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La Briochine

Sandra Lefebvre
Toronto, ON, Canada

The story of La Briochine is a personal one that was born out of both desperation and inspiration.

 It all started when my son was four years old and we discovered he is allergic to tree nuts and peanuts. Since more than a million and a half Canadians have nut and/or peanut allergies, I didn’t think it would be so difficult to navigate and that there must be a ton of items he could still enjoy despite his allergy.

 And we could…as long as we planned ahead. Being spontaneous? Well that was no longer an option. It meant that we could no longer stop for a snack in a coffee shop like we were used to because they
couldn’t guarantee there had been no cross-contamination and that even their nut-free items “may contain” nuts. It also meant I always had to have snacks on the go (I learned that the hard way very quickly!).

 After being caught out one too many times with a very hungry child and no quick options to grab, I started wondering why there weren’t fresh snack cakes available for those with nut allergies? With allergies only on the rise, surely we couldn’t be the only family who wanted to enjoy these little delicacies with family and friends?

 Sure, I could find something from a box, but I just couldn’t find a nice piece of cake with fresh, natural ingredients that didn’t have “may contain nuts” as a warning. Something had to be done!

 As a Briochine (born and raised in St Brieuc, France), I grew up baking and eating the most wonderful traditional French patisseries
that were homemade with simple ingredients. No palm oil, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and ingredients that we couldn’t pronounce, let alone begin to imagine what they were. I wanted to find a way to take this traditional way of baking and use it to create nut-free cakes my son could enjoy and that I could
bring out with us as a quick snack or treat for him.

 So, I started baking simple and tasty cakes that I would share with my son and other loved ones. It brought me such joy to see the
looks on their faces when they had that first, delicious bite. Then one
morning, I woke up and asked myself, “Why not sell my cakes for others looking for a nut-safe snack?

 And thus, La Briochine was born. I hope you enjoy eating your La Briochine cake as much as I enjoyed creating it for you.

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