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From Seed to Sprout
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Number of Reviews: 1

Review Type: Restaurant
410 Main Street, Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ 07717
Dedicated GF: No
Phone: 732-774-7333
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Cross Contamination,

Reviewer: from Brick, NJ USA - See all reviews by TracyLynn

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Unfortunately I was led to believe that the gluten free menu options were certified gluten free, organic and prepared separately from contaminates as I always advise any eating establishment of my severe sensitivity. I have only dined out in one other restaurant twice this past year as I am very fearful of cross contamination. On more than one occasion the staff agreed great care is taken, certainly misleading myself. When I discovered it was them that had caused my suffering my boyfriend immediately phoned and they offered to credit us. Whoopee! As anyone who shares this diet knows that is certainly no consultation and had also caused great scrutiny as to where or what had "poisoned" me having trusted their word and "expertise". I have dined periodically at this establishment for nearly 2 years as they proclaim to be 100% organic, health conscious and labeled certain items as gluten free. Having been unsatisfied with their demeanor, we proceeded to post the truth on their facebook page to inform others of the risk. They emailed this reply:
We are so sorry that you are so upset. We were very surprised to see your posts on our public Facebook wall before we had a chance to talk to you ourselves and explain. We want to assure you that our top priority is our customers' health and well-being. We would never do anything, especially purposefully, to put that in jeopardy. We appreciate your investigation on this issue, and apologize for not being so thorough ourselves. We used it as a gluten-free product, since the ingredients themselves are gluten-free. In addition, we have many regular customers, friends, and employees with severe celiac disease who consume this product regularly with no ill-response. It is because of this that we feel confident serving this product. We honestly feel that we are serving the highest quality 'gluten-free' product in both taste and quality, as it is free of many of the fillers and starches that most of its counterparts are full of.

While it is not 100% organic, we love this product so much, and since one of the main ingredients is organic, feel confident serving it. You are correct, though, it is not 100% organic, and so as not to mislead our customers, we will remove that claim from our restaurant (on both the window and our Facebook page). We do want to assure you, though, that other than that and our sauerkraut (which is gmo free), we are completely 100% organic.

To call us liars is very hurtful, as we strive and exist, to bring the community and our customers the highest quality food and products for their health. This truly is our passion and reason for existing as a cafe. We understand why you are upset, as being gluten-free is a very difficult and sensitive issue. We always do want our customers with this issue to remember, however, that not even our kitchen is a gluten-free facility, even if the bread was certified. We do use spelt flour for all of our baked goods, as well as sprouted grain bread on the same griddle, which we make no claims against. Any time eating out at a cross-contamination kitchen is 'at your own risk. '

While we are happy that your friend and our customers have been happily eating the bread with no adverse effects, we are absolutely going to take the 'gluten-free' label off of our menus. We will also obviously credit you for your purchase. Again, because of this one product, we will also remove our claim to be '100% organic", although we are very strict about this guideline in all other arenas.

While we understand your reason for concern and appreciate your desire to spread awareness to our public, since your posts are slightly offensive and misleading, we are going to remove them from our wall. We will make sure to be extremely up front with our customers on both the 'gluten-free' and 'organic' standard of this product, as we still stand behind its quality 100%. Hopefully going forward you will feel comfortable coming to us first with any concerns or questions. Again, we are sorry and hope that you can continue to come to our restaurant, since we have plenty of options available, and are happy to provide them to those with limited choices.

Take Care,

Alex & Cara

From Seed to Sprout

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Businesses marked with a Dedicated Gluten Free icon are DEDICATED GLUTEN FREE ESTABLISHMENTS.