One place I was really looking forward to going was Cooper's Coffee House. This had once been an It's a Grind franchise, but the owners wanted to branch out and offer more alternative options, so they left the franchise and reopened as Cooper's. I have been following them on facebook since we left Folsom, and had seen posts on gluten free options and dairy-free alternatives. I hadn't had coffee since coming back to the states, and was excited to finally be able to do so!
Stacy was the one who helped us when we came in, and walked us through some of the pre-packaged gluten free pastries. She wasn't sure about the coffee but was extremely helpful in letting me see the ingredients and allowing me to check company websites to see if the brands were gluten free/corn free. They were, and she made sure to sanitize all the equipment before making my drink. I got an iced vanilla latte with coconut milk and it was spectacular! The pastry was dry and crumbly, so I didn't order any more of those. We went a few more times while in Folsom and had great experiences with the coffee every time.
For lunch that same day, we went to BJ's. I was excited to learn a few months ago that BJ's had a gluten free pizza made from rice flour that would be safe for me. When I checked with our server, she had the manager come out and let me know exactly what ingredients were in what I had ordered. I really felt like they cared about my well-being and we felt confident in our choice to eat there! Ben and I shared a thin crust pizza and I got a house-brewed root beer to go with it. Everything was delicious!
**Edit as of 7.11.14: BJ's brewed root beer is no longer free of corn syrup, which is really too bad, as it's delicious. They do, however, have Crispin apple cider on tap - this is a delicious cider and is gluten/corn free.**
One of the things we were excited to do in Folsom was to shop. They have great outlets and a beautiful new outdoor mall area. Being fourth of July weekend, it was 104 degrees and after a few hours of shopping, we were craving something cold. I went into the Pinkberry, not expecting to be able to actually get any frozen yogurt. The woman behind the counter answered all of my questions, though, and it turns out she has gluten intolerance and has family members who are celiacs. She told me what she usually gets and I took her suggestions, getting a mango fro-yo with fresh fruit toppings. Delish!
Stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!