We often take for granted what we enjoy eating. What if we were allergic to many of the wonderful foods out there? In the past, if you were allergic to certain foods, your foodie options were limited, at best. Now, many specialty stores are helping allergy-free foods reach foodies with dietary restrictions. We caught up with manager Rachel Borofsky of Food For All Market (Mt. Airy, Philadelphia), a café and market that focuses on serving allergy-friendly prepared foods. Our conversation took place while munching on some of their fresh, warm, gigantic chocolate chip brownies (vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free and yet loaded with deliciousness!).
What are your earliest food memories?
My family was much more of a “big food on big holidays” family. Growing up, I had a very busy schedule that involved horseback riding and dancing. So I really grew up eating mostly easy, microwaveable, processed foods. Never, in a million years, did I ever think I would end up being the manager of an allergy-conscious foodery.
How have allergies affected your foodie lifestyle?
I first noticed my allergies after I had graduated college. It turns out I’m allergic to gluten, which I cut out of my diet about four years ago. I also try to avoid soy and dairy, just to be safe. I was so scared to give up pasta, of all things. Where did my allergies come from so late in life? Who knows; they could have been from all the processed foods I ate as a child. Oddly, in a wonderful way, my allergies have opened and expanded my foodie world. When I first discovered my allergies, my response was to simply not eat much. Dining out was a huge challenge, and I was usually scared of my limited options when eating out. Now, with this store, I am able to help so many different people with food allergies: children, especially. Kids’ eyes light up when they ask their moms what they can order, and their moms smile and say: “You can eat anything you want here.” Allergy-free food is the largest growing segment of the food industry, and I’m proud to be a part of that.
Traditional Jewish foods and, admittedly, Spaghetti O’s.
What do you think of the modern food world we live in?
I think there is a real need for the modern food market. With the demands of the world, most moms and dads are working full-time these days. It’s just a fact of life now that the mothers who cook entire meals for their families on a regular basis are few and far between. We, as an industry, need to adopt and cater to our consumers. I guess the only complaint I’d have is that a lot of the prepared foods are still made with junk. I mean, even some of the ingredients that Whole Foods uses, such as canola oil, are really not as healthy as they are perceived to be.
What family recipe would you like to share with us?
Growing up, I loved Italian food. My mom would make bucatini with prosciutto or pancetta, and, while I can’t really eat this anymore, this website is all about our childhood memories of food, right? I love sharing this recipe with others. If you have food allergies (or even if you don’t), you should come shop at our market. If you aren’t allergic to gluten, then you should definitely make this. Enjoy Bucatini ala Borofsky! 🙂
Rachel Borofsky is the manager at Food For All Market (Mt. Airy, Philadelphia). She spent many years in the healthcare industry, but ultimately left and redirected her passion to helping those who suffer from multiple food allergies. She looks forward to expanding Food For All Market with the owner, Amy Kunkle.