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Lauren Gershengorn and Brittany Baker: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”

We would love to raise awareness of cross-contamination, especially for kids with dietary restrictions as well as raise the bar in transparency for companies. We were both lucky enough to have “normal” childhoods regarding our dietary restrictions (we both were diagnosed about a decade ago), and we cannot imagine how difficult it must be to […]


We would love to raise awareness of cross-contamination, especially for kids with dietary restrictions as well as raise the bar in transparency for companies. We were both lucky enough to have “normal” childhoods regarding our dietary restrictions (we both were diagnosed about a decade ago), and we cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be a child that feels left out at birthday parties and play dates, and has to worry about getting sick due to cross-contamination or “hidden ingredients”. On the flip side, and as parents ourselves, we know how stressful it can be trying to find treats and snacks to share with kids with allergies, when we want to ensure to the best of our ability that we won’t feed anyone anything that will make them ill.


I had the pleasure to interview Lauren Gershengorn and Brittany Baker. Lauren and Brittany are the co-founders of FOMO Baking Co., a company that makes delicious, fresh-baked treats that are allergen-free and delivered right to your door, so nobody has to have the fear of missing out on their favorite foods due to their dietary restrictions or preferences.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Lauren and Brittany! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

We are two sisters and former attorneys who have spent the past decade unable to eat desserts because of dietary restrictions — Brittany has celiac disease and Lauren has Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE). Because of these restrictions, we spent countless holidays, birthdays, and special occasions missing out on delicious desserts that everyone else was able to enjoy. We would often get sick due to cross-contamination and not knowing exactly where the ingredients in our food were really coming from. This is what led us to create FOMO Baking Co., allowing people with dietary restrictions to order fresh-baked, delicious, and safely enjoyable treats that would be delivered right to their door. We have spent countless hours baking and perfecting our cookie cake, cookie bite, and brownie bite recipes to make sure they are absolutely delicious! We created FOMO Baking Co. to be a safe space where people, like us and so many others, suffering from allergies and other food intolerance could safely enjoy a fun and delicious dessert — and no longer have the Fear Of Missing Out.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

We are disruptive because we are the only direct to consumer fresh-baked goods company that ships baked goods that are free of the top 8 allergens (gluten free, dairy free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free and soy free). Our model is unique because we do not have a traditional bakery storefront, every product is baked fresh to each order and our business model is based on shipping nationwide to those in need of delicious treats with dietary restrictions and allergies. We are also baked in a brand new, dedicated commercial kitchen to ensure there is no cross- contamination risk. Best of all, our bites taste so good that even people without allergies or dietary restrictions love to eat them!

We all need a little help along the journey — who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

We are lucky enough to be able to say that Liz Neumark is our mentor. Liz is the founder of Great Performances Caterers, the largest off-premises catering company in New York City. Liz is an amazing female founder, a trailblazer in the industry, and we are so lucky to be able to rely on her for advice and support. She has always been there for us whether it be something as small as having her taste test our products or helping us negotiate with equipment suppliers when we are being treated like the “little guy”.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or an example for each.

Passion, vision, and perseverance.

Passion — We are passionate because we grew up living our lives with FOMO due to our dietary restrictions. We made it our mission to ensure nobody else had to miss out on holidays, birthdays, or celebrations — because no one should be in fear of their favorite foods making them sick, and it is possible to abide by dietary restrictions and be allergen free while still enjoying yourself.

Vision — We had a vision to create something that would solve a problem facing many people,especially kids. We set out to create baked goods that are free of the top 8 allergens, while still tasting like delicious “normal” treats that everyone will enjoy. We envisioned a completely new kitchen built from the ground up to ensure there is no cross contamination in our products, and customers can feel safe enjoying FOMO products — which is exactly what we did. We envision a future in which FOMO will be present at all holidays, birthday parties and gatherings so that everyone can enjoy desserts together, instead of having somebody left out or having to bring their own treats due to their dietary preferences or needs.

Perseverance — It took us over 1.5 years to come up with the recipes and build our kitchen, which both presented unique challenges we had to persevere through. On the kitchen front, we were unable to sell a single product without a commercial dedicated kitchen (due to NJ food sales laws, in addition to the fact that our home kitchens were not totally dedicated free from the top 8 allergens). We were told “no” by more landlords than we could count — including those who asked when our husbands or fathers would be with us to see the space, as well as those who were unwilling to take a “risk” on a startup company by two women with no income. It took almost 8 months of looking at spaces almost every week before we found what we feel is our perfect space, with the great landlord who was willing to work with us. The creation of our recipes was its own challenge for two former attorneys with no formal cooking or baking training. We dedicated huge amounts of time, energy and resources to make sure that we got it right and were producing truly delicious products. We went through countless trial and errors with the recipes and had to try some truly disgusting versions before we were ultimately able to create our final products — delicious and moist enough to pass for the “real” thing.

How are you going to shake things up next?

Eventually, we would love to expand into seasonal flavors and other products! We would also love to one day be able to work with some of the major third-party shippers to make the shipping more affordable for our customers, so we can take advantage of business models such as weekly or monthly subscriptions.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

We love listening to the “How I Built This” with Guy Raz podcast on NPR. It is so inspiring to hear the stories behind some of the world’s best known companies, including the struggles and successes of other founders and companies. Different episodes have resonated with us for different reasons, partially depending on what is going on with our business at the moment. The Soul Cycle episode is one episode that is especially poignant for us as sisters (in addition to business partners) — in it Elizabeth and Julie discuss how they prioritized communication early on in their business relationship (in their case, going so far as having a couples therapist work with them) in order to ensure that communication remains open, honest, and productive. Most recently, the week we launched, the Larabar episode was poignant — in it Lara mentioned how she sealed the first 1500 Larabars by hand which took hours and hours to fulfill their first order — something very similar to how we spent all last weekend baking and packaging orders to ship out 3500 bites (approximately 70 orders) in time for Thanksgiving.

You are people of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

We would love to raise awareness of cross-contamination, especially for kids with dietary restrictions as well as raise the bar in transparency for companies. We were both lucky enough to have “normal” childhoods regarding our dietary restrictions (we both were diagnosed about a decade ago), and we cannot imagine how difficult it must be to be a child that feels left out at birthday parties and play dates, and has to worry about getting sick due to cross-contamination or “hidden ingredients”. On the flip side, and as parents ourselves, we know how stressful it can be trying to find treats and snacks to share with kids with allergies, when we want to ensure to the best of our ability that we won’t feed anyone anything that will make them ill.

While companies have been and continue to address a number of the most common allergies in the last few years, many large companies use shared production facilities and commercial kitchens and many companies fail to disclose cross-contamination risk and full ingredient breakdowns (because it is not a requirement imposed by the FDA). We want to create a movement of total transparency between businesses and customers about their ingredients and facilities, because no one deserves to worry or to get sick due to cross-contamination (and everyone, even those without dietary restrictions or preferences, deserve to know exactly what is in their food and where it is coming from).

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. Lewis

Starting a bakery was never in either of our “life plans”. By education and training we are both attorneys. Lauren had retired from the practice of law to take care of her two children and Brittany decided, after her daughter was born in early 2018, to take a chance with Lauren on a dream they shared, rather than returning to her law firm. Leaving a more traditional career path to start a company at ages 29 and 39, while taking care of young families was a little daunting, but it was something that we felt passionate about and have been dreaming about for almost as long as we have had our respective dietary issues. Once we discovered this need in the industry we became passionate about filling the void. Since we have launched, we have been able to enjoy the most wonderful feedback, such as when a parent tells us that their child has had a dessert or cookie cake for the first time in their life.

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