I live just north of Toronto, so going into the city to find gluten free stuff is an option, but not something that I want to worry about every week. When I first started looking for gluten free items for my son, I realized that there was a one-stop shop not 5 minutes from my house. I am not personal friends with the owners and they are not even aware that I am writing this personal post. The purpose is not to provide a review of the store, but to begin providing some resources for people in my area who are looking for gluten free products.
Nut'n Gluten is a small but fully stocked shop located in Vaughan that carries a wide range of gluten free products. They are family owned, and after asking the clerk why his family decided to open up such a specialty shop, he told me that one of the owners is celiac, so it's personal to them. All the staff is friendly and knowledgeable and I didn't feel uncomfortable asking them questions when I was just starting to figure this out. I loved that I didn't have to worry about what I was picking up off the shelf because it was all gluten free! Another thing that I found very comforting was the range of products free from other allergens as well, such as dairy and nuts. The dairy was important to me personally as my son reacts badly to it, and the nut-free requirement was essential for any product that would be going to daycare with my son.
Some grocery/ shelf stable product offerings:
-cereals, cereal bars, granola, muffins
-mixes: pizza dough, waffle and pancake, cookies, brownies, etc.
-chips and cookies
-pastas and noodles, canned soups and boxed meals
-sauces and condiments
All of this is offered in a variety of brands, so I wasn't limited to the one or two choice usually found in a regular grocery store.
Their freezer section contains cupcakes and cakes, waffles, muffins, frozen meals, meats, hamburgers, fish, popsicles and ice cream, and GF bread.
The store also gets fresh bread delivered daily, including GF baguettes, and makes in-house breadcrumbs that I use for everything. I noticed the last time that I was there that they also had gift baskets.
Their prices are comparable to the local grocery store that I also shop at. Some products a bit more expensive, some a bit less, but the selection is much better. And that's saying something, because my local grocery store has a pretty good selection. I might cover it in a future post. The store doesn't sell produce or fresh meat, so I can't do all of my shopping in one place, but I'm ok with that. The kicker for me is simply the convenience. Everything is in one spot, I don't have to search for a specialty aisle, or read every label I see to know that what I'm buying is gluten free. The peace of mind alone is worth a few extra cents in my book.
What would I like to see improved? The website is still very sparse. Hopefully over time it will expand to allow for better comparison shopping or for online ordering.