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Community Highlights: Meet Karine Wong of My Guiltless Treats

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karine Wong.

Hi Karine, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
A few years ago, I had a patient who was being discharged from the hospital for uncontrolled diabetes. As the clinical pharmacist, I had to teach him how to use his insulin, calculate his insulin doses, and what to eat. After 10 minutes of talking, I realized that my message was not getting through to him. At the end, he said, “I would love to do all of that except I don’t like to eat any of those foods. Is there something delicious I can eat that is good for my diabetes?” That was my “a-ha” moment. I realized that management of diabetes will always be a problem until we can offer foods that are delicious and diabetic-friendly… And we need to make it affordable.

In 2013, I had the opportunity to start a company and manufacture sweet protein gummies with no sugar. It seemed like a good idea except that the gummies were not delicious and after three months, they became too stiff to chew. My partner left in 2018 but I wasn’t ready to dissolve the company. I envisioned My Guiltless Treats to serve as a vehicle for desserts for diabetics. After six months of R&D, I came up with the coconut panna cotta. The coconut panna cotta is my signature product line. The soft flan-like coconut dessert is layered over mango, guava, or pineapple bits. The tropical flavors have 5 to 7 grams of casein (milk protein without the lactose) and are low in carbs. They also have no soy, egg, or gluten.

In 2019, I launched the 4th flavor- chocolate coconut panna cotta. This has been the best-seller among vegans and chocoholics. The chocolate panna cotta tastes like a fudge bar that doesn’t melt. There are no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
When my partner left in 2018, I struggled with the company. I doubted my ability to run the company and couldn’t make even the simplest of decisions for a long time. There were times when I wanted to dissolve the company just to eliminate the stress but felt that I would be doing a disservice to patients and customers. At this point, I reached out to food entrepreneur groups on Facebook. The members were supportive and gave me much-needed advice and tips.

Another challenge was lack of money. In the beginning of any company, there are plenty of expenses from insurance to R&D. To float the company, I would pick up more hours at the pharmacy where I worked. I continued making money this way until I was making money from selling my products directly.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about My Guiltless Treats?
Did you know that My Guiltless Treats is owned and managed by an Asian-female? Did you know she that is also a clinical pharmacist? It’s true! Guiltless Treats is a different kind of company. Our mission is to create a realistic and affordable approach to manage and prevent diabetes and reduce unwanted weight gain. Our goals are to educate consumers on social media about nutrition and exercise, teach young kids about entrepreneurship, and provide high-quality, delicious, affordable desserts as part of a healthy lifestyle.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
When I was young, I loved to write poems, short essays, and plays. I was very creative and when I was inspired, I would sit for hours at my desk writing. On occasion, I would submit a poem to for a contest. Otherwise, no one read my manuscripts. I did not believe my work was good enough for people to read. When I became a pharmacist, I didn’t have time to write creative stories but I still wanted to write. I pitched to my boss for me to start a monthly pharmacy newsletter. She welcomed the idea and for the next five years, I wrote and published the newsletter. In 2008, I did freelance writing for a pharmaceutical company. Finally, in 2013, I felt confident in my writing skills and published two books. One is called “Call Me Doctor” (2013, Xlibris publishing) and “Don’t Sit on Her” (2013, Xlibris publishing).

Pricing:

  • $3.99 per dessert

Contact Info:

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