Recently I've joined several Face Book groups dealing with Celiac, Raising Kids with Celiac, Being Gluten Free in New York, Being Gluten Free in Long Island..... You get the picture.
At first, the leaders, or "Administrators" of these groups, were very wary about me joining, thinking all I wanted to do was advertise my business. My daughter, and a friend of ours, pointed out that the wording I was using in my attempt to offer advice or aid, often sounded as though I was soliciting for Allie's GF Goodies. So now I've taken a different approach, which hopefully lends aid and support, without selling the business too much. My theory is that eventually, people who are serious about allergen control and food safety, along with amazing products, will naturally be drawn to Allie's GF Goodies. In "Field of Dreams" Kevin Costner's mantra was "If you build it they will come". Well at Allie's we do something similar; If you do it correctly consistently, and it tastes good, they will come.
Recently I followed a thread on Face Book on a Nut Free Parents Group. The mom posted the most delicious looking cupcakes with a strawberry lemon buttercream. All of the moms were loving this and asked for the recipe. One of the moms needed to have the recipe altered to accommodate more allergens. The original recipe calls for using Crisco in the buttercream. Thats where I piped in, as that is my expertise. I did not say who I am or what I do, all I did was offer an alternative ingredient, Soy Free and Pea Protein Free Earth's Balance, to accommodate the extra allergen. After a few exchanges back and forth it became clear that the product that I am able to get in bulk form is not readily available in retail sizes. I told her that I would have my inventory manager look into it, and I did. Yesterday we researched it, and we too could not find a retail size. For some reason it does not seem to be available in either sticks or tubs. We even went so far as to re-check our packaging and allergen statements to make sure we weren't making false claims. I contacted the mother via private messaging last night to tell her what our investigating had come up with. Today, we will be calling the manufacturer to double check that we aren't missing anything, and to see if perhaps the retail size is available SOMEWHERE.
I don't know this mother. She lives thousands of miles away. She may or may not ever become a customer. If she does it will be through our website or Amazon, or if we ever make it to stores in Iowa. But she's the mother of children with severe allergies, and I spend my days coming up with recipes and baking for children and adults with severe allergies. The entire premise behind Allie's GF Goodies is #nochildleftout. If I can figure out a way to help you to help yourself or your child live a happy, healthy, allergy safe life and not feel like they are missing out on anything, then I will have achieved what I set out to do. That's why I go on all of the Face Book sights. Not to recruit customers, but rather, to clear up misconceptions, to help or lend support if I can, and to offer suggestions when warranted. Allergies are unfortunately a big part of life now, but we shouldn't let them control quality of life.