We're Steve & Angie Keenan
Our family lives with Celiac Disease and food allergies. When our youngest son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies, including some outside America's Top 8, we suddenly found ourselves without access to safe baked goods. We began adapting recipes to meet our family's dietary needs. After years of baking for our family and friends, we chose to open Sit By Me Bakery.
While on vacation at the age of 21, Angie had an allergic response to pistachio. Testing led to diagnosed tree nut, milk, and yeast allergies. Angie's passions are communication and shared human experiences, which have driven her life and career choices. She loves using Sit By Me Bakery's social media accounts to connect with the food allergy community. Feeding kids with Celiac Disease, food allergies, and EoE brings her the utmost joy! Angie is currently battling Lyme Disease, and hopes for recovery so Sit By Me can grow to meet the needs of more people.
Steve grew up in Toronto, Canada, and spent time in hospitals throughout his childhood due to wheat and egg allergies, as well as asthma. As an adult he was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Steve's background is in environmental science, and in 2017 he made the switch from scientist to full time baker. Steve enjoys the chemistry and methods of baking. He also takes the majority of the bakery photos.
We married in Branson in 2009, and Steve immigrated from Canada. Angie's two sons also live with food allergies. Nathan,18, was diagnosed allergic to almond at age 7. Mathew, 16, was diagnosed with multiple food allergies at 10. He has outgrown shellfish and tree nut allergies, but is still allergic to soy and many seeds. It was Mat's seed allergies that pushed our already Celiac and multiple food allergy family into the kitchen, as we could no longer find safe prepackaged foods. Over a period of 4 years, we experimented with recipes, adapting old family favorites. During this time, lots of bakes were spit in the trash! Sit By Me Bakery's delicious menu is the direct result of our kids' courageous taste-testing, and our willingness to try again. And again!
Our dedication finally paid off with a vanilla cake recipe that was even enjoyed by our non-food-allergy friends. Shortly after, we perfected a chocolate cake so moist and decadent, we were asked to begin baking for other people's parties. It was with these two modest recipes that Sit By Me Bakery was formed. Our initial name was Allergen-Free Bakes, and our first customers were friends-of-friends. We're grateful for word of mouth and kind referrals!
A Busy Year And A Half
We operated out of our home kitchen in Denver, CO for a year and a half. Our weekend-only schedule limited us, but our ability to deliver bakes all over Colorado led to meaningful connections, and a generous, loyal customer base. When faced with a sudden change of circumstances, we chose to move our family and business back to Missouri at the end of 2017. It was difficult to leave Colorado, but we did so grateful for the opportunity to grow Sit By Me Bakery into a dedicated commercial space.
Continuing Our Dream
We have always loved Branson's historic downtown district and scenic railway, and desired to work in the heart of it all! The construction of our bakery took longer than expected, as all projects do! We completely funded our own start up with savings, and worked hard to build a functional, and beautiful space with limited resources and help. We did a pretty good job!
Making It Work
We opened our doors at the end of May 2018, and have enjoyed serving Branson locals and visitors! Our daily case is stocked with classic flavors, and favorite items like cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, and banana cake. Current hours are 10-5 Tuesday-Saturday, 11-3 Sunday, and closed Monday. We're grateful for your support as we learn to operate Sit By Me Bakery as efficiently as possible. Even when we're stressed by small business behind-the-scenes things, we'll greet you with smiles, willing hearts, and humor!