Tasty desserts such as cookies and cakes that are free of sugar are difficult to find for those who are health conscious or required to watch their diets closely like diabetics. But the recently opened Sugar Free Shack in Torrance is trying to change that through its own special recipes.
Jeasy Monroy started baking out of her home in Bell Gardens nearly 10 years ago and started baking custom orders every weekend while working and raising a family with her husband George. But for years her dream was to open a health-conscious bakery.
“People in our family who are diabetic are used to only getting a little sliver of cake just because they don't want to be left out,” Jeasy said. “Now you can have the full slice and not get affected by it.”
To open Sugar Free Shack, the couple had financial help from business partner Judd Matsunaga of Elder Law Service of California in Torrance, where George worked in marketing.
George would bring his wife’s treats for various company events and Matsunaga wanted to back their vision to “change the way people eat,” according to George.
“Everybody knows the harmful effects of sugar,” George said. “We want to… get the word out that you can have great tasting food without having to have the sugar.”
It took about two years to develop the recipes mainly because George and Jeasy wanted to find sweeteners that were not artificial, that did not have an aftertaste and baked well.
Jeasy said the first recipes were “just disastrous,” but after the “headache of trial and error” she discovered the company Whey Low, which according to its website makes “sugar made healthy.”
She said Whey Low was perfect because it is all natural, lower in calories and carbs, and does not impact blood levels of diabetics, which she said is their target audience.
“We wanted to make sure diabetics had a market,” Jeasy said.
George added that Monk fruit is also an ingredient in some of their recipes.
“The trick is the way she makes it, not necessarily the sweetener,” George said. “There are little tricks ... to get rid of the aftertaste.”
The first recipe Jeasy perfected was a basic vanilla cake. From there came chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies as well as red velvet cupcakes.
“They were traditional flavors that people are used to,” Jeasy said.
Jeasy said they are constantly developing new recipes, some that are even safe for Type 1 diabetics and many that are Keto friendly.
Seasonal flavors are currently available as well.
George calls his wife a “super mom.” She raised three children and left the corporate world before working part-time at two different bakeries.
“I help a lot, but she's the genius behind this,” George said. “She's an artist and just a super mom... we feel proud that we're balancing all of that.”
Sugar Free Shack is located at 17234 Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance.
Their hours are 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays.