Anyone with Celiac Disease would love the ease of shopping for groceries online but the hassle involved makes it nearly impossible. This new Richmond, BC-based food e-store is the answer. And they deliver.
By Catherine Dunwoody
Eating and drinking gluten-free is absolutely essential and non-negotiable for Celiacs like myself and a dietary choice for folks with gluten sensitivities. Either way, GF foods on the market are improving every year, thankfully, but finding delicious products of high quality is still a challenge and takes research plus time.
It’s a lot of hit and miss, often with more misses than hits when it comes to grocery shopping online. It’s usually impossible to read labels on a website unless the company posts photos of them, and crucial to be able to see all listed ingredients plus read disclaimers of ‘may contain barley, rye, oats or wheat (B.R.O.W. ingredients that contain gluten) that brands must legally list in Canada. So, you order what you think is GF online, it gets delivered and phooey – ultimately, it’s not safe to eat, because it is not certified gluten free or was not manufactured at a dedicated GF facility so the risk of cross contamination exists.
Dahlia Millington and her son Malachite Miller opened Unglued Foods in Richmond, BC in October of 2022. The online store and warehouse offer pick-up and delivery throughout Greater Vancouver. The best news? Everything they sell is completely safe for anyone avoiding gluten.
Millington’s back story is interesting. “In 2020, I took at trip through the Okanagan looking for a new place to call home and landed in a small community that had been without a grocery store for several years. I sold everything and raised the funds to start a small grocery store. My son, Malachite, moved back from Montreal to join me as IT and Warehouse Manager at the store.”
Things went well for the mother and son team, but after about a year a large competitor moved into the tiny town they had just settled in, “so we revamped our store to become a specialty food store. Since there was no other store like that in the south Okanagan, it made sense. We catered specifically to people wanting gluten free, low sugar, low carb, vegan and organic foods.”
Competing against this large grocery store was a struggle. “Rather than give up on our excellent store model (online, warehouse & delivery), we re-envisioned the store and Unglued Foods was born,” Millington says.
That meant another move, this time to Richmond, BC, where they leased a warehouse and stocked it with carefully selected gluten-free and vegetarian products including BC brands like House of Yee, and Wendel’s True Foods, plus international foods like Italian pasta by La Rosa and Daidone Sicilian chocolate. I could go on, but I’d rather leave you to discover all the goodies on your own as you shop online.
Oh, but wait. This has to be said. Gluten-free Bread. Often with the texture of Styrofoam or sand, as many a GF eater will attest. Not at Unglued, who sell the brands I’ve sourced over the years myself, like Ireland’s Promise bakery, O’Doughs from Toronto, and Edmonton’s Kinnikinnick plus Alkeme, based in Rossland, BC who bakes the best sourdough around, full stop.
Good news. Unglued Foods plans to expand their offerings even further in January, bringing in even more brands and products available online. Visit their booth at the Gluten Free Expo January 14 and 15 too.