That's why I have to be careful. I always try on my blog to be funny and charming and educational at the same time. I try not to be mean. I know some bloggers like being mean, I know they wield this forum like a weapon and I desperately do not wish to be one of those people.
That being said...
I have some bad things to say about some products and I was so hesitant to say them because I think the people that make the products are most likely super wonderful people and I don't want to hurt their business.
But I have to be honest.
My family camps almost every single weekend in the summer and I am always on the look out for great GF finds through my fine province of Alberta. On our last trip to Gull Lake, I realized that I was very close to Lacombe where the Totally Gluten Free Bakery is. I first met the Totally Gluten Free Bakery at the GF Expo and fell in love with their bread. It was fantastic so when I had the chance, I loaded up the spawn and hit the road to the Totally GF Bakery.
I always find it exciting to be going into a store whose shelves are stocked just for me. I am literally like a kid in a candy store and maybe I come off as too forward when I walk into a GF store but I always expect to get into a lengthy conversation about the products and the owners of the store. This usually happens very organically and often I let them know that I write a blog somewhere in the conversation.
There was no chatting at the Totally Gluten Free Bakery in Lacombe. The store itself is spread out in a lovely manner, it is bright and clean and even has a little seating area. It was the staff that made it unwelcoming. Here is how the conversation went:
Girl appears from the back of the store rolling eyes at my presence. (albeit I had two loud boys with me who at the time were most likely making fart noises BUT they weren't running around or breaking anything)
Me: Hello! I love your store.
Me: I saw you guys at the GF Expo in Calgary. I love your bread!
Me: Yeah! I have never been here. So what do you have?
Her: *makes weak arm movement indicating the whole store*
Am I asking too much for a few recommendations or a quick tour of the store? Maybe or maybe not, depends on whether or not you want me to come back I guess. I shop around for a while and grab some things. There are tasters of some waffle thing and I try one.
Me: That's so good!
Her: Silence - opportunity for talking up and selling what ever waffle thing that was is lost
I bring my things over to the counter. She doesn't make eye contact, doesn't even tell me the amount, just sees my debit card and pushes the machine towards me. The boys were still making fart noises but it was actually a little funny.
Me: Well thanks a lot! Have a great day.
Her: Yeah - do you want your receipt?
SIDE NOTE - Celiacs ALWAYS want the receipt because we claim our purchases.
So we left and I took another little waffle thing for the road because they were so good, I would have bought them and much more if a little effort was made. I doubt that this is the way the store is every day and maybe I caught them on the "we had to call in zombie girl because all the cool kids were sick" day but I am in no hurry to return to the Totally Gluten Free Bakery.
I do love the bread from there, the cookies were dry and I think had been sitting too long but the cheese buns were amazing. I also bought a package of Stellas perogies because I love perogies and they were almost more disappointing than the store experience.
|Made in Alberta so I REALLY wanted to love them!
|They totally fell apart! Ewwwww
Maybe I got a bad batch but this is what happened to the first three I cooked. The next three were better but the flavor just wasn't there. The filling was bland and lumpy and the dough was spongy. Sadly, I would not recommend these either.
So it was a bit of a bust for GF shopping this weekend. Again, I am not being mean for the sake of making someone sad, I am just telling my experience as it happened.
I don't think I would make the trip back to Lacombe. Maybe everyone else has had a different experience. Let me know here or via twitter @afreakingceliac