“What are the gluten free expos like, Jessica?” – Disneyland. Christmas. Like a truck full of kittens. It’s the happiest weekend of the year. I love going to expos for a number of reasons: 1. I get to learn about new companies and sample their products. 2. I get to meet other bloggers who I only know online. 3. I love supporting new businesses. “You’ve been around for two years – congratulations!” “You just started? You’re doing a great thing by making your products allergen friendly!” Those small/new/local companies need our support. They are the companies that truly care about the community. We need more safe, reliable, and quality products out there, and the only way to get them is to support them. So please, take the time to learn a little more about one of these companies. Maybe buy a cookie from them. You’re supporting the future of the community.
And now (in no particular order) I give you – Jessica’s GFAF Expo Favorites (Part 1)
Meredith’s Bread – One of the very best bakeries of the day! Amazing breads, muffins, and black and white cookies. In terms of taste and texture, Meredith’s Bread can do no wrong. Based in Kingston, NY, this family team supports farmers markets and local agriculture. They focus on quality ingredients – no preservatives, chemicals, or artificial sweeteners. Find them at farmers markets in the NY/NJ/CT area.
Good and Pleasant – I am so excited to talk about this company. They are brand new (this expo was practically their debut!), and they have the most delicious apple tart that I have ever eaten. It was ridiculously good. Good and Pleasant is a custom-order online baking company that specializes in pies, pastries and other baked goods with a southern comfort flair. They also offer custom loose-leaf tea blends to compliment their pastries. This is going to be a bakery to watch out for! I cannot wait to see how they grow. Visit them and order online.
My Grandpa’s Farm – I hope they didn’t get sick of me standing in front of their booth eating samples and bragging to everyone who passed by about how wonderful their pumpkin spice cake mix was. I can’t believe it didn’t come from a specialty bakery – you can make this at home! Possibly the fluffiest cake I have ever eaten. They are certified organic and process their mixes in a gluten free facility. They drove all the way from Minnesota to visit the expo. Their products are available online and in stores in the Midwest….Minnesota is lucky to have you. Come to New York soon, My Grandpa’s Farm!
Jennifer’s Way – It is always a thrill to talk with Jennifer Esposito. A well known Celiac advocate and truly inspiring individual, her products are free from gluten, dairy, soy, egg, and peanut (online orders are nut free). Find her bakery in NYC’s East Village or order her products online. Love the bagels and muffins!
Bread Empire – Their Buddha Rolls were one of my favorite breads of the weekend! Warm with a buttery taste, these rolls are made from yucca flour and cheese. They are so delicious! AND they have 12g of protein! I cannot wait to eat another one. They are currently available online and in twenty stores across the east coast.
Izzy B’s Allergen Free Bakery – Gluten free, vegan, kosher. No soy, dairy, eggs, nuts, casein, refined sugars, artificial colors, trans-fats, preservatives, or cholesterol. Izzi B’s is located in Norwalk, CT and was one of my favorite bakeries of the expo. Their vanilla cake was so good! The secret ingredient was butternut squash. It made the cake incredibly moist. Look out for their allergen free gingerbread house kit this holiday season! Order online. They ship/bake to order and can be found at local farmers markets.
Bagelinos – Absolutely delicious, cheesy bagels with a very pleasant, chewy texture. I loved these bagels and was very excited to hear that not only are they available online, but they are working on expanding into retail stores. Hoping to see them in my grocery store soon!
Allie’s GF Goodies: Homemade Gluten Free Goodness – Certified gluten free as well as tree nut free, peanut free, kosher, with dairy free and vegan options. I was very impressed with their strict policies concerning dairy free items. Everything is color-coded in the kitchen and on display. They use the hashtag #nochildleftout because they don’t want any child to feel left out at their bakery due to a food intolerance. Located in Hicksville, Long Island. You can buy products at their bakery or online. And they do wedding cakes!
Gluten Free Territory – Wonderful brownies and cookies. A mother/daughter team in the kitchen, this bakery whips up delicious treats such as pumpkin cheesecake brownies and coconut macaroon cookies filled with dulce de leche. Find their products online.
Maddalena’s Cheesecake and Catering Inc – One of my favorite companies from last year. Their cheesecake cannot be beat! More grocery stores are beginning to sell their products so visit Maddalena’s online to order or find a retail store near you.
Canyon Bakehouse – Their new, fluffy everything bagels were wonderful! I was so delighted to steal extra helpings when no one was looking (just kidding, they watched me steal them and were okay with it). Dedicated gluten free bakery and certified gluten free. Dairy, nut, soy, casein, GMO free. Kosher. Check your local grocery stores or order online. Canyon Bakehouse has been around for a while, so this might be easier to find in stores.
Luce’s Gluten Free Artisan Bread –I was introduced to Luce’s last year at the GFAF Expo. I saw their rye bread and looked at the owner skeptically. He ensured me that yes, it was gluten free. And it was delicious. And it was a mix. Just add water. They also make a sourdough mix. Kris, a sourdough connoisseur from San Francisco, said that this was the best sourdough he has had on the east coast. And it was gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and soy free! Available on their website and in select specialty grocery stores (list on their website).
Stay tuned for round two of my favorite products!