Every kid (and adult!) deserves a birthday cake they can safely eat. That’s what led to the start of Curious Cakes LLC in greater Grand Rapids. Read on to learn about this Michigan gluten free baking small business.
**This is an interview with the owner. Please scroll to bottom of page for bakery address, phone number, website, email and social media links.**
The gluten free community is an amazing thing. When I was diagnosed 20 years ago, we didn’t have Facebook or Instagram. We relied on new product information from support groups or magazines. Today, we can follow hashtags on Twitter or Instagram, or tag companies in a post, and discover so many things! It’s amazing!
That’s exactly how I discovered Elizabeth Otten, the mom and owner behind Curious Cakes. I follow someone on Instagram that shares about gluten free finds in the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area. She shared about an amazing cake she ordered for her daugher’s birthday, and I asked Elizabeth more about her business. Here are her answers, so you can learn too!
1. What inspired you to become a baker? Why the focus on gluten-free?
Doctors diagnosed my son with celiac disease at 12 months of age. We spent weeks at our pediatrician and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, including a week long admission prior to his diagnosis. He was very sick, experienced failure to thrive, and declined in reaching his milestones.
He was so sick, in fact, that he had gastroparesis. This required a feeding tube for 12 weeks. Once we figured out the celiac diet with the amazing help of the GI group and dieticians at HDVCH, there was no way I was EVER taking the risk of him getting sick again. Therefore, I removed all gluten free our household. When his (and my older son’s) birthday rolled around, I didn’t trust anyone to make a cake for them so I figured I would just do it myself. I am a self taught baker and cake decorator.
2. Are there other highlights of your products? Dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free etc?
Other allergens such as dairy, eggs and soy are present in my home kitchen. My main focus is preparing celiac safe baked goods.
3. What steps do you take to ensure that Curious Cakes baked goods are truly gluten-free?
I use certified gluten free products and research the gluten free status of my ingredients. I don’t keep gluten in my house due to my son’s severe reaction. If I wouldn’t feed it to my son, it doesn’t go in my cakes. In addtion, I do no use oats in my products at this time.
4. Can you share a story of a customer who’s been greatly impacted by your business?
Curious Cakes is brand new, so I don’t have many stories. (Yet!) The biggest “feedback” is my son’s health. His antibody levels are now normal. When he was admitted to HDVCH they were “critical” and we were told it would take years for them to come down. I see that as a win. For a review from a happy customer, see this post from GRGlutenFree on Instagram, about the cake pictured below.
5. What would you like consumers to know about Curious Cakes?
Health is my biggest priority. I am a Physician Assistant, in addition to a being a mom to a child with Celiac Disease. Because I have a separate full-time job, I prefer 2 weeks advance notice for all cake orders. (The more the better!) I look forward to discussing your cake ideas with you!
No storefront. Preferred Contact for Orders- Email or Instagram messenger
Local delivery is available, or orders can picked up from Elizabeth’s location.
Curious Cakes is one of many dedicated gluten free bakers across the state of Michigan. Click this link to see a comprehensive list of all the gluten-free bakeries in Michigan, complete with interactive map!