Toto is the culmination of my decade-long healing journey. For me, this is so much more than a cookie company as you will soon understand. Thank you for being a part of this next chapter in our mission of sharing with the world the incredible, nourishing, delicious power of plants.
After dinner, my family and I would put the iconic little squares of dough on a cookie sheet, and 10-12 minutes later, I would be in cookie heaven.
For most of my childhood + tweendom, I ate like any other kid. All the snacks. Some veggies. All the pizza. I loved it all.
That all changed when I turned 16.
After an entire year of spending most of my days at the doctor’s office or the hospital getting various tests done, I was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s Disease.
Suddenly, my average teen diet was reduced to a small list of gut-friendly foods (so long toll house😪).
I was put on multiple medications to try and tame my symptoms and help me feel “normal” again, but the more things I took, the sicker I felt. I knew there had to be a better way to feel good again, and I was always looking for that answer.
Three years later, I met an amazing holistic doctor who was the first person to introduce me to the concept of food as medicine. With his help, I developed a diet which helped me get off of the numerous medications my doctors had prescribed.
Just as things seemed to be returning to a sense of normal, shortly after my 21’st birthday, during a colonoscopy, my doctors found and removed a cancerous polyp.
It felt like this was my second wake up call from the universe- reminding me again just how important my everyday habits were, and how I could either be helping or hurting myself with every single choice I made.
Due to the aggressive nature of colon cancer, I was under a close watch for the next 3 months.
During this time, I wanted to support my body however I could to make sure I was doing everything possible to stay healthy.
I did a complete overhaul of my entire life, and decided I was going to become the healthiest I had ever been.
I decided to go completely plant based.
I also was introduced to adaptogens, which I started taking daily to help support my immune system + gut.
I started moving my body every single day.
I started keeping a gratitude journal of everything I was thankful for.
I started spending more time with people I loved.
I started taking care of myself in a way I never had, and I started to feel like an entirely new person.
In my mind, I was aiming to nourish every part of my being- mind, body, and soul.
I returned back to the doctor 3 months later for a checkup, and to my elation, nothing had spread and I was completely cancer free.
After my experience, I was changed forever. I knew it would become my life’s work to spread the message of food as medicine, and do whatever I could to make sure that no one had to end up in the same position I did. The obvious question became, what’s next?
I was shocked and elated. But, very quickly my joy morphed into a feeling of responsibility. I felt that I needed to find a way to help others who struggled with their personal health. A passion for helping people feel a sense of agency over their own lives formed within me, and the obvious question became, what’s next?
Cookies, obviously. Ok- well, it wasn’t quite that easy. I started out trying to get my family on the healthy-eating bandwagon- making them adaptogenic smoothies & potions, but after watching them reluctantly try to choke down my superfood sludge, I realized I needed a better idea. *lightbulb* What if I could make these superfoods taste as good as the cookies we grew up eating? My kitchen experiments commenced.
Over the following years, I went from hand mixing batches of cookies in my apartment, to meeting the love of my life, co-founding Toto together, and rolling out our products nationwide.
Not only did Bennett bring nearly a decade of experience as an entrepreneur, but he also brought so much passion, strength, and vision to Toto. He has infused so much magic into every single piece of what we do. Building this together has been an absolute dream come true.
Still, there is a long way to go, and we are so grateful for the incredible people who continue to try, love, and share our products.
While many things have changed, our mission has and always will remain the same - to show people the delicious power of food, and inspire them to live a healthy life full of many sweet moments.