Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thank you New York area Celiacs!

Thank You!

Laura and I really enjoyed meeting all of you at the Suffolk Country Celiac and Gluten-Free vendor's fair this weekend on Long Island. This was a really great way to start off our "vendor" experience, as this was our first event where we have ever exhibited our book. Til now, all of our gluten-free recipes book sales have been from our website, or a few retail locations (mostly in Ohio), and this Celiac event was certainly a great way to get out and meet a lot of people that could really use our desserts book - all in one place (we were told there were something like 1400 attendees this year! wow!)

So, let me start by thanking everyone that purchased a copy of Gluten-Free Gourmet Desserts from us. We greatly appreciate each and every one of our customers and sincerely hope you get many years of wonderful baking from the recipes in the book, whether you are a Celiac or just living on a gluten-free diet! We realize there are many other books on the market to choose from, and though we certainly think our dessert recipes are the best, we realize the ultimate choice is up to you and that we need you all to spread the word around once you try some of the wonderful gluten-free cakes, cookies, pies, tortes, biscotti, and the like. Word of mouth is still our number one marketing tool, and we appreciate everyone who has sent others our way since buying the book and baking the desserts. Thank you!

We also apologize for having not been able to take credit/debit cards right at the event. Perhaps next year if we can work a way to do it we will. If you missed out at the event, hopefully you got a coupon from us that you can use online... it's just too bad we have to add the cost of shipping we otherwise didn't have at the show.

Other Event Reviews
Now, as for the rest of the event. Sadly, my wife and I were too busy selling books to do much "shopping" or sampling at the event. But, I did sneak away from my post for a few minutes now and then, and was able to try a couple new items. And, I am so glad I did.

One of my favorite finds were the Gluten-Free English Muffins by Foods by George. I'll be doing a full review of those soon, and show a picture of them I took personally, but I can tell you right now: these things are quite wonderful! And, George and his wife are just fantastic people to say the least - super nice and friendly. In fact, when I asked George to save me a bag of English Muffins for the end of the day, when the time rolls around he insisted I just take a bag of them home to try for free (and, when I get home I find out he slipped me a couple bags of them!). I must aspire to be such a good person myself! Thanks George (and wife)! And, your Muffins truly are excellent! You have got yourself a repeat customer for sure now! :)

The fellow from "Bone Suckin'" sauces was also just over-the-top nice. I stopped by to purchase some of his sauces (we were almost out of at home), and he said he wasn't selling anything at the show, but just giving out taste-testing for the day. But, he insisted I take a few jars of his products (Sweet Hot Mustard, and Hot Bone Suckin' Sauce - great on ribs) for free. I tried repeatedly to at least get him to accept some cash for them, but to no avail - so I gave him a cookbook I hope he'll enjoy as much as I enjoy his tasty and tangy sauces. I plan to review his stuff in more detail too, since we use it regularly and really love the stuff!

What a drive!
Now, the down-side of the event... the drive. Wow, that is one long drive! PA seems to go on forever as you take I-80 through the State lengthwise from end-to-end. And, I can hardly describe the "fun" (not!), even on a weekend, we encountered taking the cross-Bronx freeway through upper New York City on Saturday/Sunday -- both directions we sat in traffic for an hour just to go a couple miles. Insanity! How do people deal with that all the time, and to think this was on a weekend?!

From now on, any event more than 4-hours (by car) away is almost certainly going to happen only if I get on an airplane and fly. This event was well over 8-hours (thanks to NYC traffic), and my body just wasn't liking it at all -- I felt stiff and tired both days from spending so much time sitting in the car. And, I still find hotels less than ideal to achieve a great night's sleep.

At least the scenery along the way was nice (during the daylight hours). Long Island was new to me, and not quite what I had envisioned. I had been to NYC before, but even now I am still amazed at the sheer size of the place. The views of town from the Throgs Neck Bridge (going onto Long Island) were definitely amazing too.

For anyone interested, David over at Gluten-Free NYC Blog posted some pictures from the event (luckily, I didn't see pictures of us on there - in our sleep-deprived state). In all our haste and busy state at the event, I never got around to taking any pictures of my own. I'll blame it on lack of sleep. But, regardless, the event went well and (aside from the long drive) we had a good time. We hope to get to a few other events this year and meet more of you. Certainly Columbus, OH in November... and, with luck, maybe a couple other events around the country between now and then - time permitting. Speaking of time, I now have to get back to work :)


~M said...

Congratulations on the successful show! My mother and I are going to be driving from Boston to Chicago later this month. I was wondering if you had any specific stops to recommend on the way. Also, what did you do for food on the road? Thanks!

Mike Eberhart said...

Thanks. As for the drive - wow, you are in for one long road trip! I thought my drive was bad, and you're probably talking double the distance. eek!

Food on the road: we pretty much packed all our own stuff. My wife made me a nice batch of Gluten-Free Biscotti ahead of time, and those really came in handy. I also had bottled water, and these bars called "jigsaw" bars (I plan to review in coming weeks), plus some fresh Apples, Bananas, Oranges, and some GF Jerky from Whole Foods (their 365 Organic house-brand). The only thing I really felt I missed was fresh veggies, otherwise I planned rather well.

As for places to stop on the way... depends how far out of the way, and how much time you have. Certainly Niagra Falls is one the route (assuming you take the Northern I-90 route vs. I-80), and isn't TOO far off track when you pass Buffalo, NY. Not sure if anyone in your party likes wine, but if so, that whole northern-route from Western NY through Western OH has quite a few wineries along the way - starting around Chataqua, NY and out through Catawba, OH. And, Cleveland always has the Rock Hall of Fame just a minute off I-90 downtown here. Depends what you like to do. :) Hope that gives you some ideas.

Slacker Mom (aka Mrs. GF) said...

I love Bone Suckin' sauces too, we use them here quite a bit.

Glad you had a great time!

Lynn Barry said...

What a fabulous experience, sounds like as well as a chance to share the beauty and amazing recipes your family has created. I am happy for you all. HUGS

Mike Eberhart said...

Thanks Lynn.
Too bad you didn't make it to the event. I know you are from NY, but I also know NY is a large State and the drive would have been quite long. Maybe we'll meet up at a future gluten-free / celiac event. Take care.

Dianne said...

Hi Mike

It sounds like one exciting, if tiring weekend! Do they have GF events everywhere in the US! Apologies for appearing so dim, but I am visiting the US next year and would love to fit in some GF events if possible. I'll also be visiting a wholefoods store, to get some supplies. How sad is this, doing the grocery shopping while I'm on holiday!


Mike Eberhart said...

From what I hear, there are Celiac and Gluten-Free events all over the country throughout the year. I know we have one coming up in November nearby in Columbus, Ohio in 2007 that we plan to attend. And, I have heard of others in Atlanta, LA (May 19th), and more thad I'd love to check out if I can make it. So, I'd expect there to be something going on somewhere at any given time, but keep in mind how large the USA is compared to the UK -- you could end up with some serious travel time getting to events even within the US.

When you do make it over here, let me know. I still may make it your way this year too if time permits.

Enjoy the Whole Foods shopping (in London presumably)!

kbabe1968 said...

DITTO!!!! They sent me some to try and even my kids love them! :D GOOD STUFF!!! :D