Paleo Mama Bakery, which opened six months ago in Madison, Wisconsin, is making early headway with its niche product line that is now available in local grocery stores and by special order.

Paleo diet followers believe people were made to eat simple foods, with little grain and even less dairy. “I started to get sick with my first pregnancy, and realized after my daughter was born that I had an autoimmune disease,” says Belle Pleva, founder of Paleo Mama Bakery. “I saw several different doctors, and they all wanted me to try different meds. Nothing was really helping me.”

The former schoolteacher hit on the paleo diet after discovering a similar diet that limits complex carbohydrates. “I don’t follow either one strictly,” says Pleva. “I just found what works best for me. The main thing was getting rid of the refined sugars and the grains.”

While she experienced relief from her symptoms, she also found a paleo problem. “I’ve always liked to bake, and when I came across this diet, that was something that I struggled with,” she says. “You can’t go to a store and just buy something.”

Paleo Mama baked goods are available at both Willy Street Co-op locations, Fresh Madison Market and three area Hy-Vee stores. “I’m expanding pretty quickly,” says Preva. “There’s a lot of interest out there. It’s a little crazy. I have 18 different products right now.”

Some of her products and their ingredients include grasshopper mint “Little Raw Cheesecakes” (avocado, raw hazelnut, cacao powder, honey, peppermint, vanilla beans), graham crackers (almond flour, apple sauce, honey, turmeric) and spicy tortilla chips (almond flour, eggs, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, cumin and chili powder).

“We believe that a healthy lifestyle begins with a healthy diet. Our focus is to provide Paleo desserts and snacks that are nutritious and delicious. Our products always feature as many local, organic ingredients as possible. We are proud to be featuring the following local ingredients in our bakery items.”

Honey: 100% pure, raw, Gentle Breeze honey from Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. 

Cherries: Tart unsweetened Door County cherries from Cherryland’s Best in Wisconsin

“As the founder, it is my goal to encourage healing through diet, by providing you with delicious and healthy treats that are free from all grains, gluten, soy, and refined sugar,” the owner says.

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