Thank you very much, I don’t think I’ll trust my son’s life to you. Finally, I spoke to a pastry chef who had worked in New York for a bakery that had a gluten free line and he understood segregation of ingredients and sanitation of utensils and cookware. I ordered my son’s cake and then prayed. I held my breath on the day of the party. Luckily, we didn’t have a reaction but I decided I didn’t want to go through that experience ever again.
I decided to hang up my 10-key and visor and I headed to culinary school to become a pastry chef in order to one day open my own peanut and tree nut free bakery. After graduation, I went on to work in a variety of bakeries (high volume bakery/restaurants, supermarkets, boutique bakeries) and what I saw in the kitchen with regard to “segregation of ingredients” and “sanitation of cookware” confirmed my suspicion that it really is dangerous for individuals with life threatening food allergies to take a chance ordering “nut-free” items from a bakery that handles any kind of nuts. I am dedicated to producing delicious baked goods in a nut free environment. I feed my products to my own child. I am very aware of how manufacturers can change production procedures so I am constantly checking my ingredients for safety. I have stood in the middle of the grocery store aisle many times calling the information hot-line on a product to be sure that it is in fact safe for my child, or any other allergic child, to consume. I am excited to offer delicious baked goods made in a dedicated peanut and tree nut free bakery that everyone can enjoy! I look forward to providing treats to help you celebrate all of life’s occasions.