A Family Affair
Gina Klafeta is the angel that every food allergy family needs. When she discovered that her niece, Caroline, was allergic to nuts, she became inspired to take action. She imagined a world where at any social gathering, there was one dessert and everyone could eat it. With this vision in mind, Klafeta used her culinary background to launch her top 8 allergen-free (plus sesame and mustard-free!) brand, Nana Creme.
Can you share Nana Creme’s backstory with us?
Caroline had a really bad reaction after eating a cashew nut. After discovering Caroline’s nut allergy, the one thing we couldn’t find, and needed, was ice cream!
On top of Caroline’s dietary restrictions, I choose to eat vegan, and my other niece (Caroline’s older sister) is gluten-free. Nana Creme is more than just nut-free because I really wanted to make something that everyone in our family could eat together. I suddenly had this birthday party scenario in my head where there was one dessert and everyone could eat it; the kids didn’t know that it was allergen-free, and the allergen-free kids had something they could eat with their friends. I hope that Nana Creme brings kids and other families and friends closer as it has for mine.
Could you talk a little bit about your amazing manufacturing and ingredient-sourcing?
We make all of our products, including our mix-ins like cookie dough and brownie pieces, in our own dedicated facilities. We unintentionally looked solely for private manufacturing spaces, which became a blessing in disguise!
We also purchase ingredients from single-source suppliers whenever we can—so if we buy sugar, we get it from a company that only makes sugar to avoid any chance of cross contamination. We NEVER purchase ingredients produced on shared lines with any of the top 8 allergens.
What products do you currently sell?
We started out with just four flavors of ice cream: vanilla, chocolate-covered banana, strawberry, and cookie dough. We’ve now worked our way up to ten ice cream flavors (we're really excited about our new ones!), four cookie dough bite flavors, and ice cream sandwiches— and they’re all top 8 allergen-free!
We can’t wait to hear what’s next for Nana Creme. Can you give us a sneak peek?
We're definitely bringing out Klondike® Bars and Drumstick Cones. The Drumstick would only be dipped in chocolate, so it would still be completely free of the top 8 allergens!
Will you always stick with frozen desserts?
I don’t think we’re going to go beyond dessert, but we’ll definitely move past frozen. I want to move into “Take-and-Bake” cookie dough. We have a great recipe!
Okay, now we’re hungry. Where can we get our hands on this stuff?
We’re in all of the Whole Foods in the Midwest as well as Jewel, and we’ll be in Shoprite in the Northeast soon! You can also buy all of our products directly from our website: nanacreme.com. For a limited time, use code spokinXnanacrem for 10% off your online order!
How much Nana Creme do you eat a day?
I eat at least one ice cream sandwich. Sometimes it’s even a half-a-pint kind of day.
What’s your favorite flavor? What about your niece's?
Raspberry. It’s one of our new ones! Caroline's is strawberry.
Favorite ice cream topping?
Sprinkles. They might be my favorite food.
Cup or cone?
Do you ever feel like you’ve had enough ice cream?
I haven’t gotten there yet.