Nicole Gardner

Hear Me Roar

NicoleGardner0819August 2019 Issue
Photography by Christian Lee

Nicole Gardner
Founder of The G-Free Spot,
Coligny Plaza, HHI
Hometown: New Paltz, NY

General Passion:

Quality Results: No matter what it is I’m working on or involved in, I’m committed to achieving quality results and to always learn and grow from every experience.

What brought you to the Lowcountry?

Our family fell in love with the Lowcountry after our very first visit and decided a little over eight years ago to make the move. We love the outdoors, water sports and the sun; it was an immediate perfect fit for us and has been the most amazing journey, thus far.

What is one of your favorite childhood memories?

Walking around the small city blocks of uptown Kingston, New York, with my grandparents as we visited the independently owned businesses and shops of the city and talked with the business owners and their customers. It was a small city where just about everyone knew everyone else.

What led you to a gluten-free lifestyle?

My daughter and I were diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, which led us down the path of learning how to live gluten-free. It forced me to learn how to adapt my regular recipes and create new ones that continued to fuel both our bodies and love for good food. After all, the center of our home is the kitchen, so it had to continue to be a place where we congregate and enjoy the entire experience of socializing and connecting with one another.

What is the G-Free Spot?

The G-Free Spot is our family’s way of sharing our love for food with a population of people (gluten intolerant) who don’t have as many options as our gluten loving friends.

What’s the best customer experience you’ve had at your bakery?

The very first hour after we officially opened our bakery doors, we had the most wonderful couple come in—Maureen & Harry Krumke. They came in every day for the remainder of their visit and have visited again since. We have kept in touch, shared little “tricks of the trade” and become great friends! We are truly blessed by the many people who enter our doors and our lives every day. It has been THE MOST fulfilling experience of our lives!

You’re surrounded by sweets, what’s the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for you?

It would be impossible for me to narrow the list down to just one thing. I am so lucky to have an amazingly thoughtful family and friends who do the sweetest things every day!

If a movie was made of your life, what would be
the climax and what actress would you want to play you?
We’ll have to hold off on a movie. I truly believe that the best is yet to come, so I can’t even begin to guess what the climax may be. I do know that Sandra Bullock would have to play me; she’s my husband’s favorite actress, so it’s a pretty easy choice!

Outside of work, what are a few of your favorite things to do?

I cherish the time I am able to spend with my family. Your shop is literally across the street from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

How often do you get there to enjoy it, and what’s
the coolest thing you’ve ever found beach-combing?
We certainly don’t get out as frequently as we’d like (which would be EVERY day), but we do go as often as possible. We love to people watch and pick up things that are inadvertently left behind by visitors. Most recently, we found a pink butterfly shovel that has been put to good use!

Other than family, what’s something you
could absolutely not do without?
Quality alone time to recharge my internal batteries.

What’s the weirdest thing in your purse right now?

I have large collection of lip moisturizer in my purse. It is a necessity for me—an odd number for sure.

You can hear me roar about…

Being kind, being thoughtful, and being a good addition and contributor to our community—local and beyond. We are all merely a small piece of a much larger puzzle. Be humble, be kind, and always be aware of where your story started.