Project image
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$2,197
pledged of $7,800pledged of $7,800 goal
79
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, September 9 2013 3:59 AM UTC +00:00
Jessica D. McMorrisBy Jessica D. McMorris
First created
Jessica D. McMorrisBy Jessica D. McMorris
First created
$2,197
pledged of $7,800pledged of $7,800 goal
79
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, September 9 2013 3:59 AM UTC +00:00

About

Muff'n Stuff

Allergy- Friendly Muffin Mix

by The Allergy-Friendly Vegetarian

Thank you for visiting our Kickstarter campaign site!

We hope you have read the bio to learn how this project came into existence. It's been an interesting personal journey getting to this point. Also, check out the video to learn even more about the project.

(Taste Test of Muff'n Stuff)

For those of us dealing with food allergies, food options become slim (if you, the reader, are one of us, you already know). Imagine if you woke up one day and like 75% or more of what was on the grocery store shelves the day before was now gone! All your favorite foods... soups, pizza, sandwich items, pastas, most alcohols, your favorite candy...and desserts and morning pastries. What would that feel like?! What would you eat? Well, that's the world people with food allergies live in daily. Except all the food we love hasn't disappeared. We still have to look at it in front of us, on the shelves, each time we go to shop, and often without a suitable alternative sitting next to us so that we can grab something we love too! And, what options do exist tend to be expensive. Now, imagine that every home you go into, the food is off limits because it could make you sick. Imagine being a child at your friend's birthday party and you can't eat the cake and ice cream like everyone else (or the chips and dip...or candy) because the host doesn't know what's safe to buy or there isn't anything available. How do you navigate those social situations surrounding food? How do your family and friends nurture you with food?

According to the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization, there are 15 million people in the U.S. with food allergies; 5.9 million of those are children. More than 30 percent of children with a food allergy (almost 1 in 3) have multiple food allergies. Every 3 minutes a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department (Source: foodallergy.org). These numbers do not include people dealing with food intolerances and sensitivities, not classified as an "allergy", and the number of people with multiple food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities is growing steadily.

The “Vegetarianism in America” study, published by Vegetarian Times, shows that 3.2 percent of U.S. adults, or 7.3 million people, follow a vegetarian-based diet. Approximately 0.5 percent, or 1 million, of those are vegans, who consume no animal products at all. In addition, 10 percent of U.S., adults, or 22.8 million people, say they largely follow a vegetarian-inclined diet (Source: vegetariantimes.com/article/vegetarianism-in-america/).

Using these figures, combined with the food allergy statistics, this means over 550,000 people (or 3.7%) of the 15 million with food allergies are vegetarian or vegan. And again, this does not include people with intolerances or sensitivities. It also wouldn't include a person forced to exercise vegan options due to allergies to egg and dairy but who still eats meat. As you can see, there is a big need for options for people with multiple food allergies, especially those who are vegan. There are yet another group of people who have eliminated the 8 common allergens and corn out of their diet due to health concerns not related to allergies; like depression, weight management, and balancing hormone levels naturally. So, Muff'n Stuff is a product that would benefit at least 1.6 million people nationally.

Mixing a test batch of muffins
Mixing a test batch of muffins

Fortunately, there has been progress in the area of allergen free foods, particularly for people dealing with single allergy issues, like Celiac's Disease or Gluten Intolerances. But, add to that not only multiple food allergies, but also being a vegetarian or a vegan with multiple food allergies. When YOU walk in the grocery store, you see shelves full of food with big red Xs over them that your body will get sick from ingesting.

On the market now are minimal options for pre-mixed/ pre-packaged mixes for people with multiple food allergies. In the area of muffins and pastries, there have been two companies able to cater to us. One makes pre-made muffins, breads, and bagels; the other cake/muffin mixes and flour blends. we've found, in our experience, that extra sugar is used to replace flavor and texture, and the texture itself can leave a lot to be desired... But, we tell you what, we were grateful for that mix! Because there was nothing else we could go to the store to buy off the shelf, bake at home and eat (or pull out of a package and put in our mouths). One of these brands that came out within the last couple years have GREAT texture too, but they use eggs and corn in their mixes. Once we discovered, like many others, that Jessica and our son's bodies didn't tolerate those ingredients, that was no longer an option (nor for vegans either). We love this other company who makes cookies and chocolate for people with multiple allergies, and our family often eats them, but who wants just cookies all the time for sweet treats, or for breakfast?!

This means in the area of muffins and pastries there is ONE option consumers can grab off the shelf for people who need a hypo-allergenic mix... We need options!

So, out of a desire to have something we truly enjoyed, and that was a little easier on the wallet, Jessica began experimenting with different ingredients, and developed the muffin mix we're launching from this campaign. After a lot of encouragement from family, husband Sean, and friends, Jessica realized people really NEEDED this mix. If our family was struggling to find ready made options, then others were too.

Test muffins fresh out of the oven
Test muffins fresh out of the oven

So, we have decided to produce a dry, packaged muffin mix to be sold to retail bakeries, coffee shops, co-ops, grocery outlets, and to the general public through an online store.

The mix is Vegan, free of the 8 common allergens, corn, and soy. I'm beginning with a spiced muffin mix, which is full of flavor and can easily be glazed or turned into a cake/cupcakes. A key feature is that these muffins are not overly sweetened, and sugar can be added for the customers preference. The bag of mix makes 12 muffins that are light and fluffy, pull apart in a similar way that full gluten muffins do, and do not crumble under pressure (LOL). They hold up well to spreading butters, jams, and spreads; are great hot out of the oven, or a day later. I have done months of research to find the most hypoallergenic ingredients on the market today that still make a good muffin!

The ingredients are: rice flour, buckwheat flour, organic natural granulated cane sugar, guar gum, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, salt, baking soda

Jessica has spent months researching the most hypoallergenic ingredients on the market to bring this option safely to the public.

The mix will be produced in a professional kitchen rented after hours, who specializes in catering to food allergies, so they have segregated equipment, prep areas, etc. The packaging of the mix consists of a sealed plastic bag, which contains the dry mix, encased in a brown bag with labeling of the product (labels are currently being designed).

Finishing the plate for guests
Finishing the plate for guests

We have initiated this campaign to accomplish three goals. 1) Raise money for the start-up costs. Basically, to make this endeavor legal. 2) To create an online web presence and store, and 3) To successfully place this muffin mix at wholesale cost into our first retail grocery store in the local Atlanta, GA area.

Your contributions will cover putting into place:

  • County Business License
  • State Wholesale/Retail License
  • Assistance with writing a Business Plan/Market Research
  • Logo Design
  • Trademarking
  • Copyrighting my recipes
  • Website/SEO for the business
  • Becoming an LLC
  • Opening a business bank account
The finished product with a glazed icing... Yum!
The finished product with a glazed icing... Yum!

An asset to this start-up company is that Sean McMorris, Jessica's husband, has 25 years background experience in the restaurant industry in professional kitchens and in a management capacity. So, he carries the background in federal and state regulations, proper food handling and safety, purchasing, portioning, etc. He is working hand in hand with Jessica behind the scenes to give birth to this business properly.

The overall goal of the project 1) the start-up tasks associated with opening a new business, and 2) have an online store up and running, can be accomplish withing weeks of receiving my Kickstarter funds. The third goal; to successfully shop my muffin mix to one retail grocery store is more open ended due to the process of building relationships with retail grocery stores on a professional level and shopping my mix to them. Our family has some strong relationships with the stores in which we shop regularly, and will use those as leverage, and we are already working towards making this step a reality.

Our first major event is scheduled for September 29th with FARE. FARE is doing a community fund raiser run. They estimate over 600 runners that we will provide muffins for that morning. This event will serve as our first major market research in the Atlanta community.

We also have two Atlanta area catering companies ready to feature Muff'n Stuff when we are off the ground.

We are very excited that you are interested in helping to bring this much needed food item to the wholesale and retail market! Thank you for your time and contributions.

Risks and challenges

We are in the process of securing a professional kitchen in the Atlanta area that is hypoallergenic that we can rent during off hours to package our mix. We don't anticipate any issues with this, as there are several, and the food allergy community tends to be very friendly. However, should we run into a challenge, we have thought of several other creative options to tackle this situation. This is the main issue that could create a challenge with the Dept. of Agriculture.

I have already partnered with the Women's Economic Development Agency, and the regional office of the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization to support this project. I have also secured a graphic designer, the person completing the Website/SEO, and a business attorney. Everything is in the works to hit the door running when I have the funds to file all the paperwork.

We already have our vendors lined up to purchase supplies from to get our incentives out as expediently as possible.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more About $2.00

    Karma Contribution: For every $2 contribution, we commit to a RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS with a stranger (just like your act of kindness). We will report many of our experiences on The Allergy-Friendly Vegetarian blog

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    We are SO excited that everyone is getting involved and contributing what they can to get this product out into the world that we want to send you a personalized THANK YOU NOTE and one of our BUMPER STICKERS.

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    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    (Local Only- Inside the Perimeter) Be a TASTE TESTER for the new muffin mix. Make your contribution, we will deliver you a bag of mix. You try it out and make a written or video review of the mix to be posted on Kickstarter and The Allergy Friendly Vegetarian's social media sites. (to be completed on/before Sep. 1, 2013)

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    We are so excited about helping people with multiple food allergies love food again, and that you want to help too! So, this contribution gets you a personal THANK YOU NOTE, a BUMPER STICKER, and an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    At this level you get to really dig in to what this project is all about. We will send you ONE BAG of the new muffin mix, which makes 12 muffins, and a BUMPER STICKER.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    At this level you get to really dig in to what this project is all about. We will send you ONE BAG of the new muffin mix, which makes 12 muffins, a BUMPER STICKER, and an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    At this level not only do you get to really dig in to what this project is all about, but also get a preview of our future. We will send you ONE BAG of the new muffin mix, which makes 12 muffins, a BUMPER STICKER, and an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    At this level not only do you get to really dig in to what this project is all about, but also get a preview of our future. We will send you ONE BAG of the new muffin mix, which makes 12 muffins, a BUMPER STICKER, a LOGO TEE and an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You have decided to help us more, so we are upping the game! We will send you TWO BAGS of the new muffin mix, which makes 12 muffins each, a BUMPER STICKER, and an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    We LOVE the fact you want to help us offer more food options to people with multiple food allergies! So, at this level you get THREE BAGS of the new muffin mix, which makes 12 muffins each, a BUMPER STICKER, and an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes. Plus, we are throwing in one of our LOGO TEES... Who doesn't love swag?!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Although we think anyone who helps at any level is amazing, we are so grateful you have chosen to make this contribution! So, at this level you get FOUR BAGS of the new muffin mix, which makes 12 muffins each, a BUMPER STICKER, and an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes. Plus, we are throwing in one of our LOGO TEES...because we all love swag!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Thank you for helping to make this dream a reality! You've really got our backs... We want you to enjoy this as much as we are, so at this level you will receive 1 bag of muffin mix a month, which makes 12 muffins, delivered to your door for the next 6 MONTHS (Yes! 6 bags total). And, to get a idea of what's to come, you get an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes. Plus, we are adding in one of our LOGO TEES and a LOGO APRON...plenty of swag! (first bag of muffin mix scheduled for delivery Nov. 2013, with the swag)

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    (Local Only- Inside the Perimeter) Thank you for helping to make this dream a reality! You've really got our backs... We want you to enjoy this as much as we are, so at this level you will receive 1 bag of muffin mix a month, which makes 12 muffins, delivered to your door for the next 6 MONTHS (Yes! 6 bags total). And, to get a idea of what's to come, you get an electronic sample preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes. Also, we are adding in one of our LOGO TEES.

    PLUS, on a Sunday afternoon of your choice (subject to our availability), we will personally deliver a dozen freshly baked muffins, coffee for two (with refills), and a personal 45 minute solo guitar performance of light ambient music by my husband, Sean McMorris, a professional musician.

    (first bag of muffin mix scheduled for delivery Nov. 2013, with the swag)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    This is SUCH an amazing time in our lives and you get to share it with us... Thank you! At this contribution level we wanted to do something special, so send us your FAVORITE RECIPE (or that of a friend) that you really miss eating because of food allergy/intolerance issues. We will modify the recipe to be super yummy, vegan and allergy-friendly and then make a video demonstration to show you how to cook it just right! You will receive an electronic copy in your inbox. Wondering what to do? Just try us! I modified gumbo to be vegan and allergy friendly and it's out of this world! And, to get a idea of what's to come, you get a sample soft cover bound copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes. Also, we are adding in one of our LOGO APRONS.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    (Local Only- Inside the Perimeter) This is SUCH an amazing time in our lives and you get to share it with us... Thank you! At this contribution level we wanted to do something special for our local contributors. So, you get to experience an evening of my husband and I personally cooking a 3 course vegan, allergy friendly meal for you and a guest. We will select the evening/occasion together and discuss any food preferences before hand. This dinner includes an allergy friendly beverage as well. And, to get a idea of what's to come, you get a sample soft cover bound preview copy of our upcoming COOKBOOK, with of 20 of our favorite vegan, allergy friendly recipes. Also, we are adding in one of our LOGO APRONS.

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Funding period

- (27 days)