Getting stores to carry foods

Getting stores to carry foods

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Getting stores to carry foods

March 30, 2010 in Uncategorized

Ok. I just thought I would throw these out for suggestions. Has anyone been successful getting chain stores to carry low protein products? I'm in Chicago, so there is actually a small specialty store about an hour from me that stocks Cambrooke food & Aproten products, but the mark-up versus ordering online is ridiculous. When I lived on the East Coast, I remember a major grocery store that carried low protein foods because enough people in the community requested it. This crossed my mind today because I took a trip to Whole Foods today & requested a brand they didn't carry. The salesclerk offered to contact the manufacturer. I wonder if a large enough group of people made a request, whether a major store would be willing to do this. Second question...how do you go about asking restaurants to prepare meals with PKU products for you? Do you call in advance and ask if they will prepare the meal with your pasta & breads? I would love to hear stories addressing either question.

10 Reviews of Getting stores to carry foods

  1. Registered: Feb 1, 2010

    Posts: 0

    Tucson, Arizona

    I typically don’t ask stores to carry items for me because I figure the mark-up would probably not make it worth-while. I just grab things as i see them if they don’t seem too outrageous price-wise (mostly, I’m referring to the ener-g pretzels which I’ve found several places. Many places also carry ener-g tapioca bread)

    When I go to restaurants, I stick with menu items that are low pro. I will certainly ask for adaptations–“no cheese, no bacon bits, etc”–but that’s about it. If they don’t have anything that looks pku-friendly I’ll ask if they have a side salad and a side of steamed vegetables. When I was younger, we asked a pizza joint to simply microwave my low pro pizza we had brought in from home and they said no, because they couldn’t be responsible if I got sick. I might sue, you know! Only once have I had a restaurant provide low protein food to me and that was at a PKU camp where they set up ahead of time for their kitchen to provide us with a full low protein meal.

  2. Registered: Sep 12, 2006

    Posts: 0

    Franklin, Wisconsin

    My family handles purchasing PKU foods the same way Kristi does. We are able to find Ener-G tapioca bread, low protein cheese, etc at some of our local grocery stores. Other than that we are fortunate enough that our pastas, cereals, and baking mixes are provided through our clinic in Wisconsin, and any other low protein foods we want we purchase directly from the low protein company. At restaurants we have never been big on having restaurants prepare full blown low protein meals. My sisters and I have always been content with fries, fruit and veggie plates, salads (we do ask for no cheese, bacon, etc), and recently I have ventured into ordering pasta dishes without cheese or meat on them. However I have spoken to families that prepare low protein main dishes right before going to a restaurant then ordering a fruit or veggie side dish.

  3. Registered: Jun 27, 2009

    Posts: 0

    , New York

    Before we go to a new restaurant, we usually check out the menu before hand. I will look to see what (if any) meals could be easily adaptable for Molly. We will call at an off time (after lunch, but before dinner – around 2:30) and ask to speak to the chef. I will explain that my daughter is on a special diet and would he be able to either make a dish on the menu with minor changes or if he would prepare a vegetarian pasta dish with Molly’s pasta. Only once have we had a chef refuse — needless to say we never went to that restaurant. The first time we are at a resturant, we try to go on a quiet night or a little earlier – before the big rush. If the meal was a success, that restaurant becomes one of our regulars. We have a few restaurants that know us now and we do not call in advance for them. We hand our local diner Molly’s premeasured mix and ricemilk and they will make her a belgian waffle, they deep fry her veggie fingers and she has those with French Fries (looks just like her brother’s Chicken fingers and fries). At the local Italian restaurant, we bring Molly’s bread for bruschetta and Aproten Pasta – they make a nice Pasta Primavera for her. You can ask for eggplant parmesan without the cheese as well – it will be a little higher since it is usually coated in high protein bread crumbs, but served with low protein pasta, it can balance out. The local pizza place heats her low protein slice and we will usually get zucchini sticks and a salad. The Mexican restaurant will take her low protein tortilla and make her a burrito. She is on Kuvan now so she has a little more wiggle room (280 mg to 420 mg) – she can brown rice and veggies or the mushroom fajitas. Chinese restaurants are easy, vegetarian spring rolls and a vegetable stir fry with rice. We do not go out that often – about twice a month – since Molly is only nine, but I want her to be comfortable asking for what she needs. The kitchen is a crazy place during the dinner rush but if you go at an off time and give a heads up, chefs are usually very accomodating.

  4. Registered: Mar 22, 2010

    Posts: 0

    quebec, Quebec

    For the purchasing PKU foods i can’t realy help you, things in Quebec are way to different. But for the restaurant, i do prettry much the same as Marie. But my bigger challenges are not restaurant, they are mariage, receptions and organised party. It is way more difficult to get something i can eat since usualy their is only 1 or 2 main dishs. Generaly i eat before going to one of these events and than when the meal is served i only eat what i can. Their is always salads or soups and very often vegies on side dish.

    Regards

  5. Registered: Feb 26, 2007

    Posts: 0

    Chicago, Illinois

    Thanks for all the suggestions…especially Brenda. I’ve been thinking about trying to get a few restaurants to make my pastas or use my breads. I’ve also been thinking about creating some kind of lo-pro food co-op. I do live in an area with a number of PKU’ers around so it may work better for me than for people in other areas.

  6. Registered: Feb 1, 2010

    Posts: 0

    Tucson, Arizona

    There’s a few of us in town. I had some of the girls over back in January and made my first sit-down low pro meal for guests. It was pretty fun. We hope to do it more often, and maybe take turns. One of the girls doesn’t prepare a lot of low pro food, but the other two of us are excited to get together with others. When I was a whole foods, they told me that if you by a case (24) of any particular flavor, I can get 10% discount. I’m thinking about getting a bunch of us together and splitting a few cases so we can have varitey.

  7. Registered: Jun 27, 2009

    Posts: 0

    , New York

    If you have a group of people nearby, buy your wheat starch in bulk from Honeyville Grain. It is $65 including shipping for a 50 lb. bag – means you can make pancake mix, bread, pizza bases, baked goods for A LOT less money.

  8. Registered: Nov 3, 2009

    Posts: 0

    , Massachusetts

    Hey! I can only dream of one day walking into the grocery store and getting things like Aproten pasta and other PKU staples in my diet… there is a Publix in Florida that carries a whole PKU selction… I could get the contact name of a woman down there who knows all about it if you wanted to ask her how they went about succeeding at that. I am happy to have Ener-G pretzels at my grocery stores… but thats about it! As for restaurant going… wow Brenda, that is great that you have found such accommodating places. I haven’t thought to reach out in those ways. As for me… I will bring bread slices in case they have a mushroom (literally portabella mushroom cap) burger to put on my bread, or garlic bread, etc. But my usual plan is I cook up a batch of pasta enough for 2 servings (I want leftovers for lunch, too!) and talk to the waiter or waitress when I sit down simply saying… “I cannot have large amounts of protein, and I eat bread and pasta products (that are similar to Gluten Free products) that have minimal protein in it. I do not have an allergy if the food is contaminated, it is just a substitute that I can eat in normal quantities compared to the flour breads and pastas. Could I pick a pasta dish and have the chef use my pasta in place of yours?” I have literally not ever had someone say no! (Knock on wood… ) I even tried at a UNO’s once – the only big chain I tried, and expected to be shot down but they too were very accommodating. In defense of some of the other stories you have heard, some places may say no because they are responsible for whatever they put on your plate. If you got sick from something you brought in and they plated it with their foods, they could be held responsible. That being said, my story is an example, that if they want good business and GREAT positive feedback to my friends and family… they will usually do whatever they can to help me!

  9. Registered: Feb 26, 2007

    Posts: 0

    Chicago, Illinois

    Thanks Hunter! I love your idea to take your own pre-made pasta. I think I’m going to try that with a Thai or Indian restaurant and the Cambrooke rice.

  10. Registered: Nov 3, 2009

    Posts: 0

    , Massachusetts

    Ya it is really easy especially if there isn’t time to talk to the chef and get into the whole thing. I tried it once at a mexican restaurant with rice and they used sticky rice to make this pyramid thing it was very fancy and the orzo from cambrooke worked really well! it looked just like the others : ) good idea trying thai or indian, i hadn’t thought of that, usually i just do a veggie stirfry or salad or veggie soup…. let me know how it goes!

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