by: Photo By Susan Matheny - Nana's Sugar Free Bakery owner Kathey Johnston bakes fresh goodies every day.

   Nana's Sugar Free Bakery, for those watching their sugar and carb intake, opened May 9, in the South Y Complex in Madras.
   Owner Kathy Johnston and her husband Phil both went to Las Vegas for special training from sugar-free baking experts, before opening their first bake shop.
   "This is my dream job," Kathy Johnston said, noting she always wanted to open a bakery.
   "I like my desserts, but I had blood sugar issues, and recently started thinking about a sugar-free bakery," she said, noting they had visited sugar-free shops in Portland.
   At the training, they learned how to sweeten baked goods using fruit pulp instead of sugar.
   "I've never enjoyed baking with chemicals like asparatame, and we keep the ingredients as natural as we can. The majority is sweetened with fruit pulp," she said, noting she does use Splenda or other natural sweeteners in some items.
   Her husband helps mix up batches of pastries on Saturdays and some mornings before reporting to his regular job at the Jefferson County Fire District, where he is a firemedic.
   The rest of the time, Kathy Johnston is the only employee, and begins baking fresh goodies every day from 7:15 to 10 a.m., when the bakery opens.
   Previously, Johnston was a stay-at-home mom, then managed Hollywood Video for 10 years, and worked at Madras Bowl for 1 1/2 years.
   "We've been a whole lot busier than I ever thought we'd be," she said of their first few weeks.
   So far, the most popular items have been the cream-filled eclairs and Napoleons. "I'm still easing into my entire menu, after I get a feel for what people are looking for," she said.
   The sugar-free bakery offers cookies, cheese cakes, cakes, cupcakes, fruit and cream pies, pastries, and muffins, made onsite. Leftovers are sold as day-old items, or donated to the local mission.
   "I also do special orders, birthday cakes, and this week I'm doing 200 cupcakes for a party," she noted.
   The bakery offers a chart on all items, which lists the calories, protein, far, carbohydrate and fiber count on each item for diabetics and others watching those counts.
   For example, her sugar-free eclair has 200 calories, 0 protein, 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrate, and 1 gram of fiber.
   The shop also carries "Spokandy," a sugar-free candy line made in Spokane, along with coffee, tea, bottled water and cold sugar-free sodas.
   "Joann's Heavenly Cupcake," a chocolate cake filled with cream, was named in honor of Johnston's good friend Joann Scarlett, who passed away last August. From now through the end of August, the shop will be donating 10 percent of every Joann's cupcake purchased to the local Relay For Life.
   Located at 910 S.W. Highway 97, Suite 203, Nana's Sugar Free Bakery is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The business phone is 541-460-5020.
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