My family recently went gluten free due to sensitivity, mainly with my hubby. Lucky for us, we have some hometown gals who made it their mission to create delicious, safe opportunities for families to bake, learn, and bond. Holly Paeper & Monique Prato, also known as the Bumbalooza™ Bumba Bees, reached out to CSP and wanted us to try their product line of gluten-free yummies, and let me tell ya, they are yummy indeed. My kids could not tell the difference that their sweet treats were gluten free!
With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s difficult to balance nutrition and taste while managing allergies and sensitivities. All of the Bumbalooza™ products use all-natural ingredients, as many whole grains as possible, and less-fined sugars. The mixes have been hand-crated with care. They use dedicated equipment and gluten-free testing to ensure the products not only taste great, but also are safe to consume.
Bumbalooza™ has kids and families top of mind. Each product has a connection to a region of the world. And, the insides of the box (and on their website) provide a variety of activities and games to help children learn about the broader world. And they are delish, kids love them all!
Smarties, meet the Bumbalooza Bumba Bees!
Holly & Monique’s Smarty Mom Stats:
Holly, Mom of:
Years married – 10, 6
Monique, Mom of:
Drew (10), Marley (8)
Years in Charlotte:
Monique 5, Holly 1 1/2
Holly Lake Norman, Monique Belmont
Holly Wisconsin, Monique Ohio
Owners of Bumbalooza™: Gluten-free, nut-free, GMO-free, refined-sugar-free baking mixes.
Tell us how Bumbalooza™ was born.
Bumbalooza was started over a year ago by two moms (and sister-in-laws) – Monique and Holly – trying to make a difference. We’ve just launched our products to the market about two months ago and are receiving an overwhelming response!
It all started with the easy bake oven as a child. After countless ‘light bulb’ cakes, Holly was a foodie for life! She spent about 20 years in fast-track marketing jobs in the corporate world. An exciting career, but tough to balance her first job: being a mom. But, when cancer, food allergies, and other ailments struck her and her family, she knew that she needed to do something different. Cancer is gone – yay – but, she believes that the food we eat plays a large roll in health. At the same time, her sister, who has struggled with years of sickness, had learned that she was gluten intolerant. She watched Danielle struggle with how to eat and wanted to help.
It all started with teams in the pantry. As a measure of desperation to figure out how to keep her children out of doctor’s offices and operating rooms, Monique eliminated gluten, dyes, and other un-natural stuff from the family diet. After wasting a colossal amount of money and time, she finally cracked the code on gluten-free treats. As a mom first, Monique believes that we need to create opportunities for families to bond, the way we did with our parents and grandparents in the kitchen. But, even though life has gotten complicated, our food doesn’t need to be.
Monique and Holly came together and Bumbalooza™ was born. The name? A credit to The Laurie Berkner Band’s song Bumblebee (Buzz, Buzz). Raising their children, they had listened to that song a shocking amount of times! And, for years, they have referred to their kids as the ‘bumblebees’.
Tell us the importance of gluten free in a child’s diet?
Some kids don’t have a choice. Gluten-allergies, nut-allergies, and food allergies in general (and intolerance) are growing rapidly. There are even classrooms in Early Childhood centers are now banning food for class birthday parties, etc. It isn’t just peanuts anymore. The problem is this: Even as these allergies are becoming more and more prevalent, good-tasting and good-quality food isn’t available.
Tell us where can we buy Bumbalooza products locally?
–Healthy Home Markets (South Boulevard in Charlotte; Davidson; Galleria in Charlotte)
–The Baby Grocery Store (Park Rd in Charlotte, NC)
–The Meat House (Rea Rd in Charlotte, NC)
–Reid’s Fine Foods (on Selwyn in Charlotte, NC)
–Organic Marketplace (Gastonia, NC)
–LBs Produce & More (Belmont, NC)
–The Country Gourmet (Banner Elk, NC)
–Lowes Foods (3 Gastonia Locations; Mooresville)
-online at www.bumbalooza.com
-plus, as of this week, stores in 20 more states!
What is your child’s favorite Bumbalooza™ product?
(H)Pink Lemonade Donuts, (M)Gooey Oatmeal Bars
Do you have any recipes that you’d like to share?
We are constantly working on different, creative recipes for our mixes. On our website, we have tons of interesting things that people can do with our mixes. We even have dairy-free and vegan versions of the the recipes.
Moving on to the mom stuff…how has your business rubbed off on your children?
It’s fantastic actually. The kids are very involved in the business. We call them our taster-bees. First and foremost, they are our toughest critics (samplers). But, they are all convinced that they will grow up to run Bumbalooza some day☺
What is your favorite thing to do with your family in the winter?
Beach & Skiing. Holly moved here from Park City, so we are big skiers. Monique highly prefers the beach – the warmer the better.
What is the last meal you cooked?
Baked chicken and salad.
(M)Upstream, (H)Toast in Davidson.
The phrase you’ve said to your kids more than any other at home is…
There are ‘sometimes’ foods and ‘anytime’ foods. It’s all about moderation.
Favorite kids movie?
Despicable Me 2☺
Funniest thing your kids have ever said to you?
“Mom – make sure to do a good job with Bumbalooza so Lukas, Marley, and I can run it when we get older.” Now, that’s pressure!
Delish Bumbalooza™ products include:
Ooey, Gooey Oatmeal Bar Mix
Cookies & Cream Cake Mix
Bananalicious Banana Bread Mix
Sugar Cookie Mix
Pink Lemonade Donuts
Chocolicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
Homestyle Chocolate Pudding
Bumba Bakers Toy Oven Cookie Mix (think Easy Bake meets healthy!)
The Smarty Bumbalooza™ Giveaway:
One lucky Smarty will win a Bumbalooza™ Starter pack, which is four boxes of these wonderful treats! Just leave a comment below on which product you think your child would want the most, click here for full product line. We’ll pick our winner next Saturday!
I think my kids would love all of it, but a favorite might be the donuts or cookies!
The Ooey, Gooey Oatmeal Bars look awesome! But, I’m sure my kids would pick the pudding!
This could not have come at a better time! We are in the process of changing what our family eats because of food sensitivities and the biggest push back from the kids is the lack of snacks and treats they think they will be able to eat. The oatmeal bars and cookies look great but I am sure they would eat them all!!!
Yummy! I think my kids would LOVE the Chocolicious Chocolate Chip Cookies:)
It all looks incredibly delicious!!!!!!! I think my twins would especially love to munch on the Bananalicious Banana Bread.
THANK YOU for making products that my two daughters’ with celiac disease could eat. In our house, it is a MUST to be gluten free and this is something we take very seriously. It can be very overwhelming to find products that are safe, healthy and fun, so glad to learn about your business. We will be visiting your products at one of these stores very soon. Keep up the good work!
Forgot to mention that they would enjoy the cake mix, that would be a real treat!
My kids would love the oatmeal bars. Thanks!
I think they’d (I’d) like the ooey gooey oatmeal bars and good ol’ classic chocolate chip cookies.
The cookies for sure! So proud of you M!
These all look beautiful and it’s nice to see the variety. My family has a history of Celiac disease and products like yours make dealing with Celiac seem a lot easier and more fun than it used to be!
My children would especially love the donuts and the pudding.
These look fantastic! All of them, hard to choose.. Would love to try the cookies and cream!!