Food & Beverage Magazine - January Issue 2022

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Contents January 2022 Inside this issue 05

Strong Bond in Spirit | Cover Story


Automated Food Safety Technology




Bathtub Gin LA


The Culinary Wine Institute


Sally Roeckell Q&A

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What Divorce Teaches Us About The Great Resignation


The European Olive


Recipe Of The Month: Kelly Rizzo


More Than Just A Pumpkin




Silk Road Saffron


Another Sweet Escape


Turkish Tastes


How Online Trade Shows Boosted the Food and Beverage Industry Amid the Pandemic





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STRONG BOND IN SPIRIT Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley launches ultra-premium Brother’s Bond Bourbon.

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By Debbie Hall

For fans of The Vampire Diaries, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder played vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore, personifying passion, desire, and the depths of emotion. The same can be said for their recently launched Brother’s Bond Bourbon, embodying their love of bourbon. After eight seasons and 171 episodes, while drinking bourbon on the screen, the two decided to develop their own line of premium bourbons. Wesley and Somerhalder were not interested in just endorsing a product but aimed to develop a bourbon completely hands-on to create a legacy for all who love the spirit. “If you could see my desk, it is covered with everything bourbon, including samples. This is our baby,” explains Somerhalder. Wesley and Somerhalder took different paths to discover their own love of bourbon whiskey. “I was not a big bourbon drinker until I moved to Atlanta about 12 years ago,” says Wesley. “On the show, since our characters drank bourbon, it became a subconscious desire with me, and I would develop a love for it. So now I don’t drink anything else.”

On the show, since our characters drank bourbon, it became a subconscious desire with me, and I would develop a love for it. So now I don’t drink anything else. - Wesley

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“Another funny aspect is that we drank so much iced tea to mimic bourbon,” adds Somerhalder. “During season 1, we would get shaky, and we couldn’t understand what was going on. We discovered we were both drinking 600 milligrams of caffeine daily since we would both drink espressos and other caffeinated drinks as well as our fake drinks during 16-hour days. Neither one of us could sit still, so we switched to decaf.” Somerhalder grew up in Louisiana and, as a child, would cut pieces of sugar cane in the fields and enjoy the flavor. Bourbon reminds him of those days and, as he states, “Bourbon is the culture in Louisiana as well as food, music, family, and football.” Wesley is a first-generation American with roots in Poland, and both have an appreciation of European spirits. They agree that the flavor of European whiskeys is so different, while bourbon is a true American spirit. While whiskey can be distilled globally, bourbon can only be made in the United States.

Brother’s Bond Bourbon is elegant and exceptionally smooth, complex, and balanced with a touch of sweetness and spice. Brother’s Bond Bourbon is elegant and exceptionally smooth, complex, and balanced with a touch of sweetness and spice. The four-grain, high rye bourbon has a mash bill of 65 percent corn, 22 percent rye, and the wheat and barley percentage are not disclosed. The bourbon is then aged for a minimum of four years in virgin American oak barrels, the barrel staves with #4 char, and the barrel heads with #2 char. Its ABV is 40 percent offering 750ml bottles at SRP $39.99.

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The third co-founder is Vincent Hanna, CEO of Brother’s Bond Bourbon. His background was in wine for over 20 years before partnering with Wesley and Somerhalder. “Vincent [Hanna] has such vast knowledge in this industry, and we were inexperienced in this area,” says Wesley. “We have an incredible team, including our CMO, who also offers years of experience and knowledge. Our bourbon, including the mash bill, bottle, label, and name, was designed by Ian and myself, and our team. We could do this because of our great team, who took our vision and made it happen. This is why we are so passionate about it because we built this bourbon from the ground up.” They are also committed to sustainability and believe that farming is moving into a new realm with regenerative agriculture. Wesley and Somerhalder trust that new methods of regenerating can help with the ongoing global climate crisis. “This is not a polarizing issue but about providing safety for our future,” states Somerhalder. “It is about family, food, agriculture, and healthy eco-systems. Paul and I are incredibly grateful for regenerative farming.”

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They believe the shift is coming to the agricultural industry as a generation of farmers retire, and a new generation of farmers will be multicultural as the new face of the industry. As a result, new energy is coming, and Somerhalder and Wesley see it as an exciting time to be part of this change and anticipate a significant shift with excellent results. Somerhalder co-executive produced the film, Kiss the Ground, now streaming on Netflix. “The film really shines a spotlight on what we are doing and what we want to accomplish with this company. We are working hard to build the world’s first regenerative spirits company,” he states. Along with working on their tan (as they both laugh), the next bourbon to be launched will be a cask-strength bourbon that will range from 116 to118 proof targeting the niche bourbon drinker searching for a high-proof bourbon. “This bourbon is still unbelievably smooth even at cask strength,” says Wesley. “This flavor profile of the cask-strength is magical,” adds Somerhalder. “This is very pure for the bourbon drinker who wants a taste of power. Our 100 proof version of the cask version is out of this world. We are working on our eight-year bourbon, which is one year in the barrel for every year Paul and I worked together and the sign of the infinity. Eventually, we want to launch an 11-year bourbon for the two brothers, the twin numbers.” Their bourbon embraces escapism, whether sitting by the fire or poolside. Brother’s Bond Bourbon is meant to inspire and invigorate as well as be a calming influence. Wesley and Somerhalder want every drinker to know that they worked hard to offer quality. “If Ian and I had a baby, Brother’s Bond Bourbon would be our baby,” says Wesley. The brand is now available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. For more information, visit and follow on Instagram and Facebook @brothersbondbourbon and Twitter @brothersbond.

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Tasting Notes Elegant and exceptionally smooth, complex & balanced taste with a touch of sweetness & spice Strength: bottled at 40% ABV/VOL (80 proof) Color: Sunset Gold Nose: Baked banana bread, ripe tree fruit, walnuts, orange honey, warm rye spice Body: Balanced, round, and velvety smooth Taste: Toasted cereal grain, honeysuckle, dried fruit, black tea, spice Finish: Fresh cut oak Length of Finish: 1:30 min Empty Glass: Beeswax

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They believe the shift is coming to the agricultural industry as a generation of farmers retire, and a new generation of farmers will be multicultural as the new face of the industry. As a result, new energy is coming, and Somerhalder and Wesley see it as an exciting time to be part of this change and anticipate a significant shift with excellent results.

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GROCERY STORES BENEFIT FROM AUTOMATED FOOD SAFETY TECHNOLOGY In recent years, the trend toward automation in grocery stores and supermarkets has gathered momentum. This phenomenon can be attributed partly to ongoing advances in technology as well as a shortage of available workers. When deployed in a grocery store environment, automated technology can improve efficiency, reduce human error, and minimize employee labor burdens.

BENEFIT #1: Automated Digital Checklists

BENEFIT #2: Easy Temperature Monitoring

In the retail sector, the checklist is a traditional tool for guiding employees through their workflow and are useful as training aids for new employees. In addition, they are an excellent audit tool. Manual paper checklists are very time-consuming and can be easily falsified. Automated digital checklists ensure that all necessary steps are completed on time and follow proper procedures. This promotes compliance with both safety practices and operational requirements.

An automated monitoring system keeps your environment running smoothly at the right temperatures.

IMPROVED WORKFLOW EFFICIENCIES Automated checklists assist in faster onboarding by guiding employees through step-by-step procedures, helping to increase overall workflow efficiencies. These digital checklists reduce the amount of time needed to check food temperatures and suggest the proper associated corrective actions.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES Sensors act as proactive indicators to help spot equipment malfunctions in their early stages, before serious and expensive issues develop. Investing in an automated system can cost less than the loss of a full freezer of protein.

SECURE DATA STORAGE Digital checklist data is stored securely in the cloud and provides a hierarchical view of the organization’s performance through customizable dashboards and detailed reporting.

FUTURE BENEFITS Automation continues to make inroads in all areas of the foodservice sector. With both temperature data and workflow checklist data stored securely in the cloud, supermarkets are able to leverage the power of automation to cut costs and boost efficiency.

AUTOMATED ENVIRONMENT Sensors constantly detect and log temperatures of frozen or refrigerated food on a scheduled basis, so even a brief equipment failure will not go unnoticed. Alarms are triggered when temperatures go outside of the prescribed range.

ABOUT COMPLIANCEMATE Through a patented combination of wireless temperature sensors, mobile technologies, and easy-to-use tools built for the modern commercial kitchen, ComplianceMate gives its users total control over workflows, food safety, and compliance in all types of food service establishments. Customers can make evidence-based decisions about kitchen processes and staff training. Users see a rapid ROI from significant labor and food waste savings, as well as improved audit scores.


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Caliwater Cactus-Based Functional Beverage By Founders Oliver Trevena And Vanessa Hudgens Expands To The EAST COAST Hitting Shelves At Village Super Market -ShopRite, Fairway and Gourmet Garage Caliwater, the cactus based functional organic beverage offered in two popular flavors Ginger & Lime and Wild Prickly Pear, is now available in the beverage section of Village Super Market, Inc. (the “Company” or “Village”). Village Super Market is one of the premiere operating retail chains consisting of twenty-nine ShopRite supermarkets, five Fairway Markets and three Gourmet Garage specialty markets located across New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland. Village is the second largest member of Wakefern Food Corporation, the nation’s largest retailer-owned food cooperative and owner of the ShopRite, Fairway and Gourmet Garage banners. These established banners in retail support the continued expansion of the category leading cactus water brand, Caliwater. Caliwater will be sold at $2.99 per can. Having launched in Spring of 2021 to much anticipation and positive reception, Caliwater is defined by a drive to create innovative, fresh functional beverages that connect us to the Earth and to one another. Inspired by the lush and varied landscapes of California, Founders Oliver Trevena (Actor/Host/Entrepreneur) and native Californian Vanessa Hudgens (Actress/Music Artist/ Influencer/Entrepreneur) looked to their own desert regions to locally source Prickly Pear cactus fruit, known for its rare and potent healthful properties. Their vision - to sip on Cali in a can. Their key ingredient Prickly Pear is brought to life in beverage form in their quickly growing canned cactus water product, which is not only delicious and organic, but super hydrating and refreshing, and of course filled with rare antioxidants and digestion benefits.

“We are so excited to expand to the East Coast, with one of the country’s top respected retail entities. We are so thrilled to be able to continue to bring our cactus water beverage to new customers and clientele, a beverage that will truly benefit their daily lifestyle and diet with all of its health benefits and delicious, hydrating flavor. We appreciate Village Supermarkets sharing in our vision of this important functional beverage as the wellness landscape continues to evolve in the beverage category.” - Oliver Trevena and Vanessa Hudgens, co-founders, Caliwater

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Caliwater is the leading cactus water on the market, pioneering a new category, already top rated on Amazon, and is a purely functional beverage. The functional benefits of cactus water include being high in antioxidants (which is great for the skin), is known to reduce cholesterol levels, offers a natural elimination of hangovers, regulates blood sugar levels, and possess antiviral properties - offering a variety of benefits for digestive health. Only 25 calories per can, organic, vegan, Kosher and non GMO. Caliwater Farmers handpick the Prickly Pear cactus fruits seasonally and remove the seeds and juice on-site. The organic formula is infused with other natural fruits and nectars such as agave and monk fruit, and combined with filtered water to create the final drink, which bursts with refreshing mellow berry flavor. Additional celebrity brand investors/ambassadors include Gerard Butler, Brooke Burke, Ross Butler, Gregg Sulkin, Ruckus and Glen Powell. Caliwater initially launched on E-Comm followed by a roll out to retailers and Amazon Prime, and venues throughout 2021 inclusive of hotels and restaurants such as Resorts World’ Zouk Group properties, Élia Beach Club at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Cara Hotel, Ysabel, Laurel Hardware, Craig’s, Alfred Coffee, and many more, and is available across the West Coast at Erewhon supermarkets. A portion of proceeds from all sales of Caliwater are also currently donated to No Kid Hungry. ( The campaign is one the founders feel very passionate about, which is focused on ending childhood hunger in the U.S. Their mission is to help feed hungry kids in this crisis and all year long. [5 cents from every can sold up to one million dollars donated.] Follow @Caliwater on instagram and visit them online at www.drinkcaliwater. com. About Village Super Market, Inc. Greek immigrants Nick and Perry Sumas opened their first Village Market in 1937 and less than a decade later, in 1946, the brothers joined the newly formed Wakefern Food Corp., becoming one of the supermarket cooperative’s earliest members. As the Sumas family grew, so too did their business. Today, the publicly traded company (Nasdaq: VLGEA), including Nick’s son Robert and Perry’s sons William and John, and their children and extended family, operate 29 ShopRite supermarkets in four states, as well as 5 Fairway Markets and 3 Gourmet Garage Specialty stores in Manhattan. For more information visit

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Bathtub Gin, Beloved New York Speakeasy Bar Announces the Opening of Bathtub Gin LA Its First-Ever Expansion

Prohibition-Inspired Hidden Bar Brings a Roaring Twenties Vibe with World Class Cocktails and Live Entertainment to West Hollywood Bathtub Gin, the beloved New York speakeasy bar celebrating its 10th anniversary, by visionary Dave Oz, announced its first-ever expansion, “Bathtub Gin LA” in West Hollywood. The new Prohibition-inspired speakeasy channels a Roaring Twenties vibe, with exceptional craft cocktails, a unique G&T menu, an expansive gin selection, unique décor and robust live entertainment. Located at 7174 Melrose Avenue, it is hidden above Stone Street LA, a working all-day café that opened in July and serves as the speakeasy’s “front.” Bathtub Gin LA and the café are owned by Oz in partnership with actor/producer/writer Joel David Moore of “Avatar” and “Dodgeball” fame and Laura Parkening, a 24-year West Coast hospitality veteran who serves as General Manager. Accommodating 75 guests, Bathtub Gin LA is open Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm to 2am. It officially opened on December 7th, 2021. “Bathtub Gin LA is a dream come true and a celebration of our concept’s 10th anniversary milestone,” says Dave Oz, Owner,

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Bathtub Gin and Bathtub Gin LA. “LA has long been on my radar and I have many friends here. I saw that cocktail culture was starting to bloom and there was a unique opportunity for a Prohibition era-inspired speakeasy. LA also has an incredible entertainment culture, which resonates with our brand’s DNA. Coupled with the fact that Bathtub Gin has a strong bicoastal clientele, the expansion here made perfect sense. Other cities are in the pipeline, too, so stay tuned.”

A NEW YORK BAR THAT SALUTES THE CITY OF ANGELS, ITS PALATE AND LOCAL INGREDIENTS The cocktail menu at Bathtub Gin LA was created by Australiaborn Master Mixologist Brendan Bartley, a 15-year industry veteran who also oversees Bathtub Gin in New York, together with Bar Manager Leah Pupkin, who brings a decade of experience in New York, Oregon and Australia. It combines Prohibition-era classics, such as the Negroni, Bathtub Gin favorites, like the Espresso Martini, as well as cocktails unique to Bathtub Gin LA, including the Divine Farmer’s Punch and the

Giuseppe. The bar’s extensive G&T selection has been modified by the inclusion of local gins, as well as ingredients that suit Los Angeles’ climate and drinks culture. “Through our research, we discovered that Angelenos prefer more citrus-forward, refreshing and simpler cocktails compared with New Yorkers,” says Bartley. “We are saluting our New York menu here, but through the lens of local produce and spirits that honor California’s legendary agricultural richness and first-rate artisanal spirits. We also have some exciting, non-alcoholic cocktail options that are in keeping with the Golden State’s healthy lifestyle. As in New York, we strive to be zero waste and use each ingredient to its utmost.”

LA also has an incredible entertainment culture, which resonates with our brand’s DNA. Coupled with the fact that Bathtub Gin has a strong bicoastal clientele, the expansion here made perfect sense.

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MENU PREVIEW Signature Cocktails ($18) Divine Farmer’s Punch (also available without alcohol) - A fresh, light, floral and silky low ABV amalgamation of Amaro Sibona, Lillet Rosé, rhubarb, winter jasmine, lemon, vanilla and orange blossom Giuseppe (also available without alcohol) - Bitter, tart and fruity fresh, this low ABV highball brings together amaro, fluffy freshlypressed pineapple juice and compressed pineapple juice The Occidental - An Old World tipple with a ray of sunshine, it melds gin, lemon bitters, orange bitters, maraschino and coconut Midnight Margarita - Tequila marries its up-and-coming cousin, sotol, along with yuzu, habanero, squid ink, sumac, white salt and lime in this complex Margarita variation Pandemonium - A twist on the iconic Sazerac, it brings together Cognac, rye, walnut bitters and maple, with pandan lending a West Coast beach vibe and salt adding length Fiore Negroni - A floral take on the classic Negroni, with gin, amaro, rosé vermouth, lemongrass, sage and violet Whole Lime Daiquiri - With a juiced whole lime (skin and all), Ten To One Rum and gum arabic, this complex Daiquiri pushes the no-waste envelope, while its sweet citrus flavor and plush lime oil delighting the palate Espresso Martini - Given Stone Street LA on the ground floor, it would be sacrilegious to omit this guilty pleasure cocktail with Grey Goose Vodka, Mr Black Coffee Liqueur, salted maple, cacao and, most importantly, espresso from the aforementioned café S’mores Old-Fashion - A tribute to Loretta Scott Crew, who published the first recipe for the campfire treat in 1927, it marries Glyph Royal, graham crackers, cacao, vanilla, bitters and truffle marshmallow

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Signature Gin & Tonics ($16) Zing 72 & Fever - Tree Aromatic Tonic, lavender sprig and dried pear Roku Gin & Fever - Tree Indian Tonic, umeshu and basil Bombay East Gin & Fever - Tree Indian Tonic, pineapple and cardamom Four Pillars Shiraz Gin & Fever - Tree Mediterranean Tonic, grapefruit and cassia Gray Whale Gin & Fever - Tree Elderflower Tonic, aloe and lemongrass Nolet’s Silver Gin & Fever - Tree Mediterranean Tonic, rose and makrut lime Aczu Gin & Fever - Tree Aromatic Tonic, cinnamon and dried orange

Bubbles, Beer and Wine Champagne by the glass ($15-$25), by the bottle ($70-$500) French, California and Italian wine by the glass ($15-$16) and by the bottle ($70-$75) Australian and California beer ($9)

The cocktail menu at Bathtub Gin LA was created by Australia-born Master Mixologist Brendan Bartley, a 15-year industry veteran who also oversees Bathtub Gin in New York, together with Bar Manager Leah Pupkin, who brings a decade of experience in New York, Oregon and Australia.

Signature Dessert ($12) Toast Your Own S’mores (serves 2) - marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bar Guests assemble and toast their S’mores over a small flame provided at the table

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EASY WIN Wine sales can boost your bottom line in a big way. How does a 26% increase in sales sound? The Culinary Wine Institute has an interesting approach to helping businesses incentivize applicants, add sales and raise the tips that go into their pockets. Staffing and training has become a real challenge. F&B managers all across the industry are looking for new ways to draw in and retain happy, satisfied customers, as well as happy servers that will remain loyal and ultimately increase the restaurant’s bottom line. At Culinary Wine Institute (CWI) we understand wine and your business goals. We see the struggles that businesses are encountering every day: lines out the door, long wait times for tables, and servers are taking orders, acting as sommeliers while also bussing tables. The pandemic, along with staffing shortages, is having an impact and where does a business find time to get staff trained? The goal as a manager is to have staff provide customers with great dining experiences. Businesses need to have customer retention and customers posting and tagging on social media. Customers have vast dining choices. So, how do you get them to come back to your restaurant? You want to guarantee a satisfying experience time and time again. CWI has your back and wants to help you retain customers. CWI has seen how effective training can be with over hundreds of students at several top resorts and restaurants. CWI can provide you with the tools to provide your staff with the knowledge needed in order to have confidence when talking wine at each table. At CWI, you get something unusual: an online training program designed specifically for the service industry in order to give servers the knowledge and understanding on how to profit from wine sales.

“Maybe the simplest, most powerful, fun and educational wine training program ever devised specifically for servers.” Page 25 | Food & Beverage Magazine v January Issue 2022

Get your staff on the same page and confident on the floor with each table they serve. Each new-hire logs on to CWI and, for two hours, they watch four comprehensive videos. Each self-paced with thorough exams following each segment. After completion, the server is credentialed by the Culinary Wine Institute and receives a Culinary Wine Institute certificate.

*In CWI’s guarantee: If any certified server leaves within the first 60 days of completing their wine-sales training, they will train your new hire for FREE within a 30 day period, additionally the previous candidates’ certificate will be revoked. CWI’s program is not designed to have your staff become a sommelier. The program is designed for server education and training in wine, the “how to” in recommending the right wine for your menu items, and how to provide great tableside service. OUR RESORT CLIENTS tell stories about their wine sales climbing - with one steakhouse, The Grub Steak, in Park City Utah recently revealing a 26% increase in sales the first quarter after the servers went through the course! CWI- CERTIFIED SERVERS report their training increased tips significantly, sometimes even doubling! A great wine list is just that if a server hasn’t been taught how to comfortably talk about and properly sell wine. Culinary Wine Institute, (CWI), trains your servers with simple-to-use, knowledge based tips and tools that boost wine sales.

Culinary Wine Institute’s Jumpstart Online Program is Effective, Engaging, Proven, Time Saving, Affordable, Guaranteed*

Check us out and learn about the Jumpstart online program. Email: info@culinarywineinstitute. com Culinary Wine Institute, 2100 Park Ave. #682594, Park City, UT 84098 Pamela Wood, CEO and Director of Education is a Certified Sommelier, a Certified American Wine Expert and one of only 447 Certified Wine Educators worldwide.

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By: Julia Beck

Sally wears many stunning hats in the food and lifestyle space photographer, stylist, writer and recipe developer. To visit @TableandDish is to be transported into a magical world, I fell in love at first sight! Recently, I had the great fortune of learning more about Sally and her days as artist, parent, partner and much more. She was stunningly honest and funny as well. What an absolute treat! I am so happy that you will get to know the remarkable Sally Roeckell – read on… What is one piece of advice you wish you could offer your former, expectant self? I would say don’t put so much pressure on yourself to be everything to everyone. I pushed myself to the brink trying to handle everything. It’s ok to delicate without guilt. As much as I loved being everything to my kids I would have been better mentally and physically if I took time for myself in the beginning. I would tell myself, and any young mother, to take that tennis lesson, take time to recharge and keep date night a priority. While raising (aka chasing) a family of four and now taking in your niece as she finishes high school, you have had also built quite a name for yourself though your incredibly dynamic and diverse career. You are reputed to leave an indelible star wherever you contribute - ranging from the world of fortune 500 organizations including consultancies and food photography for a wonderfully diverse range of clients. Now a much loved stylist and recipe developer, your website, table and dish is drool-worthy inspiration. Do tell what have you learned about yourself as you have evolve yourself and your crafts. First, thank you for your kind praise. Ive learned that building my business and focusing on my skills does not have to take away from my family. I spent the first years thinking I had to be 24/7 hands on wonder Mom and wife. Some how it was fine for my husband to get his MBA while we had three babies but if I took a weekend workshop I felt guilty. I was the only one placing that guilt on myself. I have a wonderfully supportive husband. Once I realized my talents were worthy of the time required doors started to open and clients opportunities filled my schedule. Most importantly I learned that my kids respected what I do. They love being a part of it.

I’ve never considered myself a traditional blogger. My blog was always a personal project that archived our family recipes and meals. I hope to continue as my children become young adults adding all of their favorite recipes and kitchen stories so they will have a place to visit me in the kitchen long after I’m gone. So many women are taking their talents out of the corporate world and choosing an entrepreneurial path. Welcome to the great resignation. You have been in this space for decades what would you say is different now? And what would you share are key learnings of the early days of hanging your own shingle? I have seen a shift in the industry in a few ways. When I started it seemed difficult to find anyone who would actually be honest and open with the ins and outs of the industry. It’s seemed people were quite competitive and always kept a few cards tucked beneath the table. Camera equipment was incredibly costly and figuring out what you actually needed

Julia’s passionate focus on the quality of and recognition of women is just part of the story. An avid traveler and home cook, Julia has an unparalleled enthusiasm for the whole of the food and beverage space. She is known for hosting an annual Cheese Suite in New York, dinners - ranging from high to low and is often found enjoying a bar-dine at some of her favorite spots. Ask someone where they met Julia, the answer will likely be right there - tasting and talking her way through a night at Gramercy Tavern, Eventide or Ris. Look for her too exploring new cities, cultures and food halls never forgetting her Philadelphia roots (pretzel, please),


Getting to know Sally Roeckell feels a pure, unparalleled gift. Sally’s passion and commitment to beauty are reflected in all she does, and like Sally, it is all quite irresistible. To say she is gifted is missing the mark. She has incredible love, range and dedication. It is they type that lifts, never humbes – her way is asking you to join in her joy. Laughter and love bubble quickly to the surface!

Julia Beck, founder of the It’s Working Project has been an active and engaged industry innovator for more than 25 years. As the category’s definitive elder statesman and strategic partner, Julia and her team have been on the leading edge of the conversation and challenges at the center of the intersection between work and the female and parent universe. Julia’s unique perch and her cadre of cross-industry connections have led her on a path that at once supports economic growth, women and families.

Julia’s career can best be categorized as consistently vibrant, evolving and certainly exciting. Her signature enthusiasm, humor, natural leadership and genuine care for her clients and the world as a whole have led Ms. Beck on an exciting path. We are thrilled to have her here, introducing us to some of her most beloved food finds, the remarkable mothers who define the world of Food and Beverage.

to purchase versus what you thought you needed what is sometimes a hard lesson learned. Photoshop was a very expensive and very complicated program. Now cameras are quite affordable. Photoshop can be a $10 a month subscription and there are people coming out of the woodwork offering to teach you the skills necessary to compete in this industry of content creation, advertising, food and product photography and blogging. I’m actually glad I learned it at the time I did because I feel like I was forced to quicklyI was forced to deeply research and learn. I’ve never considered myself a traditional blogger. My blog was always a personal project that archived our family recipes and meals. I hope to continue as my children become young adults adding all of their favorite recipes and kitchen stories so they will have a place to visit me in the kitchen long after I’m gone. I just didn’t want that space to be a part of my business covered with advertisements and pop-ups. I’m happy with that confident decision. I wish young people today starting in the industry understood the value of their efforts. I think too many believe they have to give it away to make a name for themselves. There were many days when I didn’t feel worthy of being behind the camera or on set styling and I still struggle to think my work is as good as some people might say it is. I believe every thing I do is one step in a long education process. Having the confidence to just keep moving forward is an important asset. In this industry it’s important to be curious always. Lastly I have found in my industry that business skills will take you a very long way. I know marginal photographers who have made sensational businesses. And I know incredibly talented photographers who have made very little because they have more artist then business in them. The women today who are coming from corporate jobs and reinventing themselves as creatives seem to bring an intelligence to their craft that I think will change the face of what we see moving forward. It’s an exciting time.

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You work long hours and obviously pour your dedication into all you do. Your local, national and international clients are demanding. Despite it all, you make the pictures look invitingly lush. Still, it is not just the food and settings, charcutte and styling that sparkle - you look stunning and bring a certain signature smarts to the table on a regular basis. How do you prepare? How do you keep yourself rested and well? And of course, who cares for you!?!? Can you hear me laughing. In the beginning there was little resting or wellness. I had a knowledge of basic photography skills from a young age but as the world shifted from film to digital I had to learn a great deal. Many nights I could be found at my computer learning the necessary skills until wee hours of the morning. I was equally exhausted and invigorated by the challenge. I was fortunate that my husband saw my talent even when I didn’t and he helped greatly with the children. As a freelancer my dad changes with each project. Sometimes I’m flying across the country to work on location. I’m located north of Chicago and some of my jobs our long days in the city with a long commute. This is always tough when you’re a parent. My kids know that they’re my first priority always and they are my biggest champions and cheerleaders. My true self care started when I decided to travel to learn more about food photography in other cultures with other photographers. At first I traveled as a participant in a workshop but quickly built a community of friends and colleagues who share my passion. We continued to travel together experiencing food cultures and photography whenever possible. This time away is restorative. I return with memories and lessons that are priceless. During one trip I missed a special event in my sons kindergarten class and when his teacher asked where I was he answered in a very solemn voice by saying “she’s in a better place”. His teacher was confused and worried enough to inquire further only to find that I was in France. Still laughing.

My true self care started when I decided to travel to learn more about food photography in other cultures with other photographers. At first I traveled as a participant in a workshop but quickly built a community of friends and colleagues who share my passion. While traveling with Accenture around the country I did miss my daughters first dance recital. I was broken to have missed it but thinking there would be many I took the job. When I returned home my daughter announce that she would never dance again. It was probably for the best, today she’s a 6’1” basketball player. Dance recitals we’re never going to be a thing for her. We all get pulled in multiple directions as a mother. I think my husband and I were pretty good at loving our children in a way that allowed them to respect each other, lift each other up and be there for one another. In the same way they were always there encouraging me to keep moving forward and celebrating my small accomplishments with more fanfare than they deserved. I am a very lucky mom. What were your biggest covid learnings? How did you handle the tricky challenge of supporting older children and a radically new business landscape? How did this impact your friendships? Marriage? Did you even have moment to rest? And of course, what is different about you now, in this brave new world? Covid was tricky. I’m not alone in experiencing that. Just prior to Covid I started a small catering company specializing in charcuterie and grazing boards. It combined my love of plating and preparing food for others with my photography skills. It allowed me to show our product at its best on my website In a time when photography clients were not looking for content creation because they weren’t sure they were going to be able to keep their company afloat my catering business gave me work. Sadly, because of Covid we had

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to pivot and postpone some of our goals. Our main product is grazing tables and boards and with the uncertainty of covid people didn’t want to eat off a common surface. So we created individual Grazing boxes that became very popular. We managed to stay pretty busy. I think being flexible is the common theme of the last year. Our family dynamic changed in this past year as well. We took in my 88-yearold mother-in-law and my 16-year-old niece. They are now part of our family and our daily cadence is a little different. For the first year of Covid my 25-yearold son moved home and as much as I loved having him here I was glad when his industry open back up and he was able to go back to work. I found myself pulling back significantly choosing to spend time with family and let work take a backseat. I am lucky to have the freedom to do that. I feel for so many I’ve struggled during this time. Happily now my schedule is starting to fill again and I am creating new content for my blog and clients. Thinking back, was your biggest challenge as a new mother working? Can you give some flavor to that time in your life? If mother was not your biggest challenge, what was? I think I alluded to this earlier in that being a mother was not a challenge for me. I think I was born to be a mother. It is what I am most blessed by being. My biggest challenge was getting out of my own way. Allowing myself to let go of some responsibilities and guilt and sometimes simply say no. Or other times say, I don’t need anyone else’s approval to take time for myself and my work. Being flexible has allowed me to grow in my industry and care for my family simultaneously. What pro-tips do you have to share with other new or expectant mothers? Relax, they will live. They will be educated and go to college if they choose to. All the stress you put on yourself worrying will not help them. You don’t need to spend a fortune on the latest coolest toy or gadget what a kid really wants is your undivided attention from time to time. And then in equal measure They need the space to be able to do things themselves to acquire the confidence to keep moving forward. I’m sure products have changed since I needed them but in my day Dr. Brown’s bottles saved me from colic in a way that I will be forever grateful. One of my sons had colic straight for 16 weeks. I don’t think he stopped to take a breath from his crying in that entire time. When my daughter was born and started down the same path someone suggested I try these bottles and it worked the first time and she never cried again with colic. Lastly, trust yourself. Trust your intuition as a mother. Trust your husband. You’ve got this. Enjoy the little moments that seem exhausting. I’d give anything for one more day holding those little pudgy fingers and Enjoying those little squishy hugs. Who was your biggest source of support in returning to work as a new mother? My husband Was a big help but I also had a network of friends that saw things in myself I couldn’t always see. Friends who built me up when I tried to tear myself down. Those are people you definitely want to surround yourself with. I also have a strong faith life. Taking time to center myself in prayer Has been a big part of my support. It has kept my marriage and guided me as a mother and countless ways. Who are your mentors? Who do you mentor? I had and have many mentors. Some who don’t even know they were mentoring me. When you see someone that has the spark you’re looking for bring them in to your life and learn from them. Don’t assume they have something that you can’t achieve. I almost made that mistake thinking I was not properly and professionally trained in the way I needed to be. When a dear friend who is wildly successful was honest with me by saying that he to had never had professional training. I never would have guessed. He allowed me to jump into a world I thought had a bar to entry. FILL IN THE BLANKS: As a working parent, I never expected _________would be so hard and _____ would be so much easier. As a parent working in a freelance position sometimes from home and sometimes and location I didn’t realize that prioritizing my time and space as legitimate work would be so hard and that working on location without the distractions of home would be so much easier. I actually love being home and having the flexibility that offers but it is much more difficult to create a work life balance.

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Divorce Teaches Us About THE GREAT RESIGNATION

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By: Holly Powers-Verbeck

It’s too tempting not to use the metaphor of a bad divorce when talking about the great resignation. So here goes. In a typical contentious divorce, there are two bitter and defensive partners who both feel like the real victim. In this made-up scenario (which may or may not have any likeness to the personal situation in which you find yourself), the restaurant and hospitality owners and operators are the dumbfounded spouses who did too little and realized too late: they are getting left. They retell the story as though everything was going along just fine. However, if pressed for the truth, they’d admit there were giant warning signs of unsustainable discontent; they chose to ignore these signs and simply hoped their complicit partner would continue to put up with them, too. On the other side are the restaurant workers themselves (FOH waitstaff and BOH chefs, etc) who finally had enough, who came to believe they could do better for themselves, and who announced they were leaving for someone (or something) better.

...there were giant warning signs of unsustainable discontent; they chose to ignore these signs and simply hoped their complicit partner would continue to put up with them...

There are unintended victims of marital implosion as well. The kids. In this scenario it’s the consumers, the dining public, who are stuck in the middle and forced against their will to digest everyone’s opinions (the press, media all have something to say about the affair) and reluctantly express their loyalty to one side, like a kid having to tell the court whether they want to live with dad or mom. As is the case in most divorces, the kids just want their parents to get along.

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Here’s a list of survival tips for Mrs. Restaurant (the spouse who got left), Mr. Workers (the spouse doing the leaving), and the diners (the kids stuck in the middle) to help navigate the messy middle. MESSAGE TO THE KIDS: Not always, but sometimes, for some parents, divorce is for the best. It won’t feel like it for a while, but life will be easier. Just don’t let yourself get caught in the middle. If dad starts talking about your wicked mom, or mom starts complaining about your lazy dad, cut them off. You have choices and a suitcase now. You can dine in, dine out, hire a personal chef for busy weeknights, get a fulltime chef for your family, or just make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and watch cartoons. The point is, you have choices and at the holidays you’ll get twice as many gifts! MESSAGE TO THE ONES BEING LEFT: Let them go. Don’t ask them to stay and don’t ask for sympathy from the others who remain. For a long time, you’ve known things were burned out and did little or nothing about it. Now’s your chance to fix what’s broken and rebuild a home [restaurant]. Step up and create an operation people will flock for the chance to work in (many restaurants have this reputation, so why not you?). The kids don’t want to hear your problems, and you have a big enough heart and mind to know that if someone doesn’t want to be with you it’s best to wish them well and move on. IF YOU ARE THE ONE LEAVING: Don’t ask for sympathy and don’t make fanfare. You’re likely as guilty in this relationship as the one you’re leaving. It may be true you suffered and were unappreciated, but it’s also true you chose that relationship and stayed for as long as you did. Get better at choosing and never permit yourself to be undervalued again (yes, it is possible to find a better relationship than what you’ve experienced to this point). Plus, your heart and mind are wise enough to know if someone doesn’t love and treat you well, it’s time to wish them well and move on. Figure out with great certainty and clarity what you want to do next with your life or you’ll wind up repeating your mistakes with the next [employment] romance.

The ones being left can embrace the wreckage and clean up their mess. They know it’s better to work with a smaller team than work with the wrong team. They are responsible for creating an operation with true leadership, accountability, training and systems; the task at hand is to remake oneself and one’s operations so attractive no lover [of the restaurant] would have left to begin with (and anyone new will want to be a part of). Dig in and start the deep clean. Restaurants that do will recover, thrive and ultimately be thankful for the experience because they recognize it’s what was needed all along.

It’s easy to proclaim, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ and walk out the door. It’s harder to leave with grace and gratitude.

On the other hand, the ones doing the leaving have to do a lot of soul searching. For workers fleeing the ranks, theirs is a blank canvas that’s both thrilling and intimidating. It’s easy to proclaim, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’ and walk out the door. It’s harder to leave with grace and gratitude. And harder still to outline a clear and purposeful plan for what comes next. The truth is the vast majority of restaurant workers haven’t a clue what they want to make next with their lives, time and talent. The risk of stepping into the next chapter ill-equipped is to repeat the past. Sadly, many will lose their way and simply return to restaurant work, defeated. Indeed, this makes for a very reunion and is a marriage both partners should avoid (not even the kids are happy in this circumstance). Right now restaurant workers know what they don’t want to do but few have a clear idea of what they do want to create with their time and talent. There are five potential pathways to pursue when leaving, so it’s no wonder food and beverage workers are asking themselves ‘If not this, then what?’. After the divorce dust clears a good therapist will start the recovery process by asking these [restaurant worker] people, ‘Now that you don’t have anyone to blame for your unhappiness, what will you make of your new life?’ Restaurant workers who are eager to achieve the next great chapter of their career will discover adventure awaits them on any of the five paths that lead from The Great Resignation; they point the way to the very best that can evolve from the rubble of a divorce that probably should have happened a long time ago.

For workers ready to reach a new level of personal greatness, The Great Resignation is just the messy middle; it signifies the start of a real opportunity and growth which ultimately benefits everyone.

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Holly Powers-Verbeck Columnist Holly Powers-Verbeck, founded and continues to operate Lake Tahoe’s premiere culinary staffing company HeyChef! since 1997. In 2018 she formed MakeYourBusinessCook! to help chefs and restaurant workers launch private chef and culinary staffing businesses and create their own freedom and wealth while giving in-home dining options to consumers. For more information contact

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January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 34

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THE EUROPEAN OLIVE, THE HEALTHY AND COMFORTING FOOD THAT YOUR HEALTH DESERVES IN 2022 The beginning of the year is a perfect opportunity to create a healthier relationship with food. A turning point that calls for renewal and care through food, betting on a healthier and more stimulating diet. In this sense, table olives become a perfect ally to start eating healthier and with more awareness of its nutritional qualities and its unmistakable flavor.

The promotional campaign “Put Europe at your table, Have an Olive day! with olives from Spain” promoted by Interaceituna and the EU, brings you six healthy tips and three comforting recipes (Olives & Vegetable Poke Bowl, Sirloin Steak Tartar with Olives and Noodles with Olives) to get the most out of the seductive taste of European olives and start pampering yourself a little more this year:

A more serene and comforting diet goes through choosing suitable foods such as the versatile European olive. The fruit of the olive tree is a delicious and healthy option due to its many benefits, a “round” product that enhances foods such as chicken, beef, salmon, rice, fish, quinoa, pasta, octopus, hummus, chocolate or avocado.

1. Replace sugary salad dressings, such as dried cranberries, with olives.

In addition, it goes with movements such as “Mindful Eating” or “Slow Food,” which promote the dissemination of a new philosophy based on eating with more attention, combining pleasure and knowledge, claiming the origin and raw materials of healthy products such as the “Jewel of the Mediterranean diet.” In this context, the wide horizon of gastronomic possibilities that it offers establishes interesting links with other foods. It can be found in an infinite number of formats (whole, chopped, sliced, boned ...) and brings together the four flavors (bitter, acid, sweet and salty), which gives it incredible flexibility, making it a perfect harmonizer in innovative elaborations that transport you to the Mediterranean essence Its integration in more than ninety preparations shows its versatility, quality and inimitable flavor. Differentiating attributes that make this gourmet product one of the most popular and distinctive snacks.

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2. Top sandwiches with black or green olive tapenade to add flavor. 3. Mix olives in salads made with grains, such as quinoa, rice or couscous to add a touch of color. 4. Incorporate olives in any pasta, fish, chicken or meat dish. 5. Dry olives in the oven at a low temperature and eat them as a snack-chip. Once dry, they can be cut into salad or pasta croutons. 6. Make a cream puree with olives to add to a mayonnaise or to spread on canapés or sandwiches.

LATIN RICE WITH OLIVES latin-rice-with-olives/ OLIVES & CHEESE CRACKERS olives-and-cheese-crackers/ OLIVES SANDWICH ROLL

The content of this promotion campaign represents the views of the author only and is his her sole responsibility. The European Commission and the European Research Executive Agency (REA) do not accept any responsibility for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 36

January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 44


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Ingredients 1lb Ground Chicken 3 Tbsp Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes In Oil ⅔ Cup Cherry Tomatoes Fresh Basil Fresh Parsley Salt & Pepper Garlic Powder 2 Tbsp Olive Oil 4 Slider Brioche Or Soft Slider Buns ½ Lemon ¼ Cup Mayo 1 Cup Arugula

Directions Heat oven to 400 degrees and place tomatoes on a foil lined cookie sheet. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for 15 min or until blistering.


by Eat Travel Rock TV Host Kelly Rizzo

Kelly showcases her famous Chicken Caprese Sliders exclusively to Food & Beverage Magazine. You can catch her show streaming currently on the EatTravelRock Youtube channel as well as new episodes on Mark Cuban’s Fireside Chat ( Follow her on social media @ eatTravelRock for all of her food and travel videos and recipes, as well as fun kitchen cooking segments with her husband Bob Saget. The Chicago native also recently launched Eat Travel Rock Productions, a full service food and travel production company geared toward restaurants, bars, CPG and liquor brands. Contact her Instagram page to learn more about their services and also follow @eattravelrockproductions

Mix ground chicken with sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper, and ½ tsp garlic powder. Separate into 4 equal patties and place in a cast iron skillet or non-stick skillet and cook 3-4 min per side or until charred and cooked through. The last 1-2 min add slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and cover until lightly melted. In a small food processor or magic bullet mix mayo, lemon juice, a small handful of parsley and a small handful of basil, salt and pepper. Toast buns on griddle or under broiler. Assemble sliders with the roasted tomatoes on top of the burger and cheese, and then drizzle with the sauce and top with some fresh arugula. Photos - Kelly Rizzo, Host of Eat Travel Rock TV Kelly Photo Credit - Erik Mathaler Sliders Photo Credit - Eat Travel Rock Productions

January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 38



By Matt Robinson


It has been said that variety is the spice of life, but for those who make spices, it may be their variety of products and approaches that truly allows them to make a living. Spices have been used for millennia around the world to add flavor and health benefits to food. If they did not improve a person’s health, spices were also used for funerary rites and other sacrifices. In addition to being part of our pantries, spices also worked their way into our vocabulary as well. The phrase ”worth your salt” came from the fact that Roman soldiers were actually paid in salt, which was (and remains) a valuable food preservative. In fact, the Latin word for salt - “salarium” – is the root of our word “salary”! Speaking of salaries, many continue to make them using these ancient ingredients. Among those who still treasure the history of their wares is Steven Bortnick of Boston Spice ( Each one of his over 80 custom blends comes not only with its own hand-made fresh flavors but also with a bit of history that explains where the spice’s name came from and what inspired it. “We teach people a little…history and reasonings for each of our spice blends,” Bortnick explains, offering as an example the popular corned beef spice called “Southie” in honor of the historic Irish immigrant population in South Boston. “According to historian James Cullen,” Bortnick explains, “a large number of Irish immigrants arrived in Boston as early as 1654…and were sold into indentured servitude. Since then, the Irish have become one of the largest ethnic groups in Boston and the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is stuff of legend, just as so many historic activities in Boston are.

As it is impossible to speak of Boston history without mentioning the American Revolution, Bortnick also offers such flavors as the Battle Road and Bloody Rebellion rubs, Bunker Hill BBQ blend, and the Gadsden-inspired duo of Don’t Tread on My Chicken and Don’t Tread on My Fish. As for his company’s historic story, Bortnick recalls graduating from the fames culinary program at nearby Johnson & Wales University and becoming a chef and kitchen manager for a major area chain. “During my 12 years of managing the back of the house and front of the house working all night shifts, weekends, and holidays…[I] got tired of cooking and serving flavorless food.” Suggesting that many corporate-made restaurant recipes are, “pretty bland in general” and decrying the fact that, in many cases, adjustments are not allowed, Bortnick fell back on his early understanding that “adding something to food to make it flavorful is the most basic of cooking” and opted to toss in his toq and go out on his own. “I decided that I will have to help people make their food taste good,” he beams, noting his corporate slogan, “Start A Revolution In Your Mouth” Though many of his mixes are broadly applicable, Bortnick knows that many home chefs are wary to use new flavors and so offers not only names that hint at suggested uses but also a collection of “Yummy” recipes on his website. “Most people decide what spice blends to use based on the food they are going to cook,” he observes, decrying how many grab old spices or gloppy sauces off the shelf and cover up their food instead of bringing out its best. “We try to give some meaning as to why our spice

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blends are tasty and fun. We might not be able to teach someone how to physically cook their food, but we sure can help them make their food flavorful.”

MOST PEOPLE DECIDE WHAT SPICE BLENDS TO USE BASED ON THE FOOD THEY ARE GOING TO COOK,” HE OBSERVES, DECRYING HOW MANY GRAB OLD SPICES OR GLOPPY SAUCES OFF THE SHELF AND COVER UP THEIR FOOD INSTEAD OF BRINGING OUT ITS BEST. Though most of his flavors are locally-inspired, Bortnick is selling on his website and also through Amazon, etsy, and Walmart. To expand his reach and also his sense of “fun,” he has also partnered with local venues like the Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum, the Boston Stone Gift Shop, and the Town Of Lexington Visitors Center in Lexington Mass (home of the :shot heard ‘round the world”). He has also partnered with a local vintner to offer kits that combine wine and mulling spices.

January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 40

“We call it ‘The Boston Wine Party,’” Bortnick smiles. Focusing more on the health benefits of spices, Adit Agrawal, President & CEO of AlcoEats. ( explains that his company was born of his personal history of being unhealthy. When he arrived in the United States in 2013 from his native India to attend Kettering University in Flint, MI (an area that has had its own health issues of late), Agarwal says, “I was super obese and did not really know a way out.” Over time, the new student also educated himself about healthy eating and used spices to flavor what might otherwise be bland “diet” foods. “With this came the idea of developing easy to use spice mixes that are diet friendly, easy to use, more gourmet and all natural,” he explains. And while he realized that the spice space would be “hard to crack,” Agarwal was dedicated to using spices to “make a difference in the lives of others who want to improve their lifestyle or just want to eat the best tasting food possible.” While he has seen many products that are easy to use, gourmet, easily relatable to consumers, and beneficial to their health, Agarwal posits that few if any satisfy all of these qualifications. The differnce with Alco, he suggests, is that, “we have thought about the customers first and have worked backwards to create something that fits perfectly well with their lifestyle.” Though this may seem to be a grand claim, as the company’s “first customer,” Agrawal can attest to its verity. Among the biggest challenges that Agarwal had fulfilling his desires to fuilfill the list of qualifications was the relatablility of his India-inspired products to an American market. “Not many American’s grow up eating Indian food,” he admits, citing what are often “foreign” words like Tikka or Anchari. “We have made sure that we make our products relatable so it’s very easy for our customers to choose between flavors such as chicken or meat, spicy, creamy or buttery.” In this way, Agarwal suggests, Alco has become more than a food company, but has gone on to educate consumers and encourage them to make healthy choices that, pardoning the pun. “mix well with their lifestyle.” In addiiton to his website, Agarwal’s offerings are also available on Amazon and at a growing number of stores, especially in the Midwest. “We have some amazing partners that help us reach our customers,” Agarwal says gratefully. Proudly noting that AlcoEats was recently named a Golden ticket winner by the wholesale food distributor KeHe. “We are working around the clock with them to distribute our products nationwide…[and] to be a staple in every pantry across America. As Agarwal started his company to deal with his own health issues and those of others, Christina Lehman of From Gracie’s Table ( opened her’s when many people were facing health issues of their own.

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“I started my line of rubs during Covid as a side job while I wasn’t working as a physical therapist assistant,” Lehman recalls, noting that she took the name of her company from her late mother, Marygrace, who had often inspired her in the kitchen. As a mother of two children who were unable to go to school, Lehman had to find an opportunity that would allow her to provide for her family while having the flexibility to be home with her children.


“I started to think of what I do differently then other people,” she recalls, echoing another famous saying about necessity and a mother, “and that where my rubs came into the picture.” As she had been making her rubs and other food enhancers for many years and had received raves from family and friends, Lehman was confident that she could at least make some money with her culinary creations, or at least that she could offer something new to flavor fans. “I’ve always heard from anyone who has [eaten] my dishes at my house that they never tasted anything like my rubs [and] marinades,” she smiles, “ so I was trying to bring something new and delicious as well as versatile to people.” And while the money has been of great value to Lehman and her family, the true kick she gets from kicking up the flavor for others is the opportunity to do what she loves and have others fall in love with it as well. “Cooking [is] a passion,” she enthuses, “and to have people buying items that only I can produce and loving them is an amazing feeling!” As is the case with many food makers, however, Lehman faced challenges along the road. Chief among these was obtaining the proper licenses to expand her homemade business into a corporate entity.

Christina Lehman “Once I had that in place,” she recalls, “the next hurdle was figuring out how to get my products to an audience.” As her mother had inspired the business, Lehman turned to her father to help her grow it. “[He] went around marketing our products to local farm stands,” she explains, “and I did the social media.” Even so, Lehman recalls, it took some time for her spicy business to catch fire. “I was constantly trying to figure out how we get more exposure,” she admits. “We needed to figure out how to get recurring customers to keep the line going and growing.”


Adit Agrawal

January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 42

As it was such a challenge to go it alone, Lehman called on other entrepreneurs in her area of Brookline, NH, and eventually created a collaborative market called Brookline’s Finest. In addition to her own products, Brookline’s Finest also offers such locally-sourced items as handmade wood items, homemade candles, fresh breads, hand painted signs, and other artistic and artisan items.

Despite this retail success, however, Taylor still has parts of her dream yet to realize. “I would love to see by business continue to shift toward direct to consumer sales,” she says. “It’s a labor intensive channel, but that is where the closest relationships live.”

“It’s quickly become a favorite local hot spot,” Lehman observes, noting that, as soon as she has even more space and more licenses, she hopes to open up her own ready-made food store so people can see all the things her spices and other products can do.

As with other spice-makers, Taylor also sees an unfamiliarity with spices as a potential obstacle for relationships with consumers.

As all individual spiced makers are entrepreneurs, it may be no surprise to learn that one of the most successful came from that hotbed of entrepreneurial spirit- the Wharton School at the University of PA.

“Most people are intimidated by spices,” she suggests, offering her own recipes (many of which have been collected in her book, Because Flavor is Everything ~ Recipes with Victoria Taylor’s) as a point of entry and means of education. “I believe it’s the recipes we provide that inspire confidence and lead to creativity.”

Victoria Taylor, Founder & CEO of Victoria Gourmet, Inc. (www. grew up near Brown University, went to Harvard and then on to Wharton. And while many of her Ivy league classmates may have gone into finance and investment banking, Taylor decided to invest in herself and follow a dream. Starting her food path as a product manager for the Kingsford Products Company (where she managed the national roll-out of KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce), she went on to Welch’s where she managed the company’s bottled juice business and authored their Welch’s Health and Nutrition Marketing Initiative. In 1998, she left the corporate food world and reentered the space as her own entity.

...OUR COMPANY MAINTAINS AN ONGOING COMMITMENT TO RECIPE DEVELOPMENT AS THE FOUNDATION FOR CONNECTING TO CONSUMERS... Despite her business background, Taylor faced the same financial challenges that so many self-starters do. In fact, when asked what her biggest challenges were, she admits that, “the recurring need for capital remains top of the list.” With a team of over a baker’s dozen of investors, as well as debt financing and a working capital line at a small bank. Taylor was able to persevere and see her dream come to reality. And despite lawsuits, a fire, and what she sees as “terrible buyers” (not to mention a supply chain that, she suggests, is “broken” all over the planet), she has “never accepted the idea of failure as a possibility” and continues to battle every day. Apparently she is winning the war! Today, Victoria’s spices can be found at over 4,000 retailers across North America (including Whole Foods, Market Basket, HEB, Meijer, Stop&Shop, Roche Bros, and even TJMaxx) and are purchased in bulk by many restaurants (such as Olive Garden, Legal Sea Foods, and The Capital Grille).

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When asked what makes her products different, Taylor cites the careful testing each all-natural, gluten-free item goes through and also the lowsalt formulations that set them apart from many other spice brands. She also uses larger piece sizes to enable higher volatile oil content and thus more flavor. “This is a significant difference versus the finely-ground products commonly found in the market,” she maintains. Among her most standout spices are pioneering Culinary Salts of the World Collection, which won a gold medal four “outstanding food gift” from the Specialty Food Association in 2003 and an industry-leading set of brining blends that she released in 2005. In addition to her many awards and accolades, these and other favorites have garnered Victoria thousands of social media followers and (perhaps more importantly) devoted followers who only use her products in their recipes. “The essence of the consumer connection is easy recipes and inspiring solutions for cooking with maximum flavor every day,” Taylor suggests. “[Our] company maintains an ongoing commitment to recipe development as the foundation for connecting to consumers.” Whether it was due to the growth of home cooking during the pandemic or a dedication to making food and life more delicious, these brave entrepreneurs have used their home-grown and international inspirations to spice up their own lives and those of others, bringing not only variety but also health benefits and inspiration for other sin the food space as well. And while many still may not think much about spices, it is clear that they have an impact on the flavor of food and on life.

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STARTUP GIVING AWAY FREE EMPLOYEES TO HELP STRUGGLING RESTAURANTS GRUBBRR helps operators affected by the labor shortage beyond the holidays.

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By Debbie Hall

GRUBBRR, the industry-leading provider of self-ordering technologies, continues to revolutionize the way commerce is transacted globally. This past holiday season, GRUBBRR offered free employees to restaurants struggling to survive amid the labor shortage, and will continue the promotion through the New Year. They are providing free employees in the form of the Samsung Kiosk powered by GRUBBRR to all qualified restaurant operators determined to keep their doors open. By providing this free kiosk employee, GRUBBRR enables restaurants to deploy a dynamic labor solution that has been proven to decrease operating costs, increase revenue, and improve the customer experience. With the extension of the promotion, GRUBBRR is also looking to reach new customers within the QSR, fast casual, and retail industries to help them innovate their businesses with self-ordering technology. “The pandemic caused numerous challenges across industries by shutting virtually everything down. But, for us, the pandemic proved to be a good thing as it expedited the implementation of self-ordering technology within the restaurant industry,” says Sam Zietz, CEO of GRUBBRR. “Businesses now had to meet consumer demand for clean, contactless, virtual ordering. That is exactly where GRUBBRR comes in.”

The analogy Zietz uses to describe the growth of GRUBBRR is the implementation of technology within the banking and travel industries. Before technology, people would go to the bank and make deposits and withdrawals from a teller. Now, people bank using online banking and ATMs. The same is true for air travel. “This same business model has started happening to the restaurant industry using kiosks, mobile or online ordering, whether through a website or third-party delivery service,” says Zietz. “GRUBBRR developed these technologies early to become a leader in the industry.” Samsung and GRUBBRR are making self-ordering technology affordable and accessible like never before. “Now that we’ve partnered with Samsung, we’ve completely democratized the cost of kiosks making them both accessible and

Businesses now had to meet consumer demand for clean, contactless, virtual ordering

January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 46

affordable. For less than $3,000 a unit, you can transform your business with a selfordering kiosk.” However, the timeline for implementinginnovation within the restaurant industry was drastically accelerated, with many operators looking to implement self-ordering technology now instead of waiting years to invest. Zietz explains that the three main factors influencing this acceleration are the pandemic, rising minimum wage, and the booming gig economy. All of these factors have contributed to one of the greatest labor shortages in American history. “Workers don’t want to return to an industry with poor working conditions. Restaurant operators don’t want to or can’t afford to improve these conditions. As such, these workers have found other industries,” he explains. For restaurant operators, this means they will have to find other solutions to the labor shortage, such as self-ordering technology. Consumers prefer to use self-ordering technology as it delivers a curated personal experience that is quick, easy, and correct every time. Gone are the days of waiting in long lines, dealing with rude employees, and sending back incorrect orders. Instead, customers can order at their own pace from a kiosk or other device and be assured that their food will be delivered quickly and accurately. Recent surveys indicate that 65 percent of customers would visit a restaurant more often if self-service kiosks were offered. In addition, 70 percent of consumers prefer to order digitally when at a restaurant. Self-ordering kiosks increase restaurant revenue through customized upselling technology. The kiosk will remember past orders, execute suggestive selling, and even curate the menu based on weather and time of day.


Nevertheless, restaurant operators are still hesitant to try new technology. “Restaurant owners are used to throwing cheap labor at their problems. They have been notorious laggards when it comes to implementing technology. Given the current labor shortage, restaurants can no longer find nor afford labor to solve their problems and must turn to self-ordering technology,” says Zietz. According to Restaurant Business Online, restaurant employment has decreased by 8 percent since the pandemic began. More than one million restaurant workers are gone, with 25 percent planning to leave the industry for good. In total, over 110,000 U.S. restaurants have closed since the beginning of the pandemic.

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The labor shortage is devastating an industry already fraught with razor-thin profit margins and high closure rates. Deploying self-service technology such as the Samsung Kiosk powered by GRUBBRR allows operators to adapt to the labor shortage by repurposing employees to other functions of the business. For example, replacing a cashier with a kiosk enables that cashier to be moved to the production line, thereby increasing throughput and revenue. The kiosk is affordable, easy to install, and customizable to any business. Kiosks always show up, always upsell, never call in sick, and are ready to work 24/7, even on the holidays. Implementing kiosks also allows restaurants to streamline efficiency, reducing average transaction time. In addition, self-ordering kiosks also minimize human contact and eliminate ordering errors, reducing food waste when wrong orders are thrown in the trash. GRUBBRR also allows businesses to implement integrations, such as loyalty programs and discount codes, that reward consumers. What’s more, consumers spend on average 12 to 20 percent more when they order with their eyes and with touch from a self-service kiosk than from a cashier. The one-time cost to install a kiosk is a fraction of the price of carrying a cashier. On average, keeping a cashier at a quick-service restaurant open 15 hours per day will cost more than $6,000 monthly. The Samsung Kiosk powered by GRUBBRR is available for less than $3,000 for the whole unit. “During the coming year, the labor shortage is going to continue, and restaurants will have no choice but to implement self-ordering technology if they want to survive,” says Zietz. Zietz has been in the Fintech space for almost 20 years. When he met Bhavin Asher, the founder and creator of GRUBBRR, Zietz knew this was the future. “We were in sync together on what the future of the restaurant industry looks like,” explains Zietz. “It is our core belief that the cashier is obsolete, as well as the traditional point of sale system.” With this free employee promotion, GRUBBRR aims to help restaurant operators thrive amid the labor shortage by providing them with a dynamic kiosk employee. To qualify for the promotion, operators must have multiple open locations within the fast casual, quick service, or retail industries. Those eligible will receive the Samsung Kiosk powered by GRUBBRR, including hardware and software, for a free 60-day noobligation trial. To apply for a kiosk or learn more about GRUBBRR solutions, visit or connect on socials including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

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SILK ROAD SAFFRON Silk Road Saffron is a women-owned and operated farm offering Super High Negin Grade A Stigma that has a beautiful natural aroma. Our saffron is perfect for all of your cooking needs. What is the difference between our saffron and others? Simply, it is our desire to help women in our region and bring you the worlds best. Silk Road Saffron is carefully handpicked from the beautiful crocus flower (crocus sativus). Literally, the three tiny and fragile stigmas are plucked by hand with tweezers by local women, then we dry the stems over heat and pack them. Silk Road Saffron grows our own saffron, while many competitors source their saffron. All of our saffron is packaged in California in glass bottles to preserve and keep the saffron fresh, we do not use metal or plastic. Why do you want to cook with Saffron? Saffron is rare and considered to be the world’s most expensive spice, that is why you only use a pinch. It takes 75,000 flowers to produce 1 pound of saffron. Sought for because of it’s delicate earthy taste, great in paella and bouillabaisse, but it also contains crocin, safranal and picrocrocin - three compounds which are responsible for imparting the beautiful golden red color and distinctive aroma. This precious spice is also high in elements such as copper, magnesium, potassium, manganese, selenium, calcium, zinc, and iron. Help us empower the women of Afghanistan who produce the world’s most precious and desired spice, support Silk Road Farms.


• 2 Cups Yellow Lentil Peas • 1 Pinch Silk Road Saffron


• 1 Teaspoon Fresh Chopped Garlic • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil • 1 Teaspoon Fresh Chopped Ginger • 2 Tablespoon Fresh Chopped Cilantro • 1 Teaspoon Salt (Or To Taste)


• 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Or To Taste) • 2 1/2 Quarts Water • 2 Large Tomatos • 1 Medium Yellow Onion

Wash and rinse yellow lentils with warm water. Then in a pot sauté the onion with oil until caramelized, then stir in garlic followed by remaining ingredients add the lentils. Cook until the lentils are very tender and become a liquid consistency.

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By Debbie Hall Photos courtesy of Sugar Factory

Sugar Factory makes the world a sweeter place and relishes the delight of the inner child while savoring the pleasure of adulthood. Its newest Las Vegas location, Sugar Factory American Brasserie-Harmon Corner, opened earlier this year with an appearance by 50 Cent, where he launched his Candy Shop goblet, made with his Branson Cognac. The celebration continued with grand opening parties hosted by Scott Disick and “Jersey Shore” star DJ Pauly D. “With its energetic atmosphere and delicious dishes, celebrities flock to Sugar Factory just like everyone else,” says Charissa Davidovici, owner of Sugar Factory American Brasserie. The new Las Vegas location of the world-famous celebration destination, known for its sweets and treats, has three stories of indoor and outdoor seating and a walk-up goblet bar accessible from the pedestrian bridge on Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue. Along with a whimsical candy retail store, guests can enjoy a candy dots rock climbing wall that spans all three floors of the restaurant. The Harmon Corner Retail Center, located on the 50-yard line of the Las Vegas Strip, encompasses a unique destination with restaurants, shops, and attractions.

FROM PHOTO-FRIENDLY DECOR, OVERTHE-TOP EATS, AND THE INCREDIBLE STAFF, EVERY ELEMENT OF SUGAR FACTORY IS DESIGNED TO GIVE GUESTS A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE FROM THE MOMENT THEY WALK INTO THE MOMENT THEY LEAVE “Sugar Factory’s new Las Vegas location is sure to blow everyone away,” shares Davidovici. “From photo-friendly decor, over-the-top eats, and the incredible staff, every element of Sugar Factory is designed to give guests a memorable experience from the moment they walk into the moment they leave.”

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Sugar Factory recently revamped its brunch menu at many of its locations, giving customers some more Insta-worthy items. So get the camera ready to take photos and video when the Pink Cloud Pancake Stack is served. Pink vanilla bean pancakes are topped with strawberry cotton candy, raspberries, pink pearls, whipped cream, powdered sugar, pink glitter, and white chocolate sauces. When served, the warm maple syrup is poured, and, BOOM, a pink cloud rises from the dish with its deliciousness spilling over the pancakes as yummy lava. As for savory dishes, the Big Cheesy Burger is topped with melted white cheddar and creamy mac & cheese, and the pan-roasted prime rib eye paired with a crispy brick of Havarti cheese. Another Instagrammable moment is Sugar Factory’s rainbow sliders, served on colorful buns with American cheese, crispy onions, and Sugar Factory’s signature sauce, accompanied by a Sugar Factory rubber duck to take home. The desserts are equally over-the-top and include Sugar Factory’s signature Insane Milkshakes, which are lavishly decorated and served in chocolate-covered mugs. Adult beverages add to the experience, and Sugar Factory is known for iconic, oversized smoking candy goblets (with or without spirits). With

over 45 creative goblet offerings, there is something for everyone on its cocktail menu. Popular goblets include The Lollipop Passion, garnished with lollipops and candy necklaces, blends sweet from the past with fine spirits. Celebrity-approved drinks include the Watermelon Patch goblet featuring Pitbull’s Voli 305 Vodka and sour watermelon gummies, the Cali Love goblet made with Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila, and The Rock’s Soul Man goblet with his Teremana Tequila.

WITH ITS ENERGETIC ATMOSPHERE AND DELICIOUS DISHES, CELEBRITIES FLOCK TO SUGAR FACTORY JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE,” SAYS CHARISSA DAVIDOVICI Throughout the restaurant, strike a pose in front of Sugar Factory’s signature, colorful and Instagrammable decor. A two-story flower wall with neon artwork spans the gold staircase between the first and second floors. On the first floor’s exterior, a 25-foot 3D candy heart wall greets

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guests with sayings that include “Viva Las Vegas,” “Vegas Baby,” and “soulmate.” The 14,000-square-foot restaurant offers 230 seats indoors (fitted with luxurious red velvet chairs and booths), a 36-seat entry-level bar, a 30-seat carousel bar on the mezzanine level, and a 30-seat outdoor patio fitted with fire pits that overlook the Las Vegas Strip on the third level. Also on the top floor a large indoor dining room opens to a candy store featuring more than 500 types of candy. In addition to the endless candy options, Sugar Factory’s Harmon Corner location offers fresh homemade pastries, homemade ice cream and gelato, milkshakes, and coffee selections. Sugar Factory’s sweet treats have been a huge hit for over a decade as the ultimate celebration destination for guests at any age, offering a sweet escape that the entire family and friends can enjoy. Sugar Factory provides an exciting, immersive, and memorable experience for any occasion.


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CONTACT THE SUNTEIN™ SALES TEAM • • 701.282.2600 January Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 56

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A 6000-YEAR-OLD CONTRIBUTION TO THE MEDITERR ANEAN DIET: Olive & Olive Oil from Turkey Today, more than any other time in history, we have access to extensive culinary information and ingredients from around the world. This access has encouraged consumers to move towards healthy living by modifying their diets with nutritious foods. And, the pandemic only accelerated this movement. In this article, we are bringing a thousands-year-old contribution to the Mediterranean Diet to your attention as it has been underrepresented since the beginning: Turkish Olive & Olive Oil. We can find so many different olive and olive oil brands from different countries in almost every grocery store. Are Turkish olives and olive oils any different? Short answer: Yes. However, this answer should be elaborated for both consumers and connoisseurs.

The older the tree, the more mature the taste. Furthermore, it produces a refined and smoother texture.

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HISTORY, FACTS & FIGURES OF TURKISH OLIVE & OLIVE OIL Research has shown that the motherland of olive tree is the province of Hatay in Turkey, historically known as Antioch (where you can visit the first church in the history ever built!). The region hosts olive trees that are 1500 years old. The older the tree, the more mature the taste. Furthermore, it produces a refined and smoother texture. City of Urla in Izmir hosts the very first olive oil extraction installation in the history. While the installation dates back to 6th century, the olive storages nearby date back to BC 3000s. So, it is no surprise Homeros, in his Epic of Iliada estimated to be written in BC 1199, mentions his dinner under olive trees. Today, Turkey is ranked as the 5th largest olive oil manufacturer with the 250,000 tons production (including extra virgin) and the 3rd largest olive producer with the 450,000 tons harvest in 2020. The country’s production capacity and supply stood strong during the pandemic as the industry takes the advantage of 660,000 HA (app. 1,630,000 acres) of olive farming with 200 million olive trees and 500,000 employees working for the industry. Turkey’s Aegean and Mediterranean regions grant access to many different types of olives and oils due to specific localities where they are cultivated. The olives and the olive oils cultivated from the Northern Regions will be more aromatic, darker in color and have a dense flavor. The characteristics of olives and oils from the Southern regions are fruitier in flavor and a lighter color making it a great oil to blend with other olive oils to customize a flavor and texture profile. Here is the good news for American consumers and foodservice professionals: Turkish olive and olive oil import to the US have been steadily increasing in the past 5 years (except the pandemic’s first year). With the advantages and benefits of Turkish products, why not take a taste challenge and discover for yourself the wonderful flavors of Turkish olives and olive oils? Seeking more information about Turkish olives and oils? Follow us on Turkish Tastes Official on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn and reach out to We hope you will join us monthly here at F&B Magazine for additional articles on Turkish Cuisine.

The characteristics of olives and oils from the Southern regions are fruitier in flavor and a lighter color making it a great oil to blend with other olive oils to customize a flavor and texture profile.

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The 3rd largest supplier of table olives with more than 90 types of table olives

The 5th largest supplier of olive oil (including Extra Virgin)

The motherland of olive trees where you can find 1300-year-old olive trees

The host to the first olive oil extraction installation in the history

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“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.” – Giada De Laurentiis

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The global food and beverage sector is one of the oldest industries in the world. Today, the industry is worth $6.1 Trillion USD globally. For centuries, food and beverage trade for this industry had been dominated by physical stores, exhibitions, and expos. All that changed when the pandemic struck. All sectors of the worldwide economy were disrupted by the pandemic in one way or another. The Food and Beverage industry was among the most severely impacted. When shelter in place policies were enforced, traffic to restaurants and cafes took a hit. In Latin America, traffic declined by 75%, while North America and the Middle East saw a 90% decline compared to pre-pandemic levels.

miss, usually carry a big cost to attend, and ultimately costly offline meetings and negotiations can at times result in few orders. Recently, in-person exhibitions have significantly been affected by the pandemic. Consequently, suppliers lost connections with their customers. When the pandemic hit, bringing with it global supply chain disruptions, declining physical traffic, and lockdowns, suppliers decided to give a try. Even though many businesses consider themselves tech savvy, there were doubts about ecommerce being a good opportunity for them. Many in the end were presently surprised by the spectacular results.

Additionally, the Food and Beverage industry relies heavily on justin-time logistics. This model is ideal when operations are normal, and can even withstand a certain level of turmoil within the supply chain. But, the level of global supply chain disruptions created by the pandemic can be disastrous.

One recent example is from December 2021, when hosted an online trade show, Global Food and Beverage Selection. This trade show featured 1,600 exhibitors from all over the world and showcased over 282,000 food and beverage products. It brought procurement orders, including many orders from countries halfway across the world – a result many exhibitors felt was next to impossible to achieve at a physical trade show.

All these factors have added up and led to closures or economic losses for thousands of restaurants, bars, and even some physical grocery stores during the pandemic.

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AT THE HEIGHT OF THE PANDEMIC, A THIRD OF CONSUMERS ORDERED GROCERIES ONLINE, 41% OF WHOM WERE DOING IT FOR THE FIRST TIME. Digital Technologies and Tools Come to the Rescue Fortunately, the fallout from the pandemic wasn’t all doom and gloom. While traffic to restaurants and physical stores declined, commerce on the internet blossomed. At the height of the pandemic, a third of consumers ordered groceries online, 41% of whom were doing it for the first time. The convenience of having groceries delivered to the front door is likely to turn online grocery shopping into a long-term habit. This trend wasn’t limited to just retail. According to McKinsey, about 70% of B2B decision makers have fallen in love with making orders remotely. And this isn’t a fad, about 89% plan to continue making B2B purchases remotely for the medium term.

Online trade shows are not the only offerings from is a leading global B2B marketplace that connects millions of buyers and sellers from over 200 countries and regions worldwide. It provides digital tools and products that ensure a seamless online trading experience, and technologies and online features that facilitate real time communications across more than 17 languages, including Request for Quote, instant messaging, to name a few. Take your food and beverage business to the next level by browsing on food and beverage pavilion today.


How’s Global Foods & Beverage Selection Makes a Difference The main channel of many food and beverage producers for acquiring customers has been attending physical trade events and exhibitions. Many businesses admit this approach can be hit or

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