“Imagine a little one who cannot eat cake at a birthday party because of his allergies,” comments Lucie Fiore, the founder of Lucia Chocolat.
In business for four years, Lucia Chocolat offers custom-made peanut and nut free desserts in the greater Montreal area. Fiore works out of her home and not only creates and bakes all her goods, but also delivers them to clients in and around Montreal.
Fiore is pretty much a one-woman show, although she adds that her family is very supportive and always ready to lend a hand whenever she asks.
“They also expect desserts from me at all our gatherings,” she muses.
The peanut and nut free guarantee from Lucia Chocolat is Fiore herself, who suffers from a severe allergy to nuts and to sesame that she developed as a child. Five years ago, an acute allergic reaction landed her in the hospital.
“After that, everywhere I went, every bakery I went to, they couldn’t guarantee allergy-free products. I was tired of hearing this and so I started to bake myself,” Fiore recalls.
The following year, Lucia Chocolat was born.
“I was always a fan of cupcakes and cakes, and so that is where I started,” she explains.
Some of her recipes are original creations; others are a nut-free version of popular treats. Her specialties are cupcakes with cream cheese fillings and custom fondant cakes. She also offers dairy-free and egg-free desserts when requested.
For now, Fiore still has her day job as a graphic designer, and moonlights as Lucia Chocolat. Over the years the company has steadily grown, with orders coming in every single week. Fiore realized it was time to make the plunge, move the business out of her home kitchen, and set up shop. Her only barrier: start up money.
Earlier this month Fiore launched a crowd funding campaign via the Kickstarter website to raise the $15,000 she needs to get things going.
Crowd funding campaigns are a popular online fundraising platform that asks fans, clients, and colleagues to donate money to specific projects. These campaigns are particularly popular among artists, filmmakers and entrepreneurs, as is the case with Fiore.
All crowd funding campaigns offer their contributors perks as a thank you for their donation. In the case of Lucia Chocolat, the perks come in the form of delectable desserts made by Fiore herself. For example, for a $10.00 pledge, you can choose one dozen freshly baked peanut free and nut free cookies shipped directly to your home. For a $50.00 pledge, you can receive a freshly baked cake shipped to your door, a simple icing recipe, and a digital copy of the Lucia Chocolat recipe book. If you pledge $250.00 or more, you can enjoy a dozen freshly baked peanut free and nut free cookies shipped directly to your home once a month for a whole year.
Fiore hopes to open a Lucia Chocolat shop in central Montreal. The space will not only act as her atelier, but also offer her clientele – both young and old – a peanut and nut free café and bakery setting.
“I want to create a spot where you can actually sit down for a dessert and not worry about nut allergies. Even ice cream in the summer, and a spot for kids’ parties,” Fiore explains.
“I first thought graphic design was my passion. Now I find myself waking up at 4:00AM to bake,” she muses.
To learn more about Lucia Chocolat, visit www.luciachocolat.com.
Lucia Chocolat’s crowd funding campaign ends on January 6, 2015. For details please visit: www.kickstarter.com/projects/luciachocolat/lucia-chocolat-peanut-and-nut-free-baked-goods-gua.