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Lee Hammo

Gluten Free Cafe

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Free From Cafe  

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  1. 1. So my question is, if I opened a free from cafe with a crowd funder for help with the initial outlay do you think the support is there to raise enough to get a free from cafe up and running?


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  • Poll closed on 01/18/2020 at 12:00 AM

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My wife has celiac disease and these days I have noticed that most cafes are offering a vegan menu but still very wishy washy on actual food related diseases. With cross contamination being one of the issues.

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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You may be able to raise the money to start it, but the issue would be could you stay in business? All restaurants have a difficult time staying in business, and if you eliminate 80% of the population and focus on 10 to 20% of the population it might be even tougher. I think the Café would have to have food that would cross over and be good enough for those who are not gluten-free, or allergy free.


Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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It is extremely hard to run a Dedicated Gluten Free business in the food industry. If you do decide to do it you need to have your focus elsewhere to get customers. I started doing gluten free baked goods at farmers markets and more then 3/4 of everyone scuffed at it and said "I like my gluten" etc. literally making fun of the diet and not even trying the baked good samples. After rebranding as "Paleo" a few years ago people that generally try a sample will buy some. If someone says they are gluten free or diabetic...I get a good smile and admit I am a celiac  and can not have carbs so all my food is gluten free and keto. I am getting by now with most my sells at farmers markets, and online orders with curbside delivery and it really only peaks March-October then I am lucky to get even a few orders in the off season.

Crowd Funding...it is a joke, I tried it, I also tried various other sources to raise the money and not even banks would give money for it without significant injection funds. My plan was to launch a Food Truck so that I could go where I could sell since having a B&M would require you to get land in a spot where your food would sell.  I almost secured a investor for my injection fund with a local car dealership by offering discounts on bookings/foods and advertisement on said food truck. But they backed out when it came time to give the money. My local health inspector also changed some rules so you can not operator a food truck without a B&M commissary kitchen....and that would also have to gluten, corn, and dairy free for me to work in lol so I would need to build my own commercial kitchen...then he said you had to be able to house your truck inside.

With current market the best route seems to be set up and build out a commercial kitchen for your business (I am looking at a metal building and building it on cheap land right outside of the city) Then set up with the local food delivery people like Door Dash etc (we have our own here) so people can find and order and you just have a drive pick it up and do not need to worry about a "front of house" and just the kitchen.

I might suggest you test your local market....get a vendor tent at local festivals and farmers markets. Get some NSF equipment and run cords and folding tables for your "kitchen" and get good cold storage, and hot holding like warmers. Test your menu, gain a following,  see what sales. Heck you might even net a investor or gain enough to launch this way.

 


Diagnosed Issues
Celiac (Gluten Ataxia, and Villi Damage dia. 2014, Villi mostly healed on gluten-free diet 2017 confirmed by scope)
Ulcerative Colitis (Dia, 2017), ADHD, Bipolar, Asperger Syndrome (form of autism)
Allergies Corn, Whey
Sensitivities/Intolerances
Peanuts (resolved 2019), Cellulose Gel, Lactose, Soy, Yeast
Olives (Seems to have resolved or gone mostly away as of Jan, 2017), Sesame (Gone away as of June 2017, still slight Nausea)
Enzyme issues with digesting some foods I have to take Pancreatic Enzymes Since mine does not work right, additional food prep steps also
Low Tolerance for sugars and carbs (Glucose spikes and UC Flares)
Occupation Gluten Free Bakery, Paleo Based Chef/Food Catering

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I live in a town with a dedicated gluten free restaurant and I can't tell you how nice it is to go out to eat and not have to ask any questions.  Everything is gluten free.  My kids don't have to be gluten free and they all love the food.  It's my 16 year olds favorite restaurant.

They've been open for a number of years, since before I was diagnosed in 2014 and are true only dedicated gluten free restaurant where I live.

I'm not saying it would be easy, from what I hear the restaurant business is hard, but I love that I have this option!


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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We plan our vacations around dedicated gluten-free restaurants!  


Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test (DGP IgA only) and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Repeat endoscopy/Biopsies: Healed

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20 hours ago, cyclinglady said:

We plan our vacations around dedicated gluten-free restaurants!  

Yes!  We do this too!  We will go out of our way to drive to a dedicated establishment and then once we're there I'm like a kid in a candy store!


January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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For those of you planning travel to (or who live in) AZ Jewels Cafe in Phoenix is 100% gluten-free facility. They've been in business for years and are busy every time we go. The food is also legit delicious IMO (and I don't have Celiacs, my husband does). If you get there early definitely get a fresh baked cinnamon roll, they usually sell out around 10am.

 http://jewelsgfcafemenu.com/

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I just posted about a restaurant I know about and love....they have been operating for a LONG time....two locations, and they seem very successful.  They seem to have plenty of loyal customers.  And they have survived 10 months of Covid shutdowns, too.  It's not a tiny café....they bake all their own goods such as bread, cupcakes, cookies, pies....and then they have a little sit-down café where you can order a good number of things....sandwiches, soups, teas, coffees like cappuccino and the like.  Check them out....look for Pushkins cafe in Roseville CA, and also at pushkinsbakery.com to get ideas.


CAROLE

-------------

Enterolab 1/2006

IgA & tTg Positive

DQ2-0201 (celiac) and DQ1-0604 (gluten)

Casein IgA positive

Mom has 2 celiac genes

Both kids have a celiac gene.

Lots of celiac disease in my family, both sides.

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I do think now would be good timing for anyone who ever dreamed of opening a café or restaurant. Many restaurants have gone under due to the pandemic, and this creates opportunity for those interested to get great deals on leases, and buying existing businesses that might be for sale or have gone out of business. With the vaccine rollout and pent up demand for eating out, I can't think of a better time to launch something (target 2nd or 3rd Qtr opening).


Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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