Our Naked Story
Sometimes our beginnings arise from the most unexpected places. And sometimes those places are not places at all, but a twist of fate, a destiny call, that sets your life on a very different path. We may alter our plans, change a job, start a new relationship, and beyond all that there will still be times the call is a bit more earth-shattering, and it is then we begin to search for answers. And that is exactly what I did when I first discovered my daughter Rachel, had cancer. Toddlers and cancer were not synonymous to me before Rachel was diagnosed at only two years old. And then, they were, and life became complicated. Time became a thing spent in a discovery for health. I researched best treatment options and made sure Rachel received the best care possible to recover, and she did-and then I needed to figure out how to keep her that way.
Part of this journey brought me to the island of Martha’s Vineyard. It was the summer of 1999 and I recently founded a non-profit organization, “Time For Life” to assist children diagnosed with cancer and their family members. I had just completed my graduate degree in the field of psychology, specializing in pediatric oncology, and it was on the island I began a summer residential program. Also armed with a background in culinary arts, and always an advocate for clean eating, I appreciated the connections between food and health and began to consider food as a viable part of the healing and recovery process.
It did not take long for this program, or myself, to become embedded into the fabric of the Vineyard. Instantly the island fell in love with Time For Life and I fell in love with the island. Native islanders came out in droves to help with this wonderful organization. An amazing group of volunteers consisting of retired teachers, business people, fisherman, and restaurant owners spearheaded numerous activities and events. Eventually becoming our namesake, “The Naked Baking Ladies”, (a large group of women and one man) filled the houses with baked goods and treats beautifully arranged to greet the families upon their arrival.
Food continued to take center stage and I worked with local farms to develop recipes that were healthy and delicious. The abundance of fresh, local and organic food made it possible to build a repertoire of recipes to become the foundation for the Naked Baking Ladies concept. Pesto sauces prepared with health enhancing dark greens and herbs painted the pasta at the dinner table. Barbeque sauces made with blackberries glazed the fresh fish caught by the families earlier in the day. Fresh dairy products delivered every morning by the island milk man decorated the breakfast buffet. And for every meal, each ingredient was blended, mixed and stirred into a perfect combination of nutrition and taste. Good clean food, prepared in a manner that creates healthy powerful offerings; food that nourishes the soul and strengthens the body.
And this is how the Naked Baking Ladies was conceived, as an idea rooted in health and prosperity. But like any great idea it did not happen overnight. The road from there to here has traveled through the past twenty-five years and was paved with many hours of hard work, not so many hours of sleep, and even more health challenges requiring us to keep looking- so we did.
And although Emerson may have liked the journey more than the destination, it feels good, after all this time, to have arrived and launch our culinary philosophy- Be Naked Be Well. The Naked Baking Ladies is thrilled to introduce the concept of “naked” cooking, expressly using organic, nourishing, unprocessed super food ingredients to create amazingly delicious and accessible recipes. It is our culinary stance, if you begin with quality pure food and combine it with great passion, the better the final product will be. Welcome to our world!
Be Naked Be Well,
The Naked Baking Lady
Marci Moreau completed a Bachelors' Degree from University of Saint Joseph College in West Hartford, Connecticut and received a Master's Degree in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Connecticut, where she specialized in the psychological effects of childhood cancer on families. Her impetus for the focus on pediatric oncology is her daughter Rachel, whom was diagnosed with cancer in 1990. Treatment for her daughter, Rachel, included an intensive chemotherapy and radiation regime and bone marrow transplantation. Marci was motivated by the lack of services offered to families, and by the chronicity of living with the medical and psychological sequelea and founded Time For Life, a nonprofit organization for children with cancer and their family members. At that same time Marci’s profound interest in the culinary field kept her working in the food industry and looking closely at food to find the answers. And it was through this work, Marci began to develop a philosophy that would come to be the Naked Baking Ladies mantra-Be Naked, Be Well. During the past two decades Marci’s work continued to integrate health and wellness with food. Once again touched by cancer, this time in the form of a breast cancer diagnosis when her husband, Michael was diagnosed in 2005, Marci began to extensively study the impact of diet on health outcomes. Marci has spent extensive time researching the health enhancing qualities of food and has developed a repertoire of recipes using super food ingredients to maximize health benefits in our everyday diet. Driven by her personal story and entrepreneurial spirit, Marci is the principal developer of the true food company, Naked Baking Ladies, and is committed to enhancing lives by offering enticing and wholesome food products and educating customers on the benefits of “Naked Food.”
Marci is recognized for her professional accomplishments and is a recipient of The Greater Hartford Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, The Colleen Rice Award, The Rocky Hill Board of Education Distinguished Alumni Award and the University of Saint Joseph Distinguished Alumni Award. Marci is also employed as an adjunct faculty member in the Psychology Department at various colleges in Connecticut such as University of Saint Joseph, Manchester Community College, Tunxis Community College and Eastern Connecticut State University. Her primary area of teaching is psychology and writing, and of course, food. At this time Marci resides in West Hartford, CT; she has four daughters, a son-in-law; maybe another on the way (son-in-law, that is) a two year old grandson and an overly energetic Husky, named Sasha. She has no free time but when she does she spends it convincing others there is a connection between health and food.
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