Gluten Free Garage is a pop-up gluten-free marketplace that has become a fixture at Artscape Wychwood Barns. For their third edition in Fall 2013, over 65 vendors came together to showcase Toronto’s best gluten-free products. Around 1,500 guests attended to tummy-friendly treats and learn about celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
The mastermind behind Gluten Free Garage is Ronnilyn Pustil, who founded the event and hand-selects each vendor herself. Here’s what she had to say about hosting GFG at Artscape Wychwood Barns.
When I had the original idea for the Gluten Free Garage, the only place I envisioned it to be was the Artscape Wychwood Barns. Our pop-up gluten-free marketplace HAD to be there. First, there’s the unique industrial space, with its exposed brick walls, high ceilings and natural light. Second, I’m a regular at the farmers’ market at the Barns and wanted to model our event after it. Hence, GFG is a “farmers’ market with a gluten-free twist.” I love the way the farmers’ market feels—it’s lively, friendly, local, casual, urban, environmentally conscious, community-oriented. I aimed to create the same kind of atmosphere at our event. (And I have, thanks largely to the fantastic space!)
The Gluten Free Garage has popped up at the Barns three times in the past year. Each time we’ve grown a bit bigger, adding guest speakers, bringing in food trucks, increasing the number of vendors. The event services team has been very accommodating as the GFG has expanded. It has been a pleasure to work with Tan-ya and Christy in the organization leading up to the event and on the day of. Our last event ran so smoothly from start to finish thanks to the help and support of the staff who were there.
Many of our vendors have commented that they love the space as a place to showcase their goods. One vendor in particular wrote to me: “GFG’s location at the Artcape Wychwood Barns is a real competitive advantage. Unlike most trade shows at large, impersonal halls, GFG is held in a friendly, intimate and community-oriented location that really promotes healthy and delicious living.”
The GFG will hopefully continue to grow and may pop up at other events in the future, but the Wychwood Barns will always be our home.
The next Gluten Free Garage will be held at the Barns on November 9, 2014. Be sure the check it out!