The number of people suffering from severe food allergies appears to be increasing in staggering numbers. For these individuals, it often means adapting their lifestyle to watch out for potentially life-threatening foods. This separation is most evident when people come together such as at year end holiday parties and family gatherings. Over the last couple of years, the predicament has improved in Montreal thanks to the opening of Petit Lapin bakery.
Owner Viviane Nguyen discovered that her son had over thirty food allergies which made it extremely difficult to find safe foods. She is a notary who in her spare time started developing allergy-free recipes that her son could enjoy. That led to the opening of her bakery in Westmount. She called it Petit Lapin (Little Rabbit) because her son was born in the Year of the Rabbit.
People With Allergies No Longer Have to Feel Left Out
One of the worst parts about having food allergies is that every snack and meal must be thought of in advance. At parties and other events, those with allergies must be on the lookout for food allergens that may have been used as ingredients.
Imagine you’re someone with food allergies. Now imagine going to a friend’s house party where everyone brings delicious-looking desserts but you’re worried that you might be allergic to them.
To account for that, you bring your own less-tasty, less-appealing allergy-free option. You sit there quietly eating your dessert, knowing that no one really wants to try your “inferior” sweets. It can be uncomfortable and isolating for you. It can also be annoying to ask the host or anyone who brought food where they bought it, or the source of the ingredients for some home-cooked foods.
Thanks to Petit Lapin, delicious, attractive, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, macarons, donuts, cream puffs, and other sweet treats can be shared by everyone, without fear of an allergic reaction.
After having tasted the yule log, mini-apple pie, cookies, macarons, and cupcakes, I can attest to how great they taste. On my way over to the bakery, I thought that I was in for some dry, virtually tasteless cupcakes. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was more than pleasantly surprised.
Vegan and Organic
It’s one thing to be allergy-free but the fact that the bakery’s products are also vegan and organic is remarkable. Some restaurants, bakeries, and food stores highlight that they feature vegan or organic food. At Petit Lapin, it’s almost an afterthought in the sense that “allergy-free” is the main driving force behind the products.
Everything-free, Except Taste
I’ve eaten gluten-free and peanut-free foods before and let’s face it, they’re typically unexciting. It’s incredible that Petit Lapin produces so many tasty treats without the potentially harmful ingredients.
This list will blow you away:
- Tree nut-free (Includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, and walnuts)
Nguyen examined and compiled a list of the top 10 most common food allergen groups. She decided that each of her offerings would account for individuals that were a part of them.
Added Bonus: No Refrigeration Required
When you buy baked goods like chocolate cake, you need to keep it in the fridge because of ingredients such as eggs which can go bad. These cakes don’t have eggs so you can leave them on the kitchen counter. It is suggested that you eat your treats when they are fresh (as in one or two days old) but they can last a week or so and still be edible.
Originally, the idea was to provide delivery to the Montreal area. However, demand has been pouring in across the country and since the items don’t need to be refrigerated, they can easily be shipped.
The baked goods at Petit Lapin are completely unique and cannot be found elsewhere in Montreal (if not Canada). Developing recipes takes time, effort and resources. The ingredients are also more costly than typical options. Additionally, the bakery is situated among the most expensive retail space in the country. As such, the price of these delights are higher than their non-allergy-free counterparts.
Should you try it?
Yes! There’s only so much I can tell you about how impressive Petit Lapin is. Even the logo, store design, and packaging are so beautifully done, it’s surprising that no one has been successful in this space.