Featuring over 65 local and artisanal vendors, Gluten Free Garage is set to go down on Sunday May 1st at Artscape Wychwood Barns. As a returning media sponsor, we’ve loved seeing GFG grow over the last 5 years, and become not only the massively successful event that it is, but also a pillar in the GF community. A feast for all the senses, expect to hear inspiring speakers and sample a vast assortment of tasty offerings from sauces and pasta to baked goods, cheezes (HA!), dumplings and pickles – our mouths are already watering!
In anticipation of Toronto’s original gluten free pop-up marketplace, we’re profiling a handful of this year’s vendors we love, including skinnypasta! Margot M. Micallef is the CEO of Gabriella’s Kitchen, a Canadian company that makes food to nourish passion for life. Margot co-founded the better-for-you food company with her sister, Gabriella, to create nutritious and delicious foods that everyone could enjoy, regardless of their dietary preferences or restrictions. Naturally, they started with pasta!
Tell us your story! When did you decide to start your business and how did the idea come about?
It started simply. Initially, it was about finding an alternative to the delicious but unhealthy traditional pasta my sister Gabriella and I grew up with — and to the dreadful-tasting healthy options that were available. But soon after our launch, Gabriella was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Eating healthy meals was no longer just desirable – it was necessary to prolong her life. We discovered that eating healthy often meant eating alone, as others shunned the ‘bad-tasting-good-for-you’ alternatives. We realized that food nourishes one’s body but sharing food nourishes one’s soul, and that we cannot feed only one element of ourselves to the detriment of another. So we vowed to create food that everyone would enjoy and that would feed the body, the soul, the mind and the heart.
Using fresh, high-quality ingredients and an original artisanal Italian pasta machine, we created skinnypasta™ and began to sell it in 2009. In 2015, I renamed the company Gabriella’s Kitchen in honour of my late sister, who remains the inspiration behind the company. Our goal at Gabriella’s Kitchen is to transform the way the world eats by providing better-for-you foods without compromising taste or texture.
What’s been the most exciting part about owning your own business? What’s been the most challenging?
The most exciting part is taking an idea and seeing it come alive in physical form on store shelves and hearing customers say it’s changed their lives. They can love pasta again.
The most challenging is managing our growth. Sometimes a retailer wants to move super fast and other times it’s crazy slow. Educating store clerks is also a challenge.
What can we expect from you at GFG?
So many goodies! skinnypasta SUPERFOOD TEFF Penne and skinnypasta GLUTEN FREE prepared meals (Roasted Vegetable Lasagna and Butternut Squash Ravioli).
What’s your favourite product that you make (at the moment, I’m sure it changes all the time), and why?
We’re loving our skinnypasta SUPERFOOD TEFF Penne, which is naturally gluten free and a good source of vegan protein. Not only is the fresh pasta nutrient-rich, but it has resistant starch (which can help with weight management) and it cooks in only one to two minutes. Stay tuned because we plan on launching new skinnypasta SUPERFOOD TEFF noodles soon!
Enter to win a pair of tickets to Gluten Free Garage by tweeting:
“Hi @Shedoesthecity! Please send me to @glu10freegarage so I can indulge in all the yummy gf goodies!”
Gluten Free Garage is Toronto’s original pop-up marketplace of all things deliciously gluten free, and it’s going down on Sunday May 1st! You can buy tix and check out the vendors HERE!