Food Allergy Counseling: Interview: Cherrybrook Kitchen
**Stay tuned to my Allergic Girl Facebook page for a chance to win a grand prize of three  Cherrybrook Kitchen products of your choice. Details will be on my Allergic Girl Facebook page here.**
When I cut out wheat from my diet back in 2005, Cherrybrook Kitchen was one of the first nut-free, wheat-free baking mixes I found on the shelf at my local Whole Foods and tried and loved. (NB: I’ve been nut allergic since infancy, wheat intolerance is something way newer. Here a quick primer on the difference between an allergy and an intolerance.)
I’ve been writing about Cherrybrook Kitchen on my blog since 2007, here a list of those blog posts.
Cherrybrook Kitchen has had some recent ownership changes and expansions and I had a chance to chat with them about what continues to makes Cherrybrook Kitchen an excellent option for those of us who need allergen-free treats. And really, who doesn’t need a safe treat once in a while?
Allergic Girl: Cherrybrook Kitchen was started in the 2000s by the Rosenberg family. It is now owned by Healthy Brands. Can you tell us more about your company, why Healthy Brands decided to acquire Cherrybrook Kitchen?
Cherrybrook Kitchen: Healthy Brands Collective was created from the need that co-founders Dan and Donna Ratner recognized when the 2008 recession hit the economy. As a result, good brands were unable to keep producing their products due to a loss of funding and access to investment. These were healthy brands in need of a sustainable solution in order to thrive.
“Our goal was simple,” said Dan. “My background in healthcare finance had given me experience working with medical practices where many doctors often share the resources of one office. Seeing potential in that industry’s standard practice, we wanted to recreate that model for health food brands. This is how Healthy Brands Collective was born.”
Healthy Brands Collective includes brands that have similar points of distribution, retail customers, and share a common purpose – creating healthier foods for healthier lifestyles. Cherrybrook Kitchen was the first company to be rescued and natural, allergen-free treats were integrated into the Healthy Brands Collective mission. The founder’s mission for Cherrybrook Kitchen has not changed since new ownership.
“We decided to acquire Cherrybrook Kitchen because it was a respectable brand that had plenty of opportunity to grow and we felt that this target market also deserved to have its cake & eat it too!” Donna said.
AG: What has changed with new ownership? What hadn’t changed with ownership?
CBK: Cherrybrook Kitchen was started in 2004 by the Rosenberg family. Since becoming part of the Healthy Brands Collective family, Cherrybrook Kitchen’s individual grassroots mission has not changed and the founder’s story is celebrated today. We continue to keep the essence of the brand in its original form. Recognizing the concerns of our audience, our social media has become an interactive forum and source for information on food allergies, and related topics.
It’s a new experience for Cherrybrook Kitchen to be part of a family of brands that includes nine other siblings: Cell-nique Super Green, European Gourmet, High Country Kombucha, Living Harvest Tempt, Bites of Bliss, Lisa’s Kitchen, Funky Monkey, Healthy to Go and Yumnuts. In addition to the growing number of brands, the wellness-conscious team of people that manages and facilitates the growth of these brands is also increasing in numbers. Another new benefit is that Cherrybrook Kitchen now has the marketing funds to spread the word.
Our growing family is what’s new!
AG: What are the core values of Cherrybrook Kitchen and of Healthy Brands?
CBK: Our core mission at Cherrybrook Kitchen is to create allergen-free sweets in a dedicated, safe facility where ingredient quality is of the utmost concern and focus. As a family-owned company, Healthy Brands Collective is comprised of a dedicated and passionate team, and products that promote healthier options for consumers.
“The people who watch over these brands are all parents, the core of the family nucleus,” Donna said. “Every brand is treated equally as the saying goes, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ This is our village.”
AG: What’s your best sellers? What’s your newest products?
CBK: All Cherrybrook Kitchen products are equally popular and we’re proud to offer a diversity of allergen-free baking mixes that includes a gluten-free line. New products include the ready-to-spread frosting and the carrot cake mix. Another big update is that our audience has grown tremendously and we’re always listening to the ideas that our fans love to share. They help give us direction and we will continue to facilitate dialogue and support awareness on topics related to food-allergies.
AG: What can we look forward to for the future of Cherrybrook Kitchen?
CBK: In the future, we look forward to growth and innovation here at Cherrybrook Kitchen! We’re present at many allergen-free events and actively work to introduce new people to Cherrybrook Kitchen every day. We plan to stay true to our roots, while continuing to explore new allergen-free products, share recipes, and alert our audience to resources that could be beneficial for the allergen-free food community.
Here is Cherrybrook Kitchen's allergen information.
Please contact Cherrybrook Kitchen directly about your needs.
And lastly, Cherrybrook Kitchen has a box top rewards program and my book Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies (Wiley, 2011) is part of their program. Thank you, Cherrybrook Kitchen for the support!
Thank you Healthy Brands Collective and Cherrybrook Kitchen for all that you do for our community!