I spent last Saturday at the Atlanta GF Product Fair, and I couldn't have planned a better day. In addition to making some wonderful new GF friends from the Atlanta Metro Celiac group, I got a chance to sample both local and national products I'd not tried before. I bought a bunch of products, too, and now my pantry is stocked for the next couple of months.
A special shoutout to my friend Lori P (from Delphi) and my GIG buddy Carol, whom I saw, and to Maureen and Allison, both of whom have daughters with CD at Georgia College! And I enjoyed meeting my tablemate Denise! She did a bangup job with those Ian's Cookies!
But what really impressed me were the local products, made by people (some with CD, some just GF) who were tired of not finding what they wanted, so they worked to make it themselves.
Here are some of my new BGFFs *best gluten-free friends. I'm including their phone numbers and URLs so you can try their products, too!
•She had a simple table, but her product was DYNAMITE. The Connor Cookie Company had the best peanut butter cookies -- GF and regular included -- I've ever put in my mouth, and believe me, I've eaten a lot of them. The operation is simple, but June Conner, my hat's off to you. You sure know how to bake a cookie. No website, but you can email June at email@example.com or call 404-323-1427. Impressive, and the little girl on your package is adorable. The cost is good, too -- $5.95 for six cookies, and they have oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip, too.
•The Gluten Free Divas Bakery really has a lovely assortment of products and mixes, and thanks to them, my Daddy had a really lovely Georgia Pecan Blondies for his birthday party Saturday night. They gave me a whole tray of leftover samples for him! And he loved them! He said, "These have all kinds of good things in them!" Their mixes were delicious -- a pizza crust mix was yummy, and those blondies...But they also deliver GF cupcakes, pizza parties, and cookies in metro Atlanta and have a reasonable minimum and turnaround.
This is an outstanding young product, and I hope to support them as much as I can. And those blondies...yum!
Phone: 770-940-1946 or 770-238-9846.
•Improv*eat was right next to the Divas, and I spent a lot of time at their table, too. Improv*eat is a lifestyle company, now totally gluten free, with some very interesting product. One I couldn't resist was a coconut-meat wrap -- shelf stable, GF, made of good fiber and fat. They were sampling the wraps with filling, and a curry-flavored wrap with (grain-fed, organic) beef was delicious. They're expanding their offerings, as of this week, too.In addition to being GF, they're earth friendly (business cards on etched recycled bamboo!) and are trying to avoid the other seven major food allergens. And they're growing. I enjoyed talking with Todd Fitts, founding partner in the group, and I am impressed. Check out their offerings on the web or email Todd or call them at 404-214-9021.
•Dr. Sherri Lange, a home ec teacher who got "fed up" with the offerings on the GF market, came up with Exsqueesite Foods. Simply zip of the top of her product's bag, add liquid, and squeeze and bake. I tasted a couple of her product -- a muffin and a chocolate chip cookie, and they were delicious, and they did look easy. Sherri said she mixes the muffin mix in the morning, puts it in a ramekin and into the toaster oven and in minutes, she has a great hot muffin for breakfast! Her email is Info @ ExsqueesiteFoods.com, and she has cookie, cake, muffin and bread mixes, as well as flour mixes. Her mixes, by the way, are gluten free, egg free, corn free and dairy free. Her phone number is 678-937-9200.
•The cookies that Tiffany Person at The Free Cookie were really beautiful, and her arrangements were both beautiful and reasonably priced. She has really cute Red Hat cookies (for the GF Red Hatter) and others, shaped like flowers. Their cookie bouquets start at $25 each. You can contact them at (404) 536-6170 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out the pics of their designs on their website! REALLY cute.
I'm always happy when local restaurants offer GF offerings. Of course, the fine folks from the Crossville Outback were present with samples of their GF Bloomin' Onion. I still highly recommend this Outback - it's worth the trip to Roswell for the experience. I especially loved their "We Hate Gluten" shirts! It was nice to finally meet Julie, the person who started the GF revolution at this restaurant, and to see Jared, one of the great managers again. I only regret that I couldn't go there for lunch!
The folks from Wildfire at Perimeter Center were also there with samples of a decadent chocolate cake -- GF of course. I had a few minutes to talk to special events manager Nicole, and they're ready to host your next GF dinner party! Call them at 770-730-9080 for more information. The GF menu they had on display looked delicious.
And while I'm talking about "new kids in town," Check out Legal Sea Foods by the Georgia Aquarium. They sampled an incredible GF clam chowder and promised special care to the GF diners who visited them.
All the national products there were wonderful, but you have to love the "hometown wonders."
Much love, and much success to these businesses!