Mama Mia! Intuit Grants a Healthy Wish to ‘Mama Baretta’

Ask Debra Baretta-Rogers why Italy is shaped like a boot and she’ll tell you. It’s to give a swift kick to the notion that sweets have to be unhealthy and exclusionary to individuals with special dietary needs.

As a result, Debra’s inspiring Penngrove, Calif.-based baking operation — Mama Baretta — has been wishing for a way to bring her breads and baked goods to a wider audience.

This week, Intuit granted that wish. Mama Baretta’s dream is going to come true thanks to the Small Business Big Wishes campaign.

“My Salted Caramel Nut Lace cookie won Best Cookie this year at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, which was a huge win for the gluten free world,” the second-generation Italian baker wrote in her entry. “My business wish is to package my winning cookie with color printed individual serving bags for distribution to grocery stores.”

Unfortunately, the cost of distributing these goodies has long been out of Debra’s reach. Or at least it was.

“Thank you so much,” the emotional wish recipient said upon learning the good news. “I wish my Dad was here with me. He was a baker. But I know he’s helping me in spirit.”

Debra’s father, an Italian immigrant, was — by his daughter’s own admission – an exquisite baker who embodied the time-honored Italian tradition of coupling quality foods and quality time with family.

“My reason for going into this was never to put a business together,” Debra concedes. “Because of my father, being a baker from Italy, I worked in the bakeries. And when I had my three boys, one of them could not eat all of the wonderful foods that I grew up with.”

All of Debra’s Italian products are made free of gluten, soy, eggs, and peanuts. Many of her creations are even dairy free.

“I wanted my son to have the food that I grew up with. And the biggest part of this is that he was always being left out at school and at family functions here. He could never eat anything. And I wanted to make food taste so good that you don’t need to be gluten free. Everyone can sit down and share it together. That is the whole reason I did this, and I wanted to share it with people who feel the same way.”

With her packaging needs met, Mama Baretta will now be able to make life a lot sweeter for those in her community.

“I was hoping that this cookie would be distributed at least throughout the Bay Area and take my company to the cash flow that I need to open a bakery with fresh products locally but also to have a manufacturing company and start getting better food out there everywhere.”

Do You Have a Small Business Wish?

Have a wish? It just may come true! During the month of December, Intuit will grant one wish a day for 15 days to deserving small businesses. You may submit your wish online for a chance to win. Winners will be selected based on the number of votes your wish receives, your wish’s feasibility, and the transformational impact it would have on your business. To learn more, click here.

About Michael Essany

Michael Essany is a former E! Entertainment Television host and nationally published author who was recognized by A&E Biography in 2005 as "One of America's Most Remarkable People." Michael currently serves as Vice President of Indiana Grain Company, LLC.
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