As I sit at my dining room table writing this I’m surrounded by paper, food and emotion.
The Allergy & Free From Show in London happened this weekend, and represented the one year anniversary of launching my wholegrain gluten-free plain flour blend.
And what a year it’s been. Full of ups and downs that I’ve tried to share with you as best I can. For some of you I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it, but for others I hope it helps you to understand what small producers go through to get food onto your plate.
It’s certainly opened my eyes up to the crazy food industry and I’m not sure it’s the place for me.
Anyway, in between my time on the stand I did get a little time to wander around the show and see what new and inspiring faces there were.
I love to help out other small independent producers because I know how hard it is.
There were some fabulous ones at the show, so I’d like to introduce/re-introduce you to them.
Firstly some of my friends from last year were there…
Nomad Health, a fabulous company headed up by husband and wife team Marianna and Keith.
These guys not only produce incredible wholesome gluten and grain free pasta, but Keith recently suffered a huge heart attack. But he was still at the show smiling despite his health.
You can find their products in all manner of places now.
Liberty Loves, run by Sam is surely the most positive, chilled and fabulous mum that exists. You’ll find her with Liberty, her six year old (hilarious) daughter where-ever she goes.
When I saw her on Saturday evening she had just found out that her AirBnB booking had been cancelled.
Rather than stressing she was clearing up her stand in a leisurely way while her daughter drank pop and networked with the other stall holders!
She creates the most delicious nut butters and raw tarts and judging by the interest she had at the show should be stocked in some fine shops very soon. In the meantime you can buy her products from her website and keep your eye out for her at fairs and festivals.
Eat Allergy Safe, run by Nina, was there once more promoting the new podcast. Another inspiring, positive, strong lady who acts as a role model for all those kids with allergies. She calls herself the ‘grown up allergy kid’ and helps individuals and families come to terms with their allergies.
If you’re in need of a little support and positivity to deal with an allergy then head over to her website, download her podcasts (you’ll even find me on one!) and discover that having an allergy is not the end of the world.
Leggero, formerly La Polenteria, were at the show again. Gabriele, one of the founders, was selling his fabulous fresh gluten-free egg pasta along with some equally delicious vegan focaccia.
Leggero can be found in Soho and is an entirely gluten-free Italian restaurant. I just wish I lived in London so I could visit!
Slightly Different Foods, run by another couple, Sonia and Brunton create low FODMAP foods including some amazing sausages and soon to be launched pasta sauces and jams.
Miiro, run by Rym and who I featured on the run up to the Free From Food Awards, creates the most amazing dairy-free, naturally sweetened version of Magnums!
Finally I got to try one at the show and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
I can’t wait to see them widely stocked. At the moment you’ll find them in Whole Foods Market, Planet Organic and As Nature Intended.
Then I found some new businesses that are worthy of a mention too…
Freaks of Nature…I discovered them when someone walked past when I was packing up and gave me one of their Cocoa Loco pots.
We shared it on the way home, eaten with a fork that we found lurking on the car floor from the salads we ate on the way to the show on Thursday!! Well, it had to be done because when chocolate is involved there is no hanging around.
Oh wow. The smooth silky texture of these naturally sweetened gluten, dairy, egg and soya free puddings is incredible and you guys obviously liked the look of them too because my Facebook post sharing a photo reached over 8000 people!
Apparently they’re stocked in Planet Organic, Tesco and Waitrose so keep your eyes peeled.
Garbo were the company exhibiting next to us at the show. I’d never heard of them before but that’s because they are from Sweden.
Unfortunately their breads are not available in the UK but they are the best I’ve ever tried (and are gluten, dairy and egg-free)…and if I have my way I’ll get them stocked here!
If you ever visit Sweden then they are stocked in the supermarkets so there is another place to add to my ever growing list of places to visit!
Oomi were another company that I got excited about. They were selling delicious high protein, low carb gluten-free noodles (and they sold out before I got any!), made from fish protein. Don’t ask! I have no idea how you make a noodle from fish protein but it would appear to be possible and utterly fabulous!
You can find them in Tesco and Ocado and I’ll certainly be adding them to my shopping list.
Olly bars, a vegan, gluten-free energy bar were being sold a couple of stands down from us. If you’d like to try them hop over to their website to get three bars for free.
Nurture with Ali offers a massage followed by a three course meal in the comfort of your own home. I’m not sure what to say about that except that I dream of such things!
Ali is a trained holistic chef, massage therapist and reiki master and a lovely person to boot. You can find out more about her and what she offers on her website.
So there you have it, my list of top people to watch in 2017.
Who did you meet at the Allergy Show and what are you top recommendations?