Sunday, January 29, 2012

Vancouver Gluten-Free Expo

The cloudy winter sky and rainy weather didn't put a damper on the Vancouver gluten-free community. Over 3,000 Vancouverites attended the 1st Gluten-Free Expo on Sunday January 22nd and I was one of them.  I arrived at 11:30 a.m. to find a throng of people lined up inside the entrance of the Croatian Cultural Centre, but spirits were definitely up. I could sense the excitement as everyone held onto their donations for the Vancouver Food Bank.  The line advanced fairly quickly and smoothly and more than 1,400 pounds were collected and over $1300 in cash. 

Vancouver Gluten-Free Expo photos

I attended both information sessions - "Understanding the Wheat/Gluten Free Diet" and "Tips for Eating Out & Staying Gluten Free" presented by Ellen from The Celiac Scene. Whether you are  new to gluten-free living or new in town, you will find the information provided at The Celiac Scene website most valuable. It was a pleasure meeting Lynda and l look forward to keeping in touch with everyone.

I made my way to the product displays, an opportune time to find some of my all-time favourites and sample some New gluten-free products.

The wheat and nut-free crackers from Martin's Marvelous Naturals were a definite hit and crowd pleaser. The flavoury rosemary lavender crisps are incredibly tasty and addictive! Other flavours included date & olive tapenade and pumpkin seed & cranberry which are equally delicious. No one will believe that these fancy gourmet style crackers are GF. Attendees also received a beautiful super-sized reusable tote bag with  purchase. I've been taking my tote bag  to work everyday and its been getting a lot of attention ~smile~ Martin's Marvelous Naturals was the Gold Sponsor of the Expo.

Kinnikinnick just released their new breads this month. Congratulations! Samples included: Miniature "tea party" style jam sandwiches on their new  soft white and multigrain breads. They do have a  perfectly soft  moist  texture Scrumptious! Can GF bread taste this good? Yes it can! "Gluten-free has never tasted so good" This company also makes two Yeast-free breads; multi-grain and tapioca for those who need to AVOID yeast. Other samples included a wide variety of goodies.

Glutino had samples of "Genius" their delightfully fluffy soft sandwich bread. A nicely pre-cut normal sized loaf that can easily be passed off as regular bread and no one would know, even a genius.  It really does "cut the mustard"

Kootenay Kitchen samples included their certified vegan, wheat, gluten, dairy and soy free vege pate. They have three flavours all made with 84% certified organic ingredients. : herb, curry and jalapeno. This product got "two thumbs up from people I chatted with at the Expo. I have to agree, "c'est delicieux"  Winner of the BC organic Harvest Award for Best processed product (vegetarian) Terrific party food!

O'Doughs Title sponsor at the Expo  launched  their 3  varieties of  GF muffins. Wild Blueberry, Banana Chocolate Chip & Double Chocolate. They are unbelievable moist and taste like homemade goodness. This product was selling quickly but I managed to get my hands on the Wild Blueberry (nobody got hurt) Other samples included their Flax pizza kit also a Winner!

Several vendors were pleasantly surprised with the remarkable attendance and had sold out of products by early afternoon. Evidence that gluten-free truly is outstanding!

Silver Hills Bakery also launched two new GF breads (BRAVO!) but SOLD OUT before noon! Our family loves the new Chi, chi, Chia bread. A healthy and tasty choice.

I was ecstatic to see Delight Gluten-Free Magazine!  at the Expo. I took advantage of the show special offer and also received a  complementary copy. Delight Magazine is filled with glossy photography, delicious gluten-free recipes and inspiring articles. I can't wait for my magazine to arrive in March! It was great meeting everyone! Keep up the great work.

I enjoyed the face to face contact and getting acquainted with everyone including the vendors and gluten-free manufacturers.


Title Sponsor: O'Doughs
Gold Sponsor: Martin's Marvelous Naturals
Sponsor: The Celiac Scene

Exhibitors included:

I'd like to extend a warm heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this event possible. To all the exhibitors and sponsors thank you  for making gluten-free living a joyous, tasty experience. A warm embrace and much gratitude to Margaret Dron, your dedication time and energy has not gone unnoticed. 

I have no doubt that the Vancouver Gluten Free Expo will become a large annual event!  Better things are yet to come!

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