We love food fairs, here's some reasons to go and a list of upcoming food fairs around the UK
Gluten free food fairs are easily one of the best things you can attend if you are a Coeliac, not only are they usually full of manufacturers that you can talk to face to face about their products but they are also laden with samples of their products to try and also buy, not only does it open up the options of products available but you can also get them so much cheaper as must manufacturers sell their items at 3 for £5 or £1 each, which works out at a bargain for most things.
Today the Coeliac Sanctuary team took a trip to the gluten free food fair happening at York College, not a very well publicised event to say the least, we only came across it a few days ago on Glutafins website but since we weren't to far away and knowing we could pick up some bargains we decided to make an hour long trip over there. From what we found online we only expected a few stalls, the main ones we could find that were attending were Udi's, Genius, Glutafin, Voakes, Greens Beer, Juvela and Newburn Bakehouse and really thats all we expected to find there but when we walked in we were surprised to find it was much bigger than than.
The only free from fair we have been to before is the big one which happens in Liverpool and London which is obviously a much larger scale to this one, but there is still a large amount of people there. We did have to pay £2 each to go in, but we don't mind paying when there are so many products on offer that we probably won't get from anywhere else.
The fair was over 2 floors and was very crowded, lots of Coeliacs and gluten intolerants had appeared to have flocked from all around to attend, as well the the manufacturers mentioned above there was also Heck, DS, Feel Free, Eskal, Orgran, The Wheat Free Bakery, Nairns, Tesco Free From, plus small lesser known brands such as Rio's, The Gluten Free Kitchen and Smart Kids. These made up about 3/4 of the stands, I can't remember the others there was so many to look round offering all kinds of products from home made cakes and curry sauces to gluten free chopping boards, fresh bakery items and frozen products.
Eskal, The Wheat Free Bakery, Voakes, Orgran and Juvela products from the York Gluten Free Fair costing just over £20
It is difficult to navigate around the crowds, especially the more popular brands, there were just people flocking all round discussing products, sampling and grabbing bargains. We did eventualy negotiate our way round, we did skip some stalls which were just too busy, but did grab plenty of bargains including packet mixes and biscuits from Orgran who were selling products at 3 for £5 and some other products at 50p each. Eskal were selling wafers, biscuits, ice cream tubs and other sweet stuff also at 3 for £5, The Wheat Free Bakery (easily one of the most popular stalls there, and from the past I already know why, their products are fabulous) had a large crowd but we fought our way through and purchased a tiger loaf, doughnuts, millionaires shortcake and muffins for just over £5, we then made our way to Voakes to get an amazing steak pie and sausage roll for £4.50.
Fighting our way upstairs we were given a free Juvela loaf and told about getting Juvela on prescription and purchased a gluten free bakewell tart from The Gluten Free Kitchen, nosying at Heck they certainly appeared to have been cleaned out of sausages in the hour they were there so we bypassed there and had a look at the Tesco's free from stall, and we were happy to see a "new" sign infront of two celebration cakes, one plain sponge and one chocolate, which I am pretty sure said would be coming into stores soon.
After spending just over £20 we left carrying a large cardboard box filled with goodies, we did notice on the way out that the college cafe was selling all gluten free food for the day including bacon and sausage sandwiches, jacket potatoes and other goodies.
It is fair to say these events are always popular and its easy to see why, in Liverpool last year (talked about in the second half of this blog post
we bought £50 of products, at home we tallied up how much it would cost if bought from the high street (which would involve various internet shops and supermarkets) and the total would have been 3 times the price. There is always so much to try and buy at excellent prices, it's easy to see why some stalls limit the amount of products you can buy as I would imagine many people try and stock up with the prices being so reasonable.
We have compiled a list of events we know that are happening this year, so hopefully there is one or two near you where you can go and stock up, more may be announced that we don't know about yet, but these are the ones we currently know of.
16th - 17th May - Gluten Free Festival at Camden Market, Camden Lock Market
16th May - Liverpool Gluten Free Food Fair, The Old Police Station
6th June -South Wiltshire Food Fayre 2015, South Counties Aution Rooms
11th June - Croydon Coeliac Day, Croydon
13th June - Lincolnshire Food Fayre 2015, Wellingore Memorial Hall
20th June - Wetherby Coeliac UK Gluten Free Food Fayre 2015, Wetherby Racecourse
3rd - 5th July - The Allergy and Free From Show London, Olympia Grand
18th July - Gloucester Food Fair, The Pavillion
22nd July - Gluten Free Food Fair, Skipton
5th September - Beds and Mid Herts Food Fayre, Weatherley Centre
12th September - Glasgow Food Fayre 2015, Renfield Centre
19th September - Hereford Free From Food Fair, Halo Leisure Centre
26th September - Birmingham Food Fayre 2015, Harvestfields Centre
3rd October - Wessex Gluten Free Food Fair, Guildhall Winchester
10th October - Carlisle Food Fair, Carlisle Racecourse
17th October - Fenland and District Gluten Free Food Fair, Peterborough Regional College
7th -8th November - The Allergy and Free From Show Liverpool, Exhibition Centre
21st November - Bath Food Fair, Bath Racecourse
If you know of any more events we don't please do Contact Us and let us know.