OUR STORY and Love for Cheesecake
And I Like It™ makes the most delicious single serve cheesecakes and candied keto pecans in Texas. We have the consideration of our consumers’ health at the top of our mind. Our specialty products are made with high-quality, gluten-free and low carbohydrate ingredients.
Sugar & Gluten are Addictive
The company’s founder, Ericka, grew up in Texas before joining the military. She served 10 years in the US Navy as a Gunner’s Mate and was deployed worldwide until she was medically retired due to deteriorating health conditions.
One of the many factors that led to her medical retirement was that she had severe gluten sensitivities and was addicted to sugar. The result was broken down joints, gut issues, sleepless nights from cramping muscles, brain fogginess, and major weight gain.
The military tried for two years using allopathic methods to heal Ericka, but the root issues were never addressed. In 2014, she moved back to Texas after her medical retirement. She knew she had to change her eating habits, but it was not an easy road. Most foods she tried that were gluten-free and sugar-free tasted horrible!
Healthy Alternatives to Sugar
Upon investigating healthy alternatives, Ericka developed a proprietary all-natural sweetener blend that has a low glycemic index value and makes you say, “And I Like It!” It was not always easy finding ingredients that were pure and chemical-free. Ericka’s sister is a biochemist who taught her how to mix ingredients to produce great tastes without the side effects that you typically find with other sugar alternatives or diet foods. Ericka would sample each iteration and often experience severe allergic reactions because many of the companies used harsh chemicals to produce the sugar alcohols that they would test with. After months of trial and error, Ericka and her sister finally formulated the perfect sugar called FirstRate™.
1 IN 3 TEXANS ARE OBESE!
In 2019, Texas was tied for 10th place in the U.S. for highest obesity rates with 34.8% of the Texas Population considered obese according to the Trust for America’s Health (2019). Many Texans are suffering from the same health problems Ericka did! Nearly 70% of the Texas population are considered either overweight or obese! It is no wonder that the same study finds that 12.5% of Texans have been diagnosed with diabetes because food manufacturers put sugar in everything! They even put it in bread. Manufactures do this because it is eight times more addictive than cocaine according to a Harvard study. Texans wanting to break-free from sugar are eagerly searching for a more delicious and healthier option.
Not All Sweeteners Are Equal!
The sugar substitutes you get on the grocery shelves do not compare to FirstRate™! Ericka sources high purity stevia and low glycemic polyols (sugar alcohols) from companies in the US that use fermentation, which means no harsh chemicals or artificial fillers are used when producing And I Like It’s™ pure stevia, TopNotch™, or FirstRate™. Fermentation is important because foods made with this process are rich in probiotics, provide enzymes necessary for digestion, and make foods more nutritious. Ericka found that she was allergic to all sugar alcohols that did not go through fermentation. She would get bumps on the roof of her mouth and sometimes get bumps on her skin. When it was really bad, she would have horrible gut issues.
Why Are We Different
The sweetener Ericka has trademarked FirstRate™ has tons of benefits! It is vegan because it is derived from plants. It contains no fillers like maltodextrin and dextrose. It also doesn’t have any artificial ingredients like saccharin, aspartame, or sucralose. This means when you cook with our sugar substitute you will not have problems feeding the good bacteria in your stomach or experience a weird cooling effect and aftertaste that most diet foods will give you. Another sugar alternative you commonly find in sugar-free products is maltitol. Maltitol is used because it is a cheap sugar alcohol, but we will never use that. Maltitol wreaks havoc on our stomachs. Ericka found after trying many keto and sugar-free products made with these artificial and synthetic ingredients that she had severe allergic reactions and that’s why you can count on us to use high quality ingredients and stay away from these bad sugar substitutes. You will also be happy to see how your kid’s love it and it won’t cause tooth decay like sugar does. The ingredients in our sugar alternative, FirstRate™, cost a little more, but the payoff is a clean and inviting taste!
Ericka also developed a certified gluten-free baking blend which has benefits of being high in fiber, GMO-free, and low in carbohydrates, while maintaining a light and fluffy taste. And I Like It™ uses this blend to make their signature cheesecake crust that is moist, buttery, and has a nice crunch from the bits of fresh almonds. The texture of the crust is a delightful surprise when contrasted to many gluten-free products. It’s like a shortbread cookie! Other companies claim to have gluten-free cheesecake, but that is only because they leave out the crust!
SUGAR FREE SWEETENER
The sugar substitute Ericka trademarked FirstRate™ has many benefits:
- No Artificial Ingredients
- No Fillers
- Maltitol Free
- Zero Net Carbs
- No Aftertaste
- Diabetic Friendly
- Kids love it
The natural ingredients of FirstRate™ cost a little more, but the payoff is a clean and inviting taste!
GLUTEN-FREE BAKING BLEND
Benefits of our Gluten-Free Baking Blend:
- GMO Free
- Keto Friendly
- 3 Net Carbs per Serving
- Low Glycemic
- High Dietary Fiber
- Contains Grass-Fed Collagen
And I Like It™ uses this blend to make their signature cheesecake crust that is moist, buttery, and has a nice crunch from the bits of fresh almonds. The texture of the crust is a delightful surprise when contrasted to many gluten-free products.
Growing up Ericka always loved cheesecake! Her mother would make her cheesecakes for her birthday parties instead of cake!
She took her mother’s cheesecake recipe and tweaked it to make it healthier, yet tasty! These cheesecakes were the key to helping Ericka transition off of sugar without feeling deprived! She thought if these single-serve, keto-friendly cheesecakes can help her, maybe it could help others. She opened her first pop-up shop in the fall of 2017. Ericka has found that Texans are having the same results as she did and they keep coming back for more. We can’t wait to bring these to the rest of America!
Ericka is encouraged from the feedback she receives from fellow Texans all over the state. One customer wrote, “Merry Christmas!! My favorite present this year is the one I gave myself, 40 fewer pounds than last year! One of my favorite Christmas traditions was always my mom’s cheesecake and I was bummed that I would have to miss out this year. Luckily @andilikeiticheesecakes is local and I was able to pick one up. Honestly, it tasted just the same as regular cheesecake, and it was so nice to be able to participate in the tradition without sacrificing my health!” This is what And I Like It™ is all about! Our mission is to have tasty products that help you navigate your health course!
And I Like It™ can make just about anything with our proprietary sweetener blends. A top seller is the Candied Keto Pecans. The candied pecans are a convenient, tasty snack that is perfect for on-the-go, busy people. They are great for road trips, and you don’t have to refrigerate. We are told they taste like Buc-ee’s Candied Pecans without all the sugar or corn syrup!
And I Like It™ also believes in giving back and making a difference in the community. We donate products for fundraisers to many organizations in our community, such as Saint Michael’s Church, Irving Community Theater Guild, and the women’s fraternity Chi Omega; all of whom support numerous charities in Dallas- Fort Worth (DFW). We also spend our time and resources working with nonprofits such as VetStarts. VetStarts is a wonderful organization that focuses on helping transitioning veterans through career workshops and veteran-led service projects. Ericka’s favorite service project is helping VetStarts build homes for needy families.
We are proud to partner with VetStarts.com. VetStarts is a national nonprofit organization with the vision for all returning veterans, and their loved ones to have “Hope for Today, and a Plan for Tomorrow.” They provide career transition training, coaching, and camaraderie for starting meaningful new lives and rewarding new careers at no cost to their clients. VetStarts measures success one veteran, one family, one day at a time.
They serve unemployed, under-employed, self-employed veterans and their family members, as well as service members preparing to leave the military. They also offer fee-based training, coaching, and veteran led mission trips.
Check out Army Veteran, Tori’s story. His involvement with Vetstarts.com made a lasting change in his life.
DO YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
Check out VetStarts! We at And I Like It™ donate our time and resources to this non-profit. It also helped our founder feel camaraderie after leaving the military and a sense of purpose. The programs offered provide hope for veterans who need to serve others and feel self-worth like they did when they served in the military.
If you are a veteran, veteran spouse, or patriot that wants to give back to a needy family and work with awesome veterans, please consider VetStarts!