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 daughter Lily was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 3, we quickly realized that gluten-free food 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.” At the same time, we didn’t want to have to settle for food that didn’t taste good.
Food is also nourishment, pleasure, comfort, a way that people come together. So, for the past 14 years I’ve been on a quest for the best gluten-free food that is high quality, delicious and on the healthier side. 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 we’re now a part of. To my GF sisters and The Eating Club, thank you for all of your support, advice, recipes and friendship. You know who you are!
A decade ago, gluten-free products in supermarkets were slim pickings—we mostly shopped in health food stores or at the Specialty Food Shop at SickKids Hospital. The majority of people didn’t know what gluten is and had never encountered someone with celiac disease (certainly not someone Lily’s age). Only one or two restaurants were willing and 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).
And today Lily, aka the Gluten Free Garage muse, is a healthy and happy 17-year-old teenager! She has so many yummy and safe gluten-free options available to her and the ability to navigate her gluten-free life with much more ease than I could have imagined when she was diagnosed, thanks to increased awareness about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
At Gluten Free Garage I get to bring all of our favourite food and people together under one roof! Gluten Free Garage is THE go-to festival in Toronto for anyone who lives a gluten-free lifestyle— 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. This celiac-friendly, family-friendly event is carefully vetted and curated so that all the food is 100% gluten free and 100% delicious. It’s a one-stop shopping day that brings the gluten-free community together to share in the best gluten-free finds and connect with each other—over food, of course! 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! Just 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 ♥︎