As a lot of my readers already know, I co-lead the No Nuts Moms Group of Cleveland. If you aren't in the Cleveland area but want to know more about groups that are closer to you, check out the Groups tab at No Nuts Moms Group.
The last get-together we had was at a coffee shop/restaurant called Four Kids Coffee. A couple of members in our group had already been there and had raved about it, so I knew it was something we had to add to our event calendar. We have groups all over the Cleveland area and this little gem of a shop is located close for some but almost two hours away for others. We went this past Saturday it was sooooo worth the drive!
It's my understanding that the owners have four children (hence the name Four Kids Coffee), one of whom has multiple food allergies. They do all of their own pastry baking in-house and all of their baked goods are free from the top eight common allergens! They also have a lot of other allergy friendly products and treats for sale from Enjoy Life and other brands. Not only do they have amazing food and a full coffee bar, they have a HUGE play area for the kids. I am not talking about some corner with a few old toys and books, I am talking about an entirely separate room that is staffed with employees to watch and play with your kiddos with you enjoy a hot cup of joe! All kids have to wear name tags that also indicate who their parents are, must wash their hands before entering the room, and must take their shoes off before going in. This place is a dream come true.
So before we left to make the hike out there (it's a full hour's drive for us), I started telling our girl that we were going to a party and that there would be lots of kids there to play with, etc. and then she interrupted me with, "Now mom, remember that we have to bring our own dessert and snacks because I can't have nuts." My response for the first time basically ever was, "Actually sweet girl, you can have whatever you want there. Nothing has nuts in it where we are going. It's all safe for you."
What an amazing feeling. Aside from taking her Epi-Pens, we literally didn't bring anything else for her. When we walked in, the awe of the pastry display case made her light up like a Christmas tree. Donuts, scones, brownies, cookies, coffee cakes, all nut free, made in a nut free environment and with nut free products. She was so excited and settled on a brownie. A brownie at 10am? Yes. Absolutely. Done and done.
It was so awesome to watch her scarf it down before heading into the playroom for the next hour and a half while the grown ups mingled and offered support to each other over coffee and pastries of our own choosing. No worrying about kissing our child after enjoying our own treat, or washing our hands after handling the pastries. It. Was. All. Safe.
We had a blast. I honestly want to go back every weekend. I also want to convince the owners to open one down the street from me. I would even offer myself up for free labor!
How amazing it would be if we all had a Four Kids Coffee in our own backyards...