Christine Koh

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I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

Divvie It Up, Please!

divvies.bmpI remember being devastated in 1st grade when I learned that one of my best friends was allergic to chocolate and peanut butter. After missing out on all those classroom birthday cupcakes (always with an accepting smile), I can only hope that wherever he is, he knows about Divvies, purveyor of treats to be enjoyed by those with (or without!) life threatening allergies. Read on for Tracy’s review, and also to learn how to be one of 2 winners to receive a gift box assortment of Divvies gourmet popcorn, cookies, and candy!
From Tracy:

“It is not very often that we, as a family, get to test samples of anything because of Gabriel’s food allergies, so we were pleased as punch to test and review some bestsellers from Divvies.

Created by Mark and Lori Sandler for their son, Benjamin, who also has life threatening allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts (Gabriel has all the same ones), Divvies are a way for parents, caregivers, and others involved in the lives of those with allergies to provide the treats that can so often be denied them. Mark and Lori are diligent about regularly inspecting and testing their products so that they can stand behind their guarantee and “free-from” labels. The Divvies product line includes cookies, cupcakes, gourmet popcorn, and candy made in a dedicated facility free from the allergens listed above. We sampled the chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, kettle corn, and caramel corn. Here is what we thought:

Chocolate Chip Cookies: Gabriel, age 6, greeted the first bite of cookie with a resounding “Mmmmm!” He thought they were just as good as the ones I bake, which is high praise indeed, given that these cookies were baked in the Divvies facility and shipped from New York to Canada. Caius agreed that they were “good” (he’s 3-years-old). Dad liked that they have lots of chips, and I liked the packaging. They come in packets of 2 cookies (one to eat and one to share…the Divvies motto), making them great for lunches, loot bags, and anywhere else you need a quick snack. I love a chewy chocolate chip cookie, and Divvies fit the bill. A bit too sweet for me, but I tend to find that with all bakery cookies, so it’s not really a drawback, just a preference thing.

Cupcakes: The cupcakes came packed in a box with 6 chocolate and 6 vanilla cupcakes, with pink frosting and sprinkles for decorating. Gabriel loved the box and said it reminded him of a “fancy diner floor,” and I must admit that I am taken with the vintage look of Divvies packaging, too. Gabriel declared his vanilla cake “really good” and said that the sprinkles “put them over the top.” Caius noted that the multicolored sprinkles would satisfy each of his friends because each would be able to find their favorite color in there. He was happy to dip into the frosting without a cupcake, but enjoyed it on the cake, too. Dad liked the vanilla cupcake he chose, but declared that he liked my home baked ones better (thanks, honey!). I tried a bite each of the chocolate and vanilla, and found that they had good texture (again given pre-baking and shipping). The frosting had a slight taste of shortening for me, but again I find this with many bakery frostings.

Kettle Corn: Kind of a subtle cross between caramel and salty popcorn, this was a great treat. Gabriel was initially surprised by how crispy the popcorn was, but concluded that it was really good. Caius said, with some surprise, that it was both crunchy and sweet. Dad loved the salty/sweet combo, and liked that it was not “too sweet.” We both thought it would make a great snack to serve at a party, and can imagine it becoming quite addictive.

Caramel Corn: At first taste, we all declared the caramel corn too sweet for our tastes. We did find ourselves going back to the bag for small handfuls, though! Gabriel liked that it tasted like syrup, but thought he would not be able to eat as much as fresh popped popcorn. The texture was too sticky for Caius, but he’s three and popcorn in general is a relatively new treat for him. Dad found it too sweet and was the only one not to go back for more (note: it is caramel corn…it’s supposed to be sweet!). I quite liked the caramel taste, and think it is truly a gourmet creation. And, caramel made with no milk…who knew?!

Overall Verdict: As someone who really loves to bake and work with fresh, whole food ingredients, it would be hard to make a complete switch to a pre-baked product like Divvies. Similarly, I’m a fresh popcorn buff, and movie night wouldn’t be the same without hot, salty popcorn in a huge bowl. I’m also not a fan of “store-bought” baking because I like the way mine tastes better. That said, and judging from my family’s reactions to these treats, I would encourage others in our situation to try them out. Certainly, for those who don’t bake, or who want someone else to do the baking for the next party, Divvies is a great solution. I’ve posted before on hosting birthday parties when kids with allergies are present, and Divvies can help out there as well. (It should be noted, however, that many of their products do contain wheat, gluten, and soy, so they aren’t free of all the common allergens.)

I was impressed with their packaging, both the vintage vibe and the fact that not a single cookie was broken (yes, we’ve eaten them all), and no cupcakes were squished! And the large box used to hold it all was promptly turned into a car afterward.

We are thankful for people like Mark and Lori who turned their home baking into a treat that just about everyone can enjoy. I have always hesitated when other parents ask what they can give Gabriel, or what they can bring to playdate because no ingredients are guaranteed in most commercially made products. Now, I can direct them to Divvies, and we can share ‘em!”

*****

Now, are you ready to try Divvies? Here’s how to enter to win one of the 2 gift boxes* to be won:

  • Visit the Divvies online shop, then comment below on the Divvies treat you’d most like to try. Note: Entries that do not follow these instructions will be discarded.

  • Be sure to include your name and email in the appropriate fields so we can contact you if you win (your name but NOT your email will be published with your comment. Including just first name or first name + last initial is OK.)

  • One comment permitted per person; US and Canada entrants welcome.

  • Entry period closes tonight at midnight EST, Monday, February 11, 2008.

    *Gift boxes will include an assortment of Divvies gourmet popcorn, cookies, and candy.


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