Why Gluten Free?
Eating out is a vital thread to social living, but it’s not always an option for families with food allergies and sensitivities. We’re here to remove the uncertainty because everyone deserves to enjoy great dining experiences! To guarantee this for all guests, we actively prevent gluten from entering our restaurant. We are very serious about this. We stop cross-contamination at the door, barring all employees, vendors, and guests from bringing gluten inside.
Fresh First has earned recognition as a “GREAT Kitchen” by Beyond Celiac, a national non-profit that assists individuals with gluten-related disorders. At Fresh First, all precautions have been taken – starting with our concept of a 100% gluten-free, organic, and vegan-friendly Cafe – to guarantee an enjoyable dining experience for everyone we serve.
Before gluten intolerance became commonplace in the world of food and health, we recognized a need to cater to those with gluten sensitivities. Today, we continue to recognize those with sensitive dietary needs, allergies, and restrictions and strive to create outstanding combinations of flavors to gather all types of foodies — even individuals without any sensitivities or allergies to gluten — around healthy, flavorful cuisines.
The Basics about gluten, according to Beyond Celiac:
1. Gluten is harmful to someone with celiac disease.
Gluten is a particle that cannot be killed or disinfected. It can hide in cracks and crevices and attach to many types of surfaces. Neither heat nor bleach will help solve issues of cross-contamination. Gluten must either be excluded or completely removed.
2. What happens if a person with celiac disease eats gluten?
Gluten exposure causes long-term health consequences for people with celiac disease. Even eating a small amount of gluten will cause a reaction, which may not be seen immediately. It is important to note that a person with celiac disease will NOT experience anaphylaxis — a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause a drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, or even death — if they eat gluten. Rather, they will experience intestinal damage, which in turn can cause a number of different reactions including, but not limited to: diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, skin rash, joint pain, nausea, and vomiting.
3. Facts about celiac disease.
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease that damages the small intestines and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. It affects an estimated 1% of the population. With this disease, the body attacks itself every time gluten is consumed. Eating any amount of gluten no matter how small will cause a reaction. The ONLY treatment is a 100% lifelong gluten-free diet. The common symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, delayed growth, joint pain, anemia, headaches, reproductive health problems, fatigue, skin rashes.
Why Vegan-friendly, not 100% Vegan?
Fresh First Owners are whole-food, plant-based eaters. They have experienced the challenge of eating out with their friends and family at restaurants that aren’t aware of dietary restrictions, like veganism or celiac disease. That, in part, sparked their mission to provide a place where families and friends with different restrictions and eating habits could dine together without sacrificing on taste.
At Fresh First, we believe everyone can co-exist and dine in harmony regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences. We are Vegan-friendly but not 100% vegan because we will always welcome passionate foodies who are focused on improving the quality of their lives through the food they eat.
People are not all the same. Different people are at different points in their food and healthy lifestyle journey. We will always be respectful of that. We will never impose our own beliefs on our guests. Quite the opposite! We want to help and inspire you to move forward with your eating goals.
We mark our menus with a beet icon that reads “VEGANIZE IT!” so vegan eaters can clearly identify their meal options, and even see what menu items menu items can be modified to be completely plant-based.
As far as other dietary restrictions, once our guests tell us what they need we will do our best to accommodate them. Since we make the majority of the items we serve in-house, we are able to work around many restrictions other restaurants cannot. 🙂
Our nutrition facts are available and marked with the most common allergens because delicious food is food that suits your lifestyle.
If you have any questions before you stop by, don’t hesitate to call and talk to one of our kitchen experts so we can make sure our options are right for you.