The Safe Bakes team is comprised with people who know and understand what it’s like to live with food allergies day to day. We get it. We get the frustration. We get the anxiety it can cause. We get when you or your child feels left out. It is our goal to help change the face of enjoying life with food allergies.
Amy & Wilberto Castillo, Co-founders & Owners
At the age of four months, the couple’s youngest son was diagnosed with severe anaphylactic food allergies to peanuts and dairy. Several doctors even told Amy the allergies “were all in her head.” Nights involved holding her son in wet wraps to give his eczema-covered skin comfort. Days consisted of wearing long sleeves and footed pajamas so he couldn’t tear open the wounds on his feet again, or the seemingly hurtful stares from strangers. There were even days when her son was asked to be carried around the house because even walking hurt. It seemed as if everything under the sun hurt him.
Eventually, through diet and specialized doctors, his skin was healed and they discovered foods that were not only toddler friendly, but also healthy. But the road wasn’t easy. It was expensive. It was tiresome. There were $50 cans of specialized formula. There were many, many failed attempts at making an “edible” meal. There were endless birthday parties when he would ask if he could eat a cupcake only to hear the heartbreaking answer of, “it’s not safe for you.” While he was always content with the homemade treats Amy brought to parties, she wanted him to enjoy the same sweet treats as his family and friends. She wanted to have the freedom to go out for ice cream as a family. Amy yearned for her son to play at a friend’s house without worrying. Then came the dream and vision for Safe Bakes. A vision that anyone who couldn’t eat traditional sweets could enjoy a delicious treat and time with family and friends. A place where everything was safe and instead of feeling overwhelmed and stressed, families could come together in their own communities.
Sarah Albert, Volunteer Board Member
When Sarah Albert found out that her 11 month old son had multiple, life threatening food allergies, she turned her worry into advocacy by educating herself and then making it her mission to educate others. Sarah is a school teacher, food allergy mom, and the creator and former Executive Director of Centerview Food Allergy Management, a local non-profit dedicated to improving quality of life of others by keeping those with food allergies both safe AND included in our community. Simultaneously, she served as the Director of Education and Community Outreach for a national food allergy education and advocacy group, Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), from 2015-2018. Her dedication to educate the community about food allergies has resulted in training hundreds of teachers, nurses and staff members of daycares, preschools, churches, schools and families in the KC Metro. She has worked for over 10 years advocating for the food allergy community and continues to bring her expertise and experience to the Safe Bakes team.
Mandi Kearns, Volunteer Board Member
Food allergies have changed Mandi’s life and made her a stronger, more confident, individual than before. Mandi’s middle son was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies at 8 months of life even though he has been dealing with them since birth. He had severe eczema, is an asthmatic and has been diagnosed with EoE (Eosinophilic esophagitis). As a former elementary school teacher, Mandi has used her education background to help advocate for the 15 million people living with food allergies over the past 8 years. Mandi was the walk chair for the FARE Food Allergy Heroes Walk (2014-2018), creator of the Food Allergy Support Group of Greater Kansas City (est. 2015) and is the chair of the Children’s Mercy Food Allergy Patient Family Advisory Board (2015-present). She currently also brings her baking expertise to the Safe Bakes team.