The Real Canadian Superstore in Aurora, ON is actually on the border line between Newmarket and Aurora, so residents of both towns shop there on a regular basis. Aside from fresh produce and fresh meat that is safe for gluten-free folk, the Aurora Superstore boasts a wide and varied gluten-free selection. It is important to highlight that the PC brand -which is Superstore’s own brand- offers many items certified by the Canadian Celiac Association, including breads, buns, hamburgers and cupcakes.
The breads can be located in the bread section of the store. If you’re looking for other gluten-free items, the majority of them can be found in the “Organic” section. In order to reach this section, you have to head to the back of the store, take a right and you’ll find it in front of the housewares section. (By the way, I should mention that grocery stores in York Region change their layout at least once a month, so this blog can not be held responsible for any store changes that may have occurred since the date and time of this post).
The “Organic” section has a large variety of kombucha, frozen meals, non-dairy desserts and pizzas. The brands they carry (of which I know are reliably gluten-free) are Coconut Bliss, So delicious, glutino, Udi’s, daiya, Amy’s and Saffron Road, (I highly recommend the Saffron Road entrees if you are missing Thai and Indian take-out.) I would like to caution those with Celiac disease to avoid the Amy’s entrees as they are produced in a facility that also produces wheat-based products.
Right next to the frozen foods are all the snack bars, protein bars and chocolate bars one could ask for.
In the aisles that follow, you will find gluten-free snack foods, shampoo, conditioner and even toothpaste.
I recommend trying the nut and seed butters by the Canadian company “Nuts to You”, all of which are gluten-free.
For those who have problems with dairy, the store carries many brands that offer almond, rice, macadamia and coconut beverages.
I should also mention that there is a bevy of gluten-free lunch meat, dips and spreads in the deli section.
Over the years, I’ve seen a vast improvement in the gluten-free selection of this store. That being said, there is still room for improvement. For one thing, the gluten-free breads and buns are next to non-gluten-free items and are packaged in thin plastic. Even the cupcakes are in containers that are not completely sealed. The same problem occurs in the frozen aisle as well ; with the frozen breads in packaging that can easily be torn or punctured being placed next to gluten-containing foods, (a situation that will increase the risk of cross-contamination and customer illness).
Overall, the store is a good option for those with Celiac disease or other gluten-free/wheat-free needs. However, you may want to purchase your bread from somewhere else.
Allergen alert! Be sure to read every square inch of the product label. Just because it says gluten-free on the front, does not mean there won’t be a “may contain” warning on the back! As always, check to make sure no other allergens are present in the facility that produces the product you’re looking at and when in doubt, call the company.
Dietary alert! There are many vegetarian and vegan options among the snacks and frozen entrees. The Saffron Road entrees are Halal and there is a wide selection of kosher-labelled items as well.