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Let Them Eat Cake!


Let Them Eat Cake!

By Emily Nolan; Photography by Mary Beth Koeth | April 10, 2020 | Food & Drink

In a letter to her son, one Miami mother shares how his severe food allergies inspired her to start The Good Mama Company.

MamaCakes_MBKoeth_ENJ0147.jpgKelly “The Food Scientist” Raimon, Oliver and Emily Nolan

Dear Oliver,

I can’t believe we’ve made it this far. Some days, I still think we’re past it all and that it was all a dream, and then I realize, food allergies are real. And they don’t always go away like so many people assure us. “Oh, maybe he’ll grow out of it.”

For your first birthday, I scoured recipe after recipe looking for a proper allergy-friendly cake. I wanted it to be special. I wanted you to savor your very first bites of birthday cake. I wanted the whole experience to be a 10.

I started playing around with recipes. I replaced the eggs, added spices, topped it with the best brown butter frosting anyone has ever tried, fresh fruit and rosemary. And there it was: a zucchini cake made with a lot of love and zero allergens.


The back of your jaw jumped with excitement when you tasted that first bite. Everyone at your party said it was the best cake they had ever tried. And they meant it. I knew, deep down, that this cake was more special than it just being your birthday cake. It meant so many things.

It meant that there was never a reason you couldn’t throw a party or attend another birthday party without eating the cake. It meant that you’d never be the food allergy kid sitting at a side table watching the other kids enjoy their cake. I knew that if I could get other people to try this cake and choose it for their parties, we would never have to worry so much about risking your life just to go to celebrations at other people’s houses.

The Good Mama Company is the result of me and Kelly “The Food Scientist” Raimon turning our kitchens into a lab. Ask Kelly why we can’t make allergy-friendly meringues without egg white and almond flour, and she’ll try it a million times until she figures it out.

To be honest, food allergies have been a blessing to our family. We eat lots of food from the Source, and most every meal is at home, together. And we’re all healthier for it. So, thank you. Oliver, nourishing you is my love language. I have learned that, not matter the challenge, you can have your cake—and eat it (too).

I love you forever,

Your Good Mama


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Photography by: Mary Beth Koeth