As restaurants around Manhattan embark upon their busiest season of the year, NOBREADNYC.COM launches as a convenient source for diners looking for gluten free menu options and recommendations at NYC-based restaurants. Founder and CEO, Nicole Cogan, launches NOBREADNYC.COM as a result of a health condition that forced her to live a gluten free lifestyle. With features including customized gluten free menus along with restaurant profiles and mini-reviews, NOBREAD fills a void by offering consumers a go-to guide for dining gluten free in NYC.
Gluten is most commonly known as a “gluey” protein substance found in wheat flour and other related grains that gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and give it a chewy texture. A gluten allergy is the body’s inability to digest or break down the gluten protein, in which approximately one in seven Americans may have some form of gluten allergy or intolerance. For people who have a gluten intolerance (also known as a gluten sensitivity), a change of lifestyle to go gluten free can be difficult, especially in New York, where dining out is a main source of generating business. As a sales analyst at J.P. Morgan for the past three years, taking clients out to dinner was the best and the worst part of the job for Cogan, and it was then that the NOBREAD founder came up with the concept for a restaurant guide to a gluten free NYC.
“Over five years ago, as a result of a health condition, I became gluten and dairy-free,” explains founder of NOBREADNYC.COM Nicole Cogan. “I loved how much client entertaining was involved with my job, but I always felt uncomfortable explaining to the server or manager that I was gluten free, especially in large group settings. So I started a blog as a guide to myself to have meals picked out before client dinners. My blog became my passion, and this pursuit has become my full-time career.”
Today, that blog has expanded into a website with over 250 restaurants already featured. Users can sort by the name of the restaurant, neighborhood or type of cuisine. Upon clicking on a restaurant name, consumers can see a short profile on the restaurant including “NOBREAD Facts” such as if that restaurant has cross contamination, gluten free pasta and gluten free bread. Scroll down a little further and the full menu is featured, with the option to see a customized gluten free menu at the click of a button. Additionally, each restaurant has a mini-review in which Cogan gives her recommendations of which “NOBREAD” items to order. Very few restaurants offer their own special gluten free menu, and the restaurants that do typically only make the menu available upon request. Furthermore, these menus tend to be very limited, as gluten free dishes that are paired with sides containing gluten are left off of the menu. Cogan solves this problem by customizing the full menu with suggestions so consumers can still order their favorite dishes, but replace the gluten-filled side with a gluten free side (i.e. substitute the French fries with sautéed vegetables or greens).
“Just because someone is gluten free, whether it is due to a sensitivity, health reasons or for dietary benefit, doesn’t mean they need to completely sacrifice their lifestyle,” says Cogan. “With NOBREAD, we are giving people suffering from this allergy the ability to maintain a ‘normal’ New York lifestyle, and access to customized gluten free menus at some of New York’s hottest restaurants.”
NOBREADNYC.COM not only gives gluten free diners a convenient way to access some of New York’s most popular restaurants, but it provides these restaurants and chefs with a platform to reach the gluten free community in NYC.