Anyhow, fairs of any kind are all about friendly vendors. People sit in booths or outside their shops making chit-chat with passersby trying to sell their wares, trying to outshine their competitors without being overbearing. Sometimes they do it with genial personalities, some with their attractive products, but sometimes, vendors make a sale with a right place at the right time personal story. That's how I met Karen.
My mom and I were walking away from the fair, back to our car, when we past Heather's Heat and Flavor where the manager and mother of the owner, Karen, stood outside selling carmel corn and candied almonds. I picked up a package of almonds and notice it had an allergy warning sticker. Karen noticed us looking at the sticker and the "what are you allergic too" conversation began. As it turns out, she could personally verify that the nuts were gluten free as she was gluten free, too! What luck, right?
Karen told us there were quite a few things in the shop that were gluten free, not everything, but a lot. And for a store that sells the widest array of hot sauces and barbecue sauces I've ever seen, that's actually pretty cool. We asked if she'd be able to direct gluten free people to the products best for them and she answered, "Probably. And if not, we'd just spend hours reading labels until we found something that worked. That's what we do anyway, right?"
Of course it is; being gluten free is all about taking the time to make sure your eating safe. But if you're going to be spending all those hours looking at labels, best to do it with someone who's sympathetic to your situation and actually knows what you're talking about.
If Hudson is too far for you, there's also a Heather's Heat and Flavor at Legacy Village in Lyndhurst.
(P.S. if you get a chance, do try the almonds. A perfect mix of sweet and crunchy, they made for a really satisfying snack on the way home. I was too much of a chicken to get the spicy ones, but if you muster up the courage, be sure to let me know how they are!)