Allison Luckman knows the struggle of trying to accommodate children with food allergies. With a family history of irritable bowel syndrome, a son with egg and dairy allergies, a daughter with gluten intolerance and having celiac disease herself, Luckman set out to open a shop where she could do for the public what she had already been doing for her family for years—baking delicious, allergen-free creations. Five years ago she opened Allie’s GF Goodies in Hicksville, a bakery boasting a menu of products that are always certified free from gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, sesame, legumes, pea protein, fish and crustacean. The shop is also certified kosher.
While some products use soy and egg, there is never cross-contamination, as Luckman keeps her kitchen equipment color-coded and uses separate ovens for egg products.
“This is a safe zone,” said Luckman, a certified master trainer who can train staff to become certified to make their own facilities allergen-free spaces. “We have something for everyone. If, by some reason, a child can’t have something, I can make them something. Our whole reason of being is no child left out and inclusion, and making sure everyone has something to eat.”
On the menu are treats like Luckman’s signature cheesecake brownies, donuts, cookies of all shapes, sizes and flavors, scones, cupcakes, muffins, cheesecake and more. Any dessert you can think of is guaranteed to be on Luckman’s shelves.
To celebrate the holidays, Luckman is hosting holiday house decorating classes twice a day every Sunday through Dec. 23, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The hour-long classes give children an opportunity to decorate, take home and eat a holiday house that they won’t be allergic to. For $55, each child will receive a pre-built vegan house, a plethora of candy pieces and icing to “glue” everything on. With the help of Luckman and her staff, kids use their imagination to make their house look as practical or as whimsical as they like. At the end, they receive their house, leftovers, extra icing and a box to take everything home in. For children with allergies to food dyes that are present in some candies, Luckman will make them something they can use instead.
“Whatever their imagination can come up with, we give them a way to do it,” Luckman said. “This is about making sure they have a place to come in and let their imaginations go. If they think of something that we don’t have, we’ll make it out of fondant.”
Through trial and error and plenty of research, Luckman has perfected every recipe to accommodate every type of allergy and swap out ingredients when customers need it. She’s also trained her staff to know the ins and outs of allergies and the proper handling of food in an allergen-free kitchen.
“Our customers know that they can come in and if I’m selling it on the shelf it means I’ve tried it and I’ve researched it,” she said. “We care about safety here. We care about smiles and safety and making sure a kid is happy. The parents and the kids that come in here know that they come first.”
Visit Allie’s GF Goodies at 1B W. Village Green in Hicksville.
Do you prefer gluten-free products? Let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.