We are so ready for the local park concession stand to open this spring. Why? Because we made fast friends with the owner last summer, and they stocked pre-packaged dairy-free ice cream for us.
When we first visited, they had soy ice cream stocked in an open container in the ice cream freezer. But we explained how that wasn't safe for us because of cross-contamination. So they asked for a list of safe pre-packed dairy-free ice cream and soon had it stocked. So Delicious Coconut Ice Cream in bars and sandwiches. We were in heaven!
As it turns out, their coconut ice cream was a big hit among many. Sometimes we would show up, and it would be out of stock. People were buying it for the low calorie, the dairy-free, and the soy-free components. The stand even ditched the open stock soy ice cream because it wasn't selling.
We do pay a bit more for the ice cream at the stand when I could buy it for less at the store. But that's not the point. It's worth seeing the smiles on my boy's face when he gets to order ice cream at the counter like everyone else.
In this case, it certainly paid off for me to kindly explain food allergies to this business. Don't be afraid to ask and educate in a kind way as you just never know who might be willing to work with you.
Have you ever successfully worked with a local business to make them more allergy-aware?