Saleswoman and mother of four Amanda Long’s small business career was born out of necessity.
Lucian, Long’s youngest child, was diagnosed at six months old with autism and an extensive range of allergies — the most difficult of them being his intolerance to breast milk and every attempted formula.
Enter Lucian’s Food, an allergen-free dessert line that focuses on nutrition and texture. It was the result of Long’s deep dive into palatable nutrients and appealing ingredients for Lucian.
Editor’s note: This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Q: What was your first victory in finding food for Lucian?
A: I started giving him rice milk, but there weren’t enough fats and nutrients. So, I started blending hemp seed into his rice milk, and that’s when he was able to get the omegas, the fats and the proteins. And then after that, I was like, “Okay, now he’s actually wanting to eat.” Hemp seeds are the base for every single product I make.
Q: So, why cookies?
A: I don’t want it to be just a cookie. I want it to be about [children] getting what they need from their diet so they can concentrate and function. A lot of autistic children have texture issues, so they’re only eating foods for stimulus. I needed to create something he would actually eat. I went through probably 100 of them before the texture came out right, and then he just devoured them.
Q: What made you decide to turn it into a business?
A: When my son was about three years old, I took him to daycare and met four moms whose children had autism — it was a daycare specifically for autistic children. They were like, “Oh, my son’s allergic to this. My son’s allergic to that.” I realized a lot of autistic children have food allergens.
Q: What’s next for Lucian’s Food?
A: I created an ice cream that we’ll be launching in the next year. Now, I want to expand and get into places like stadiums, amusement parks, and schools — where people like my son can’t eat because of cross-contamination. That’s my goal, so children like my son can just eat and enjoy life.
You can follow Amanda Long + Lucian’s Food on Instagram, which shares heartwarming moments like when Lucian found his snacks at Golden 1 Center.