Stand Up 2 Cancer, Kitchen With a Cause Nails It.
Some companies are pushing the limits of philanthro-capitalism. Kitchen With a Cause is one such company. Donating 25% of top line revenue is a HUGE commitment, and a very important commitment to support cancer research. It also doesn’t hurt that their “Love Bars” should be called magician bars due to their magical ability to disappear as soon as they are opened. But all that good taste stats with a base of goodwill by supporting SU2C’s cause. Sometimes it about more than just great food, it’s about saving lives.
Kitchen With A Cause is run by the always smiling Donna Simmons. Here’s what she has to say in her own words. Read up, she’s very inspiring.
“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?” ~George Eliot
I think this whole thing started when my mom told me that my dad had cancer. Come to think of it, it actually probably started when I was a teenager, and my grandma was diagnosed with cancer and lived with our family during the last months of her life. Like anyone hearing this kind of news and living through it, it stops you in your tracks, and you know all you can do is pray for the best.
Somehow, that just never seems like enough. But sometimes, thank God, it is.
My dad battled through it…and I don’t use the word “battle” by accident. It was a really tough fight, and I’m happy to say that he just celebrated his 77th birthday, healthy and happy. I know not everyone is lucky enough to say that.
We all know too many people who have been affected by cancer. Those whom we’ve loved and lost, those who are fighting still, and those who’ve lost their loved ones to this dreaded disease. So, when my friend who had been fighting her own battle with cancer told me that it had spread to her lungs, and there weren’t many treatment options, I think that was my catalyst for action.
So, I came up with the idea of a “Love Bar”, a delicious quarter-pound cookie bar of which 25% of the sale from each bar is donated to Stand Up To Cancer. I think because I’ve been a caterer and personal chef for many years, I thought of a food product, because I think about food pretty often anyway! But mostly, I thought that there are so many of us who want to do something to help people who are struggling with this stuff, but we don’t know what to do, or we don’t feel like what we do is enough. When you think about it, if we all do a little, it really does add up to a lot!
There are presently six flavors of Love Bars: Chocolate Chip, Butterscotch & White Chocolate, Cinnamon Sugar, Healthy Breakfast, Vegan Healthy and Gluten Free Peanut Butter. These are all made with pure, natural ingredients and no preservatives or artificial additives. The Healthy Breakfast Love Bar is made with organic coconut oil, whole oats, whole-wheat flour and organic flaxseed, so this bar even has many health benefits.
Twenty-five percent from the sale of each Love Bar adds up to make a difference in people’s lives by supporting Stand Up To Cancer, whose focus is putting together many “dream teams” of doctors and researchers who work on those cancers that are toughest to treat. It may seem like something small, but it feels good to know that we can do something to add love and hope to some tough times.
Kitchen With A Cause has been in business for about two years. We started, without the company name yet, by baking and selling Love Bars as a small cottage industry business. At that time the proceeds went to our friend, a single mother of an 11-year-old daughter, who was fighting Stage IV Melanoma and had to leave work and go on disability to fight the disease. Unfortunately, she passed away a little over two years ago.
Within weeks of her entering hospice, we received an email from Stand Up To Cancer saying they were putting together one of their dream teams to research finding late stage melanoma treatments. This is exactly what our friend had needed, and at that time there were not many treatment options. So, we decided to continue our work under the name Kitchen With A Cause, and we now donate 25% of our profit from each Love Bar to Stand Up To Cancer.
We’ve grown from that little cottage kitchen business to our Love Bars being sold online and at ten metro Detroit retail outlets. We now work out of a commercial, licensed kitchen at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Royal Oak, at the corner of 11 Mile and Woodward. We continue to do events that spread the word about Love Bars, as well as finding new partnerships with retailers and restaurants that carry our product.
Love Bars are unique because you are helping with the fight against cancer with each and every one you buy. There are many fundraising organizations that do great things in the battle against cancer by asking for donations. We are different in the fact that by purchasing Love Bars, every person is helping with that fight…even if they can’t afford to donate “big dollars” to the cause.
My favorite part of this job is meeting and connecting with all of the people whom cancer has touched. Just about everyone has a story about someone they know who has or did have cancer, or they themselves may have had or still have the disease when I meet them. Even more rewarding than people loving the taste of our cookie bars is hearing those stories and the appreciative looks on people’s faces about the fact that we’re helping the fight against the disease.
Love Bars can be purchased online…you can even choose local delivery (for free) instead of paying for shipping if you live within 10 miles of Royal Oak. Gift boxes of a dozen or more Love Bars make great gifts, and they ship very well. You can also find Love Bars at the following metro Detroit locations:
Yellow Door Art Market 3141 W. 12 Mile Rd. Berkley
Royal Oak Farmers Market 316 East 11 Mile Rd. Royal Oak (at the Coffee Stand)
Zumba Mexican Grille 304 N. Main Royal Oak
Second Street Sub Shop 108 W. Second St. Royal Oak
Farmhouse Coffee and Ice Cream 32644 Franklin Rd. Franklin
New You Salon 33400 Woodward Ave. Birmingham
Beyond Juice 270 W. Maple Birmingham
Market Square 1964 Southfield Rd. Birmingham
Mills Pharmacy 1744 W. Maple Rd. Birmingham
Love Bars can be enjoyed simply eaten straight from the package. Or, for an even yummier treat, they can be microwaved individually on a plate for 20 seconds on high…this way, they taste like they’ve been freshly baked, warm from the oven! Since they are individually wrapped, they make great shower/wedding favors and also come in cellophane and ribbon-wrapped variety packs of our 5 main flavors. Along with also offering gift boxes of a dozen Love Bars, we can put together assorted bars, cut smaller (in half or quartered) on trays for serving at parties, meetings and any other type of get-together.
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