A Grocery List and a Chance Encounter–or Serendipity?

I’ve come to rely on specific food brands that don’t contain my allergens. So Delicious, Jones Dairy Farm, al fresco, Applegate, Erewhon, just to name a few. That’s why I get a little anxious when we head to our second home on Hilton Head. Up until recently, grocery stores carrying health food and specialty items were lacking on the island, and you paid a premium for allergy-friendly brands. I once paid $6 for a Hail Merry Miracle Tart at a small natural grocers.

In the last few years we’ve gotten a Harris Teeter and a Kroger with gluten-free and allergen-free foods–and this past summer the first Whole Foods Market opened! Yes, An Allergic Foodie did a happy dance!

New Whole Foods in Hilton Head Island

I was thrilled when it rained the second day we were here so I could skip the beach and make a trip to Whole Foods. That probably doesn’t sound all that odd to those of you with food restrictions. I took a very short grocery list with me–coffee, Just Mayo, hand soap, dog treats.

Wouldn’t you know I couldn’t find the Just Mayo. Every single mayonnaise from Canola to Olive Oil to Safflower  had egg and/or soy. I was kicking myself for not bringing the huge jug of Just Mayo I’d left at home in Colorado Springs.

While I was browsing through the gluten-free refrigerator section, my husband shouted. “Amy, I have a surprise for you!”

I rounded the corner and my mouth fell open. There was this lovely lady named Paulette (or maybe Pauletta?)  from Hampton Creek giving out samples of pretzels and dip made from  . . . you guessed it . . . Just Mayo!

An Allergic Foodie searches for her favorite brands at Whole Foods, HHI

I showed her my grocery list and her mouth fell open. We both laughed and snapped photos.

Just Mayo at Whole Foods

Turns out Whole Foods requires Just Mayo to be refrigerated. This version is in a glass jar; the one I buy at home from Costco and King Soopers is in a plastic one. So when you are looking for a favorite brand in a new store be sure to ask the clerk for help.

This experience reminded me how grateful I am for the companies that make food I can eat. With food allergies, we often focus on what we can’t eat. When I come to Hilton Head two times a year, I pack up a cooler with a few products I can’t live without and then pray I can find the rest. Sometimes, I order foods through the mail. For many years, I just went without for five weeks. That doesn’t seem all that long, but after five weeks of no Boulder Sausage I’m feeling withdrawal symptoms!

So today I’m giving a shout out to Whole Foods Market on Hilton Head Island and Just Mayo from Hamptom Creek Foods. Without you both, I wouldn’t be eating today’s delicious chicken salad.

Note:  If you have a corn allergy, the modified food start  in Just Mayo is corn. It is less than two percent of ingredients, and I have not reacted to it though I’m usually intolerant to corn.

A Grocery List and a Chance Encounter–or Serendipity? first appeared at Adventures of an Allergic Foodie.

3 thoughts on “A Grocery List and a Chance Encounter–or Serendipity?

  1. What a great post! I don’t like mayo that much, but I have tried this product! And for as much as I would like mayo, it was good. 🙂

    I actually had an awful experience with the rep in the store who was excessively rude and told me that all mayo was gluten free. While I wouldn’t typically, I did email the company, and they informed me that they would speak with him and give him further training. Hopefully that happened. Honestly, I just avoided that part of Whole Foods for the rest of the summer because I was so nervous. But, I was very impressed with how the company handled the situation!

    Hope you’re having a great week so far! 😀

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  2. I still haven’t found Just Mayo, but I wasn’t looking for it when I finally got to the (NEW!) Whole Foods. I’ll have to check. I’m pretty happy with Earth Balance’s, which I can find locally, but trying new things is generally fun. Have a good vacation.

    And mayo *should* be gluten-free, but only someone who doesn’t take their own health and allergies seriously would make that assumption. A company who is catering to those of us with food restrictions — optional or imposed — should definitely train their reps to understand that we do not, as a rule, trust.

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