Great Gluten Free Expo Recap–Finally!

Great Gluten Free Expo Birmingham

What an amazing event we had the weekend of Feb. 24th and 25th, 2012.  It was birthed from 3 women who have a heart for the gluten free people of Birmingham.  We all eat gluten free for our own reasons, but we eat gluten free.  It is hard.  But there is help.  Lots of help.  Many great resources available to those who eat gluten free.  Great companies, bloggers, chefs, etc…. and we brought it all together for the Birmingham people in one weekend.  The Great Gluten Free Expo.  Thank you so much to all who participated, sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, attendees, presentors.  It could not have happened without you!  We are so very thankful for EVERY MINUTE of your participation. 

The expo kicked off with a fabulous gala dinner that you can read my recap on here.

Next we had a 5K race with over 200 runners!  This is a great turnout for a first year!  We are so thankful for each and every runner who sacrificed sleep to get up early and come run for Celiac Research!  We hope you had a great time and plan to participate in the future!  Here is our first place runner, Jordan (left) and his dad, also a runner, Jason.  Thanks guys for supporting team Elyie Brooke!

We opened the doors to the expo at 10 am, although we had people there and ready to come in starting at 9 am.  We are so thankful for the amazing turnout we had.  And for it being our first year is even more amazing!  We had between 750-800 attendees come through the expo hall.  We were in awe.  So amazed by all who came out.  We had such a great line up of speakers that everyone seemed to really enjoy.

 Judy Jones with the Autism Society,  Pam King from the Center for Celiac Research Jules Shepard of Jules Gluten FreeGluten Free GiGi, Chef Sean Butler of Food Studio B, Naomi Poe of Better Batter, Jules Shepard of Jules Gluten Free  So thankful to all of you who spoke at the expo!

Exhibitors:

Without you, this expo would not have been possible!  Thank you so much for coming to Birmingham to serve our community of gluten free people!  We thank you for the awesome samples you passed out, but more importantly for the fabulous products you make available for all who eat gluten free!

The Amazing Companies that showed off their products:

Vance Foods,  TH Foods, Inc.,  Bakery on Main,  Happy Family,  Gluten Free Cutie, 

Sweet Oven & Co,  Earth Balance,  Earth Fare,  Triumph Dining,  Living Without, 

Udi’s GF  Foods, Organic Harvest,  Rudi’s Gluten Free,  Camp Weekaneatit, 

BareNaked Noodles, Whole Foods,  Taste of Gluten Free,  Pamela’s Products, 

Bham Integrative Health,  Arbonne,  HomeFree, LLC,  Center for Celiac Research, 

Maria’s Good Food,  Jules Gluten Free,  Gluten Free Gigi,  Bham Kids and Family, 

Cabot Cheese,  Gluten Free Birmingham,  Celiac Support Group,  General Mills, 

Juice Plus,  Bob’s Red Mill,  Go Picnic,  Autism Society of Alabama         

Sniders Pretzels,  Dr. Schar,  Jovial Foods,  Wow Butter,  Better Batter

Katz Gluten Free,  Gastroenterology Associates,  Kinnikinnick, 

Glutino, Glee Gum,  Think Thin,  Springer Mountain Farms, 

Food Should Taste Good, That’s It Bars, Jeff State Community College,  Zija: The Moringa Company, 

Food Studio B,  Enjoy Life

We were supposed to have a photographer to take some great pictures to capture the whole event, but at the last minute were unable to come, so that left yours truely to take pictures and run the event.  I did the best I could with my cheap little Canon.  I hope you get the idea of what a great event this was.  I cannot thank our sponsors and companies who participated enough for sending people and samples and talking with all our attendees. 

Gluten Free Gala Recap Birmingham

Above, the coordinators of the gala, Me, Christine, and Rebecca.  Our fabulous guests, Jules and Pam!  Thank you for making our expo so amazing!  You both were such a great asset to our event!

The long awaited Gala Dinner recap!  I am so sorry this has taken me so long.  I had put my family and so many other things on hold those last few weeks preparing for the expo.  I had to take a couple weeks to catch my breath, do some laundry, and work with my kids!  Thank you for being patient and understanding. 

We had a fabulous time at our 1st ever gluten free gala dinner.  It all came together beautifully.  We had over 130 people in attendance.  The only major speed bump we hit was when Dr. Fasano was unable to attend the gala and expo.  He was put in the hospital in Maryland on the Friday of our Gala dinner.  So thankful that Pam King from the Center for Celiac Research, and Anne Lee from Dr. Schar were able to present Dr. Fasano's speeches without trouble.  It was amazing! 

We started off the night with a glass of wine and 2Blu and the Lucky Stiffs.  They were just the right pace to set the evening.  We enjoyed the band, mingled and made new friends.  We watched iron chef between Sean Butler of Food Studio B and Pam King who was taking the place of Dr. Fasano, using his recipe.  We were able to watch as Food Studio B's team prepared our food. 

Next we were off to the main event.  The dinner and speakers.  We were so blessed to have such great sponsors of our dinner.  Sean Butler of Food Studio B so graciously donated his time, and efforts and put so much into our amazing gluten free meal.    We enjoyed Foccacia bread, fresh herbs, garlic confit, Sausage Stuffed Chicken Breast witha Blood Orange Basil Concasse, Portabello and Green Apple Pasta, salad with White Balsamic, and Neopolitain Cake.  We are so thankful to our other sponsors who also supplied food for our dinner,  Earth Balance, Jules Gluten Free, Bare Naked Noodles and Springer Mountain Farms.  It was such an amazing meal.  It was so fun to get to eat out for so many people and not worry about contamination or getting sick. 

During the dinner, we enjoyed Jules Gluten Free talking about the 1 in 133 project and her place she had in organizing the whole project as well as producing the world's largest gluten free cake.  It was amazing to hear what all went into preparing for this huge project and where we stand with better labeling laws.  We thank Jules for sharing this information with us.  Following Jules we heard from Anne Lee from Dr. Schar.  She gave us some great information on celiac disease and how it affects our bodies.  She did such a great presentation making it very informative and interesting.  Thank you Anne for sharing with us. 

After dinner and speakers, we continued to enjoy our guests as we began to prepare for the Gluten Free Expo the next day.

Stay tuned for the expo details! 

 

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