Mom Launches New Food Allergy Website

A mom from Warwickshire has launched a new website to help people with food allergies, intolerances or celiac disease find suitable places to eat.

The idea for Allergy Companions arose from an unpleasant experience Liljia Polo-Richards and her husband James had on vacation earlier this year with their son who was diagnosed with a severe nut allergy while he was only 13 months old.

Ms. Polo-Richards was inspired by the incident to create the new online platform for people to share reviews and help others find places that she says “really care about serving people. suffering from food allergies “.

It is estimated that up to three million people in the UK suffer from food allergies, intolerances or celiac disease.

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She said: “Our son is four years old and over the past two and a half years we have found it difficult to eat in restaurants.

“When we went to Norfolk we told the restaurant at the reservation point that our son had an allergy, I called them the day before and the same day and reminded them before our food arrived.

“Our dish arrived covered in nuts and when I mentioned it and asked the waiter to take it away, they didn’t handle it very well.

“When our son went to bed that night, my husband and I decided to do something positive because we felt we couldn’t be the first family this had happened to and there had to be a better resource available to others who looked after food. allergic.

“We came up with the idea of ​​having a platform to share information with recommendations so that no matter where you have traveled across the UK you can hopefully find a place to eat if you have food allergies, intolerances or celiac disease.

“We were blown away by the response as it is great to read reviews from people who say they have tried new places based on recommendations from others.”

Prior to starting the business, Ms Polo-Richards, who lives in Leamington Spa, worked with the Growth Hub of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, which provided her with start-up support.

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Laura Delahunty, a hub’s commercial navigator, said: “Liljia’s wants Allergy Companions to bring together the allergy community and businesses so that they can work to improve the lives of people with food allergies, intolerances and celiac disease.

“We had a lot of discussions about the company and its ideas and I gave them information and advice throughout, acting as a sounding board for support. It’s fantastic that their website has been launched and as the business begins to grow. “

The new platform was designed by Birmingham-based design agency Class Web.

Co-Founder Chris Pyatt said, “It was great to help launch a business and a website that solves a real problem for many people.

“Working with Liljia has opened my eyes to over two million British diners affected by allergies. I wish her the best of luck in this endeavor because I know it means a lot to her, her family and everyone affected by allergies. food allergy.”

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