After 18 months, 2 development teams, a 15 month pandemic, 6 pounds, and 87 new gray hairs, I am beyond happy to announce that the Gluten Dude app has officially launched. It’s actually been in the app stores for a few months now but I kept it hush for several reason, mostly because of the pandemic. The timing just wasn’t right. On the plus side, the delay allowed me to add some new features. So today…I make it official.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the who, why, where and what’s of the Gluten Dude app.
Who is behind the Gluten Dude app?
Honest answer? You are. Without the celiac/gluten-free community, the app wouldn’t have come to life. Because of your support, your ideas and your passion, I fought through all of the trials and tribulations and stuck with it until the end. Take a bow folks.
Who is the app for?
The app is for anyone with celiac disease, anyone who lives gluten-free, anyone who has a friend/family member who must live gluten-free, and anyone who just wants to be a part of an awesome community.
And I’m happy to say it’s also for The Center for Celiac Research & Treatment, who will receive 5% of all subscription fees. It’s an amazing non-profit program, doing great work and I am more than happy to give back to the community.
Why was the app created?
Like everything I’ve done in my 10 years as a celiac advocate, it was created to help the community. To help them (you!) overcome the challenges of living a 100% gluten-free life; the physical challenges, the mental challenges, and the social challenges. We’ll talk about this below.
Where can I download the app?
What challenges does the app solve?
For ALL of the details about the app, please head on over to GlutenDude.app (when you’re done reading this article naturally), where all of the app’s features and benefits are thoroughly discussed. But briefly, it solves the following challenges:
Challenge: Eating out safely
Solution: A directory of over 2,500 restaurants (and counting). But not just any restaurants. Only restaurants that are either 1) 100% gluten-free; or 2) Not 100% GF but have been recommended by someone in the celiac community AND have been personally vetted by my team. No non-gf restaurant goes on the app until we have spoken with the owner/manager and we feel they understand the seriousness of it and they take precautions to minimize the risk of cross-contamination. Each restaurant type will be clearly marked and a “Dude Vetting Note” is added to each non-gf restaurant listing. More restaurants are added every day.
Challenge: Finding coupons for online ordering
Solution: A directory of over 140 amazing gf companies offering everything from mixes, to cupcakes, to cookies, to breads, to bagels, to crepes and more. Over 40 of them have offered special coupons just for the Gluten Dude community.
Challenge: Getting the right answers to your questions
Solution: A forum where discussion is encouraged but fear-mongering and misinformation is not. The internet is littered with falsehoods and dangerous information regarding celiac disease. You deserve to get honest answers from those who have been in your shoes.
Challenge: Isolation / feeling like you’re alone in your gluten-free journey
Solution: Live chat. The app will connect you with others in the celiac/GF community, allowing one on one private chats. People can connect when they’re traveling to a new town and get local help, but also they can make new friends in their own area, plan GF play-dates with other parents of GF kids, etc.
Challenge: Locating gluten-free beer
Solution: A directory of over 10,000 stores, bars and restaurants where you can purchase gluten-free beer (NOT gluten-removed beer.)
Why are you charging a subscription fee?
There is no advertising on the app and all companies are listed for free, so a moderate subscription fee is necessary for the app to run. See below for what exactly the subscription fees go toward. For those of you who know me, you know I am not about the “products” but about the people and the struggles of living with celiac disease, and that is the way I’ll always keep it. I created this app FOR the GF community and my hope is it can be supported BY the GF community.
What does the app cost?
The app is free to download and once you create an account, you get a 7-day free trial where you will have complete access to the entire app. When the free trial ends, you can choose from three subscription levels: monthly ($5.99), semi-annual ($29.99), annual ($49.99). Using one coupon per month will literally cover the cost of the app.
What do the subscription fees go toward?
Fair question. In addition to 5% of all subscription fees being donated to The Center for Celiac Research and Treatment, the fees will also go toward:
– Finding/vetting/adding new restaurants on a daily basis.
– Managing/updating the current restaurants on the app.
– Keeping the beer locations updated on a regular basis.
– Paying staff, both full-time and part-time.
– Hosting and maintaining the app to keep it purring like a kitten.
– Improving the app with new features and functionality.
What if I really want the app but it’s not in my budget right now?
I understand as much as anyone how expensive having celiac disease can be (doctors, lab work, food, etc.) and how an additional expense could be a burden. If I could have made the app free, I would have. But there is no advertising on the app and all restaurants & companies are listed for free. At the same time, I do not want anyone to be excluded solely for financial reasons. If this is the case for you, please contact me and we’ll try to work something out.
I am also currently running a promotion where someone can Gift-a-Friend, which gives the recipient 3 free months. Details here.
As a subscriber, what can I do to help the app benefit the community?
Very kind of you to ask. I would love it if you considered 1) Leaving reviews of restaurants on the app that you’ve been to and online companies you’ve ordered from; 2) joining the discussion on the app’s forum; 3) suggesting restaurants that you’ve been to and recommend; 4) keeping me updated on restaurants on the app that have either closed or are no longer 100% GF; and 5) sharing the app with your friends and family. Anything you can do would be a big benefit to the community and would be really appreciated.
What does the app look like?
Here are a few screenshots for you.
Where can I find more information about the app?
The app has its own website with tons of info, an FAQ, a support section, etc. It is at GlutenDude.app. And again, for your clicking pleasure, it can be downloaded here:
That’s it for now folks. Any comments, questions, or feedback, hit me in the comments below and I’ll be sure to respond. Cheers!