Lots of folks pretend to be scared during Halloween, but for parents of a child with a severe food allergy, the fear is very real.
Tree nuts, peanut, milk and eggs are especially hard for kids with allergies to avoid during this candy-centric holiday, and it can be a struggle for parents to find treats that are delicious and don’t make their child feel isolated.
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One solution: Divvies, headquartered in South Salem, which makes peanut-, tree nut-, milk- and egg-free treats. The name comes from the packaging: chocolate “divvy” bars are split into two uneven side marked “yours” and “mine.”
“People with food allergies always feel that they get the short end of the stick, so we’re really trying to turn the table on that,” says Divvies owner Lori Sandler, who lives in Pound Ridge.
Special Halloween items include solid semisweet chocolate bats and chocolate ghosts, each with two per package for $5. Other candies include rainbow-colored gummy stars, bags of chocolate chips, solid chocolate dinosaurs, colorful gumballs and four flavors of chocolate bars. Divvies also makes a line of gourmet popcorn, cookies and cupcake kits for home decorating.
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All products are available to purchase on the Divvies website, as well as several locations throughout the area like Whole Foods, Balducci’s, DeCicco’s, Bedford Gourmet, Main Street Sweets in Tarrytown and Matter of Health in Nanuet.
Divvies was born seven years ago when Sandler became frustrated with options for her youngest son, who was born with a long list of allergies. After his first birthday cake was essentially “shaved ice with a candle,” she started started making things that not only her son liked, but all of their friends and family did as well.
“I just thought, this is not cool moving forward,” Sandler says. “I didn’t want him to be defined by what he can and can not eat.”
Every treat is made in Sandler’s bakery, and no peanuts, tree nuts, eggs or milk enter the doors. She also conducts routine testing to minimize the risk of any cross-contamination in her certified allergen-free ingredients.
“Truly the idea is all about inclusive eating,” says Sandler. “The beauty is most people without food allergies try them and love them, too.