After months of preparation and hard work, finally the time had arrived to exhibit at the Allergy and Free From Show and to officially launch my business. It was the busiest I’ve ever been in my life. Luckily, I had help from close family and friends, for which I am very thankful.
We had an incredibly busy three days at the show and everybody wanted to taste my displays. We met a lot of lovely people, made some trade contacts and potential customers. We also made friends with some fellow exhibitors.
A friend of mine came on Thursday morning to help with last minute preparation and packing. We loaded the car and drove to the show to set up. It was a good job that she did the driving; I did not realise how exhausted I was until I slept in the car on the way to Olympia! In my defence, I had been baking my flavoured breads non-stop for days before the show and that was after spending three weeks of baking and preparing all the non-bread products!
My daughter who lives in London, met us at the venue and the three of us set up the stand. We then all had some dinner and went for a well-earned rest.
Friday morning started very busy, but I was more excited about the fact that I am finally and officially starting my business!
A high proportion of show attendees were mainly interested in the gluten free products and a lot of people commented when they saw my banner listing a lot of free-from items, saying “What’s in it then?” Of course, they had to taste to believe that it is possible to have tasty products without most known allergens. The interest increased as the day progressed, with a lot of people, especially those with little children, telling us how much they struggle to find safe products for their children or themselves.
Saturday and Sunday were much busier and I was glad to have offers of help from my daughters and from friends. Everyone was able to answer questions and speak to enquirers with the right answers and great enthusiasm. The passion and buzz was evident amongst all.
By the end of Sunday we were all exhausted and tired but no one complained, we all had an amazing time at the show. Attending the show as an exhibitor for the first time is quite different from being a visitor, for no matter how many times you attend you can never be fully prepared for the experience.
In conclusion, the show was a very rewarding experience. My motives for taking part were not to recoup the cost of exhibiting at the show but to launch my business, meet people, talk and listen to potential customers and clients, to find out what works and to get out there to tell people, “Hey, I exist and I can do good food that is free from most known allergens”.
Love and Good Health to All
Here are some of the comments we received
We bought some of your breads from the allergy show today in London. Wow, toasted with olive oil they are awesome. We wished we had bought more. I suffer from celiac disease and a severe dairy protien allergy and find it difficult to even find vegan products that are not cross contaminated. We will be ordering more! THANK YOU!
And Amy said;
I attended the allergy and free from show today, your stall was the best find!!!
Will be ordering from you very soon, your rosemary bread is so full of flavour and the texture is beautiful, compared to allergy breads that I can get this is no comparison