Shopping for a multiple food allergic child can be quite stressful for mothers, especially when enough information about the ‘special diet’ food is not printed on the product. Special diets are the foods that come minus certain ingredients that are known to cause food-allergies.
To save the mothers and children from the trouble of hunting and searching for the right kind of food, Jennifer Elizondo, a mother of a child with multiple food allergy, has founded a store that keeps all the special products with the information on under what conditions they are processed as well as the ingredients, under one roof. Navan Foods is the all new allergy free food shop in Virginia Beach. It aims to help families not only in search of allergen free foods but also the families trying out new diet to counter diseases like Celiac Sprue or Autism.
“I created this store in an image of what I would want in a grocery store. I shop for a child with food allergies and realized that there was a need for a store like mine. I wanted to create an easy, fast shopping experience where individuals can buy food in confidence,” says Jennifer Elizondo, founder of Navan Foods.
The ingredients – peanuts, gluten, dairy and others are commonly known to cause allergies in some children. Navan Foods has a database on the entire product range it stores describing whether the product contains the allergens or not and details about the manufacturing environment to check any contamination. This information is printed on a ‘product card’ that each product carries.
“There have been many times that I have called a manufacturer right from the grocery store aisle. The product cards will help customers answer questions about ingredients and any potential cross-contamination issues,” says Ms. Elizondo. The store also has an in-store reference library for researchers for additional information or just recipes they are looking for.
There are 600 allergen free products in Navan Foods, which was created in 2007, and plans to incorporate more that are being made depending on the request from customers. Plans to facilitate online shopping in near future are also being made by the company.