Did you get a chance to attend the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest (GFFAFest) in Indy this past weekend? Don’t worry if you didn’t, because our blogger team is here to fill you in!
The Indianapolis Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest did not disappoint! There was a line out the door of attendees Saturday and Sunday waiting to try all the yummy treats. The expo hall was filled with more than 100 vendors for visitors to chat with, try samples, and buy products from.
These events are always a great way to connect with people from our community, watch cooking demos, listen to lectures, and try a ton of gluten-free food. The sense of community among the attendees was palpable. It is so special to see so many people trying foods they have not had in years! Some comments from the crowd included, “Oh, I haven’t had that in years!” and “No way this is gluten-free!” which of course, it all was!
The vendors were very generous with the samples and many had great deals on their products that you couldn’t even get on their websites. I met a number of people that had already dropped a bag of goodies off in the car and were filling up their second bag full of samples – from bread to sauces to cookies and more. Many of the vendors were local, which helped local attendees find more local brands and see what the local stores had available that are safe for them.
If you want to see the full list of vendors go here: http://www.glutenfreefoodallergyfest.com/locations/indianapolis/indianapolis-exhibitors/
Here are some of my favorites from the show!
Harry & Izzy’s Restaurant has a dedicated fryer because the owner’s son is gluten-free and they call the gluten-free fries Colton Fries, named after him. I enjoyed a great dinner at one of their locations during my time in Indianapolis.
Gluten-Free Sonny Marie’s makes dinner rolls and pumpkin bread that taste like gluten-filled baked goods. These baked goods were created when her son was diagnosed with celiac disease. She wanted to create tasty options for him including bread, donuts, pizza and other baked goods. That’s the kind of story I love to hear about at these shows.
Schar debuted their brand new Artisan Bread. Hats off to Dr. Anne Lee for fighting hard to create a bread that tastes like real (gluten-full) bread and has nutrient rich ingredients. Everyone left the show with a sample of this new bread.
Hannah’s Healthy Bakery created paleo baking mixes that have a good texture and also taste good (which most people wouldn’t think of with a paleo mix). This company started when a her homemade mixes got so popular among her community that she decided to start a company and share the mixes with a larger audience. We’re happy she did.
Glutino hosted pancake eating contests twice a day each day of the expo, and also set-up a kids’ pancake art station. This added a fun element to the fest for both kids and adults. I saw quite a few parents challenging their kids to to eating contest!
Nima Sensor from 6 Sensor Labs is what you get when you mix MIT grads and food allergies. They created a portable allergen sensor that can tell you if your food has more than 20ppm of gluten. The test takes 2 minutes and the sensor can fit in your purse. We can’t wait for this to come out in 2016 and is available to pre-order now.
Cybele’s Free to Eat cookies are top 8 free, gluten free, vegan, non-GMO, and on top of all that they are soft and delicious! Cybele is a cookbook author, blogger, and allergy mom who wanted safe and tasty cookies for the allergy community. Nailed it!
The Toasted Oat’s Erika took a recipe from her grandmother, made it free from gluten, and shared it with the world. Why did she make it gluten-free? Because Erika was diagnosed as an adult with celiac disease and she didn’t want to give up this granola recipe.
Gluten Away was diagnosed as a teenage boy with celiac disease, and he set out to educate the community, give encouragement to young people, and share products with the community. He has created gluten-free product kits that you can order to try a bunch of products for a very reasonable price.
These are just a few examples from the huge list of vendors at the Indianapolis Fest. When you know the background about a company, know the story behind a product, and get to experience it first-hand, it really connects us to the brand. We all struggle with food restrictions and having safe food helps us feel “normal.”
If you are ever within driving distance of one of the GFFAFests, it is worth the trip to eat your heart out, learn, and come home with bags full of products. You can see all of the 2016 dates at glutenfreefoodallergyfest.com!
Pam Jordan, creator of I’m a Celiac, a blog about living Gluten Free with Celiac Disease. In January 2011 Pam Jordan was diagnosed and shortly after began to write about her journey of living Gluten Free. As a working mom, she struggled to make good, healthy, Gluten Free meals every day. ImaCeliac.com is where she posts recipes, restaurant, travel and product reviews and the occasional giveaway. Her goal and hope is that people will read about her journey and find a story, recipe or review that will encourage them to keep living Gluten Free. Visit her blog at www.imaceliac.com
Originally posted October 2015