This was supposed to go up Monday, but I’ve had some behind the scenes blog trouble that’s kept any posts from going up! Luckily that all seems to be under control now. To compensate, there will be two Chronic Coffee Chats posted this week: tomorrow and Friday.
Today, however, I have some cool stuff to share with you. This weekend, mom and I were invited to attend the Gluten Free And Allergen Friendly Expo in Atlanta. That’s long, so from here on out we’re gonna call it GFAF or GFAF Expo, got it? Okay!
So, the GFAF Expo was held at Cobb Galleria in Atlanta, Georgia. They have a conference center that’s pretty nice, and the Expo filled Conference Room A. The expo was scheduled to start at 10 am on Saturday, but mom and I headed in about 45 minutes early for the Blogger’s Breakfast. The Blogger’s Breakfast was hosted by BFree Foods, a brand that both mom and I have worked with in the past. They sampled their bagels, and offered fruit, soy-based cream cheese substitute, coffee, and orange juice. We also received a goodie bag full of BFree Foods products, including a pita bread that I had never tried. BFree Foods are top 8 free and vegan!
At the breakfast, we got to meet some other gluten free influencers, including Jennifer of Gluten Free Go To Guide, who recognized me from Instagram. I admit, I felt a little famous for a second there. It’s always cool to meet other celiacs and “talk shop.” We shared our thoughts on the Nima Sensor (skeptical), various brands (mostly yum), and traded talk about our favorite gluten free spots in Atlanta.
After the blogger breakfast was over, we had some time to meet the brands before it got busy. There were plenty of brands I was familiar with, and some I wasn’t as familiar with! My childhood neighbor has Celiac, so when she spotted me at the expo, I was happy to send her towards the Abundtant Love gluten free mixes booth for a taste of some real biscuits. She pointed me towards the Sonoma Flatbreads booth, which I happily sampled.
Although every booth at the expo was gluten free, many were also free of other allergens. The nut free booths were helpfully marked in red to keep everyone safe.
There were cards at each table marked with different allergens, which made it easy to find safe dairy and soy free options for my daughter. The main drawback with the cards was that coconut is listed under tree nut (the FDA counts it) even though it’s technically not a tree nut and is actually safe for some people with tree nut allergies. Still, better safe than sorry! Most companies actually listed on the card if it was coconut.
Speaking of tree nuts, the famous nut and peanut free “butter” spread, Sunbutter, was at the expo. Sunbutter has long been a favorite company of mine, so I was excited to see their booth. The baby also loves Sunbutter! When I gushed to the reps about my undying passion for Sunbutter, they gave us some extra sample cups to take home, along with some coupons. Score!
My favorite booth was the Ronzoni booth. No, it wasn’t because of the fun props in the photo booth. See, you got a free box of pasta if you let them take your picture. Beforehand our photo, I was telling the rep that we eat their gluten free rotini at least once a week. It’s our favorite pasta shape because the baby can eat them herself without help, unlike spaghetti noodles, and they don’t get everywhere like macaroni shaped noodles do.
After we got our picture, I headed over to the pasta section to pick my box of pasta. Y’all, they already had a box of rotini picked out and waiting for me. How sweet is that? It really gave me a positive impression of the brand— although they could’ve hit me in the face with the giant spoon and I’d still be buying their rotini.
The coolest booth was the Enjoy Life booth, which was set up like a board game through a world of allergen free goodies. Imagine a life-sized Candyland, but with lentil based snacks and top 12 free chocolate chips.
My selfie came out super blurry, but check out the cute sample pack of mini-morsels! These are the only chocolate chips that Critter has ever actually tried. Of course, she liked them. However, to my surprise, she likes the pizza flavored Plentils chips more!
The Enjoy Life reps also helped us find where to buy their mini morsels near us, so Critter can actually enjoy desserts with the rest of the family!
There were some other great brands at the GFAF Expo, like Daiya, Magianno’s Little Italy, Against the Grain, Smart Flour (a personal favorite), and smaller local brands like Abundtant Love.
All in all, the expo was a great way to try new products from our favorite brands as well as try brands we might not otherwise have known about. We received a lot of samples and coupons for brands we knew as well as brands we weren’t previously familiar with.
GFAF Expo has multiple locations across the country, so be sure to check out their website to find an expo near you!
Have you ever been to a gluten free expo?