Photos courtesy of Kevin E. McPherson
AroundMainLine.com and the Whole Foods Market at Devon are pairing up to present to the Main Line a sensational Saturday event: A Gluten-Free Food Extravaganza! Saturday, March 21st from 1-4 p.m., local celiacs will have the opportunity to sample some of Whole Foods’ top selling gluten-free product lines. In addition, businesses from the tri-state region, who supply Devon’s Whole Foods Market with their growing and diverse gluten-free line of fresh and frozen foods, will be present to answer questions and meet one-on-one with their customers. Two of the most popular local companies who will be offering samples are Spice of Life Bakery from Lancaster (www.spiceoflifelancaster.com) and Cookies for Me! (www.cookiesforme.com) from Doylestown.
Courtney Mendillo, Devon’s bakery team leader, has seen a booming interest in the store’s gluten-free items with their Main Line clientele. Mendillo spearheads the selection of items brought in from Whole Foods’ corporate gluten-free bake house–which offers dozen of delicious frozen gluten-free items, from pizzas to bagels, pie crusts and more. Mendillo also regularly evaluates new products that Main Line and Philadelphia-area based businesses are producing to keep Whole Foods’ varied selection for celiacs growing. “The exciting thing I like about our variety with local vendors, like Spice of Life and Cookies for Me!, is that we are able to showcase the great, gluten-free companies from the Philadelphia region that bring fresh items to us. I can’t tell you how many requests we have had for fresh gluten-free bread. And, when we found the company Spice of Life from Lancaster, those customers were so pleased,” said Mendillo. Now, Spice of Life’s fresh rolls and breads have developed a strong following and are usually scooped up within twenty-four hours of their weekly Thursday afternoon drop-off!
This Saturday’s gluten-free extravaganza is the first time the Main Line’s staple Whole Foods Market location is dedicating an entire store event to focus on their gluten-free product lines. From food to vitamins and hair and skin products, the three hours are packed with opportunities for parents and customers to try a varied product line and enjoy a sensational Saturday afternoon. Besides the free food giveaways, there will be dozens of in-store samples, a sundae station, hoagie stand, chicken cheeseburger station, a raffle, fun giveaways, and more—all gluten-free! Charlene Nolan, the Whole Foods Market at Devon’s director of community events, who has coordinated the event with AroundMainLine.com, says she was inspired by a successful back-to-school store party they held late last summer. “The interesting thing that we learned from our back-to-school event was the enthusiastic response we saw from the parents! They were absolutely flocking to the [few] gluten-free tables we had set up. When we saw there was such a high level of interest in that niche, we decided it was due time to celebrate what we have to offer our celiac customers and parents shopping for their children who have gluten-free diets. This Whole Foods has a fantastic gluten-free product line that we are very proud of and that offers something for everyone to enjoy. Through my teams’ hard work, I hope Saturday’s gluten-free extravaganza provides a meaningful service to anyone who has to follow a gluten-free way of living,” said Nolan.
What: AroundMainLine.com’s Gluten-Free Food Extravaganza
When: Saturday, March 21st 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Where: Whole Foods Market @ Devon, 821 Lancaster Avenue
In-Store Samples and More Including: Sundae Station, Hoagie Stand, Chicken Cheeseburger Station, Grilled Cheese Hut, Featuring Whole Foods’ 365 GFree Products, Raffles-Fun-Giveaways, GF Vitamins and Supplements And Gluten-Free Skin and Hair Care Products
Featured Local Gluten-Free Vendors
Cookies for Me!
These sparkling, fun-shaped cookies are good looking and gluten-free. The Doylestown company’s line has exploded with a pending contract with QVC and orders pouring in. Whole Foods Devon carries Cookies for Me!’s delicious dairy-free lemon iced sugar cookies among other varieties.
Spice of Life Baked Goods
Lancaster-based bakery Spice of Life launched in September 2008. And, in February, CEO and founder Kristen Ippolito secured shelf space at the Devon Whole Foods Market for her fresh baked rolls and gluten-free bread, delivered every Thursday to the bakery section. Ippolito’s fresh goods are packed with whole grains, organic ingredients and so great-tasting, its hard to know to miss the gluten! Spice of Life’s gluten-free raisin bread has become a Devon Whole Foods customer favorite.
The Whole Foods Market at Devon is located at 821 West Lancaster Avenue in Wayne, PA.