As far as road trips go, this one was pretty easy. A straight five hours north, lead us into a suburb of Chicago at the perfect time. We parked, walked into the convention hall and were amazing to see thousands (yes, they expected 7500+ over the two-day expo) of people also craving gluten-free and allergy-friendly foods.
This event began in 2007, conceived out of the necessity for people with allergies to wheat, nuts, dairy and other ingredients. Convention centers in seven states hold this huge Expo annually, and it’s getting bigger. I talked to the organizer, a man called Tom, who told me his story and how this has grown.
After countless emails, Elizabeth, one of the organizers, greeted us (Mark came too) and set us up as GREETERS to the guests. Perfect !!! With the excellent help of another volunteer, Kathy, a physical therapist, we exchanged tickets for a SWAG bag. We made people smile, laugh and feel welcome as they entered the jam-packed convention hall.
What I learned is I’m not alone: other people in the US have food sensitivities. There were classes offered, but I was the greeter for my 4-hour shift, so I didn’t go. There were bloggers, new and established vendors and myriad of product samples.
Enjoy Life – Title Sponsor:
Enjoy Life Foods is the leading brand in the growing Free-From category, featuring a robust portfolio of Certified Gluten-Free and Non-GMO Project Verified products that are free-from 14 allergens – wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, casein, soy, egg, sesame, sulfites, Lupin, mustard, fish, shellfish, and crustaceans. Founded with the goal to create great-tasting, allergy-friendly foods, the Enjoy Life line includes cookies, snack bars, chocolate bars, baking chocolate, baking mixes, seed and fruit mixes, protein bites and lentil chips, all available in natural and conventional grocers and mass retailers throughout the United States and Canada.
I share because I care.