Over the weekend, I planned to bake a dessert for my friend’s 70th birthday. She cannot eat dairy and I planned to make a dairy-free torte. Unfortunately, my oven started to shut itself off so I found myself searching for a bakery that would make a dairy-free cake. This is easier said than done. In the end, I am so grateful that my search led me to Still Delicious, a wonderful bakery and community resource created by Mark Israel and Caren Smith-Israel. This bakery is entirely gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free. They also make many dairy-free, corn-free, vegan and paleo baked goods as well.
Mark Israel was tired of buying overpriced gluten-free products that turned out to taste like cardboard so he decided to try his hand at making more delicious and wholesome allergy-friendly foods. Mark had no formal training as a baker but learned many skills from his mother. He had multiple family members with food allergies and he would experiment with different recipes when he went to family gatherings. Mark found that he could make gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, corn-free recipes that people enjoyed eating. From there he started making baked goods to sell at farmers markets and then he and his wife Caren Smith-Israel opened Still Delicious.
The bakery smells delicious, with freshly baked breads, pre-made sourdough pizza crusts, bagels, cupcakes and sweet treats. Someday, Mark and Caren hope to expand their pre-made foods section to include pizza and meals and they hope to open a cafe.
Allergy-Friendly Supports Celebrations for All
Mark says that his favorite thing about having the bakery is seeing children who are usually told that they can’t eat most things because of their food allergies light up when their parent says “you can have anything in here.” He gets a little choked up talking about how children will point at multiple things and say “I can have this? And this?”
Baked goods have their time and place, including celebrations, and many people (children and adults) with food allergies or intolerances can feel left out when they cannot have the birthday cake or pizza that is served at a party. Still Delicious supports people in following the diet that is good for their bodies while also participating in celebrations and activities with their communities.
These baked goods do more than live up to the name “Still Delicious.” The resounding response when people ate the cupcakes that I bought for the party was “these are the best cupcakes I’ve ever had.” This is coming from people who have no food allergies and also no qualms continuing to tease me about how they think my chia pudding is gross. Mark and Caren are doing a fantastic job of living up to the vision of creating allergy-friendly foods that are delicious.
We have been talking about food intolerances and allergies over the past few blog posts. I find that some people have significant improvement in their autoimmune conditions, arthritis, headaches, energy levels, digestion and overall wellbeing with avoidance of inflammatory foods. I love it when people can manage their condition without having to rely on medications or supplements – in part because that means that we have found and addressed the root cause of their issue and that means that they feel better in general and in part because my goal as a doctor is to support people in being in charge of their own health.
13 Boston Post Rd
Westbrook, CT 06498