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Pueblo parents inspired to open ‘healthy’ bakery after daughter was diagnosed with autoimmune disorder

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Steel City has a new bakery with sweet, healthy treats. Co-owners Andrew Vigil and Estrella Vigil named the bakery, Sweet Ella's, after their daughter who has struggled with her health.

Ella checking out customers

Their daughter Ella Vigil has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. Both parents said they would never forget December 21, 2021, when her daughter had her first flare-up at the age of 2 years old.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is a form of arthritis in children ages 16 years old or younger. It can cause joint swelling (inflammation) and joint stiffness.

Ella's hands were swollen.

Andrew and Estrella told KRDO that after speaking with a naturopathic doctor and a functional medicine doctor, they were told that eating a healthier diet would help decrease inflammation. While a diet change didn't cure her, they saw a lot of the inflammation go down, but they do see flare-ups from time to time.

Andrew said he was inspired to start getting creative in the kitchen to feed Ella the healthy foods she needed to help bring down the inflammation. Vigil said he has been baking for five years now.

"We have different kinds of blends of gluten-free flours but also almond flours. We don't use any refined vegetable oils or, you know, junk food. So we use avocado oils and grass-fed dairies. So everything is top quality, you know, grass-fed, pasture-raised. So every ingredient has a purpose, you know." said Andrew Vigil.

Vigil also tells me they use natural sweeteners like coconut sugars, maple, honey, and monk fruit.

The parents say they don't know if Ella will continue to have these flare-ups her whole life. They said they keep up with their research and continue to ask for guidance along the way.

Ella is currently in physical therapy.

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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO

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