Noodlebox was born out of a small food cart in Victoria BC’s Chinatown in 2001 out of a dream by world travelers, Jodi & Nick.
Their humble concept of a Southeast Asian food cart serving Victoria diners soon grew to several brick and mortar restaurants.
With it, they brought to the table an interest in meeting the needs of gluten-free diners, a commitment that caught the attention of members of the Victoria Chapter of Celiac Canada.
When the Chapter undertook to host the 2008 Canadian Celiac National Conference, more than 600 delegates from across Canada were encouraged to give Noodlebox restaurants a try!
In short order & under new ownership, Noodlebox established locations across Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver, across BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and now, Ontario.
Until recently, The Celiac Scene understood that Noodlebox undertook the following precautions:
🔥 STANDARD PROTOCOL – every wok is scrubbed by hand, every time.
🔥 GLUTEN-FREE PROTOCOL – let staff know you have celiac disease and need a 100% gluten-free meal. Chef’s station will be re-set with fresh utensils, cloths and squeaky-clean hands.
For this reason, The Celiac Scene was confident in promoting Noodlebox restaurants to local and traveling gluten-free diners.
Like many good things in life however, things can and do change.
Noodlebox is stepping away from its commitment to safely serve celiacs and diners who require a 100% gluten-free meal. At The Celiac Scene’s request, Noodlebox issued the following statement on June 28, 2023*:
- “At Noodlebox, we pride ourselves on our ability to customize dishes to support guest preferences and dietary allergies.
- However, we also recognize that given the nature of our kitchens and cooking process, we can not claim to be gluten free. Years ago, we adjusted our claim to Gluten Friendly, as we do try our best.
- When guests identify an allergy to us, we do have best in class cooking protocol guidelines for our stores to follow; however, again due to our open kitchens, cross-contamination is a possibility.
- We believe it is important that guests with severe allergies know this as we do not want to mislead anyone.
- Noodlebox would like to reinforce that we are a “gluten friendly” environment.
- We’ll be reenforcing this “gluten friendly” communication with our teams, so as not to mislead guests.
- Unfortunately however, to avoid mis-communicating to the gluten-free community, we don’t think our dishes can safely meet the needs of celiac diners and those who require a 100% gluten-free meal.”
The Celiac Scene would like to thank Noodlebox for its enduring service to our community, both in providing us with safe and delicious meals for so many years, but for also making the difficult decision to officially announce that they can no longer make that commitment.
- * The above statement is the statement was provided by Noodlebox, at The Celiac Scene‘s request. As such, it is a ‘source document / ‘original content,’ not published anywhere else, for the benefit of the gluten-free community that it undertakes to inform. We hope you find it helpful. Ellen Bayens, The Celiac Scene.