Lisa Currier Tong, owner and sole proprietor of Memory Lane Desserts, is taking her Texas cottage home baking business in a new direction that — as far as she knows — no one around here is going.

“2017 brings many changes to Memory Lane Desserts that include the healthy side of baking; the paleo, grain free, gluten free and sugar free specialty items,” Tong says. “I will still offer all my other recipes as well, but that’s the direction I’m going and it’s very exciting.”

Tong’s a hometown Stephenville girl, having graduated from Stephenville High School and Tarleton State University with a degree in accounting. Her family moved to Lufkin for a long stretch, but Stephenville kept calling and back she came to stay. Her mom, dad and brother still live in Lufkin, but she has an aunt and cousin here and she says this is her permanent home now.

Her love of cooking and baking is almost as old as she is.

“I grew up doing it, she said. "When I was a little girl, I had my own stool and got up on the stove and was always cooking and baking. I’ve just always had a passion for it.”

“When I got laid off at my regular job I just said, ‘I’m going to go for it and see if I can make doing what I love work as a business. So far, it’s working and I’m just very happy doing this."

Asked how she got interested in baking healthier items, Tong says, “A friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in doing this with healthy ingredients since nobody around here is doing it and I said, ‘sure’. I’ve prayed about moving back to Stephenville and doing this a lot — I know this is the direction I’m supposed to be going.”

Tong is an active Member of Valley Grove Baptist Church about which she says, “In my church in Lufkin I was very involved in women’s ministry and I would like to get back to that here. There’s a really great group of women at Valley Grove; all ages and all walks of life — I just love them all.”

Back to the healthy side of her business, Tong says, “I would also like to get to dairy-free and vegan because all of that is really good for auto-immune diseases. There’s just not a lot in this area of any of those. I’ve always wanted to help people and for me, this is just a perfect way to do it because I love being in the kitchen and knowing what I’m creating is contributing to people’s happiness and good health.“

Here’s the list of ingredients that Tong uses for her healthy specialty lines:

• Almond flour

• Coconut flour

• Golden flaxseed meal

• Coconut oil and coconut butter

• Psyllium husk

• Almond butter

• Almond milk

“My sweeteners include agave nectar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, stevia or swerve," she said. "I use high quality ingredients — organic if possible — that I get from HEB, Little Johns, Barefoot Market, Whole Foods or Central Market. Now that local farm fresh eggs are becoming available I’ll begin using those as well.

“I am in the process of working on recipes for cakes, cupcakes and decorated sugar cookies in my specialty lines which will include paleo, wheat free, sugar free and low carb birthday and other special event cakes. I hope to have them ready by May, but I have chocolate gluten-free cakes, cupcakes and sugar cookies available to order now."

Sound tasty as well as healthy? You can order from Memory Lane Desserts by checking it out on Facebook, but Lisa says the best way is just to call her at 936-465-4249.