Nov 13 , 2019
For the second year in a row, our company owner Rick and I ventured to South Florida for a couple days of intense sales meetings, putting our company and product in front of potential food service buyers from all over the US and Canada, and then escaped to Boca Grande to recoup and regroup. This year we decided to have dinner one evening at The Gasparilla Inn & Club, an historic resort that opened for business in 1911, and that is a member of Historic Hotels of America and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.
I called on Friday evening to reserve for Sunday. As I made a request for dinner for two, the lady on the other end asked if we had any dietary restrictions or needs that she should note. I was thrilled! This is not something that happens often, though more frequently these days than in the past. I explained that we make certified gluten free desserts (the word "desserts" inspiring an "Mmmm!") that are also nut free and food allergy friendly, and that I appreciated being asked, as someone who knows the playing field, so to speak.
If you've recently been diagnosed celiac or gluten sensitive, with food allergies, or have a close friend or family member in that position, you know how daunting it can feel at first, as though you'll never be able to fully enjoy your comfortable, routine repertoire of foods- even if "comfortable" and "routine" mean "varied." Thankfully, more restaurants are catching on to the value of providing options that are allergy friendly. Many of the people I met with last week were at the meetings to see what's new, what's available that's "plant based" (we'll talk about this in a future post) to meet demand in a growing trend. And they are savvy to and understanding of the celiac, gluten sensitive, food allergic diner.
We're fortunate in these days to not only have medical knowledge and technology that makes it easier to diagnose a condition, but communication technology to get information and make connections with others. A couple friends of ours who are out there blogging and podcasting and posting information- and great photos!- are Amanda of Eat at Our Table, right here in South Florida, and Elikqitie of Travel Gluten Free Podcast, who hails from our bakery "neighborhood." Check these ladies' fine work and fun stories out!
Wherever you go, you've got choices. Go for it!