Allergies allergies everywhere. The inspiration behind Providore Market is a family who have many food allergies, and who find it hard to find products they enjoy. Isn’t it awesome when you find something that everyone can eat, not one thing for the gluten free family member, something for the soy free, and another for the dairy free, meanwhile the person without any food allergies is sitting eating the best looking food out of everyone.
How great has all the change been though? Twenty years ago when the allergies in our family started it was incredibly difficult to find products at the supermarket, let alone at a restaurant or cafe.
I read an article a few years ago about cafes and restaurants actively making it really easy for people with food allergies to eat there, because it meant once customers were confident there was safe options for them they would always go there, and they’d take their friends and family there instead of trying out other, potentially unsafe, options. This really rang true for me, and I started making a real effort to support the cafes and restaurants within the Waikato which take the time to ensure my family and I had safe options (OPTIONS!) to eat. We have all been to a cafe and seen the gluten free products sitting under food with gluten, or seen the staff use the same tongs for all of the food in the cabinet; now I won’t even buy a take-away coffee from these businesses.
I challenge anyone who has food allergies in their family or within their friend group to challenge the cafes and restaurants in their area to make sure they have safe food options for everyone.