Wholly Tomato

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Wholly Tomato is a sandwich shop in Denver, Co. I have eaten there a total of 3 times. The first two times the bread was really, really dry (irish soda bread), they poured the watery condiments on the bread (for moisture, i think) and they were overall pretty tasteless. It also took over 15 minutes to make two sandwiches (all 3 times) and we were the only ones in the place. I ate there because I wanted to support a local business that offered gluten-free sandwiches and kept hoping it would get better over time. The third time, I got sick. My husband had a sandwich too, which was not gluten-free but made in the same area. I called when I got home and explained what happened. They claimed there was no way I could have gotten sick. They never apologized and took no responsibility. I guess they just don't want to stay in business. Isn't frusrating when you pay a lot of money ($7 a sandwich) for something you really want (and miss) and then get let down and sick?!!

I just need someone to listen who would understand!


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Wholly Tomato is a sandwich shop in Denver, Co. I have eaten there a total of 3 times. The first two times the bread was really, really dry (irish soda bread), they poured the watery condiments on the bread (for moisture, i think) and they were overall pretty tasteless. It also took over 15 minutes to make two sandwiches (all 3 times) and we were the only ones in the place. I ate there because I wanted to support a local business that offered gluten-free sandwiches and kept hoping it would get better over time. The third time, I got sick. My husband had a sandwich too, which was not gluten-free but made in the same area. I called when I got home and explained what happened. They claimed there was no way I could have gotten sick. They never apologized and took no responsibility. I guess they just don't want to stay in business. Isn't frusrating when you pay a lot of money ($7 a sandwich) for something you really want (and miss) and then get let down and sick?!!

I just need someone to listen who would understand!



I really wonder about people in the service industry who forget about service. It is nice to support the local businesses, but when they don't show any appreciation to you, the customer, their reason for being in business, then you don't have to frequent their establishment. And for $7 (did that include drink?) you could buy a loaf of gluten-free bread, freeze part of it, and some sandwich makings of your own. And you probably woudn't have the cross contamination issue which is most likely what happened to you. Sorry you had a bad experience.

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I must say that I find this story about Wholly tomato hard to believe. I live downtown and eat there at least once a week and only had dry bread once. Guess what? I asked them if they wouldn't mind remaking the sandwich with fresh bread and they did it no problem. And yes, this woman is right, it does take awhile, but they told me it is because they wipe everything down before they make anything gluten free to prevent cross-contamination. Hey if that takes 15 minutes then I am willing to wait to not be sick. I'm not saying she didn't get sick, I don't know that, I mean, they serve regular bread right along side the gluten free so I guess that given enough time a mistake is going to happen. But I have become friendly with several people who work there and what she is alleging about them not caring when she called to complain just doesn't make sense.

I’m not sure why she went back three times if the food was as bad she says it is. I must say that I found her posting another story about Wholly Tomato on a vegan website with different facts, so I am not sure which story to believe. http://www.vegguide.org/vendor/reviews.html?vendor_id=781,

My advice to you is to go. It is a great place and they have great food, just make sure to tell them that you are gluten intolerant and they will go the extra mile to take care of you, and yes, it will take a few extra minutes, but it is worth it. And if something isn’t as good as you would expect, for gosh sakes “TELL THEM” I’m sure they will be happy to fix it. Why would you eat terrible food and not say anything?


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I think it's wonderful that Wholly Tomato exists. Any resturant that helps with the gluten-free diet is to be appreciated! But like anything else, not every experience is going to be enjoyed by everyone. That's why there are lots of different kinds of resturants. As the gluten free market expands, I think it would be unrealistic to expect to like the food at every resturant. It's just that with gluten-free, there are so few choices, so when one doesn't suit, it's all the more disappointing.

I wonder, since you live in Denver, have you tried Deby's Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe? It is in E. Denver on Trenton and Illif, two blocks east of the intersection of Evans and Quebec. 2369 S. Trenton Way, Unit M. The whole restaurant is gluten free, so no contamination conerns. There is a full breakfast and lunch menu, with pizza too. Plus you can get all kinds of bakery items, plus frozen soup and frozen entrees, take and bake pizzas, fresh ground sausage (lots of varieties), frozen meatballs, plus boxed mixes.

Yes, I am connected to the establishment, so I hope no one minds my posting this. But I knew from your mad face post that you had had a bad experience and I wanted to help.

Hope to see you soon,

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Kaytee -First of all, I did call to complain and was told there is no way I could have gotten sick there. I agree that the fact they don't care, doesn't make sense, good business sense. I have been gluten-free for 5 years and know when I get sick. I know several people in the restaurant business in Denver and all agree the sandwiches are tasteless and the bread is really dry. I did tell the female owner the sandwich wasn't that great and they said gluten-free bread is dry and they do the best they can. I told you before why I ate there. I wanted to see them succeed but they never got any better. I think 15 minutes is too long to make a sandwich, that is MY opinion. My story on the vegan website is exactly the same. The restaurant's quality is poor and I will not go back there. You actually put on the website "I don't know maybe she is new to gluten free bread because I have only had a few that were not somewhat dry." (does this give the restaurant your permission to serve dry bread??) First of all, unlike you, I have had pretty good gluten-free sandwich bread and cookies from Outside the Breadbox that are TO DIE FOR. Since your handing out so much advice, here is some for you. Why don't you stop taking things other people post that has nothing to do with you, so personally?


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I just posted because the tone of your post was very nasty and I just didn't believe it. And I still think that it is bizzarre that you would eat food you didn't like and not say anything, not once, not twice, but three times??? Evcept for telling them you got sick you remained silent. That just doesn't make sense. I'm not taking your post personally but I like the place and I want them to do well and I know several people who feel the same. I just think it is in poor taste to not say anything to the restaurant about the quality of the food and choose instead to go online and trash them. The fact that you posted nasty things on a site that wasn't even a gluten-free site tells me that you are just angry and are looking to hurt them. Your motivation didn't seem to come from a person who had a bad experience and wanted to let others know about it, as much as it was an attack in an attempt to undermine thier business.

But that is really a side issue. I was in Wholly Tomato yesturday and asked AJ the assistant manager if she knew that you were out there trashing her restaurant. She told me that she remembered you well because it was one of only a handful of times that someone had gotten sick eating there. She said that she was very appologetic on the phone but that you were very angry. She thought you were just calling to vent because she said she offered to buy your meal the next time you came in and that you refused becasue you were never comming back.

Anyway, I just didn't feel like letting you get away with everything you said about them. Like suggesting that they "water down" their condiments to make the bread moist, is just silly.

In the end you post a reply to my post plugging another restaurant. So from my point of view I see a person who is trying to undermine a business and direct business to a compeditor.

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My name is Stephen Anson and I am the owner of Wholly Tomato. First let me apologize if you had an unpleasant experience at my restaurant. We decided to offer gluten free selections because our goal was total approach to health. Many people are now eating gluten-free for reasons other than allergies so we wanted to be able to accommodate them. It was also nice to be able to offer lunch fare to people who could not normally eat sandwiches and wraps. The response has been very positive.

There was a learning curve, however, and we have refined many things along the way. Most of the refinements came because of suggestions from customers, and for that we are very appreciative.

That being said, we are human and we are bound to make mistakes. The fact that you had three bad meals here is unacceptable in my opinion. But if I am not told about it, I cannot fix the problem or improve.

I have spoken with my assistant manager and she explained the situation when you called in. If she treated you the way that you explain in your post, then she wouldn’t work here anymore. That type of response is inappropriate, and for obvious reasons, suicide for any business.

I go out of my way to urge anyone who has compliments or complaints to share them with me so that I can improve the quality of the restaurant. Because of those comments, we have been able to make our food safer and better than when we first opened. We now offer a gluten free tortilla made of garbanzo beans, which now outsells the gluten-free bread three to one.

In short, I urge anyone who has a problem with anything in our restaurant to tell me. If a problem exists, I can only fix it if we are alerted to it. Posting a grievance only in an online forum does not allow us an opportunity to grow and improve and does not allow you the opportunity to get the great food that you paid for. And yes, our food is great. We have won awards at the Taste of Colorado, from the Rocky Mountain News and from 5280 magazine.

I would like to renew my assistant manager’s offer to you to provide you with a meal free of charge next time you are in our restaurant. We would love the opportunity to show you that we can provide you a tasty gluten free sandwich.


Stephen Anson

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Kaytee, you need to a grip. By the way, I was not angry when I called. That doesn't make any sense. Kaytee, you need to stop posting slander on this website. You don't know me nor does anyone at Wholly Tomato. I am not "getting away with" anything. I had a bad experience and the reason I posted was to let people know the restaurant didn't care when I called to complain.

Stephen, thanks so much for your response. I was upset due to your manager's response that there was no way I could have gotten sick from your restaurant. That was why I posted my message. I simply wanted everyone to know I got sick and your restaurant could have cared less - at the time. I was not offered a refund either. I do not appreciate people posting that your employee's claim I was rude or angry on the phone. I simply was not nor would I ever be. Do not post false information about me on this or any other website. I am done posting about it and wanted to let you know why I did and I appreciate your offer. I will not be going back to your restaurant as I don't want to risk it.



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Just wanted to throw in my 2 gluten-free Cents.

I ate at Wholly Tomato this past weekend. I found them on line and I couldn't resist the call of 'organic gluten-free fast food.'

Man, was I pleased with this find.

I don't make it to Denver much. But I'll be back just to eat here again.

In fact I think I'll preorder a 1/2 doz. of those Garbanzo bean tortilla's to-go. :) So good!

I appreciate Stephen's response above too. Every effort made, from the recipes to the presentation was sincere.

The homemade rootbeer and peach lemonade were very tasty.

I drooled :P over my gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie.

My wrap was fantastic and my wife thought the Irish soda bread was the best gluten-free bread she'd ever had.

I especially like the educational signs on the walls.

I haven't had any food or beverages with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for the last year (because I figured the Corn was genetically modified and Immune System supression was likely with all that sugar). My family thought I was going overboard but then they read the HFCS sign on the wall.

While none of my reasons were up there, I learned something new and the fam. is happy to join me in the my "non-fruc" life style.

There's something to be said about someone who's become Gluten Free.

After cutting out wheat, they don't fear change anymore.

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