Walk into Squirrel & The Bee, Michelle Retik’s bake shop in Short Hills, NJ, and your eyes will feast on blueberry muffins, fudgy brownies, frosted cupcakes fit for a queen—all made without any grain or refined sugar. A diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis led Michelle to a grain-free lifestyle of eating and baking with nuts, seeds and the fruit of the bees—sweet, raw honey.
Her delicious homemade creations became so popular she set up Squirrel & The Bee (named for the nuts and honey she stands by in her recipes)— one of the very few grainless bakeries around the world. Her customers are gluten-free, dairy free, paleo and more, but most of all, they care about what tastes good!
Grain-free? Refined-sugar free? What’s to eat!
SO many delicious and nutritious creations! In addition to her 26 flavors of almond and coconut-based ice cream (watch out, Big Ice Cream!), Squirrel & The Bee is brimming with Michelle’s nut-based baked goods like banana nut muffins and fudgy brownies, plus goji-berry fueled smoothies, salads, soups and so much more.
Why Nuts.com? Making the Nutty Connection.
When it came to getting the nuts, dried coconut gojis and more she uses in her smoothies, soups, veggie ‘pasta,’ ice creams and more, Nuts.com was a natural and nearby, New Jersey-based fit. “I get everything super-fast, but I’d definitely be ordering any way. The nuts are really the best-tasting out there and I get all the help I need with service that’s friendly and reliable.”
Tell us about the grain-free crowd! What are your customers like?
“I really have no such thing as a typical customer,” Michelle says. More and more people of all diets, she says, are curious about grain-free and refined sugar-free eating. “At the end of the day, it tastes good and makes people feel good. And there are more possibilities than ever. The future is delicious and grain-free. It’s not only better for everyone’s health—it tastes simply amazing!”
Why would you encourage someone to go grain-free?
“Grains and gluten act like sugar and can inflame the digestive tract,” Michelle explains. Most grain-based foods sold today are also full of preservatives and many contain artificial dyes that don’t gel with the body chemistry in a natural way. By shunning grains and eating whole foods like nuts, leafy vegetables, fruit and seeds, the body calms and heals from the inside out.
What’s bubbling in Squirrel & The Bee lab?
“My husband calls me a ‘mad scientist’ because I’m testing new recipes all the time, trying out new ingredients. I love making seasonal items and pushing the limits to see what else nuts, seeds and honey can do.”