Jennifer Lee's Gourmet Bakery has transformed from a sugar allergen filled bakery called Sugar Coated Heaven to a strict allergen friendly and vegan bakery helping thousands of people with food allergies in the New England area and beyond.
In 2011 Jennifer LaSala (who was only 17 years old at the time) started Sugar Coated Heaven. A simple sugar filled bakery focusing on chocolate covered oreos. She took a business class in Chelsea High School ran by NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) and her business came in first place in the Chelsea High School Business Plan Competition and 3rd place out of 1100 students at the Regional Competition.
For the first three years of the business she juggled going to Johnson & Wales University, working full time in Boston, and selling at farmer's markets in the area. In 2013 Goldman Sachs named her Global Entrepreneur of the Year for New England at 20.
One year after winning this prestigious award Jennifer was in a serious accident at her former job. She slipped and fell, hitting her head so hard that the blacked out, had a seizure, and fractured her neck. While recovering she started to constantly breaking out in hives. After seeing a doctor about it, she was told that she probably has a gluten and dairy allergy. "When the doctor told me that all I could think about was, what am I supposed to eat? Everything is filled with gluten and dairy." -Jennifer
After some tests she found out that she does not have food allergies but is instead allergic to many painkillers. "Even though I was cleared for food allergies, the experience of possibly having them made me realize the challenges people with food allergies had to encounter every day. That experience made me want to make it my life's mission to give people a safe place to eat."-Jennifer
After experimenting with many different flours, dairy free options, egg free options, and everything in between she finally was able to put out a line of products that was completely free of gluten, eggs, dairy, and nuts. Due to the unique niche that she was in she was able to get a temporary spot at the Boston Public Market in January of 2016. Her temporary stall there was so successful and she had so many customers begging for her to stay that she put in a permanent application and opened up full time on March 4th, 2016.
In 2018, after meeting and talking to so many amazing customers, Jennifer realized that there is still a HUGE need out there for more allergen friendly & vegan options. In July 2018 Jennifer changed Jennifer Lee's from a Bakery to a Shoppe, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, baked goods, and pantry items. This change will allow those with restrictions a safe place to be able to not only grab a quick snack at but also dine, shop, and celebrate at!