I never thought I would say this, but…I LOVE MILWAUKEE!
I was there last weekend for the sole purpose of running in the Rock ‘N Sole Quarter Marathon. It was quite a haul from my Southern Indiana home, but the race sounded like so much fun. So…my roomie and I were Milwaukee bound.
As I have learned from past travel experiences…come prepared. That’s exactly what I did. I packed up a reusable grocery bag with gluten-free foods and snacks to keep at our hotel…just in case there was nothing I could really eat while in Milwaukee.
Heh. I totally pegged the city wrong.
In fact, Milwaukee is the home of the happiest place on Earth for anyone gluten-free. And that, my friends, is a completely gluten-free grocery store. YES! I kid you not. What is this oasis of gluten-free goodies called?
The Gluten-Free Trading Company.
And it is located on South Chase Avenue in Milwaukee. Incidentally, they have another store located in Pewaukee, Wisconsin as well. Who would have thought Wisconsin would be a hub to embrace a gluten-free lifestyle. Mind boggling…but true.
I think I might have squeed aloud when I walked into the doors of the Gluten-Free Trading Company. Why? Because this little shop has aisles and shelves and freezers and fridges that hold only gluten-free goods. This means the guess work is taken out of it. I didn’t have to sit there going…”well, it doesn’t contain gluten, but it shares equipment with products that have wheat…so…” (Yes…those always go on the shelf. I’ll pay extra for the peace of mind of knowing that something is absolutely gluten-free). I literally could go in there with a basket and just pile stuff in (and I just might have done that…twice…) and not have to second guess anything. COMPLETELY 100% EVERYTHING GLUTEN-FREE!!
Pardon me while I do my happy dance of gluten-free joy. It was like a nirvana of gluten-free awesomeness. Seriously. I didn’t even know where to begin as far as shopping went. But what I did end up doing was snagging items I had never seen where I live to try out. Oh, I was one happy girl in that little grocery store. So happy. I think I was smiling like a loon the entire time as I was checking out products, deciding on what to try, and telling myself I could not buy one of everything…as much as I wanted to.
I went slightly over my budget. I admit it. But I was just so elated that such a place existed…where I could go grocery shopping and not spend half the time staring at ingredients, allergen information, and certain key words that clue me in on whether or not I can consume it or not. It was something I haven’t been able to do in over a year. And I loved every moment of it.
I loved it so much that I returned the following day…very close to their closing time to grab a few more things. I was leaving to head home the following morning, so it was my last chance. I was good and kept myself to a limited number of items. Even better, I discovered that the Gluten-Free Trading Company also ships. SO…if there is something I got that I love and still can’t get anywhere around here…they can get it to me. Let the second happy dance of joy commence.
Check out their Web site: Gluten-Free Trading Company
And if Milwaukee wasn’t already winning me over with the restaurants aplenty that do gluten-free foods (see previous blogs), the fact that they have TWO such places that do just gluten-free stuff is astounding. I wanted to get over to A Gluten-Free Frenzy, which is a grocery store and café in Milwaukee, but they had closed by the time we made our way over there. So…something to check out the next time. From the Web site, I might just have to get a snack while visiting there too.
Milwaukee…you really surprised me. Between being able to safely eat dinner somewhere and have an appetizer, entree, and dessert, and being able to grocery shop in not just one, but two places completely dedicated to gluten-free foods…it just won my heart. I love you.
And I hope to come back and visit soon.
Now…what would it take to get a place like this near where I live, right?