Tag Archives: free from

The Allergy and Free From Show 2014

8 Jul

2014-07-03 21.11.07Yesterday was my first full day back in Plymouth following a great trip to London for the The Allergy and Free From Show 2014.  The show was held at London Olympia, as it was last year, but this year it moved to the larger Grand Hall following some overcrowding at the previous show.  I set off from Plymouth on Thursday afternoon to meet my wife, Abby, who was travelling back from working in France.  I met her at Kings Cross which gave us chance to pop round the corner and visit the Kings Cross branch of Honest Burgers.  Amazing burger as always, and washed down with a gluten free beer.

We had decided to visit the show on Friday this year, in the hope that it would be a bit quieter than the previous year when we’d visited on Saturday and it was carnage.  We arrived at 10:20, expecting to join a long queue but were pleasantly surprised to find the doors had opened a little early and we were able to walk straight in.  On entry we were given a guide book, along with a bag and a pack of toaster pastries from this years sponsors Udi’s Gluten Free.

2014-07-04 10.39.16Our first stop was of course to see friends Ann and Steve on the always colourful Perkier Foods stand.  It was good to see them before it got busy so we had a chance to chat.  The calm before the storm I am sure!  I stocked up on my favourite Rocky Road tubs and golden syrup porridge pots.  Two of my favourites from the Perkier range and of course the ones that Sainsbury’s do not stock.  Here I am pictured with Ann (centre) and Twitter friend Flo Bistrow who I finally met here.

On the way in to the show was a huge Udi’s Gluten Free stand, and they were sampling their new Oreo style cookies and Tiger Bread.  The cookies were delicious but I wasn’t particularly impressed with the tiger bread, which was a little dry.  Maybe I had been a little spoiled on that front by the excellent tiger bread by The Wheat Free Bakery that I had managed to get my hands on at Clare’s Gluten Free in Plymouth recently.

2014-07-04 10.57.43Next I had a chat with Peggy from Glamour Puds.  We’d spoken on Facebook a couple of times when Glamour Puds was just launching so it was good to be able to put a face to the name.  It was also good to be able to have a taste of these puds again as I was extremely impressed on the previous occasion that I’d managed to try one.  Thanks to Peggy who gave me a few freebies to take away.  The good news is that these puds are now available in the chilled section at Tesco so do give them a try.  They are dairy free as well as gluten free.

Much of my time at the show was spent catching up with contacts I had made in the Free From community over the last couple of years.  Between the bigger hall and coming on the quieter day, there was much more opportunity to have a chat with the stall holders this year.  It was good to chat with Nick and Martin of Celia Lager, not to mention stock up on some beers.  Unfortunately getting my hands on 6 beers at the start of the show was a complete school boy error and I should have bought them at the end instead of carrying them around with me all day!

I also enjoyed catching up with Sean on the Live Gluten Free stand, Monika from Fria and Alex and Michelle on the FoodsMatter stand.  In fact I spend pretty much the whole day bumping in to people that I know from Facebook and Twitter land, and this was probably the highlight for me.  Several of us also had a blogger meet up in one of the cafes (oddly filled with non-free from cake).  It always great to meet up with these guys and say hello to old friends and meet some new faces.

To be honest I pretty much avoided the uninspired supermarket stands and also most of the big boys at the show.  Nothing against the likes of Glutafin and Genius, but I’d visited their stands over the last few years and felt a bit like I’d been there and got the T-Shirt this time round.  I preferred to spend my time focussing on the little guys to see what I could find.  Of course there are a lot of people doing very similar things at the show so it can be very hard to stand out.

A few other names to look out for this year:

Kabuto Noodles. A posh pot noodle with brilliant fun Samuria branding, full of flavour and now available in two gluten free varieties.  They hope to get their gluten free pots into supermarkets later this year

No.G. A great range of pastry products including a chicken, bacon and leak pie I sampled at the show. Superb pastry and they will be brining their full range to Sainsbury’s later this year.  Definitely one to watch and the blueberry cheesecake definitely caught my eye

2014-07-04 13.19.36Pudology. They’ve been in Sainsbury’s for a little while now, but ours only has banoffee which is a flavour that doesn’t really appeal to me. However I managed to try the chocolate orange one at the show and it is fantastic! Extremely rich and indulgent and I wouldn’t have guessed it was dairy free

Freego. A new online gluten free shop.  I’ve recently ordered from them and they have lots of unusual GF products that I’d not see before.  I love the product reviews on the website and it’s good to see that this online shop will actually deliver to Plymouth! Gluten Free by the Sea readers can get £10 off their first order of £20 on the site using the code “GFBYSEA10′ (exp 31/09).  It was nice to say hello at the show.

1-2-3 Gluten Free. This one has really excited Abby, as they are based in her home town of Cleveland, Ohio.  Being an American company they do some very traditional recipe mixes such as (American) biscuits and cornbread.  The cake samples made with their mixes were excellent.  They were at the show last year too, but it sounds like they are much closer to a UK launch now.

I also stocked up on some Venice Bakery UK pizza bases, which were the highlight of last years show for me.  I would say they were still one of the highlights this year and it really is a fantastic product that deserves wider availability, and it would indeed be a great product for any of the takeaway pizza chains to use.  It was good to get my hands on some focaccia from the Free From Food Award overall winner Focaccia Per Tutti, and I’m looking forward to tucking in to that.  I also picked up a few packs of the delicious chilli corn chips from Amaizin, really good.

We spent six hours at the show but still think I missed half of it after reading other peoples recommendations on Twitter.  There is so much to see and taste, the show was HUGE this year.  I have been chatting to Abby and I think next year we may do Friday morning and then come back and finish on the Sunday.  I think by the time we did the second half of the show we had tasted so many cakes and crackers it was hard for anyone to stand out and we were too full to even try some brands, and we didn’t give some of the smaller stands the attention they deserved as a result.  I think it will be better if we can have a break in between and come back refreshed and ready to go again.  This approach may also mean we can get away with buying some chilled products if we go home straight from the show.  Just one thing I’d like to point out is that Ocado don’t deliver past Bristol and we don’t have Whole Foods in Plymouth.  The amount of times I heard “we’re available in Ocado” on Friday, the heart sinks a little!

Overall I enjoyed the show a lot more than last year.  There was so much more room and the atmosphere was much more relaxed on the Friday, which was reflected by the fact we spent a whole six hours there.  Great credit to the organisers for responding to last years issues.  We didn’t see any gluten near misses this year with potential cross contamination, though it was a bit worrying that ASDA were giving out unlabelled samples.  I also noted that I did get asked my dietary requirements when asking for samples a lot this year, good to see that more companies were on the ball in that respect.  From a personal point of view, I’m probably getting less out of the stall holders due to my increased knowledge of the producers, and of course the fact I’m lucky enough to be sent samples regularly.  This year I didn’t quite feel like the “kid in a sweet shop” that I did on my first visit, but we’ll still be back next year.  It really was just fantastic to see everyone, and the rest was almost just a bonus.

2014-07-04 21.14.40

Friday evening Abby and I met a few other bloggers and tweeters for a fantastic meal, and not to mention a few cocktails, at Dishoom.  Both Abby and I were really impressed with the food at this Indian street food restaurant.  There was a really good gluten free choice for us, and plenty of veggie options for Abby.  The evening was made complete by great company and great cocktails, we will definitely be going back.

I hope those that visited the show had  a great time with lots of new discoveries.  Please comment below with your favourite finds!  For more photos from the show see my Facebook page.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

 


 

 

‘Free From’ Traders Required for Christmas Food Fair

16 Sep

I am excited to announce that Gluten Free by the Sea is collaborating with Helen Jones of Simply Moorish, who will be holding a Christmas ‘Free From’ Food Fair at Ivybridge Community Market on Saturday 7th December.  Fellow collaborators Love Lactose Free Life and Plymouth Greengrocer will be selling their ranges of gluten and dairy free products as well as Helen on the day.

Helen is now working hard to attract more ‘free from’ exhibitors to the event and the communication below has gone out to potential traders today.  I hope to see lots of friends of Gluten Free by the Sea at the event, both buying and selling!  Please pass this on to anyone who you think would be interested in having a pitch at the event.  More details to come as they are finalised.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

IvybridgePosterNew6

Information from Helen Jones:

Dear All,

Ivybridge Community Market are pleased to announce that we shall be holding a Free From Food Fair on Saturday 7th December 9.30 – 2pm and take this opportunity of inviting you to attend to trade at this great event. With keen support and collaboration with Gluten Free by The Sea, Love Lactose Free Life & Plymouth Greengrocers.

With the build up to Christmas, this will be a great opportunity for the sale of your usual products, themed products and free from gifts.

This is a great opportunity for all ‘Free From’ food producers to showcase their products in Ivybridge and its surrounding community and we welcome you to invite additional traders that are not on list whom you may feel appropriate to trade at this event.

Please find attached a copy of the poster being used to advertise this event and wherever possible kindly use such to advertise the event in your local area, online or via social media.

We have a visible presence on Twitter @ivycommarket and Facebook please feel free to link this into any social networking you may use to promote the event.

Please also find attached a copy of the terms and conditions for trading with a booking form for you to complete. Kindly return this via email to simplymoorish@yahoo.co.uk or via post to FAO. Ivybridge Community Market Management Team, Home from Home Community Hub, Unit 3 Glanvilles Mill, Ivybridge, PL21 9TH.

The price per pitch is £15.00 with an additional £5 per pitch should you require power. There are electrical points however, you will need to supply your own extensions and rubber matting if needed.

The main area for use for the market is outdoors and we hold ten 3 x 3 gazebos which will be allocated on a first come first serve basis. Additional cover can be provided under the walkway. If you do have your own gazebo cover please feel free to utilise this.

We would greatly appreciate your prompt response in booking your trade spots. The cut off date for bookings is Saturday 30th November 2013.

If you have any questions, which are not covered within the attached documentation, please do not hesitate to make contact with me email.

I look forward to receiving your booking forms and hope that you will embrace and reap the rewards of bringing your products into the local community.

Terms and conditions and booking
Poster download

Helen Jones

Proprietor
Simply Moorish
www.simplymoorish.vpweb.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/SIMPLYMOORISH
https://twitter.com/simplymoorish
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The Free From People’s Choice Awards 2013

1 Sep

I am very proud to be able to announce that Gluten Free by the Sea has been nominated for an award in The Free From People’s Choice Awards 2013.  The awards are being run for a second year by the popular Foods You Can website.  I face some hot competition from some other great blogs, so if you are a reader of this site I’d really appreciate a vote!

Nominee-Badge

There are several categories that make up the awards, so this represents a great opportunity to recognise some of your favourite Free From Brands.  The other great news is that everyone who votes also has the chance to win a £100 food shopping gift voucher.  You’ll find Gluten Free by the Sea under the Best Free From Food Blogger 2013 category as gfreebythesea.me

So what are you waiting for?  Hop on over to the Foods You Can website and vote for your favourite free from brands and blogs. Cough cough 😉  You can vote here.

Thanks to Foods You Can for short listing Gluten Free by the Sea, and all my lovely readers for your support.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

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