Part 2 of My Trip to Natural Foods Expo West
Now, I didn’t get to visit everyone that I wanted to visit. But I got to a lot of them. Here is my take. Some of the big boys were hard to talk to. At one of the large vendors, I had one guy that wasn’t even looking at me as we talked. But most of the vendors were great. I want to mention some of them that were really helpful/friendly/excited. Now, if I don’t mention your favorite, please don’t take that to mean they weren’t helpful/friendly/excited. I missed some because my brain was being overloaded. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized there were some that I specifically wanted to look for, but I forgot. Next year, I have a plan to make sure I get to them all. So this is just a few of the ones that I thought were exceptional and deserve a shout out.
Against the Grain Gourmet – Tom was at the booth by himself when I went there. He was very friendly and approachable. And he had fabulous bread to taste. It was the first gluten-free baguette that I have tried that tastes like regular baguette. The one major problem for me is that they are located in the NE. And they don’t ship west of the Rockies, yet. I’m just so bummed that I can’t get it on the West coast. Hopefully soon. www.againstthegraingourmet.com
Bob’s Red Mill – Huge booth, but the people were so friendly, you would think it was tiny. Very helpful. I’m slightly partial to them because they are located in my hometown. Plus, you have to love someone who gives his company to his employees when he retires. www.bobsredmill.com
Chobani – I was pleasantly surprised that a yogurt company would take the time to get the GF designator. That really shows forward thinking, imho. The president/CEO was there and talking to people. He really wanted to know what people thought of his product. He also made sure I had his card before I left. Plus, the pineapple yogurt I had was great. www.chobani.com
JR Watkins Naturals – It’s mostly body products. I believe they also have some spices and stuff. But they do have lip balm, including tinted lip balm. It’s gluten free. I have always had severe issues with lip balm/lipstick. I used this stuff, and it was great. Didn’t bother me at all. In fact, it was nice to use and had great colors for the tints. Plus, the people we talked to were very helpful and accommodating. www.jrwatkins.com
Pukka Tea -Their tea is not made with barley malt. That was a tricky one for me when I first had to drop the gluten. They have very imaginative flavors, such as Revitalise (cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger), Three Berry (elderberry, blueberry, and blackberry), and Love (rose, chamomile, and lavender). They were very sweet and helpful. www.pukkaherbs.com
Real Foods USA – I was actually talking to people in a booth across from theirs. David heard my spiel from across the aisle, grabbed one of his people, and had them hand me his card. He said he loved the idea of the website. I thought that was pretty cool. www.realfoodsinc.com
Alpsnack - Talked with Gertrude, who owns it. She sells healthy snack bars made from nuts and fruits. It’s her mother’s recipe that she made during WWII when there was food rationing so her children could have a treat. Gertrude was so sweet. The bars tasted really good. And what a great story. www.alpsnackinc.com
The Organimals – I don’t think you are going to find it anywhere, but if you do, give it a try. It’s organic soda made with agave syrup instead of sugar/high fructose corn syrup. They were new and looking for distribution. I hope they get it. www.theorganimals.com
Good Health Natural Products – Candace is wonderful. She is so sweet and easy to talk to. She really likes to know her customers and give them what they want. Her spa products are “South of France” brand. Everything is gluten free and smells wonderful. The food side of the company has “Glories” sweet potato chips. Yummy! And gluten free. In fact, Candace has gotten so many inquiries about gluten in her products that she is getting her master’s in nutrition. www.goodhealthnaturalproducts.com
Orgran – Josef was there talking with people. He is very forward thinking when it comes to social media. He seems to really like the idea of the website and is very encouraging. As of right now, I can’t say anything about how the products taste because I have yet to find them in my area. www.orgran.com
So there you have it: The “stand outs.” I do want to give one more shout out to Namaste Foods. (www.namastefoods.com) I didn’t see them at the expo, but I have been talking with them, and Kris has been very helpful. Plus everything I have tried so far tastes great.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend! Until my next post, here’s to… Living better, easily!™