And now, Branford has its very own Gluten-Free Store.
Robyn’s Gluten Free Store, located at 540 East Main Street, has now opened after being approved last year by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The store is owned by Jim and Robyn Inglese.
In describing the new store to the Commission at that time, Inglese described the store as a “gluten free heaven," and then detailed the benefits of a gluten free diet.
“This will be the very first all gluten-free food store in the entire area, offering many foods not available in supermarkets, including a line of delicious fresh gluten-free baked goods,” explained Inglese. “We will also offer soy-free and dairy-fee products, as well as raw milk, farm-fresh eggs and hand-made cheeses, all from local farms. Our core market will be those who seek gluten-free, organic, and natural foods.”
The store is set to be designed as a “general store of the 1950’s.” In addition to gluten free foods, the store will sell items “that reflect life from simpler times,” such as hurricane lamps, beeswax candles and Indian blankets.
The owners detail that “Back in the day, the old general stores usually had an “Apothecary” section where shopkeepers sold various drugs, tonics, and elixers. In keeping with that theme, the shopping experience at ROBYN’S includes a separate Victorian-era apothecary room right next to the grocery area. That’s where you’ll find your health & beauty aids, personal care items, soaps, and toiletries, all of which are free of gluten, harsh chemicals, or any other harmful
ingredients. Some of the products there are hand-crafted right in Branford by local artisans.
The apothecary also stocks essential oils, supplements specifically targeted to gluten allergy and sensitivity, digestive enzymes, and a variety of other specialty items to improve the quality of one’s health—and life.”
The first day open was June 30, and response so far, according to Jim, is very strong.
“The first two days have been absolutely great, and the customers have been beating a path to our door,” he said. “They love the ambiance and the old-time look of the boys in their white shirts, bowties, and shop aprons.”
“We will do our best to put Branford on the map for having the best gluten-free grocery store in Connecticut,” he said.
A “grab-and-go” section is stocked with food items that can be brought back to the office at lunchtime and heated in the microwave.
A Community Information Board by the door invites anyone to post bulletins, ads, or upcoming event information that will help others with gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
The store will soon offer twice-weekly delivery to any of the area’s elderly and retirement communities, enabling those who cannot get to the store to have access to gluten-free groceries.
ROBYN’S GLUTEN-FREE COUNTRY STORE is open from 10-6:00 Monday through Friday and 10-3:00 on Saturdays. They’re located at 540 East Main Street, between People’s Bank and the Chowder Pot. Call 203-208-1256, or visit www.RobynsGlutenFree.com for more info.