In just a few hours time on a recent afternoon, Arlington Public News toured several bakeries in town to find out about what specialty desserts to bring to the holiday table.

The business owners we met along the way were very inspiring. Barbara Weniger of Lakota Bakery has owned her store for more than 23 years, and her delicious cookies have travelled all around the world. She keeps a global map in her bakery and customers traditionally pinpoint the location(s) where they had brought the cookies after returning from their travels. Christine Penney and Sandy Federico, two sisters whose families were faced with food allergies, built a business from the ground up that they call Something Sweet Without Wheat. People without allergies also visit their bakery because their products are simply yummy.

Whole Foods bakery team leader, Eddie Cotone, lifted our spirits with his gingerbread house ready to decorate. No DIY disaster this year! Instead, one can display over 1 full pound of Panettone from Naples, Italy, to impress guests. Finally, our Bakery Marathon over, and our stomachs full, we drove to Stop and Shop to meet Julie Hersey. Hersey is Stop and Shop’s certified nutritionist, and she teaches free classes to guide customers in their food choices. She shared tips and recommendations for people with special diets to enjoy this holiday season, guilt-free!

Yawa Degboe