Friday, September 14, 2007

Blimpie

(in progress)
Hello,
I would like to visit your restaurant. Can you tell me what menu items are vegan (no animal products)? While I appreciate very much that ingredients are listed on your site, some may or may not be of animal origin (L-cysteine, enzymes, sodium stearoyl lactylate), so I'm hoping you might be able to clarify. Thank you for taking the time to determine this, your help is greatly appreciated.
Best,
Erin

Blimpie response:
Mr.[sic] Thompson,
Thank you for sending us your feedback. If you could please contact the corporate office at 866-4-KAHALA or email Jennifer Garnatz at jrgarnatz@kahalacorp.com.
Jennifer is in charge of all nutritional information for all of our brands, she will gladly help you with your inquiry.
Thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback.


Sincerely,
Kristen Nardini
Operations Coordinator

My email(#2) to Jennifer:

Hello Jennifer,
I was given your name by Kristen Nardini, who told me you might be able to help me. Can you tell me what menu items are vegan (no animal products), including your breads, etc? While I appreciate very much that ingredients are listed on your site, some may or may not be of animal origin (L-cysteine, enzymes, sodium stearoyl lactylate), so I'm hoping you might be able to clarify. Thank you for taking the time to determine this, your help is greatly appreciated.
Best,
Erin


Jennifer's response (#2):
Hello,
After reviewing the ingredients for our breads, they do contain the ingredients which you have listed below. The Ciabatta bread and the Wraps do contain enzymes used in the manufacturing process. In addition, the veggie sub patty that we use is a vegetarian item, but not vegan. Let me know if there are any further questions.
Please and Thank You,
Jennifer Garnatz
Kahala Cold Stone
9311 E. Via De Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85258


Jennifer is pleasant, but rather than answering my question, confirms the information in my email to her. Considering how frequently I'm seeing this, I'm wondering if confusing the issue or not answering the question I asked is just some tactic to induce frustration with the hope I'll give up. Most consumers would. My reply (#3):
Hello Jennifer,
Thanks for your response. I am aware the ingredients mentioned are present in their respective products. My question is whether these ingredients are from an animal source. I am asking because these are food additives that may or may not be from an animal source. Can you please tell me whether the L-cysteine, enzymes, sodium stearoyl lactylate in your menu items are vegan?
Thanks,
Erin


Jennifer relents and addresses my question, but takes the easy way out, unfortunately. Reply (#3):
Erin,
I cannot confirm that they are or are not. The nutrition facts label for these products (breads) do not state that they contain egg or milk, but I cannot be 100% positive that they are not from an animal source.
Please and Thank You,
Jennifer Garnatz
Kahala Cold Stone
9311 E. Via De Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85258


If Jennifer is in charge of nutritional information for Blimpie, I find it absurd she does not have this information available and is not willing to pursue it. I wrote back (#4) to Kristen Nardini, who first referred me to Jennifer, with my conversation with Jennifer included:
Hello Kristen,
Unfortunately Jennifer Garnatz, to whom you referred me regarding my question regarding the source of some ingredients found in your menu items, was unable help me (our email exchanges follow). Is there someone else who can? I cannot imagine a company making it so difficult for a potential customer to patronize your restaurants. I remain hopeful someone can address my question satisfactorily.
Thanks,
Erin
[forwarded conversation here]


To be continued...

3 comments:

Ben said...

I think the problem may be that the producers of the bread don't distinguish between animal-based and non animal-based products such as these, so instead of being one or the other, it's a combination of them. Just a thought.

ivegan said...

So what happened? We are in 2010 now...

mamarati said...

Wow. Nothing else from Blimpie? Guess I won't be eating there...