As We Head Toward Year 6 – Notes From Melanie

27 Jun

It’s almost July and this means we have almost made it to year 7.


By request, I’m posting a few recipe ideas for picnicking this week.

In the weeks ahead you can expect picnic, travel & hiking food options in the newsletters. If you want more news and updates than what’s available in our newsletters, check our FB account. (:


This year we enter into Lucky 7 and the following plans are in order.




This FALL I will launch a web store to better serve the community outside of midtown. Deliveries will be available in some areas.




Due to issues I have not been able to control, we have not had EBT for our customers. A plan has been made that will make it possible for us to have EBT before the holidays! WE ARE OVERJOYED!




We are looking for volunteers and a head volunteer to organize our Year 6 Celebration. This year it will be a barbecue potluck style. The goal is to host the event in August when everyone gets back from summer vacation.



Our Summer Spectacular begins at the end of July


Until then, we will be clearing our shelves of close dated products and products that are at or shortly passed the best buy date (like what you’d get at Grocery Outlet – they are not past their sell by date – we discard products past their sell by date immediately). These products are handmarked at 50% OFF and include snack bars, crackers, pie crust mix, ice cream cones and more. Get the deals while they last. Some of these products will no longer be available or will only be available by season or by web order in the future.




When you stop by and shop in June & July, make sure you update your contact information. We will begin sending our store coupons by email and you must present a printed copy or a copy on your electronic device. All updated info will get a special coupon for August and one lucky individual will be entered to win a $100 store coupon.


Also, every year we have -prizes- for our Anniversary. This year is no different.

Every time you shop at GFS, make sure you get a ticket for -PicnicPotluckPrizes – a celebratory affair that will bring you t-shirts, food and more. You can get them at the event, or if your information is correct, you can drop in to pick them up the month after.




WOW! I have tears of joy in my eyes as I write this, because I know I couldn’t have made the store happen without you.


Every time we make it another year, I feel nostalgic. This year I feel more nostalgic than ever.


Some of you know that the store was started without investment in 2008. No one believed that it was possible for a Gluten Free Store to be profitable and therefore loans were not possible. It is difficult to keep a store open with investment, but an even more difficult task to keep a store open without investment. Without investment, every sale means the doors stay open. Without sales, bills aren’t paid. There is not budget without investment, which means it is easy to go into debt and to hit hard times.

Though it’s been difficult the entire journey, 2010 we hit our first grocery recession and went into extreme debt which we were almost unable to pull ourselves out of. It was you, the gluten free community, that held me up during this time. You sent our GFS story was to news stations, information was spread and shared online through social media and through non-profit organizations and I took a huge risk. In 2010, I pre-ordered 5 months worth of groceries at an extreme discount to help us catch up on debt. I did this again in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This manuevre allowed us to stay open even when the second grocery recession hit and other gluten free grocery stores were closing their doors. It was scary, because I had to trust the community would support me, but every year they did.


In 2014, I have done the same. I’ve ordered products at discounts to encourage our community to come out and support us during the slow months. With highway closures and a new bakery in town, we need this support to continue to grow. We also need this support to show investors and companies that the Sacramento Gluten Free Community is worth funding in 2014 to 2015.




If you haven’t seen me during the last few months, it’s because I’m working on a HUGE PROJECT.




I am working with local businesses, gluten free vendors, doctors offices, health clinics, yoga studios, and children’s program services in a project that will support the Sacramento Community at large. We are working to fund a Café that will service the Sacramento Community and offer workshops and classes for our Education  

Education Outreach Program for Celiac & Gluten Free Diet Awareness.




The Education Outreach Program will offer classes, educational materials (videos and print outs) to local health & medical practitioners, teachers, dietitians, restaurant owners, kitchen managers, hospitals, care facilities, kitchen management ideas and intro guides for starting the gluten free diet.


The project is projected to cost $500,000 to begin, but may require additional funding and future funding to maintain, as the plan is to provide a service to the community. We have been compiling lists of volunteers, sponsors, donation ideas and promotion ideas.


You can connect with us by emailing:




Many of our community use the application Find Me Gluten Free. Information can be found at:
I have also been working on creating guides for Midtown Sacramento to help locals to get around and navigate being gluten free in Downtown and nearby Suburbs.

I am hoping that if funds allow, I can also work on further developing this service to better serve our community.



As an ending note, I offer a quote from an interview I did 3 years ago during and interview about our 3 year birthday celebration.


“We can’t as individuals do as much as we can as a community. With our birthday celebration, we’re not just celebrating our store but we are celebrating the community that is coming together and supporting the needs of the community.”


You can see the full clip here (11:38-15:07)


I believe that this quote holds true into my new 2014-2015 Project


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