August New Members

September 14, 2010

Congratulations to these new NASFT members accepted in August 2010!

City Olive

Datz Delicatessen

Eden Chocolates USA, Inc.

The Epicurean Connection

French Embassy Trade Office

Golden Edibles

Gourmet Gardens Specialty Foods, Inc.

KMJ International

Lemley’s Catering

Luck Chen

Mani Imports

Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi

Mrs. Munchies

My Brother’s Salsa

Nut Nation

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine

Skipping Stone Productions

Surdyk’s Cheese Shop & Liquor Store

Tell City Pretzel Co.

30 Minute Seder

Up With Paper

Vermont Cookie Love

Villa Gourmet

Virginia Artesian Bottling Company

Woodstock Farmers’ Market

Zydeco Spice

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Taking a quick break to report in from day 1 of the sofi Awards judging for the 38th sofi Awards for the outstanding specialty foods of 2010.

April 14, 2010

By Louise Kramer, NASFT Communications Manager

I am so thrilled that it has all come together today: Chef David Ward is whipping up baked goods, sous Chef Alistair Smith has started cutting up cheese, and the sofi support team is humming.

Our panel of nine judges arrived here at our new offices on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan at 9 a.m. today. We were a little nervous behind the scenes because we’ve never done the sofis here and it is quite an operation! In the past week we received 1,570 entries, all great food products vying for the coveted sofi Gold Award.

We’ll present the Gold Awards at our Summer Fancy Food Show on June 28 in a red-carpet ceremony hosted by Dan Barber, a leading light of the artisanal and local food movement.

The judges come from across the US. We have a specialty retailer from Southern California from a family-owned business, a Dallas-based grocer whose company has dozens of stores, a big regional supermarket chain in the Southeast, a fab New York City retailer with several stores brimming with specialty and natural products from the members of our trade association. Oh, and the food editor of a fabulous major magazine, a chef instructor from a great cooking school, and the owner of a great store in Vermont, and the owner of a lovely shop in New York’s Westchester Country. To cap it off, we have an executive chef from a prominent New York restaurant company that has a branch in LA.

When we assembled the panel, our aim was to have a range of expertise and opinions represented.  It is there tough job – someone has to do it! — to select finalists across 31 awards categories this week, from Outstanding Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa or Dip to Outstanding Vinegar.

In early June, we’ll have a panel come to our offices to judge the last two batches of entries, for the coveted sofi Gold Award for the Outstanding New Product of the Year, and Outstanding Product Line. They’ll pick finalists for those two awards. Sort of like coming up with the list of Oscar nominees.

So far today the judges have completed judging one category to pick the nominees/finalists, and are about to finish the second. The sofi team, lead by Marilyn O’Hara, the project manager, and Nicole Denis, the culinary manager, are running around quite a bit to make sure all entries are set out just right, that the fact sheets are there, that the judges have plenty of water and tasting spoons and napkins, etc.

This is my third year working on the sofi Awards, and I am very relieved that it has all come together. And I am especially relieved that our new oven is working! We weren’t quite sure it would be.

Here’s to a great sofi 2010. The finalists for the first 31 of the 33 Awards will be announced the week of April 19. The finalists for those last two Awards will be announced the week of June 7.

The sofi Gold winners for each of the 33 Awards will be selected by attendees at the Summer Fancy Food Show. All the finalists picked this week will be set out on long tables in a private room for retailers and buyers to taste and evaluate in order to make their picks. It will all be monitored by an outside accounting firm. They’ll tally the results right there so we can announce them at the show just a few hours after the judging of the finalists ends.

But I’m racing ahead of myself. We need to have a list of finalists first. And that’s what’s starting to happen today with the judges sampling about 500 products today. They’ll be here tomorrow, Thurs., April 15, and Friday, April 16. No doubt they will eat light this weekend.


Office move… sofi Awards competition… Summer Fancy Food Show…and what you say? A new specialtyfood.com? Wow!

April 7, 2010

By Vivian Friess,  Marketing Manager
Yep, that was my reaction when I first joined NASFT four months ago and learned about some of the big projects the association was undertaking in 2010. Now that we have relocated to 136 Madison Ave, started the preparation for the judging of this year’s sofi Awards, kicked off the marketing of the Summer Fancy Food Show, it’s time for the debut of the new specialtyfood.com.

And I have to say, the new site has a great design and you’ll find it so much easier to navigate through the various services that we provide you. From getting the latest industry updates in the News & Trends section to finding and connecting with fellow members in the NASFT Community, the information you’re looking for is just a click away.

But what’s more impressive is that now all information related to the Summer (or Winter) Fancy Food Show is organized under one “roof” and you can get to it from the home page easily. If you have time, browse through this section of the site and get familiar with it. But if you’re in a hurry, take a look at the list below for a quick start.

If you’re looking for products and companies, a Fancy Food Show exhibitor or creating a Show Planner

If you’re looking to register to attend the Summer Fancy Food Show as an attendee, exhibitor or member of the press:

  • Go to the Fancy Food Show section, choose Summer Fancy Food Show then click on Badge Registration on the left side navigation. Or simply click here.

If you’re looking to sign up for education programs at the upcoming Summer Show:

  • Go to the Fancy Food Show section, choose Summer Fancy Food Show then click on Education on the left side navigation. Or simply click here.

If you’re exhibiting at the upcoming Summer Show and want to access Exhibitor Services:

Well, I hope you like our new Specialtyfood.com and happy browsing!


March New Members In Their Own Words

April 6, 2010

In the month of March, 20 specialty food businesses were accepted by NASFT as members. Here they are and please join us to welcome them to the NASFT family!

  • Baron International Trading Ltd. “We offer frozen Food, ethnic food, confections, sweets and snacks.”
  • BE Food Ltd. “Production of high-class comfitures, marmalades, sauces and baking fillings and fruit spreads.”
  • Casella Foods, LLC “Casella Foods offers products that are original and haven’t been seen in today’s market. We also offer extraordinary packaging to top it off.” Twitter
  • Deva Naturals “Deva Naturals’ authentic, original, savory products make ‘ANY’ meal gourmet & Exotic in minutes.” Facebook Page  Twitter
  • Foodworks “We offer all natural flake sea salt (Mediterranean) that is specially washed three times and infused with natural flavors. It is truly a gourmet finishing salt.”
  • Julia Baker Confections “We are known for our handmade, artisan chocolates in luxury packaging. Our confections contain only the finest European chocolate and freshest ingredients available without the addition of preservatives.” Facebook Page
  • Lark Fine Foods, LLC “We use unusual combinations of ingredients to produce premium cookies that are highly flavorful, original and distinctive. Some are sweet and savory; some spicy and quite peppy; none overly sweet.” Facebook Page
  • Maadauey Yehiam (1993) Ltd. “We produce premium kosher deli meat, and have a prelisted line with innovative packaging, a deli block line for slicing at the deli counter and a variety of smoked and dried sausages and hot dogs.
  • MeMeMe Inc. “Our products are made from artisan calabers bread. We use the highest quality ingredients.”

Partners Tea Company, LLC “Created from the highest quality organic ingredients using Fair Trade practices, our  artisan blends and pure teas use flowers, herbs and teas grown on small farms from Sri Lanka to south Africa.” Facebook Page & Twitter

  • Pastabilities Unlimited “Our sorrisos is manufactured in small batches in order to maintain its elusive flavor and to preserve the family history and artisanal quality of our sauces. All ingredients are carefully selected and are all natural.” Facebook Page
  • Paul T. Freund Corporation “We are a specialty box manufacturer producing custom paperboard packaging for food, gourmet confections, and beverage companies, in addition to other markets.”
  • Raven’s Nest Specialties “Ravens Nest Specialties provides unique gourmet food and specialty gift products for both retailers and consumers. We also pride ourselves in offering specialty packaging for our handmade gifts.” Facebook Page
  • Sisson Imports “We sell French import herbs, lavender, glassware serving dishes, etc.”
  • Tile World Corp “TWCorp’s Brands of Natural Sugar are pure, natural and chemical free sugar. Our sugar is processed completely free from any harmful chemicals such as phosphoric acid, formic acid, sulphur dioxide, preservatives, or any flocculants, surfactants, bleaching agents or viscosity modifiers.”
  • Tofutown North American LLC “Tofutown manufactures an entirely vegan line of gourmet meat alternatives and diary-free whipped toppings. All of our products are made with GMO free certified organic ingredients, making them the highest quality in their respective categories. Also, Tofutown North America specializes in exotic varieties such as: Veggie Doner Kebap, Veggie Cevapcici and Veggie Gyros.We are also the only manufacturer of gluten-free soy and rice based whipped toppings.”Facebook Page   & Twitter
  • Tortellini & Co., Inc. “Tortellini&Co., Inc. products are authentic Italian gourmet pasta, ravioli, tortellini, gnocchi made by a real Italian pasta maker who follows his family traditions, recipes, homemade style and all natural processing.”
  • U.S. Foodservice Metro New York “Connoisseur, a specialty foods distributor offering extensive line of international food products. With a portfolio of over 4000 specialty lines, you can trust that Connoisseur will exceed your expectations.”
  • Westland Cheese Export “After many years of perseverance, dedication and experimentation to achieve the perfect quality and taste they desired from this style of mature cheese, Lambert successfully produced a secret recipe – using family-owned starter culture and a unique ripening process-that consistently brings life the exact characteristics of this beloved “Amsterdam” cheese.”