I love it when new companies reach out to me, particularly those who are doing something unique when it comes to Celiac disease and food allergies in general. One of those companies that I am so pleased to have sponsor this giveaway, is Happy Belly Bags.
Happy Belly Bags created a super-fabulous custom Gluten Free Mike bag full of exciting products for me to give away to one of my lucky readers. Believe me, this is one jam packed bag full of many unique gluten-free products that were new to me. To enter, just click here. Easy Peasy!
I had the opportunity to virtually interview Happy Belly Bags founder Sarah Rothrock to find out what made her decide to start a food allergy-specific company.
When did you launch the company?
The company launched officially in September of 2010. It was about a year and a half in the making, we had to choose products, design the site, create a logo etc… So finally we are here and available to the public.
What made you decide to start an allergy-friendly business — particularly one that caters to a wide-range of allergies and conditions?
The main reason I decided to start Happy Belly Bags was due to the fact that I myself had a very unhappy belly from about the time I was 12. After visits to many doctors, several procedures and minor surgeries and no answers I started doing some research on my own. I decided that I would try eliminating things from my diet to see if that would help and sure enough I started seeing immediate results. I have just finished removing gluten from my diet and I have never felt better. So I decided that I wanted to make other people’s bellies happy too!
I know I was so frustrated when I first started on my restricted diet when I would get gourmet food gifts from people and was never able to enjoy any of the goodies, I also had a difficult time picking out which foods to start with. I thought it would be great to have a Starter Kit as well as offer gifts available that had the same quality and taste that I was used to. So Happy Belly Bags was born! I wanted to build the business around what I believed in as far as keeping it “green” as well as having healthy and organic choices for people with all types of food aversions, allergies and intolerances. Everyone deserves a Happy Belly!
Which of your bags is the most popular?
Currently our most popular bag in the Gluten-Free Starter Kit, the Organic Snacker Belly and the Collegiate Belly Bags are also very popular. We have been getting request for Children’s Bags and plan to launch those in the near future!
What food allergy do you get the most requests for?
We get the most requests for gluten-free foods, dairy-free and nut-free foods are also very popular.
How do you choose items that you will include in your bags?
This is the most difficult part of the business. We are always looking for new foods and tasting items that have just entered the market. We used up taste panels as well as taste the products ourselves; we also read reviews and articles about products to determine their popularity. We want to have high quality items that are healthy but also taste good. Sometimes it is difficult to narrow it down but we always go with our gut (literally)! We are always looking for great products so any suggestions would be welcome!
So what is in your custom GFM Happy Belly Bag? It is more like what’s not in the bag…
Betty Lou’s Gluten Free Fruit Bars x2 (Strawberry and Blueberry)
Betty Lou’s Just Great Stuff Organic Cacao Açaí Bar
Brothers-All-Natural Fuji Apple Crisps x2
Dr. Mc Dougall’s Vegan Spring Onion Noodle Soup
Give Energy Pear Apple Cherry Drink
Give Love natural Spring Water
Gladcorn Corn Snacks (x2) (Original and Bar-B-Q)
Glow Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Cookies
Healthy Snacks Bare Fruit Organic Baked Dried Cherries
Kettle Brand Organic Lightly Salted Chip (5 oz.bag)
Namaste GF Bread Mix
Natural Nectar GF Cracklebred (Original)
Nature’s Path Organic Crunchy Maple Sunrise Cereal
Nu Go Free Dark Chocolate Crunch Bar
Pastariso Organic Brown Rice Pasta
Peelu Dental Chewing Gum
Pure Organic Cherry Cashew Bar
Sunfood Organic Amazonian Jungle Peanuts
Surf Sweets Sour Berry Bears
Sweet Riot 100% Dark Cacao Dipped in 65% Dark Chocolate Nips
Vermints Natural Mints (Peppermint)
The Fine Print: All you need to submit is your name and e-mail address which will not be used for anything other than choosing a winner. Please note this contest is open to residents of the United States only. The contest will run from 11/15/10 through 11/30/10 (11:59 Pacific Time). The winner will be chosen at random and announced 12/1/10 here at GFM.com.