Owners of a new business in Oak Harbor think that life should be sweet even for those who can’t have sugar.
Sarah Smallwood and her daughter Morgan Magnia recently opened a physical location for their business, Keto Carb Crave, which is aptly located above the North End Fitness Gym. The bake shop sells low-carb and diabetic friendly pre-packaged sweets and desserts, baked by Magnia and Smallwood. A customer can find items like cupcakes, brownies, cookies, carrot cake and chocolate-covered strawberries on the shelves.
The treats are all keto, meaning they are low-carb and baked with alternative sugars instead of white sugar and coconut and almond flours instead of white flour.
Magnia said the roots of the business go back to her childhood. Her father passed away when she was a child. It wasn’t until years later that she understood it was mostly due to the fact that he was diabetic. As an adult, Magnia wanted to live a healthier life and started eating according to the keto diet. She lost 60 pounds in the first 6 months.
“The one thing I missed the most was desserts,” Magnia said.
With few alternative products available, she began baking her own treats. While it took a lot of trial and error, she said she eventually made some chocolate zucchini muffins that actually tasted good. She shared them with her family and they were shocked that the dessert was healthy. From there, she shared her baked goods with friends and neighbors. Everything she made was a big hit.
“I realized there was a big audience of people who loved it,” Magnia said.
Smallwood also began eating keto about a year after Magnia did. She said she views keto as a “lifestyle” not a diet.
Smallwood said as a mom who wanted to keep her family healthy, the hardest thing for her was finding keto-friendly ingredients on the island. She wants to make healthier products easily available to residents. Along with the homemade items, the shop sells other keto items such as bread, pasta and ice cream.
What really pushed them to open a store was their customers, Magnia said. She said the stories they shared with her were touching. One of their most loyal customers has diabetes and it wasn’t until he saw their products online that he knew he could even eat sweets anymore.
“Just being able to help those people because I wasn’t able to help my dad because I was too young, it just makes me feel so good,” Magnia said.
Smallwood said many people with health issues don’t realize there are alternative products that they can eat. At Keto Carb Crave, all of the products have detailed labels so customers know exactly what they’re purchasing, which is good for people with allergies.
Despite the health focus, anyone can enjoy these sweet treats.
“You don’t have to be on a diet, you don’t have to be on keto lifestyle, you don’t have to be watching your carbs,” Smallwood said. “They just taste good.”
Keto Carb Crave is open everyday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. except for Mondays and Thursdays. Shelf stable items can be shipped and ordered online at ketocarbcrave.com. Curbside pick up is also available.