Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest
I am approaching my first full year in our new home in Washington State. My Husband and I did live here before having kids many years ago, so the pacific northwest is not all brand new, but we are still settling in.
|Erica Dermer- AKA Celiac and the Beast
I found out through Instagram about the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest and it was already happening! It was Saturday afternoon and the fest was only for the weekend. Even though it was a two and half hour drive, I jumped on it and made the trip.
Ideally, you will have 2 days for events like this. One day to walk around and one day to listen to all of the speakers. I really liked how they had the same speakers, at the same time, on both days. Please keep that in mind when you plan for your next event.
I have been to a handful of expo’s throughout the years, some better than others. When I saw that Erica Dermer and GF Jules were a part of the planning of this fest, I knew I needed to be there. One other perk was that I met The Gluten Free Nerd, someone I follow on Instagram and she was there to meet with fans.
Here is our super fun selfie.
An Expo or similar large event, can be intimidating when you first walk in. There is so much to take in as you walk through the doors. It is important to take a deep breath. Decide where to start. Since I blog, I am not just there for pleasure. I am looking for all of my favorite companies and all of the new and upcoming ones. I want to try everything and talk to everyone. That is how I find out what is up and coming in the industry so I can keep you all informed.
There were A TON of companies there and most of them were ones that I had not heard of. The best part is all of the local companies that come out and share their craft with us. Those are my absolute favorite. Nothing is better than speaking to someone who is handcrafting this piece of art that you get to taste. I love meeting the people, learning their story, and sharing their amazing products with all of you.
Every year there is more and more GF and allergy free offerings being developed. Almost every company I have talked to has said it started with themselves, a child, or a very close loved one who had to stop eating something. With what may seem like a devastating blow, they create and craft an amazing product. Love, love, love!
So, this fest had the same regular’s, Udi’s, Glutino, Enjoy Life, Namaste Foods, Schar and Happy Family. It is always fun to see these big companies because they are the back bone to these, events with their sponsorships and products (they also give out samples to take, not just taste!). Franz bakery was also there and they are my favorite GF bread! I was so lucky to sample the new bagels they are getting ready to come out with. Delish!
I also learned about the company Ener G Foods. I tried their bread for the first time, even though I had seen in on the shelves for years, I never tried it. I found out the owner of the company lives in the town next to me (this is why I love these events)! He is getting ready to put out the first organic gluten free bread, which is also vegan, at an affordable price point! He said he does not want the price to ever reach higher than $6 a loaf. Let me tell you, I am so happy about organic GF bread! Did I mention that it is also very delicious?
There were also some medium sized companies that I have seen around, but never tried. I tried BFree Foods. They had rolls and pita bread and I was blown away. So delicious! LIV bar was there and I tasted some of their delicious bars. Daiya Foods has some excellent dairy free cheese to sample. Brazil Bites, Go Veggie, and Trader Joes were also there.
Aleia’s has some amazing macaroons. They gave me stuffing and Coat and Crunch that I will be testing out and sharing with all of you.
My favorite local companies that I met were Kember’s, Jensen’s, Oregon Mead and Cider Co. and Ener G. Kember’s was this awesome woman who became intolerant to wheat and decided to do something about it. She has excellent mixes for pizza, donuts, cookies and more that is Non-GMO and made in a certified gluten free facility. Her website is www.kembersglutenfree.com. I also had the world’s best cider tasting from Oregon Mead and Cider Co. They have the cider craft, DOWN. They have a cider for everything… dry, sweet, mixed with champagne, Mead that has a beer-ish feeling to it, and even a dessert cider. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I highly recommend anything they make. I can’t wait to get my hands on some more. Love! Ener-G I spoke about already, but like I said, organic GF, Vegan bread. Happy dance!
Overall, I must say that this Fest was a blast! I had the time of my life and I cannot wait to attend again. Hopefully next time I will be more organized and prepared.