June 22, 2024

Cancer survivor’s allergen-free cookie company thrives after ‘life-changing’ health scare


Sweets could be tasty whereas additionally remaining freed from gluten, dairy, peanuts and different allergens — and one lady is sharing her story of how she made them herself.

Loren Castle is founder and CEO of Sweet Loren’s, a cookie dough company that gives plant-based, gluten-free, nut-free and non-GMO merchandise. 

The No. 1 natural cookie dough model in the marketplace is offered in over 20,000 supermarkets, Castle advised FOX Business — and has a compelling origin story.  

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“I started the company because of a really personal story,” Castle mentioned. “I survived cancer when I was 22 years old, and it forever changed my life.”

The native New Yorker moved to Los Angeles, California, to attend faculty on the University of Southern California. She graduated at age 22. 

Loren Castle profile

After she was recognized with most cancers, Loren Castle began finding out diet and methods to be more healthy in her on a regular basis life, she mentioned.  (Sweet Loren’s / Fox News)

Afterward, Castle mentioned she went again to New York to assist her youthful sister tour universities for her schooling when she wakened with a knot in her throat. 

“I just woke up with these swollen lymph nodes kind of all over, and clearly they had slowly been growing in me for months, but I only realized it when [they] really started to protrude,” she defined. 

“You either have nothing at all, or Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

Her mom, a most cancers survivor herself, knew Castle needed to see a physician as quickly as doable. 

That physician, Castle recalled, checked out her and mentioned, “You either have nothing at all, or Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” Castle would discover out after a month of testing that it was really that type of cancer.

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“It was devastating. I’ve always been a very optimistic, happy person, and I really now know what it feels like to hit rock bottom,” she recalled. 

Over the subsequent few months, Castle mentioned she was finishing chemotherapy therapies and feeling low. 

Castle at the start of Sweet Loren's

Castle mentioned she hustled whereas making an attempt to get her merchandise into any doable retailer.  (Michael Bezjian/WireImage / Getty Images)

After feeling misplaced about tips on how to really feel higher, Castle mentioned she started meditating, exercising and making an attempt to maintain her physique as robust as doable. 

“I [also] had this deep instinct to study food. I wanted to give myself as much energy as possible to fight this thing and to get healthy,” she mentioned.

Though studying nutrition and taking cooking lessons, Castle realized she might make wholesome meals style scrumptious if she used the precise components.

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“But I have a sweet tooth, and I don’t want to feel like I’m on a diet for the rest of my life,” she mentioned. 

“It was devastating. I’ve always been a very optimistic, happy person.”

Castle determined to strive making her personal cookies after taking up her mom’s kitchen and ordering “every type of sugar and flour possible.”

“My mind was just blown that I was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s so many better [ingredients] for you [that are] actually tastier, more interesting ingredients that are just not mainstream,’” she recalled. 

Sweet Loren's cookies

The model is allergen-free, providing cookie dough, breakfast biscuits and shortly, pizza dough and puff pastries.  (Sweet Loren’s / Fox News)

Castle made “hundreds and hundreds of batches of cookie dough” to seek out the right concoction and would give them away after approving them. 

After noticing extra and more friends, neighbors and others asking to buy the cookies, Castle mentioned she had an intuition to try to promote them. 

“Thankfully, I was cured of the cancer [and] after that year, my doctor was like, ‘Go into the real world and get a normal job!’” Castle recalled, to which she responded, “I’m not normal anymore. Life is precious.”

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She added, “I only want to do something that makes me happy and makes me feel like I’m living life to the fullest.”

Castle gained a number of baking contests and at last bought the center to begin a company at 26 years outdated. She referred to as it Sweet Loren’s. 

Sweet Loren's cookie packaging

Today, Sweet Loren’s provides quite a lot of cookie dough flavors, together with fudge brownie and oatmeal cranberry.  (Sweet Loren’s / Fox News)

Castle mentioned she hustled for a few years in New York City — even taking her toaster oven, spatula and cookie dough on the subway to demo her product at the neighborhood Whole Foods

“I was that girl demoing in the aisle of Whole Foods giving out as many cookies as I could to really see what people wanted,” she mentioned. 

Through suggestions and solutions, Castle was capable of enhance her recipe, packaging and far more. 

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In 2018, Sweet Loren’s grew to become an allergen-free model. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and non-GMO. 

“It’s not niche anymore.”

“I think on the outside, people look at allergen-free like it’s a niche — it’s not a niche anymore,” she mentioned.

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“Celiac is possibly 1% of the inhabitants, however 1 / 4 of the inhabitants is definitely staying away from gluten [by choice].”

Castle and Sweet Loren's cookies

Fox News Digital talked to the founder and CEO of Sweet Loren’s about her success story and the way she started her cookie dough model. (Sweet Loren’s / Fox News)

Sweet Loren’s additionally provides breakfast biscuits with the identical allergen-free dietary info and can start providing pizza dough and puff pastries within the coming months. 

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Castle mentioned if she might give three items of recommendation to younger entrepreneurs, she’d suggest getting “smart, trustworthy mentors around you,” having an important workforce to support your online business — and maintaining with private self-care. 

“I’ve been doing this [for] 10 years, and the reason I’m not burned out is because I’m so passionate about this,” she mentioned. It’s “my life’s mission.”



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