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

Advertisements

Happy Anniversary!

August 24, 2010

Congrats to these NASFT members celebrating big milestones as of July 1, 2010!

50-Year Member:

Byrd Cookie Company

25-Year Members:

Independent Can Company

Long Grove Confectionary Company

Good Groceries Company

Lynch Specialty Foods, Inc.

Sohn Manufacturing, Inc.

10-Year Members:

Panola Pepper Corporation

Rose Hill Enterprises, LLC

Anthony-Thomas Candy Company

Devine Foods, Inc.

Mama Lil’s Peppers

Art Mart Corporation

Howard Imprinting Machine Company

Screamin’ Mimi’s Salsa, Inc.

Superior Quality Foods, Inc.

Maple Leaf Cheesemakers, Inc.

Wald Imports, Ltd.

Arizona Pepper Products Company, Inc.

Mom ‘n Pops, Inc.

ESM Metro New York

Food For Thought, Inc.

Stone Silo Foods, Inc.

Los Chileros De Nuevo Mexico

Thomas Catanese and Company

Valley Fig Growers

Q&B Foods, Inc.

Sisters Gourmet, Inc.

Mrs. Prindable’s Handmade Confections

FAGE USA Dairy Industry, Inc.

That’s A Nice!

Ritrovo Italian Regional Foods, LLC

Tortuga Rum Cake Company, Ltd.

La Panzanella, LLC

Arturo’s Hot Flavors of Hawaii

5-Year Members:

Wholesome Sweeteners, Inc.

Aussie Crunch, LLC

Dominion & Grimm USA

Original Gourmet Food Company, Inc.

New Grass Bison Company

La Dolce Vita

Langford Foods

SaltWorks, Inc.

Casanova Wine Imports, LLC

Housewaresdirect, Inc.

Pastor Chuck Orchards, LLC

Savor California

Hint, Inc.

Oh Sugar, LLC

Wine-A-Rita, LLC

Celtic Passions

Tidewater Foods & Catering, LLC

Stella Cadente Olive Oil Company

Ariston Specialties, LLC

Rosa Mexicano Kitchen

Fresh Food Sales and Marketing

Ellie’s Country Delights, Inc.

ZT Packaging & Merchandising, Inc.

Dogswell

El Pinto Foods, LLC

Koeze Company

Sunshine International Foods, Inc.

Great Atlantic Trading, Inc.

Mishima Foods USA, Inc.

Kernel Season’s, LLC

Meyenberg Goat Milk Products

Mareblu Naturals

American Natural & Organic Spices

Brockmann’s Chocolate, Inc.

Creative Foods, Inc.

War Eagle Mill, Inc.

Marque Foods, Inc.

We are announcing this year’s 50-year and 25-year milestones today. http://bit.ly/domvUM

Congratulations to everyone!


You made it! Thank you and Congratulations!

August 18, 2010

A list full of NASFT members have reached notable membership anniversaries in the first half of 2010. We would like to recognize and thank these members for their years of commitment to the NASFT. The association has grown tremendously and it is companies like these that have helped make this happen. In this list, 100 companies marked their 5-year membership; 50 companies celebrated their 10-year anniversary; 11 companies have been members for 25 years; and finally, 1 company, Sopexa New York, has been with us for half a century! Take a look at this amazing list below and join us to congratulate them:

5 Years:

Tamcor Mexim USA

Delina Inc.

Decadent Tastes LLC

Desert Pepper Trading Co.

Larabar Foods Inc.

Montana Monster Munchies LLC.

Madera Enterprises, Inc.

Dalmatia Imports, Inc.

Art of Chipotle

Louise Ceccarelli & Associates

Z. A. S. International

Jake’s Barbeque Sauce & Seasonings Co.

Milton’s Baking Company

Sauce Goddess

Pasta By Valente, Inc.

Forever Cheese

Market Connections Group, LLC.

Ray Products, Inc.

Vanilla, Saffron Imports

Beecher’s Handmade Cheese

Hawaii’s Special

Tiger Tiger USA

The ChocolateSmith

Tex-Mex Gourmet

Teance

Chuao Chocolatier

New Zealand Natural Goods Inc.

Pioneer Specialty Foods, Inc.

Offray Ribbon & Berwick Offray LLC.

The Hausen’Pepper Trading Co.

Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association

Sabra – Go Mediterranean

LesserEvil Inc.

King Arthur Flour Company, Inc.

SheerBliss Ice Cream

Champignon North America, Inc.

Late July Organic Snacks

Oregon Growers & Shippers

Roxy Trading

Wire Products Corporation

Bridge Brands Chocolate

Greek Gods, The

Barilla America, Inc.

Coupla Guys Foods

Mary’s Gone Crackers

Chef Dean Martin’s Sauce Haven

Renaissance Farm Inc.

East Bay POS

Marukan Vinegar (USA) Inc.

Abraham of North America, Inc.

Chef Creations, Inc.

Remington Sales & Marketing LLC

Red Lake Nation Foods

R.L. Cooperman & Associates LLC.

Gustiamo, Inc.

Pika’s Farm Table

Artisanal Cheese LLC

Wind & Willow, Inc.

Montana Department of Agriculture

Olivado USA

Dexpa

Louie’s Seasoning Co. Inc.

La Tourangelle

Peeled Snacks

E. F. Reimann Company

Harlow-HRK Sales & Marketing, Inc.

Cyprus Embassy Trade Center

Bariani Olive Oil LLC.

Fredericksburg Farms

New York Biscotti Company Inc.

West Virginia Development Office

The Crazy Baker

The Virginia Chutney Company LLC

BMA USA Inc.

Dillman Farm, Inc.

ThistleDew Farm Inc.

All Market, Inc.

Dulcet Cuisine

Cima-Mex Inc.

The Smoke House Market

Colorado Mountain Jam

Bodine Etc. Specialty Foods, LLC

Sahale Snacks LLC.

Viola Imports, Inc.

H E Witt Company

Deborah’s Kitchen, Inc.

Lady Fortunes, Inc

McGinnis Food Center, Inc.

Think*Plan*Deliver Inc.

Baker Maid Products

Nancy’s Candy Co.

D C Scott and Associates Food Brokerage, Inc.

Bombay Emerald Chutney Company LLC

Before and After Candy, LLC

Joe Perry’s Rock Your World, Inc.

The Perfect Bite Co.

Cooperstown Cookie Company

Cherrybrook Kitchen, Inc.

Bi-Rite Market

Rick’s Picks

10 Years:

Aunt Sally’s Praline Shops Inc.

Straub’s Markets

Queen Creek Olive Mill

V. Cimino & Son, Inc.

Epicure Foods Corporation

Revival Confections, Inc.

Casa Pons

Blasers USA Inc.

Kelley’s Katch Caviar

Stello Foods Inc.

Rishi Tea

Valor Chocolates USA, Inc.

21st Century Snack Foods

Reliant Ribbon Corporation

Ronnybrook Farm Dairy

Belgium’s Chocolate Source

Mt. Vikos Inc.

Kelsick Gardens

Lu Yu Tea Company

Santa Barbara Pistachio Co.

Ultimate Gourmet

Holbrook Cottage Inc.

Lund Food Holdings

Cranberry Sweets, Inc.

Diane’s Gourmet Luxuries

Professional Image Inc.

Conca D’Oro Importers, Inc.

CHEFfield Presentation

The Cheese Shop of VA., Inc.

Acme Smoked Fish Corporation

Carmie’s Kitchen Inc.

Porky’s Gourmet Inc.

Niche Gourmet

Vermont Specialty Food Association

Avenue Gourmet

Beth’s Farm Kitchen

Ole Ole Foods Inc.

Bryant Preserving Company

Blair’s Death Sauces and Snacks

WorldPantry.com Inc.

African Bush Products

Rice Epicurean Markets

See’s Candies Inc.

Carrington Tea Company

Kate’s Homemade Butter Inc.

Mira International Foods Inc.

Hint Mint

Doral International

Harvest Import, Inc.

McDuffies of Scotland Inc.

25 Years:

Enstrom Candies, Inc.

De Medici Imports, Ltd.

Hormel Foods Ethnic Specialty Sales

Elki Corporation

Baycliff Company, Inc.

American Spoon Foods

Eden Foods, Inc.

Bernard Food Industries, Inc. Consumer Products Div.

Moon Shine Trading Company / Z Specialty Food, LLC

The Sweetery

SweetWorks, Inc.

50 Years:

Sopexa New York

Today, NASFT has near 2,900 members from around the world. NASFT members have exclusive access to the innovative hub of the global food and beverage marketplace. Opportunities such as exhibiting at the premier Fancy Food Shows and competing in the prestigious sofi™ Awards are the highlights of an NASFT membership. Members also receive discounts on a variety of NASFT products and programs from networking to education. To learn more about membership benefits, go to: http://specialtyfood.com/nasft/join-nasft/


Interview with Winter Fancy Food Show Trend Game winner, Eddi Marie of Beckles Candies

May 20, 2010

Q: Please tell us about your current job and what it entails. Tell us something about yourself and your lovely shop in Modesto, California.
A: We have owned and operated Beckles Candies and Gifts in Modesto, California, since December of 1988. For the most part, Jim and I oversee the daily operation of the shop, including  making and selecting products, packaging, and interacting with the customers. We have known some of them since they were children!  Although Jim is not at the shop every day, he is a very important part of the business and readily “on call!”  Our daughter worked with us during her teenage years, and still covers for us in emergencies.

Beckles is an old time candy shop, selling chocolates, our on-site-made fudge,  gourmet truffles, a variety of licorices and candy jar favorites, including a nice selection of sugar free products.  We like to shop for things we believe our customer will enjoy. Custom packages are prepared in any gift item or container the customer selects and we pre-package in traditional and non-traditional containers. We also enjoy helping corporate clients and special event planners meet their unique needs and successfully stay within their budgets.

Q: How did you become so knowledgeable of food trends coming into the Winter Show? What professional food related publications, blogs, etc. do you read regularly?
A: I’m not at all sure I am that knowledgeable! I do try to listen, pay attention to food trends, and generally be aware of what is going on in our area.  The California Central Valley is known for it’s agricultural success. Staying “green” and being self-sustaining are very important to us. Personally, I am quite health conscious, while still allowing myself the joys of treats, sweets, and special indulgences. 

Several trade publications come across my desk regularly and I always find interesting material in them. Reading printed matter I can hold in my hands is more my style than reading screens! Although, blogs and Internet information is sometimes handy, indeed!

Q: When you go out to eat—do you go to the same place or do you explore other cultures and types of restaurants?
A: We have long time favorites and are basically traditionalists.  However, new places must be investigated, and authentically prepared food of other cultures can be most interesting and even enlightening! I am more adventurous than Jim!

Q: What is your favorite type of food? Favorite meal/dish?
A: I like Salmon or Halibut, usually baked (sans oiliness)! Al dente steamed vegetables rank high on my list, as do fresh fruits and vegetables of most any kind. Southern barbecue, but not too spicy hot, is another favorite. And, of course great chocolate desserts!!! I use lots of nuts when preparing dishes and, although I like both, I go for weeks without eating beef or pork.

Q: How was your experience at the Winter Fancy Food Show? What was your favorite part?
A: Jim and I had a really good time. It was a quick, one-day trip from Modesto. I think our favorite part is anything that directly relates to our business, especially items we can almost link to specific customers. At times it becomes a game we play.

The displays were great,  the vendors were most cordial, the products were varied, and the attendees were enthusiastic. While conscious of the economic situation, people were not overwhelmed with gloom! We mentioned that en route home.

Q: Have you ever been to a Summer Fancy Food Show? If yes, what are the major differences between the Winter Show and Summer Show?
A: We have never attended the Summer Show, but we are excited!

Q: Do you have any tips to offer for attending/walking the show?
A: I go with a plan, or at least a list of items about which  folks have inquired or in which I have a particular interest.  We usually go for the “What’s new “area first,  then walk the rest of the show rooms. Some of the seminars would be helpful; however, we are always on a limited time schedule.

Q: What are you most excited about for the upcoming Summer Fancy Food Show in New York?
A:
It is a new adventure! I’ve been told it is bigger than the Winter Show. It will be interesting to see how some of the winter focused items are doing, how they may have been adapted, and what’s new!

Q: Are you on any social media? (Twitter, Facebook or do you have a blog?) Website?
A: We do have a Beckles website.  It is in a stage of reconstruction, but viewable.  You can find it at BecklesCandiesandGifts.com


sofi Bloopers, Blunders, and Random Notes

May 11, 2010

By Louise Kramer, NASFT Communications Director

We’re enjoying a moment of calm in the 38th sofi™ Awards contest before the next wave of entries starts pouring in for the last two awards: Outstanding New Product and Outstanding Product Line.

So far, a great panel of specialty food experts has selected 125 finalists in 31 Awards categories, from Outstanding Appetizer, Antipasto, Salsa and Dip to Outstanding Vinegar.  Finalists are listed at www.specialtyfood.com/sofi. The judges spent three very full days at our new offices in midtown Manhattan tasting and evaluating 1,570 entries, including a rather prodigious amount of the world’s finest chocolate, cheese, olive oil, cookies, pasta sauces, and so much more.

Actually, the judges tasted almost everything. They were not required to taste entries for “Outstanding Non-Food Specialty Item” – how could we make them bite into a refrigerator magnet or muffin tin??? – nor did they have to sample submissions for Outstanding Pet Food. So hats off to judge Gantt Bumstead, co-president of United Supermarkets! He actually tasted a dog biscuit. His review: delicious!

The 2010 sofi Team

It is great fun to tell our members that their products have been selected as finalists. After all, a sofi honor means lots of publicity, potential sales, industry kudos, and the glow of victory for friends, family, staff and colleagues.

Here’s how one finalist, Kari Ani Shiozawa, reacted. Her Bakers Basics Banana Bread Mix is a finalist for Outstanding USDA-Approved Organic Product. “It was a huge blessing for me and I cried. My husband cried too,” she told me. “This is such a huge accomplishment. When you work so hard to get someplace and you get that recognition, it is tremendous. I still cry sometimes.”

The less fun part for us here at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade is having the break the news to those hundreds of member companies who entered the contest but did not have their products selected as finalists. We totally “get it” that these awards are very important, and that our members put their heart and soul and money and dreams into making their great products. For many, a sofi makes it all seem worth it.

Here are some bloopers: One of our sofi staffers dropped a ketchup entry en route to the judging for “Outstanding Cooking Sauce or Flavor Enhancer,” and boy did it make a mess. And all the judges saw it.

A mini blooper: when it was time for the judges to taste and evaluate the 110 entries for Outstanding Chocolate—one of my favorite categories!–we realized that many of the packages were not opened. Time is of the essence during sofi judging. So we put out an all points bulletin to the entire NASFT staff (in the form of me running around begging for help while trying to look calm and professional). Special thanks to: Mary Jacobsen, executive administrator and Bill Lynch, senior director, membership and exhibitions, for jumping in.

Many thanks to our Part 1 judges, most of whom are pictured here: Sue Bicksler Taub, Holbrook Cottage, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.; Gantt Bumstead, United Texas, Lubbock, Texas; Mustafa Coskun and Robert Rosa, Garden of Eden Marketplace, New York, N.Y.; Patrick Crowl, Woodstock Farmers’ Market, Woodstock, Vt.; Franck Deletrain, John O’Neil and Lou Piuggi, Patina Group, New York, N.Y.; Faye Greenberg, Winn-Dixie, Jacksonville, Fla.; Madeline Romo, Savor the Flavor, Sierra Madre, Calif.; Lordes Reynoso, Institute of Culinary Education, New York, N.Y.; Celia Barbour and Rachel Mount, O, The Oprah Magazine, New York, N.Y.

Today, the sofi shelves are empty. The sofi team is wrapping up some important work. This week I am taking three days off to rejuvenate before sofi, Part Deux. Part 2 entry forms and information were mailed to NASFT members last week. Forms are also posted at www.specialtyfood.com/sofi.

Don’t forget to read the FAQ’s online. Questions? Email us at sofiawards@nasft.org.

And finally, thanks to all NASFT members who have entered so far this year, and for making it a great competition.


The New specialtyfood.com

April 30, 2010

By Matt Thomas, Publisher of Specialty Food Magazine

For seven years, specialtyfood.com has been my go-to source anytime I needed more information on some aspect of the trade. Whether I was looking for manufacturer contact information, specific category trends, the dates of the 2012 Summer Fancy Food Show, whatever<it was always right there.

Yet, all long-running reference sources take on a Rube Goldbergesque quality as needs change and different features get tacked on to the side. It was with great pride that I could find almost anything on that site, no matter how buried, but it was time for a new edition.

After dozens of meetings involving every department of the NASFT, dozens more rounds of wireframes and hundreds of hours of programming, testing and debugging, the switch has been thrown and the new site is here.

As I was thankfully spared most of the development process, I am looking at the new site with what I believe are fresh eyes and can tell you that to refer to the new specialtyfood.com as a relaunch would be a gross understatement. Encompassed on the site are several thousand brands, tens of thousands of pages of content, a seemingly infinite number of products and all of it carefully organized and tagged to make it intuitively navigable for people like you and me. The result of all this intensive activity is a greatly improved user experience.

All the content from our old site is still there but is much more accessible and easy to find. For instance, content from Specialty Food Magazine can be accessed via the foodle™ search engine or through the Magazine Archive in the News & Trends tab. Content has also been tagged in helpful categories such as Retail Operations, Food Trends, Prepared Food Recipes and so on. When it’s time to plan your Fancy Food Show experience, either as an attendee or exhibitor, you can find everything you need through simple tabs.  All of NASFT’s education information from the past five years can now be accessed and downloaded under the Knowledge Center. Put simply, pretty much anything you used specialtyfood.com for in the past will be better and easier with the new site.

Where things get really interesting is in the new features. Under the Community tab you will find a wealth of exciting functions. For the first time we will have a dedicated specialty food industry Job Board. There’s also a Classifieds section where you can sell your used equipment or offer services to the trade. If you’re an expert, believe you are or at least have a topic you’re passionate about, you can create your own blog. Or post pressing questions for advice from your peers.

I will miss that old workhorse but the new site looks better, works better and has lots of useful new features. So dive in, explore the new resources and features and let us know what you think so we can continue to improve content and functionality. |SFM|

Find us at:  http://www.facebook.com/specialtyfoodmedia


Q: “We’re a sofi Awards Finalist. How do we better use social media to spread the news? A:“First, congratulations! Here are some resources for you to consider.”

April 23, 2010

By Vivian Friess, Marketing Manager

Dos, Don’ts and How-To’s

We are embracing social media. But remember, it is very personal, and is not a mere marketing tool. Think of it as a great way to establish direct contact with your customers, one-to-one, in a casual environment, without a heavy sales pitch. Build some good will, and then present your product.

Here are some suggestions:

Facebook

If you don’t have a Facebook community page, it’s a good time to start.  Set a casual tone, and don’t be afraid to show your personality. Share photos, videos and announcements to keep your fans engaged. It is not about the number of posts you make, but the quality and relevance to your community members. Consider creating a “page box” to use as a diary. Here you can record your activities leaving up to the Summer Fancy Food Show and the sofi Gold judging there. Here is a sample post:

April 14, 2010
Just received an email from NASFT – we’re officially a sofi Silver Finalist! We’re so happy and want to share our excitement with you. Find our sofi winning product in retail stores, snap a picture, send it to us, and we’ll send you a free gift. And don’t forget to come and see us at the Summer Fancy Food Show, we’re going for the Gold!

Keep your posts simple. Throw in a special offer on occasion or highlight a promotion surrounding your sofi product. That’s right, your sofi product. Don’t forget, relevance is key. Your marketing objective is to boost your visibility as a sofi Silver Finalist, your company and your products.

Twitter

Did you know that we captured the sofi Awards judging April 14 -16 with real-time tweets from the NASFT Twitter @nasft? Many of you tuned in for up-to-date news and information directly from our kitchen and offices. Keep tweeting us! We’ll retweet and reply to help get your message in front of our near 3,000 followers.

Use hashtags! For example, “#NASFT” is associated with the Fancy Food Shows, if you’re exhibiting or attending, include “#NASFT” in your tweets to help others find you. “#sofi Awards” is for the Awards–use it whenever the awards are the topic or if you’re tweeting about the Summer Show. These hashtags will increase your exposure.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information. Hopefully you find this post useful and we’re always here to help. Email me or tweet me if you have questions.