DISCLAIMER: All of the vendors at Gluten Free Garage have been carefully vetted and curated to ensure that their food items and products are gluten free and safe for people with celiac. Not all products at GFG are certified gluten free. Some products may be manufactured in a non-dedicated facility. All GFG vendors represent and warrant that to the best of their knowledge and belief they have taken every possible precaution to ensure that their products are free from cross contact. All visitors must be aware of their own health situation and take precautions. As not all products are certified free from the top allergens, it is up to each individual to read labels and check with vendors before consuming or using any products at GFG.
Why Gluten Free Garage?
When our older daughter, Lily, was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 3, we realized that eating gluten free would be her medicine for the rest of her life. So we turned our house into a gluten-free oasis. We wanted it to be a safe place for her to eat. A place where she could eat whatever she wanted, where we wouldn’t have to say “you can’t have that.” A place where she could eat delicious food. We didn’t want to have to settle for food that didn’t taste good.
Food is nourishment, pleasure, comfort, celebration, a way that people come together. So, for the past 14 years I’ve been on a quest for the most delicious gluten-free food. Along the way I’ve discovered countless gluten-free gems—prepared foods, packaged products, fresh baked goods, dedicated bakeries, restaurants and more. I’ve also discovered that it takes a village to raise a gluten-free child, and I’m so grateful for our friends and family and for the incredible gluten-free community, both local and online.
Just 14 years ago, gluten-free products in supermarkets were slim pickings—we shopped for most of our gluten-free products at health food stores or at the Specialty Food Shop at SickKids Hospital. Most people didn’t know what gluten was and had never encountered someone with celiac disease, certainly not someone at such a young age. Only one or two restaurants were willing (nevermind able) to accommodate a safe gluten-free dining experience. And a gluten-free bagel or croissant? In your dreams.
Gluten free has come a long way, baby!
The National Post included gluten free on its list of the most notable food trends of the past decade: “No longer a niche market filling a need for the one percent of the world’s population with celiac disease, the range and availability of gluten-free products has boomed over the past decade. In 2010, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, sales totalled $2.5 billion—a number that Statista estimates will soar to $10 billion by 2020 (an increase of 300 percent). In Canada, seven million people—more than 20 percent of the population—avoid gluten as a lifestyle choice alone.” (December 7, 2019).
Today Lily, aka the Gluten Free Garage muse, is a healthy and happy 17 year old. She has so many incredible gluten-free options available to her. She navigates her gluten-free life with much more ease and confidence than I could have imagined when she was diagnosed, partly due to increased awareness about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. (Thank you Celiac Canada!)
At Gluten Free Garage, I get to bring all of our favourite food and people together under one roof! Whether you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance or other health issues that benefit from a gluten-free diet, or whether you eat gluten free simply because it makes you feel better—Gluten Free Garage is where you want to be. This celiac-friendly, family-friendly event is carefully vetted and curated so that all the food is 100% gluten free and 100% freaking delicious. It’s a one-stop shopping day that brings the gluten-free community together to chow down and connect. The look on someone’s face as they devour a dumpling or donut or beer for the first time since going gluten free is absolutely priceless.
But, to be clear, while everything at GFG is gluten free, you don’t have to be! Bring your appetite and wear loose clothing.
— RonniLyn Pustil, Lily’s mom and Gluten Free Garage founder
Pictures of Lily
♥︎ The Gluten Free Garage muse grows up ♥︎