Friday, May 20, 2016

Shopping Gluten-Free

I like to support my local small business first.  I live in Florida and just hate seeing so many of our small businesses…some several generations old…closing up.  These days it just seems epidemic.  With more and more small businesses on the edge of survival, it’s become much more important for us to support them with our dollars.  My favorite go to place for Gluten-Free stuff is right around the corner.  And apparently they have a new online presence too!

Vitamin Outlet
3690 East Bay Drive in Largo, FL 33771
ph: (727) 536-0120, fax: (727) 538-9805

When I first bought my house over 12 years ago they weren’t too savvy about Celiac or Gluten-Free.  But they’ve gotten quite an education over the years, which is why I love small business.  They know me, they take the time to talk to me, they strive to keep me happy and they know the importance of great customer service.  Over the years they’ve become one of the best places to get anything Gluten-Free.  They’re knowledgeable, and willing to consider any requests.  And the store is just packed full of the most current choices!!  Granted, things may be a little more expensive…but I’m a firm believer that you always get what you pay for.  When I want the care and customer service that only a small business can provide I’m willing to pay the extra to get it.

Now my Publix Grocery across the street is offering some real competition.  It’s the largest Grocery Chain in Florida so they can offer cheaper prices on many of the items I use every day.  But what they carry is pretty mundane - basic items from some of the larger manufacturers and nothing too adventurous.  I love their new GF shelf labeling…but have to be careful…I’ve caught some items indicated as GF when they’re not.  Like Ezekiel’s bread – that is NOT Gluten-Free.

When I can’t find what I need locally, I automatically turn to my online best friend – Amazon at   Type in “Gluten-Free” and you’ll get over 10,892 choices!!  Scroll down a bit and select “Free Shipping” and your choices drop to over 4,190 results, but hey…I can deal with that.  I can shop to my heart’s content and not have to pay any shipping.  That’s almost as easy as a short stroll around the corner to my favorite Vitamin Outlet.

Carolanne Le Blanc
Meeting:  4th Saturday of every month except December
Imperial Palms, East Clubhouse, 101 Imperial Palm Drive, Largo, Florida 33771


  1. Thank you for supporting local business. Now, Publix and Amazon are not exactly local, but the important thing is that you realize the need to support your local small business, and you do something about it!

  2. Thank you, and you're correct. lol But that's why I mentioned that I look to small business first. Just not always :-) Even restaurants - many large chains are really getting into the swing of Gluten-Free...but I truly enjoy the special treatment I receive in smaller, family owned eateries.