I grew up in a small town in Peru. My mom baked beautiful cakes, breads, and empanadas, but I was never interested in learning her craft until I became a mom myself and learned the power of homemade cooking. From an early age my daughters developed different health conditions starting with respiratory allergies and eczema, so little by little I discovered the relationship that existed between their health and the food, the kind of food, and most important, the quality of food.
When my second daughter was very young, I discovered that she was gluten intolerant. As there was no school to learn how to cook gluten-free, I started researching and experimenting to understand how the chemistry of the ingredients works, investigating the power of each ingredient, the benefits of organic food, and the need to read the labels of everything I bought in the supermarket, so, my goal was to create gluten-free recipes that were delicious but also nutritious. I started creating healthy lunch boxes that her classmates made fun of at first, but in the end, they liked them so much that the school moms asked me to give them baking classes to learn how to make nutritious muffins and cookies.
My family continued to grow - we have five beautiful girls - and my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. After painful visits to the doctor and a series of treatments that did not work, I decided to try the AIP diet (Autoimmune Protocol) and we began to see positive results. So, I confirmed that a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, prepared at home with organic and nutritious products, helped to improve my daughter’s health.
At first, my husband -Sebastian- was concerned because the organic farmer market bills were too high. We had several discussions on the subject, but we realized that the medical bills and medicines were decreasing considerably. We no longer had to go to the hospital at dawn and our pediatrician was so amazed that he couldn't believe how powerful the food was.
We saw an imminent bankruptcy for our furniture company, so we decided to create a brand of gluten and dairy free products as a backup. Due to stress and our financial problems, Sebas had a heart attack and then our life took a turn, we decided to accept bankruptcy and start over, with nothing in our pocket, we decided to pursue a dream we had always had: move to America and start all over again. We found a beautiful little house in Roswell, Georgia, to set up the bakery we had always dreamed of. Friends and family lent us money to invest in this beautiful and cozy bakery and we started serving a beautiful community. Until the pandemic arrived... and everything collapsed.
It was then that one of our clients changed our lives: Brandon Stanton, the talented author of Humans of New York. He proposed that I share my family’s story with the world through HONY.
It is very scary to expose your heart to the whole world, but in our conversations the word "Hope" always appeared, and finally that was our mission, to tell our story to help people who are in the same situation as us, with health, financial problems, etc to see that there is always a light on the road and that there is always hope. I will never have enough words to thank Brandon for what he did for us and thanks to the generosity and contributions of HONY’s readers, we received more than enough funding to keep our restaurant open.
Today, our work at Cristy’s Kitchen not only allows us to give our daughters a better life, but to help many families who have dietary restrictions and who are looking for a warm and safe space to improve their health without sacrificing the pleasure of having a delicious meal. But above all, Cristy’s Kitchen allows us to thank the beautiful community that has welcomed us through what we do best: giving them all our love through the food we make.
Humans of New York
Brandon Stanton tells our story, how my journey in the kitchen began and how we came to America.