Monday, December 22, 2014 · 3:36 p.m.
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Owners of the new store will celebrate a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony Nov. 19 at 3:30 p.m. (Photo: Contributed)

Hixson now has a new low-carb, gluten-free, organic food store.

“We started our soft opening Friday with no advertising,” owner Jeff Crawford said. “The only thing we’ve put out is a sign, and we’ve had great traffic coming through. People are excited.”

Mimi’s Low Carb Market, located at 5023 Hixson Pike, is a diabetic-friendly store that Jeff and his wife, Liz, who is also a nurse, started after his mother—Mimi—was diagnosed with the disease.

Instead of putting Mimi on insulin, Crawford said they decided to change her diet.

The first trip to grocery store No. 1 took about two hours.

Diabetes Month

November is American Diabetes Month. For facts and myths about the disease, click here

“You have to pick up every product and read every label,” he said. “It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.”

Then the family went to grocery store No. 2 and spent another two hours.

They thought there had to be an easier way, and now, they have created one.

According to the American Diabetes Association’s 2011 numbers, 25.8 million children and adults—8.3 percent of the population—have the disease.

Of those, 18.8 million people have been diagnosed, and 7 million have not.

In 2010, doctors diagnosed 1.9 million new cases of diabetes in people 20 years of age and older, according to the organization.

According to the CDC, about 10.8 percent of people in Tennessee have diabetes.

Diabetics must monitor their blood sugar levels, and Crawford said a low-carb, low-sugar diet that is high in fiber is ideal for people with the disease.

The new market will offer more than 1,400 different products.

“The hardest process is finding products that diabetics can consume,” Crawford said.

He also said he has heard some people say that gluten-free is a fad, but he doesn’t think so.

According to the Mayo Clinic, "gluten-free" means without the protein gluten, which is found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.

Recently, another local resident and former Chattanooga lawyer, Karen Wilson, announced that she is opening the city’s first exclusively gluten-free restaurant in Warehouse Row.

Crawford said all the products are reasonably priced and that he will do his best to get any item a customer requests.

Crawford has run other businesses and also has a corporate background, and he said he thinks his latest project will draw in a high volume of customers.

“I’m paying for this out of my pocket, so I have a lot of faith in this venture,” he said.

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