Food & Beverage Magazine - June Issue 2022

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Must be legal drinking age. Siempre® and its logo is a registered trademark and the contents of this advertisement are copyright 2015-2022.

JUNE 2022 COVER IMAGE Rocco’s WeHo Co-founder, Lance Bass Cover Image Credit: Bridger Scott

PUBLISHER MICHAEL POLITZ DIRECTOR & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LAUREN KANE EDITOR AT LARGE JENNIFER ENGLISH PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR TRACY STERN HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS SUSAN GOLD DIRECTOR OF ARTISANAL PARTNERSHIPS ANTHONY LANE DIRECTOR OF CPG PARTNERSHIPS TERRY HART NATIONAL SALES MANAGER RON STERN NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR COLLIN MILLINGTON DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMATIC SALES BARB ROGERS PUBLIC RELATIONS THE INFLUENCE | ALI LASKY CONTRIBUTING EDITORS DEBBIE HALL LAUREN MCINDOO MICHELE TELL TERRY HART KAIULANI DELGADO ANTHONY LANE SUSAN GOLD KRISTI HILL We honor and remember the support of Chef Kerry Simon, Gary Cantor, Robin Leach, Chef Paul Prudhomme, & Gary Coles Food & Beverage Magazine® is owned and published electronically by Beautiful People, LLC. Copyright 1995-2016 Beautiful People LLC. All rights reserved. Food & Beverage Magazine® and distinctive logo are trademarks owned by Beautiful People, LLC. “” is a trademark of Beautiful People, LLC. No part of this electronic magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of Food & Beverage Magazine. Requests for permission should be directed to: The information contained has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organizations. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author, organization or public relation firm. Food & Beverage Magazine is not affiliated with any other food and beverage or hospitality publication.



Contents June 2022 Inside this issue 05

Cover Feature: Rocco’s WeHo and Heart / Lance Bass and Alexander Manos


Borden Cheese’s Ulti-Melt Bacon Onion Burger


Candy Pop


Chef Profile: Serge Krikorian




Crown Valley


Eating Plants

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Chef Profile: Aurelien


Summer Must Have Items




James Beard Foundation


Mark Becker Interview


Summer Recipes


The Food Venture Gals


Cover Feature: National Retail Solutions







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EXPANDING HIS HORIZONS IN FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY Rocco’s WeHo and Heart expresses the Vision of Lance Bass and Alexander Manos

by Debbie Hall

Lance Bass has added restauranteur and nighclub operator to his portfolio with Rocco’s WeHo casual eatery and nightclub in West Hollywood. He first exploded as a celebrity as part of the NSYNC boy band selling over 70 million records. Bass continues his successful career as a singer, dancer, actor, and film and television producer. As for expanding into the food and beverage industry, “I love food and come from a big family of cooks,” he explains. “They really made me respect food, so I have started my own company with my family using recipes from my sister and my mom, which will be launched on QVC this summer. This will be lots of fun.” Bass is also excited about his partnership with Rocco’s Tavern, a well-known restaurant and bar with several locations throughout the Los Angeles area. Founded by Alexander Manos, co partners include Roger Toussaint, Leo Amari, Johnny Liska, and managing partner Adolfo Espinoza. He never expected to become part of the restaurant industry, especially Rocco’s, which he frequented as a customer.

I love food and come from a big family of cooks, they really made me respect food, so I have started my own company with my family using recipes from my sister and my mom, which will be launched on QVC this summer. This will be lots of fun.”

“I would go to watch football in Studio City, and I got to know the owners. They approached me about creating a gay version of Rocco’s in West Hollywood. When they told me the exact location, I knew it was perfect. I am obsessed with their bar and love their food; this was great for me to get involved.” Rocco’s WeHo offers a variety of delicious food and drinks with freshly made-to-order burgers, wraps, pasta, and salads. They will also offer some of their fan-favorite pizza (including vegan) and wings that they have been serving for over 20 years in the Los Angeles area. The drink menu consists of Rocco’s WeHo signature cocktails, Bloody Marys, wines, and beers on tap. As for the success of Rocco’s, the past two years have been very challenging for the restaurant industry. However, as Bass explains, Rocco’s caters to a local clientele. So when the pandemic happened, they worked to remain open as long as possible, including serving only outdoors, delivery and takeout. “Rocco’s is more than a bar, but more like a place for the community to come together and socialize. When the pandemic finally shut us down, felt for everyone who would come in daily for the camaraderie,” he says. “I am

so proud that our food is so good that people kept us in business during the pandemic. They have been doing this for over years, so if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it and have to keep serving the best food.” i a is one of Rocco’s specialties with in uences from Italian and Greek backgrounds, including Rocco’s Specialty Pies such as BBQ Chicken Pie topped with grilled chicken breast, Rocco’s secret recipe barbecue sauce, and mozzarella cheese. The White Pie, topped with white cream sauce, fresh garlic, spinach, mozzarella, and ricotta cheese, delights the taste buds. ur menu was developed over the past years,” explains Manos. “I grew in the food and bar industry since I was eight years old. We first started with Rocco’s i a Shop with a simple menu based around pizza, salads, and calzones.” As Rocco’s expanded into different neighborhoods, the menu was customized to the area it was serving. As for Rocco’s WeHo, healthier selections are offered, including more salads. He anticipates that this will be a trend for all of his establishments. “I grew up Italian, and we love our heaver pasta dishes. We still will offer Italian cuisine but not as heavy,” Manos says.

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Rocco’s is all about giving back and has worked with various organizations throughout its 20-year history, especially in their local neighborhoods. In May, for World Dog Day, Bass representing Rocco’s, judged the dog fashion show and dog pie eating contest. “It was a fun day for the community, and we will be involved in more events like World Dog Day,” he says. “Due to my Greek background, I was always taught to give back,” adds Manos. “We give back to our local schools and sporting teams. Certain locations are family-based, and our other locations focus on adults.”

We give back to our local schools and sporting teams. Certain locations are family-based, and our other locations focus on adults.

Rocco’s WeHo creates a strong sense of local community and wants to re ect that in the artwork. In collaboration with One Archives and Michael Turchin, James Kirtley has created a visual representation of the LGBTQ+ movement through photography, dynamic graphic designs, and paintings with their artistic background. This timeline represents the LGBTQ+ civil rights struggles and victories from the 1940s to the present day. This serves as a history lesson of how far the movement has come and as a reminder that remaining vigilant is crucial. But not all of the artwork inside Rocco’s is as serious, and there are fun vintage posters and comical ads framed

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throughout the location. Rocco’s wants to remind their patrons of the importance of love, and that pride is victory and #proud2be. Since opening in 2021 Armstrong has proven to be successful restaurateur and now adds nightclub operator with his new nightclub, Heart, which opened in February. “This makes more sense for me to open a club,” he laughs. “I really love hospitality, entertaining, and throwing parties. I loved any party, especially Halloween and New Year’s Eve and Day when I was a kid. I love making people happy and bringing them together. I want to create the best nightlife that this world offers with this new club.” Since Bass has attended (and partied) clubs worldwide, he knows the kind of experience he wants to offer. Bass knows what he loves and would want when he goes to a club, so he plans on creating the same for his customers. In fact, Heart is across the street from Rocco’s WeHo and took over the building that once housed the iconic club Rage, a happening place for over 30 years. “When we got the chance to take it over, I jumped at it. This is the perfect place, and I want to make it a safe community space. We don’t have a real official dance club or discotheque in West Hollywood. You would think that the gay capital of the world would have a real discotheque.” He is developing an “entertainment menu” with dancing for the new club all night. Bass plans on making each night at the club different. Think of the Troubadour, only now the gay version. Bass plans on showcasing great artists with the best lights and sound as an entertainment venue for everyone. The menu, cooked in its state-of-the-art kitchen, will offer upscale food such as crab cakes and tuna tartar, while patrons also go over to Rocco’s if they are in the mood for great talian. “While we planned for Heart to be more experience-based, we still wanted to offer food that our customers can enjoy while enjoying the experience,” says Manos. “We put a lot of shared plates on the menu, such as tuna crispy rice and wrapped shrimp skewers.”

Since Bass has attended (and partied) clubs worldwide, he knows the kind of experience he wants to offer. Bass knows what he loves and would want when he goes to a club, so he plans on creating the same for his customers.

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The Rocco’s Tavern concept was created by its four owners, three of which grew up in Staten Island and one native of Los Angeles. They have been serving their community for over 20 years, famous for their pizza, wings, beer, and great sports atmosphere. Their locations are in Studio City, Culver City, Pasadena, Westwood Village, and West Hollywood. Rocco’s menu items and sports vibe are available at their location near the University of Southern California, 901 Bar & Grill. There are now plans to expand into Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale, and then nationally. For more info, visit and follow on Instagram @roccostavern. Heart WeHo is located at 8911 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. Visit for more information and follow on Instagram @HeartWeHo.

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Pizza is one of Rocco’s s ecia ties with in uences from ta ian an ree ac roun s inc u in occo s ecia t ies such as BB hic en ie to e with ri e chic en reast occo s secret reci e ar ecue sauce an mo are a cheese.



Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

1 Medium Red Onion, Peeled And Cut Into Thick Slices 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil 1 Pound Ground Beef, 20% Fat, Formed Into 4 Patties Salt And Pepper, To Taste 4 Slices Borden® Extra Sharp Cheddar Melts 2 Brioche Or Potato Burger Buns, Toasted 4 Tablespoons Sriracha Mayonnaise 2 Leaves Green Leaf Lettuce 2 Slices Beefsteak Tomato 4 Slices Crisply Cooked Bacon

steps Step 1. Heat a grill to high heat. Brush the onion slices with olive oil and grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until the onion has begun to caramelize.

Step 3. Place the buns, cut side down on the grill for 1 minute or until toasted.

Step 2. Sprinkle the hamburger patties with salt and pepper and add the patties to the grill. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove from heat and top each patty with one slice of Cheddar Melts.

Step 4. Spread the insides of the buns with the Sriracha mayonnaise. Layer lettuce on the bun bottoms, top with a slice of tomato, 1 burger, 2 slices of bacon, a second burger and ½ of the onions and the top of the bun and enjoy

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SNAX-Sational Brands Hosts Prime Activation at Sweets and Snacks Expo 2022 Featuring Guest Appearance by Giuliana Rancic with After Party at VU Rooftop SNAX-Sational Brands hosted a large activation at the annual Sweets and Snacks Expo for 2022, after it took a two year hiatus due to Covid restrictions. Giuliana Rancic, the award winning entertainment host, on-air personality, author, mother, and entrepreneur attended with a special guest appearance on May 24th, 2022 on behalf of the popular low calorie popcorn brand making waves, Cookie Pop and Candy Pop, in Chicago at McCormick Place Convention Center. Special guests also included the OREO Mascot and Sour Patch Kids Mascots, who joined in the snacking fun and posed for photos with Giuliana, guests, showgoers, buyers and more. On hand from SNAXSational were executives including Founding Partner and CEO Jerry Bello, Head of Sales Chris Orland, CFO Tim Spring, CMO Adam Cohen, and Founding Partner Frank Florio. Flavors featured at the show booth, included the new Cookie Pop Popcorn Nutter Butter® made with real Nutter Butter® cookie pieces, Cookie Pop Popcorn OREO® made with real OREO® cookie pieces, and Cookie Pop CHIPS AHOY® made with real CHIPS AHOY!® cookie pieces. For Candy Pop, exciting flavors will include the recently debuted Candy Pop Popcorn SOUR PATCH KIDS® made with SOUR PATCH KIDS® Bitz, which has become one of their latest best-sellers and in-demand product flavors, the latest collaboration with Mondelez Candy Company. Plus, signature brand favorites inclusive of Candy Pop Popcorn TWIX® made with TWIX® candy pieces, Candy Pop Popcorn SNICKERS® made with SNICKERS® Pieces, Candy Pop Popcorn M&M’s® Minis made with M&M’s® Minis candy and Candy Pop Popcorn BUTTERFINGER® made with real BUTTERFINGER® candy, plus special edition flavors for Halloween and the Holiday 2022 season, inclusive of Cookie Pop Popcorn OREO® Halloween edition featuring orange drizzle, Cookie Pop Popcorn Iced Gingerbread and Candy Pop Popcorn Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Cookie Pop and Candy Pop are sold at retailers such as Kroger, ShopRite, Publix, Sam’s

Club, Walmart, Stater Bros, Ralphs, and many more, as well as www. “A Snack That Gives Back” - As part of SNAX-Sational’s ongoing partnership with Ryan Seacrest Foundation and their work with specific Children’s Hospitals around the United States, all Candy Pop and Cookie Pop flavors benefit the foundation through a portion of all sales. The new holiday flavors were also showcased at the booth, in which a larger commitment focuses on the organization and their work. Follow online at @cookiepop_candypop for more brand info and @ryanfoundation for updates on the organization’s work. Attendees also had the opportunity to try SNAX-sational’s Pasta Snacks’ gluten free Penne Straws, now available in Marinara, Lemon Garlic, Mac n’ Cheese, Sweet Pepper and Cinnamon Churro flavors. Find out more at @eatpastasnacks Following the expo show, the brand also hosted a celebratory party at VU Rooftop in Chicago, featuring Cookie Pop and Candy Pop custom cocktails, desserts, and cuisine for guests. Guiliana Rancic attended the fete as well as Love Is Blind’s Shaina Hurley, plus brand execs, industry, buyers and Chicago based food influencers.

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CHEF SERGE KRIKORIAN Chef Serge Krikorian and his wife, Mary Krikorian, started their catering business in 2002 and have been in the family restaurant business since 1994. Having catered thousands of events over the years as Dinner’s Ready, they launched Vibrant Occasions Catering, a new name that more accurately depicts the level of food and service provided at weddings and social events. Krikorian was born in Lebanon and moved to the United States with his family as a child. He now hails from the quaint town of Benton, Arkansas. His southern hospitality paired with his penchant for developing unique international fusion-style recipes, especially sauces, has garnered his reputation as foodies’ fan favorite in his community and now on the Youtube space for his cooking show, Cooking with the Kriks. His southern hospitality paired with his penchant for developing unique international fusion-style recipes, especially sauces, has garnered his reputation as foodies’ fan favorite in his community

• • • • •

¾ lbs. Cavatappi Pasta 1 tsp. Kosher Salt 1 Tbls. Vegetable Oil 3 Cups Jalapeno Cheese Sauce (recipe follows) 2 Butter Poached Lobster Tails (recipe follows)

Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and add the salt. Add the pasta and cook, stirring frequently, until al dente (8-10 minutes). Drain the pasta and put into an ice bath. Once cool, drain again and toss with vegetable oil. Meanwhile, make the Jalapeno Cheese Sauce and keep warm over low heat, being careful not to scorch it. While that is cooking, poach the lobster tails then remove the meat from the tail and rough chop the meat. To assemble the Lobster Mac & Cheese, put the pasta into the warm cheese sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes to heat the pasta through. Portion into serving bowls and top with the lobster tail. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Jalapeno Cheese Sauce After years of dreaming about owning a mobile kitchen, in December 2020, Serge and Mary launched Our Mobile Kitchen with the intention of providing fresh, 5-star quality chef-prepared cuisine to patrons visiting where the mobile kitchen is parked or on site for catered weddings and social, private or corporate events. Krikorian is an alumnus of Henderson State University where he studied business earning his Bachelor’s Degree and met his wife, Mary. He earned his MBA from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. Serge became a restaurant entrepreneur when he purchased an old, run-down pizza parlor he and Mary revived and called Sergio’s Pizza. After a few years, they knew the restaurant business was not for them. Mary booked their first official catering gig, much to Serge’s surprise. They began receiving more and more requests for catering luncheons and events. The catering business took over after six months and they never looked back. They have three sons who often work in the business around their academic and career schedules, making their enterprise a family-built business.

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• • • • •

1.25 Cup Heavy Cream 1 lbs. Melting Cheese, cubed ½ Tbls. Minced Fresh Jalapeno 1.5 tsp. Kosher Salt 2 Tbls. Canned Diced Green Chile Peppers

Put all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-low heat and slowly heat until cheese is melted, stirring frequently.

Butter Poached Lobster Tail • 3 Tbls. Water • ½ lbs. (2 Sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbls. pieces • 2 3 oz. Lobster Tails In a small saucepan over medium, bring 3 Tbls. of water to a simmer. Whisk in the butter, 1 Tbls. at a time. Do not allow the butter to come to a boil. Add the raw tails and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning the tails in the butter mixture, until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Be careful not to overcook and remember to not allow the butter to come to a boil while cooking.

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ARTISTRY IN CHARCUTERIE Enjoy A Taste Of Europe With Creminelli Artisan Meats, Cheeses, And Snacks. By Debbie Hall

One can taste the flavors in Creminelli artisan meats, cheeses, and protein-rich snacks. Cultivated for hundreds of years, the Creminelli family has passed down the tradition of crafting artisan salami and charcuterie in Italy. Today, Americans can enjoy rich, traditional, and delicious charcuterie products thanks to a worldwide event. The story of launching the Creminelli brand in the United States actually began during the 2006 Winter Olympics (XX Olympic Winter Games) being held in Italy. Chris Bowler, the CEO of Charcuterie Artisans, the parent company of Creminelli, was working at the Olympics to source products for the America House, where the American Olympic athletes stayed during the games. He would meet Master Artisan Cristiano Creminelli, one of the co-founders of Cremineli, who always had an interest in coming to the U.S. and starting a business. Bowler, Cristiano Creminelli, and a third partner, Jared Lynch, would move to Salt Lake City to develop Creminelli for the U.S. market. “The idea was to introduce American consumers to really authentic, high-quality, European-style charcuterie,” explains Eric Schwartz, CMO of Creminelli. “Charcuterie has become very popular in the U.S. over the past 10 to 15 years. Before 2007, most Americans did not know what it was, and the three partners saw the opportunity.” There is a parallel between the story of Creminelli and a very popular coffee brand. The founder of the coffee brand wanted to

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introduce Americans to the European-style hot coffee experience, and that brand exploded in popularity in the U.S. market. The partners of Creminelli had the same explosive growth offering incredible artisan European-inspired food products to Americans. The company is based in Utah since the climate is similar to Biella, Italy, the home of Cristiano Creminelli. The geography is comparable with both places located in a valley surrounded by mountains. With the manufacture, aging, and drying of charcuterie, temperature and humidity are critical factors in the process. “The air is arid where we are based, so we can use the natural environment in our aging rooms, cutting down on the energy used by air compressors and other machines,” says Schwartz. “We can use the natural air to help control our environment in our aging rooms.” The core of its business is charcuterie snack packs. Think of a lunch pack sold but for adults. According to Schwartz, their two-ounce prosciutto is the best-selling prosciutto product in the U.S. Other choices include meat-only snack packs, including pepperoni, varzi, and calabrese. Additional packs include meat and cheeses such as prosciutto and mozzarella. Another top seller is the three-chamber snack pack that consists of a Sopressata salami, Monterey Jack Cheese, and Sea Salt & Olive Oil crackers.

“What has really driven our business growth is offering truly artisan quality meat in an accessible, familiar, and convenient format for American consumers. This creates the charcuterie board level of quality experience as a fun snack for the market,” says Schwartz. The other product lines include one of the company’s first products, artisan salami, including the 5½-ounce chub salami that ages four to six weeks in the aging room. Creminelli uses a lowtemperature fermentation process. The time to prepare salami using this process takes longer, but Creminelli continues to use this traditional method for the high-quality finished products it produces. This method allows the flavor and texture to develop more, and the mold that forms during the process draws out more acidity. The final product is sweeter with less acidity so consumers can appreciate the more nuanced flavors. While this product line remains smaller, it fills a niche culinary market with a salami that still has the mold and casing. A more sophisticated consumer enjoys the hands-on process of opening up the salami, scoring it, and peeling the casing back. The Artisan Deli line is very similar, offering larger format pieces in a behind-the-counter sourcedorder deli. Creminelli’s newest product line is Salami Minis, a meat stick snack launched in 2019 using traditional curing methods rather than smoking or cooking. The meat is aged for a week since they are

smaller in diameter, but the same fermentation, aging, and drying process is still used. These salami minis are shelf-stable and can be marketed as an on-the-go snack for camping, skiing, or a snack in the workplace. The product features 19 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar per pack. Using the highest standards available, Creminelli partners with a supplier with a network of family-owned and operated farms across the country, especially in the mid-west. “The pork we use is 100 percent humanly raised,” says Schwartz. “Our suppliers have to meet stringent standards regarding how the animals are raised, including being given no antibiotics, fed a vegetarian diet, and having access to open living conditions. We seek the pinnacle of animal husbandry practices in the U.S.” Schwartz has had the opportunity to visit and meet the families that operate the farms, and it has been gratifying for him. “One of the aspects of this program is that these family farms often struggle to compete against large factory farms in a commodity market, but they [family farms] don’t have the economy to scale. But by raising animals in a humanely raised program, they can charge a premium for their pigs and not compete directly against those larger producers. This has enabled families to retain ownership of

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the farm and keep it in the family,” Schwartz says. “We are thrilled to be part of this system, and the quality of our meats is reflected in how the pigs are raised.” Working with an extensive range of suppliers, Creminelli imports gouda from Holland and sources high-quality cheeses from the U.S. The essential characteristic is that all cheeses use all use rBST-free milk. Other factors are finding tastes, textures, and color (provolone, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack) that will pair very well with salamis and other meat products. As for sustainability, a new program was implemented in March, shipping the entire brand of snack packs in trays that are made of 80 percent post-consumer recycled content. About 11 million trays containing the Creminelli brand snack packs are sold annually, and that transitions to about 11 million water bottles repurposed instead of ending up in the ocean. “Sustainability is an important value for Creminelli and important to our consumers.” As a brand, Creminelli skews to a younger demographic, with a big following among millennials. Along with flavor and convenience, this is another factor that influences millennials when they purchase any product, as well as the relationship they build with brands.

“What has really driven our business growth is offering truly artisan quality meat in an accessible, familiar, and convenient format for American consumers. This creates the charcuterie board level of quality experience as a fun snack for the market,” - says Schwartz.

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Addressing the use of single-use plastics in the tray lineup, Creminelli wants to utilize the highest amount of postconsumer recycled content that is possible to achieve while preserving product quality. They were able to reach 80 percent post-consumer content and maintain shelf life, placing them in the leadership position for sustainability for packaged goods. They also use a corrugate supplier who plants the equivalent of 1.5 trees for every tree they use for processing and producing the corrugate, which extends from its primary packaging to its second packaging. “We will continue to strive to be at the forefront to implement sustainable business practices as we produce our products,” he says. As a company of foodies for foodies, Creminelli also gives back to the community. Their core consumers new foods and share them with others. Its philanthropic efforts are aligned in that direction. Since the company is based in Salt Lake City, they have partnered with The Spice Kitchen or Spice Kitchen Incubator ( The International Rescue Committee (IRC) project helps refugees and other

disadvantaged community members interested in starting a full or part-time food business. Spice Kitchen Incubator assists participants in receiving technical assistance and training, having affordable access to commercial kitchen space, and learning the steps to establishing a successful food business such as catering, food truck, or a restaurant. Creminelli is distributed nationally at Whole Foods, Publix, Target, and other natural and gourmet grocery stores such as Harmons Neighborhood Grocer in Utah. They are available in Costco in the northern region of California. “Our product formats are really resonating across many retail formats such as Target in mass retail, grocery stores, club stores, and other niche markets.” The company started with humble beginnings in the basement of a gourmet grocery store, Tony Caputo’s, in Salt Lake City. Cristiano Creminelli would age his salami in refrigerator-size batches in the basement and even slept in the basement so he could check on the progress of his meat. After some big breaks, the business exploded, especially with the introduction of the snack pack, and today the company is capturing the U.S. market.

“...We will continue to strive to be at the forefront to implement sustainable business practices as we produce our products...”

Visit for more info and follow on Facebook @ Creminelli and Instagram @ creminelli.

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Crown Valley M A K E S I N N O VA T I O N S I N

Manufacturing Located in Southeast Missouri, Crown Valley Copack has become one of the leading beverage manufacturers in the Midwest. In April of 2003, Crown Valley started its first venture in the winery business. Over the next 5 years, it opened multiple facilities with the ability to brew, distill and produce sparkling wines. From the conception of the company, Crown Valley has helped local and statewide wineries and breweries with contract manufacturing demands. In 2017, Bryan Siddle, Director of Crown Valley, started to build a Copack team and Quality Assurance program. This enabled Crown Valley to expand its footprint to that of a leader for global companies as their third-party innovation manufacturer. With multiple manufacturing sites, Crown Valley offers a wide array of services and options for production and packaging of malt-based beverages, ready to drink cocktails, seltzers, spirits, and wine. In 2020, the addition of a new facility housing their high-speed canning line commenced production. The Airpark facility offers 110,000+ gal. temperature-controlled tank capacity, 2- 5000 liter still, tunnel pasteurizer, automated carton builder and tray pack former, as well as automated palletizer and shrink wrapper. Crown Valley offers canning, bottling, and sleeving capabilities for both glass and aluminum. Last fall, they introduced a DMM Robotic Variety Pack System. This system can accommodate both 12oz slim and standard cans, and produce 8 pack, 10 pack, and 12 pack finished goods of up to 5000 cases per day. Encompassing over 500,000 square feet of warehouse space,

Crown Valley also offers finished goods storage options and third-party order fulfillment. While shortages have plagued the industry in recent years, they set out to assist those customers who could benefit by the connections their long-standing relationships could bring. In 2021, procurement was added to the list of conveniences they now offer their clients. CROWN VALLEY OFFERS A WIDE ARRAY OF SERVICES AND OPTIONS FOR PRODUCTION AND PACKAGING OF MALTBASED BEVERAGES, READY TO DRINK COCKTAILS, SELTZERS, SPIRITS, AND WINE.

Crown Valley strives to be on the cutting edge of innovation and recently started a specialized distilling program to include agave wine and spirits for bulk sale. While continuing to expand in 2022, they are always looking for ways to help both new and existing clients bring their products to life. By being centrally located in the United States, they are positioned to help anyone wishing to expand their footprint nationally.

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Explore the: Biggest Culinary Food Trend Globally Series Eating Plants travels the globe to showcase plant based culinary scene

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By Debbie Hall

Bringing the biggest culinary trend globally, the plant-based movement, to several platforms is the new docuseries Eating Plants. The 6-episode show will explore the benefits, best food, products, restaurants, influencers, and experts in the plantbased industry worldwide. Multi-award-winning documentary filmmakers Kate Clere and Mick McIntyre, known for the critically acclaimed award-winning documentary Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story, have created the series. • Each episode is filmed in the top vegan culinary destinations with a special host in each country. • The episode showcasing the United States will be hosted by Katie Cleary (actor, director, and producer) • The episode showcasing Germany will be hosted by Dr. Aljosha Muttardi (medial doctor, actor, host on Netflix’s Queer Eye Germany, YouTube sensation, and influencer), and Gordon Prox (YouTube sensation and influencer) • The episode showcasing Israel will be hosted by Ori Shavit (Chef, food critic, author of Vegan Girls Have More Fun) • The episode showcasing the United Kingdom will be hosted by Lucy Watson (actor, influencer, chef, and writer) • The episode showcasing China will be hosted by Nancy Zhao (influencer, chef, writer, founder of the Redthread project, active in Edu Thread charity and the Beijing vegan community) • The episode showcasing Australia will be hosted by Martin Dingle Wall (actor, producer, and environmental activist) According to a report released by Bloomberg Intelligence, the rapid growth of the plant-based industry will explode with a predicted value of over $162 billion by 2030. Another factor is that a considerable percentage of consumers of plant-based meat alternatives are meat-eaters. As a result, major fast-food chains and restaurants offer plant-based options on their menus and spend advertising and marketing dollars to attract consumers. “We were inspired by how fast the plant-based industry was growing,” explains Clere. “It seemed that there was enormous interest in most countries as one of the top food trends in the past four years. After reading the Bloomberg report, we looked for shows about the plant-based movement and really couldn’t find any. So we created our own series.” “We also wanted to showcase people who represented that culture in different countries,” says McIntyre. “We wanted our hosts to represent their country and its culture. There were people we reached out to that had hosting experience and others that didn’t. They have all brought something special to the series with their own flavor, and we love it.” For example, the host in Germany takes the audience on a tour of an all-vegan supermarket located in Berlin. They chose to create a series since they both come from a documentary background as filmmakers. After meeting leaders in the plant-based movement, Clere and McIntyre discovered that the movement incorporates cutting-edge ideas while revolutionizing the entire food industry. In some countries that follow Mediterranean

or Asian cuisines, the leaders have demonstrated that plant-based dishes can provide proteins, calcium, and iron instead of meat and dairy products. The hosts engage with international experts showcasing plantbased alternatives and options changing the food industry. The series expands with ideas from doctors, athletes, influencers, and chefs leading the movement; who effect change in cooking, health, and the planet.

the fun show takes audiences on an adventure around the world without a passport—just good food including vegan baking of delicious pastries and other goodies. Another reason for creating the series is the fact that consumers do want to eat healthier and know what is in their food. “The health benefits of a plant-based diet include reversing diabetes, lowering cholesterol, and reducing heart disease,” as stated by Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ( interviewed in the series. “We found that many people are eating a plant-based diet for their health,” says McIntyre. “Also, after meeting the chefs we are filming for the series, they are enjoying the freedom plant-based meals represent to them. They can try new things and cook in different ways to create new ways to enjoy healthy food.” Tips and health benefits of a vegan diet demonstrated by colorful travelogue of recipes and cooking skills will inspire viewers around the globe to include plant-based food options on their tables. The fun show takes audiences on an adventure around the world without a passport—just good food including vegan baking of delicious pastries and other goodies. “I love watching cooking shows, and I follow a plant-based diet. I was so disappointed that there were not enough programs about cooking a plant-based diet for me to watch,” says Clere. “We wanted to offer meat- and plant-eaters alike tips on flavors, textures, tastes and offer a new range of recipes that add protein and other nutrients to plant-based meals. The series will help educate people about this delicious new culinary trend; how to shop, cook, snack, and pack great healthy food for lunch and other meals.” Another aspect of the plant-based movement is helping the planet. The special report on climate change and land by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describes plant-based diets as a significant opportunity for mitigating and adapting to climate change―and includes a policy June Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 24

recommendation to reduce meat consumption. According to the report, a global shift to a plant-based diet could reduce mortality by 10 percent and greenhouse gasses caused by food production by 70 percent by 2050. A recent climate report reported by the United Nations identifies that adopting a plant-based diet or eating more plant-based meals will serve “as a major opportunity for mitigating and adapting to climate change.” “Even meat-eaters can help if they shifted to only plant-based meals one day a week, such as ‘meatless Monday.’ This can help the plant and improve their health,” adds Clere. Scheduled to appear on Eating Plants include Mayor of New York City Eric Adams; Forbes 50 over 50 Miyoko Schinner; celebrity chef Daphne Jade Cheng; Caro Cult (Netflix BioHackers); Channel 4 A Place in the Sun presenter Jasmine Harman; Great British Menu chef Kirk Howarth; Director of Earthlings Shaun Monson; Director of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Dr. Neal Barnard; New York City restaurateur Ravi DeRossi; Victor Koo (cofounder of Youku-China YouTube); and Founder and CEO of International Anti-Poaching Foundation Damien Mander. Clere and McIntyre founded Second Nature films bringing together key international social and environmental issues with beautiful cinematic storytelling. Kangaroo: A love-hate story takes an inside look at the mass destruction of kangaroos prompting a parliamentary

inquiry in New South Wales while launching a movement of its own. The multiple award-winning, critically acclaimed film received rave reviews. Co-director Clere’s Yogawoman received big buzz and What to do about Whales examined why whales are worth more alive than dead. TVF International, documentary, and factual entertainment distribution company, have signed a deal with the creators. The series is being sold worldwide on multiple platforms and formats. For a first viewing, watch the trailer on YouTube at EATING PLANTS Trailer (Official 2022) and subscribe to Indievillage on YouTube for more videos.

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The precision and meticulous detail of the pastry made me fall in love


Aurelien Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a passion for food. I grew up in my parents’ restaurant watching my dad, a chef, in his kitchen. I’ve always thought I would follow in his footsteps, but that changed when I made my first pastry, a napoleon, with him. The precision and meticulous detail of the pastry made me fall in love. I quickly traveled across France to start my career in Paris and enrolled in Ferrandi, one of the best pastry schools in the world. After I graduated, I stayed in Paris for three years to start my career and worked in the restaurants Le Train Bleu, Le Cafe Pouchkine, and La patisserie Gerard Mulot. I learned from all of my chefs, and had the opportunity to work with Julien Alvarez, a world champion pastry chef. After Paris, I had the chance to go to New York City for the opening of a pastry shop in the Upper West Side. I worked there for two years until and then moved to Washington DC and began working at Boulangerie Christophe. I am lucky to work with my dream team making French pastries and making our customers happy. I am thankful to share my part of the world with Washington DC.

June Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 26

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Buddha Board SCREEN-FREE FUN FOR EVERYONE From work e-mails and school projects to your IG feed and Wordle, how much time do you spend glued to a screen? Give your devices and your brain a break and recharge your mental batteries with the help of the Buddha Board! The Buddha Board is a screen-free way to help you practice being in the moment. There are no rules. No re uirements. Simply fill your brush with water and paint away. Once you relax into the process you’ll feel your worries slipping away and disappearing, just like the water on your tablet. BUDDHA BOARD HIGHLIGHTS: • Designed with a sleek, modern aesthetic • Reusable • Quick to set up • Enso and Mini fold closed for streamlined carrying • “Painting” with water is truly MESS FREE • No ink, paint, or chemicals • Encourages mindfulness • Doesn’t add to your digital footprint • Taps into your creative side • Fun for all ages • Helps kids explore the creative process judgment free • erfect for relieving stress at home, in the office, or when traveling Find your quiet in a sea of content with the Buddha Board. To learn more visit

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Cork Pops GIOVANNI ACTION MUDDLER FROM CORK POPS This patented muddler features a spring action design with rotating head, allowing users to press down with no twisting involved while mixing drinks. Perfect for spring and summer parties or at home bars Action Muddler re uires little effort and no strain on the wrist to create perfect summer cocktails. Measures about inches long perfectly si ed for easily storing in the kitchen. MSR .

Go Beyond Spring Cleaning StoveShelf™ instantly transforms the unused space above your range into the perfect shelf for your go-to ingredients and spices. StoveShelf™ Highlights: • Transforms the back of your stove into a storage rack • Keeps condiments, spices, oils, or decor at the ready • Installs in seconds • Strong, rare-earth magnets ensure it’s wobble-free • Perfect for both small and large kitchens • Works on at and slightly curved surfaces • Built-in backstop keeps items from falling • Removable design is rental friendly • No drills, no holes, no screws, and no glues • Choose from food-grade stainless steel or black or white powder-coated finishes • Available in 3 sizes: 20”, 24”, and 30” • Made in the USA! Cut down your prep and clean-up time by having all your staples at the ready with StoveShelf™! Starting at


To learn more visit

June Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 28

Hoplark Re-Imagines Craft Brewing With The Launch Of The Industry’s First Zero Calorie NonAlcoholic Craft Brew H la i proud to announce the launch of Hoplark . , the beer industry’s first non alcoholic craft brew with zero calories, zero alcohol, zero sugar, zero carbs, zero gluten, and ero added avors of any kind. Hoplark . Citra, the first product in the new line, is available now bringing double dry hopped avor to craft beer lovers amidst a new era of drinking. Hoplark has a deep passion for bringing audacious new craft avor experiences to the market, using only the highest-quality, real ingredients. Since its inception in 2018, Hoplark has established itself as a provider of the uncommon libation to craft brew lovers through HopTea, a line of delicious sparkling tea, and Hoplark Water, an absurdly unique line of refreshing craftbrewed sparkling waters. In 2021, Hoplark was named one of BevNet’s Rising Stars.

“Whether you’re wanting to avoid the next day’s side effects or are focusing on your health, Hoplark 0.0 is for everyone. Half of Americans now say they’d like to drink less alcohol. I’m proud to give consumers another choice with Hoplark 0.0 which offers the flavorful hoppy taste of a craft beer, but without the alcohol, calories, or sugar.”

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Hoplark 0.0 represents a reimagined craft brew with “wow”-evoking, mind-blowing avor. Starting with Citra Hops, each brew in the Hoplark . line will be crafted with no alcohol, no or low calories, no or low sugar, and no gluten. Thanks to Hoplark’s revolutionary proprietary process, each non-alcoholic brew made results in a delicious, avor forward, and healthy craft brew. “We know how much people love beer but want more options when it comes to drinking, or not drinking,” says Dean Eberhardt, co-founder and CEO of Hoplark. “Whether you’re wanting to avoid the next day’s side effects or are focusing on your health, Hoplark 0.0 is for everyone. Half of Americans now say they’d like to drink less alcohol. I’m proud to give consumers another choice with Hoplark 0.0 which offers the avorful hoppy taste of a craft beer, but without the alcohol, calories, or sugar. Now with the launch of Hoplark 0.0, the world’s best non-alcoholic beer isn’t a beer.” Hoplark’s new Hoplark 0.0 line is available for purchase on, BevMo, Natural Grocers, Sprouts, all Fry’s Food Stores and King Soopers locations, and at various retailers in Colorado, Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and New York. Those attending Natural roducts xpo West will have the first chance to see what Hoplark has up its sleeve next and are invited to sample HopTea and Hoplark Water at Booth #5340 in Hall E. Hoplark will be at Expo West from March 8 to March 12 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. To stay up to date on all things Hoplark, follow the brand on Instagram and visit

CK Mondavi and Family Ups the Intensity with New Buttery Chardonnay and Dark Cabernet Sauvignon ffering consumers even more choices in avor and style, C Mondavi and Family is introducing two bold wines to its lineup of easy to love, easy to find offerings. New Buttery Chardonnay and ark Cabernet Sauvignon will be available nationwide this spring. “We’re excited to be able to highlight multiple expressions of these popular varietals, and to give our fans more options to explore,” said Randy Herron, Head Winemaker, CK Mondavi and Family. “Each wine stands on its own and will complement different meals and appeal to different taste preferences. I also like to sample them side-by-side, which makes the distinct avor profiles even more pronounced.” Buttery Chardonnay has aromas of fresh citrus and melted butter, and avors of vanilla and buttercream. Malolactic fermentation leads to the rich, creamy avor and lush finish, while the oak regime brings out notes of maple and brown sugar. CK Mondavi and Family’s original Chardonnay is crisper, with no malolactic fermentation, and avors of fresh apple and pear that mingle with a hint of oak. The new Buttery Chardonnay also features a thermochromic label, which changes color from cream to golden yellow when perfectly chilled, at approximately degrees ahrenheit. Ruby red in color, the Dark Cabernet Sauvignon makes a statement with vibrant black fruit character and notes of mocha and coffee. The full bodied wine ends with a plush, velvety finish. t’s recogni ably richer than the winery’s classic Cabernet Sauvignon, which offers brighter notes of cherry and baking spice.

lea e ab ea e e i e e i a ea i e a e a y He i i ia a a i e be e e e a i a Di e ai e e e i a comparative tasting. They’ll share thoughts on avor profiles, wine personality and pairing ideas. The video will be posted on Facebook and nstagram beginning today, March . The videos will also be shared in Eventi, the newly launched company newsletter. Filled with seasonal recipes, pairing ideas, and special offers, the quarterly e-newsletter is designed to keep subscribers up to date on all the latest happenings at CK Mondavi and Family. Sign up at eventi sign up . In addition to the new Buttery Chardonnay and Dark Cabernet Sauvignon, the complete CK Mondavi and Family collection includes Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Red Blend, all available nationwide for a suggested retail price of . for a ml bottle., and . for a . magnum. They can be found online at, or on Twitter, acebook, interest and nstagram C MondaviWines.

“We know wine consumers are interested in experimenting with new avors. Richer, buttery Chardonnay in particular has been increasing in popularity,” said Pam Novak, Senior Marketing Director, C. Mondavi & Family. “From vineyard practices to winemaking techniques and varietal offerings, CK Mondavi and Family has been innovating for more than years. We’re always on the lookout for ways to delight our customers, and these two new wines give fans even more reason to choose C Mondavi and amily.”

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Onyx Coffee Lab (and tea, too!) What started just over ten years ago as “coffee for coffee people” has blossomed into a full-blown pilgrimage—seeking truth, quality and accountability in coffee and tea. We started telling each other to “Never Settle for Good Enough.” It felt perhaps like a piece of branding or a slogan, but over the years this mentality has developed into a mantra of its own that permeates every thing that we do at Onyx Coffee Lab. Based in Rogers, Arkansas, our growing team builds relationships with coffee producers around the world who cultivate the finest and most uni ue coffee on the planet. We are dedicated to transparency, providing diverse offerings and high quality single origin coffee throughout every season. Each coffee we have is accompanied by its pricing and trade data, meaning you can see what we paid for it, who we bought it from, how it scored, and more—right on its product page. This is something we are very proud of and is also a rare practice in the industry. We roast and ship coffee every weekday, utilizing solar energy from the roof of our facility. These are a few reasons why we’re the most awarded independent coffee roaster in the country. With each coffee release, we film and share educational materials so professionals and everyday coffee lovers can get the perfect brew each time. We’ve brought this same approach to our tea offerings. Plus, we have a lot of fun with design, from our packaging to our website experience to our cafe locations and branded wares. Whether you’re a professional or you’re just getting started, you can trust that excellence and hospitality run through the core of every part of our business. Join the pilgrimage. Learn more at SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: ICED CHRYSANTHEMUM DETOX TEA Tea: 10g Onyx Chrysanthemum Tea Rock Sugar: 10g Water: 200g Water Temp: 200°F Total Brew Time: 5 mins STEEP CHRYSANTHEMUM TEA WITH ROCK SUGAR Add 200g of ice to shaker ill a o glass with ice Shake tea with ice and decant into your iced glass Serve and enjoy! SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: ICED ROSE WATER MATCHA Tea: Matcha shot - 2.5g matcha, add 50g total water whisk until foamy about o Raw Sugar Simple Syrup g o if you like sweeter drinks, use 1oz Rose Water g about o ill a o glass halfway with ice Add Rose Water Add Simple Syrup Add Matcha Shot Stir - 3 quick stirs to incorporate the components Serve & enjoy! *ROSE WATER RECIPE 10g Onyx Rose Tea Water: 350g Water Temp: 200°F Total Brew Time: 5 mins

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The SUNFLOW Chair Wins USA TODAY’s 2021 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award Contest’s Best Splurge-Worthy Gift for the 2nd Consecutive Year SUNFLOW, the premium lifestyle brand, which offers products that transform the beach experience, today announced its SUNFLOW Chair has won the 2021 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Award Contest for Best Splurge-Worthy Gift, for the second consecutive year. Launched in May 2020, SUNFLOW’s thoughtfully designed products turn every beach outing into a luxurious, indulgent retreat. The SUNFLOW chair, with its innovative attachments and accessories, makes the trek to the beach easier than ever before and promises an effortless day of sand and sun. For the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest, 10Best enlists a panel of experts, including a combination of editors from USA TODAY; editors from; relevant expert contributors; and sources from other Gannett properties, to select 20 gifts perfect for that special splurge “We are thrilled SUNFLOW has been recognized with this honor for the second year in a row,” said eslie Hsu, ounder of S N W. The S N W chair is the perfect gift for any beach lover and it’s available in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can find the perfect one for everyone on your holiday list. Beyond the beach, SUNFLOW Chair can take you to the pool, park, roof deck, sporting event – the options are as endless as your outdoor destinations.” The SUNFLOW Chair is compact, comfortable, and easy to carry. t is made with water resistant fabric and rust resistant aluminum and offers four positions to soak up the sun. For a full beach solution, The Beach Bundle , includes a Sun Shade, ad ustable rink Holder, water resistant Dry Bag, and a complimentary beach towel. For more info, please visit https getsun

“The SUNFLOW chair is the perfect gift for any beach lover”

June Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 32

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By Debbie Hall

Many people who open a restaurant believe the restaurant business is glamorous or that operating a restaurant as a second career will be fun. While this can be true, and many of these people can demonstrate many strengths, money management is probably not one of them. FobeSoft (Food and Beverage Software) has solved that problem, showing how revenue, labor, and expenses can translate into profit. One of the essential tools is the budget since, without it, owners and their managers have no way of knowing where they stand financially. The team of FobeSoft professionals is dedicated to the success of their clients. Many restaurant owners and operators do not know if they made a profit until the following month, even with an accountant or QuickBooks. FobeSoft users see where they stand every day. “The power of controllable factors includes knowing and, more importantly, understanding where your money is being spent and your profit margin. Unfortunately, in our experience, for 9 out of 10 restaurants, this is the most overlooked area of opportunity,” explains Founder and President of FobeSoft Geordy Murphy. One of the main objectives of FobeSoft is to increase profit by 20 to 40 percent reducing points in the cost of goods, labor, controllables, and other areas. These changes are “little bites.” It can be overwhelming for owners and management to read the money spent for something such as supplies costing $100,000, but FobeSoft works with their clients to break it down into “bite-size pieces.” Give FobeSoft 60 days, and they will add 4 percent points of profits to the bottom line.

FobeSoft was developed as a daily profit and loss tool to compare the budget for managers to use. This way, owners and management know where they stand every day when it comes to the budget, costs, and revenue.

When everything is categorized and budgeted, then it makes more sense. This is what the team at FobeSoft does for each client.

June Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 34

The bookkeepers that restaurants typically use just post everything into a category called supplies. One of FobeSoft’s clients showed that they earned $1.2 million in revenue but spent $144,000 labeled as supplies. The client could not determine if each item were supplies for the front-of-house, kitchen, china, glasses, silverware, linen, laundry, or cleaning supplies. When supplies are categorized, the owner and management can then determine where the money is being spent for what product or service. There is an industry standard for these categories, although the actual dollar amount depends on the location and other factors. When FobeSoft spoke with the chef and asked about creating a budget of $800 to $900 a month for supplies, the chef was very agreeable. While the chef was spending two to three times a month on supplies, the owners or management “assumed” that these expenditures were necessary for supplies. This is not a case of fraud or embezzlement. This is understanding who is spending the month for what and creating a realistic budget. In this case, the expense of supplies came to 14 percent of controllables before FobeSoft created a budget and dropped the controllables to 9 to 10 percent, resulting in significant savings. Another category is the amount spent on advertising, encompassing traditional media, social media, promotions, and other aspects of getting the message out about the restaurant. One of FobeSoft’s clients was spending $90,000 to $100,000, which comprised 3.5 to 4 percent of the gross revenue. “Typically, the industry standard for advertising is about 1 to 2 percent. Using FobeSoft, we were able to find 2 points for the client,” says Murphy. The importance of using FobeSoft with a customized budget, knowing exactly how much money a restaurant should spend every month, and saving on unnecessary expenses.

needed to help the food and beverage industry. This is not to suggest that using FobeSoft replaces having a restaurant accountant. In fact, an accountant or a bookkeeper is an integral part of the restaurant team in creating the financials necessary for filing taxes. While FobeSoft will base its recommendations on projections, accountants and bookkeepers use actual figures, explaining why P&Ls created by accountants or bookkeepers are submitted the following month. Restaurants need their services. However, FobeSoft helps with the day-to-day cost projections and budgets and works with the clients’ accountants and bookkeepers. In fact, FobeSoft has an accountant as a consultant on their team. A client of FobeSoft really needed the help of an accountant, and FobeSoft connected with an accountant to straighten out their financials. Between the accountant and FobeSoft, the restaurant, which was losing money, is now profitable. FobeSoft does not promise to increase a restaurant’s gross revenue but will work with what the owner and management are doing at the moment to become more profitable. FobeSoft was developed as a daily profit and loss tool to compare the budget for managers to use. This way, owners and management know where they stand every day when it comes to the budget, costs, and revenue. It is all about best practices in the restaurant industry, and FobeSoft has created the tool to lower costs and increase profits. For more info, visit Follow on Facebook @FoodBevSoftware, Twitter @fobesoft, and LinkedIn @fobesoft.

Scott Adeeb, the owner of Strings

“With our software, if someone literally spends 5 to 10 minutes a day using it, out of an 8- to 10-hour day building and running the business, spending 10 minutes a day focusing on the financial aspect is well worth the time. FobeSoft will give clients that piece to make restaurants more profitable.

Sports Brewery, enthusiastically

“How many restaurants close at night with three to four people standing around? At increased hourly wages, a couple of those people can leave earlier, saving labor costs,” says Murphy.

successful despite the challenges.

Matthew Sloan, the Managing Partner of FobeSoft, brings his extensive restaurant experience as a chef, beginning as a dishwasher as a teen and progressing to executive chef for numerous locations, including the largest specialty food store in the country. Sloan was consulting for restaurants when he met Murphy and was introduced to the power of FobeSoft.

endorses FobeSoft. Open for three years; the business has remained Adeeb’s brother, also a restaurant owner, recommended obeSoft. “FobeSoft keeps us up-to-date on our numbers daily instead of waiting

“I always viewed numbers and money as a really complicated endeavor for most operators, and Geordy [Murphy] really simplified the process with this incredible tool called FobeSoft,” explains Sloan.

on our accountant. Keeping our

A food vendor recommended their first potential client, an absentee restaurant owner. The owner would blame the vendor for his food prices, keeping the restaurant in the red. The vendor explained that the restaurant would receive great reviews with a line out of the door when it was open. The restaurant also would purchase a great deal of food and spirits, making the food vendor happy. However, after the demo of FobeSoft, and reviewing the restaurant’s P&L, the restaurant’s revenue was $1.4 million the previous year, but $60,000 in the red.

and ultimately helps the bottom

FobeSoft worked extensively with the managers of the restaurant, and after 90 days, the restaurant showed a profit of $35,000 on the P&L. This was when Murphy and Sloan knew that their business was Page 35 | Food & Beverage Magazine v June Issue 2022

numbers in check is very important line,” says Adeeb. “FobeSoft is excellent to work with and very easy to get a hold of if I need anything. Their technical support is fantastic and I am very happy with FobeSoft.”

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The Best In Culinary Media Gather to Compete For This Year’s

BROADCAST MEDIA AWARDS High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America takes viewers on a culinary journey that ventures from Africa to the deep south. Adapted from food historian Jessica B. Harris’ book of the same name, the immersive four episode docu-series — part culinary show, part travelogue — follows food writer Stephen Satterfield as he meets the chefs, historians, and activists who are keeping centuries-old traditions alive. Over Western African stews, soul food, barbecue, and fine dining, the series, directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams, reveals an expansive, eclectic culinary history shaped by slavery, the Civil War, Juneteenth, and present day. It’s a story of Black America’s resilience, enduring creativity, and vital contribution to America’s kitchen.

Somebody Feed Phil “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal travels the globe to take in the local cuisine and culture. This season will feature Phil traveling to all new destinations, including Oaxaca, Maine, Helsinki, Portland and Madrid.

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School of Chocolate Eight top pastry and chocolate professionals are coming to School of Chocolate to take their skills and careers to the next level. Their teacher is world-renowned chocolatier, Amaury Guichon, known globally for creating mind-blowing chocolate showpieces and unbelievable pastries. One lucky student who manages to prove themselves ‘Best in Class’ after eight episodes will win a prize package that includes a career-changing opportunity.

Gather Gather follows the stories of natives on the frontlines of a growing movement to re connect with spiritual and cultural identities that were devastated by genocide. A indigenous chef embarks on a ambitious project to reclaim ancient food ways on the Apache reservation; in South Dakota a gifted Lakota high school student, raised on a buffalo ranch, is proving her tribes native wisdom through her passion for science; and a group of young men of the Yurok tribe in Northern California are struggling to keep their culture alive and rehabilitate the habitat of their sacred salmon. All these stories combine to show how the reclaiming and recovery of ancient food ways is a way forward for native Americans to bring back health and vitality to their people.

Top Chef: Family Style In Top Chef Family Style, the most talented young chefs from across the country will sharpen their knives and battle it out to prove that their culinary skills are aged to perfection. In a brand-new twist, the kitchen prodigies will each pair up with an adult family member who will serve as their partner. Together, the Chef Duos will compete in a series of exciting Quickfire and Elimination Challenges, bringing the perfect blend of high stakes, jaw-dropping talent and heart-warming humor that families across generations can enjoy. Each week, the Chef Duos will showcase their culinary prowess and teamwork, and at the end of their epic journeys, one Chef Duo will take home the coveted title and be crowned the winners of Top Chef Family Style.

Taste the Nation In “Taste the Nation,” award-winning host, executive producer and cookbook author Padma Laskshmi, who recently received her 3rd Emmy nomination, takes audiences on a journey across America, exploring the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups, seeking out the people who have so heavily shaped what American food is today. From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals. Padma breaks bread with Americans across the nation to uncover the roots and relationship between our food, our humanity and our history - ultimately revealing stories that challenge notions of identity, belonging, and what it means to be American. “Taste the Nation” returns this Fall for a special 4-part “Holiday Edition” where each episode will highlight unique transitions through the lens of a different immigrant culture and city, like Korean New Year in Los Angeles and Cuban Christmas in Miami. June Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 38

The Hungriest State “The Hungriest State” examines food insecurity in Mississippi, highlighting different perceptions, causes, impacts and solutions to one of the critical issues facing the Magnolia State. Through several stories, the series shows the essential nature of food security at the individual and community levels and the passion of people working to address the inequities that cause food insecurity.

Eat Up! NY A new one-hour television special that aired on ABC7NY where hosts Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Bevy Smith took viewers to Harlem, Brooklyn and Newark to spotlight delicious Black-owned restaurants, community organizations and inspiring chefs who are making history and defining legacies with their culinary contributions to today’s food scene.

SPARKLERS A high-stakes, high-pressure competition show based on cooking and pairing great sparkling wine from around the world. All 13-episodes feature a diverse cast of food and wine professionals who are changing the culinary world. While the show has guest judges, the main challenges are judged by the five contestants themselves, pitting friends against each other as they make tough decisions to create one of the most unique food shows you’ve ever seen and the first ever cooking and wine pairing competition show.

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The Rise of Ace of Spades Champagne the heart wrenchin stor that fo owe an the uture that oo s Bri ht as e er with Devant Champagne & 3 Tres Tequila.



Just had a feeling, took the job. My first 2 meetings at nightclubs, I got laughed out of the building. $229 for a bottle of Champagne that nobody’s heard of, they weren’t having it. I fine-tuned my presentation and I met with Eddie Allen of Tao Group and Brian Affronti/Yannick Mugnier of XS Nightclub and told them Dom owned them. I said, “put us on the list, double the price, make your girls sell it and watch them run to you.” Both agreed to come on board. We came up with unique ways to sell, we pioneered the Large Format Business.





Well, it all started in Chicago. I had just finished my degree and life took me to Euclid Beverage in the Suburbs of Chicago. I was there for about 6 months before I was recruited to work for Romano Brothers Beverage. At the time, Romano Brothers was the largest liquor and wine distributor in Illinois. Flew up the ladder working there– from sales, to District Manager, to Key Account. I stayed for 3 years before Jim Beam Worldwide welcomed me R on. I then worked for Jim Beam for about 3 ½ CKE E years, again flew up the ladder– from DM, B to State Manager, to six-state Regional K R Manager. Jim Beam encounters a merger, new management comes in, I get divorced and hear about a job in Honolulu, Hawaii as VP of On Premise Sales. I decide, “why not?” I’m 28 and land the job becoming one of the youngest VP’s in Young’s Market history. After 3 years at YM, I got a call from Brian Berish, one of the owners of Sovereign Brands. Brian and I had worked together at Jim Beam. We met and he told me about Ace of Spades, a new Champagne that was doing 50 cases in Las Vegas and maybe another 200 in the Western Region.

Initially, I wasn’t going to take the job. I thought the pricing was out of wack, the juice was average. I thought the packaging was outstanding but needed additional tools.

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I remember the day the Ace of Spades owner said to me, “What about large formats? Can you sell them?”. I said, “Yes”. He said, “Good, we are making 1.5L.” I said, “Why stop there?”He calls me back an hour later, “You think you can sell a 15L?” I said, “I think I can sell 5.” I ended up selling 9 the first year. I called him a month later and told him Tao Group wanted a 30L. 6 months later the 30L was born, cost was $68,000 to the club. In that time, we as a company were working celebrities hard and then Ace lands Jay Z as the spokesperson. At the same time, our in-house amazing marketing team in New York was dropping bottles off to celeb events everywhere. Vegas was a no-brainer for Ace. In a matter of 3 months, the brand blew up. Everyone was drinking it.

Well, that was fun. We got creative with everyone. At Hyde, a client could control the Bellagio Fountain if they bought a 15L. At XS, we had Alec Monopoly, a famous Artist, design bottles and then sold the package

for $1MM. For the Hakkasan grand opening, a client could buy every bottle in our portfolio for $1MM– Dom was $900, Ace was $1700 and we were still outselling Dom. I was out every weekend buying bottles for the Whales that came into the club, they would come thank me and buy 10 more. If you were a host in Las Vegas and I knew your birthday, anniversary, or when you were getting married-- Bottle of Ace.


I got the call on a Saturday at 8am, they sold Ace of Spades. None of us saw it coming, I was floored. I stayed on for a bit with the new owners. The new Ace team was trying to find a way to bring me over but the buyout contract had a clause where they could not hire for 2 years.


As life would have it, things for me were about to change dramatically. My best friend in Hawaii called me on Thanksgiving weekend and said, “You know those headaches I’ve been having? Well, no easy way to say this. I have stage-4 brain cancer. I have 3-6 months to live.” I had made a ton of money at Ace over the years. I quit. I moved home to Hawaii, moved him in with me, and spent the next 2 ½ years in a hospital. Radiation therapy 5 days a week and chemotherapy 10 hours each day, it was the most difficult thing I had ever done in my life. 2 ½ years later, on October 28th, he passed away peacefully in his sleep. I was devastated and felt like I had lost everything. I broke down, for the first time in 3 years, in the hospital hallway a few minutes after he passed. What came after was truly a blessing that I attribute to doing the right thing, being there when others need me, and fighting to take back everything I had lost.


I took my last dollar out of my bank account, I took my drawings and ideas that I had made while sitting in hospital rooms, and was determined to start my own company. I had great connections in France from my Ace days and I found a 4th generation family who made exceptional juice. I showed them Devant, the company I was seeking to launch at that time, and they loved it. Amazing juice, a label that the next generation could relate to, yet, keeping the age old traditions of Champagne-making. At the same time, I had drawn a Tequila bottle while in the hospital where the bottles could stack and, instead of someone buying just Blanco, I made a bottle where you could buy all 3 tequila types in 1 – Blanco, Reposado, and Anejo. Today, I have several other brands working toward launch. I hired one of my best friends, Keli’I Heen. We found a partner in LeVecke Co, the largest supplier that you’ve never heard of. We recently signed a deal with RNDC to launch in the 10 major markets and plans to launch in the remaining 28 states that RNDC is in soon after. I’m only just beginning but this path looks pretty good from here!

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ITEM 9 This light and refreshing cocktail is fruity, yet has a slight bitterness to balance it out. Made with Ford’s gin, Dry Curaçao, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, honey, and Bearded Iris IPA. Image & Recipe: HERE


DEVIL IN A NEW DRESS A balanced vodka sour with fresh blackberry juice, this cocktail is like summer in a glass. Ingredients include Cathead vodka, lemon, simple syrup, and blackberry/Campari. Image & Recipe: HERE

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KIWI BE FRIENDS? Lightly smokey and refreshing with fresh fruit flavors, this spring/ summer sipper is made with Lunazul tequila, La Luna mezcal, lime juice, kiwi syrup, Giffard Banane de Bresil and topped with soda. Image & Recipe: HERE; Website:



JAZZ IN JALISCO New Orleans and Jalisco come together with the combination of El Buho Mezcal, Peychaud’s aperitivo, and Big Easy orange kombucha. Image & Recipe: HERE; Website:



GULF SNAPPER WITH SHRIMP, TOMATOES & FENNEL By: Executive Chef Alex Harrell Gulf Snapper with shrimp, tomatoes & fennel - Gulf snapper and wild caught shrimp come together in a bold, flavorful umami sauce with bell peppers, plenty of aromatics, herbs, fish sauce and chili flakes. Image & Recipe: HERE; Website: Commons Club New Orleans

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SMOKED FISH DIP By: Chef/Owner Chef Brian Landry Made with pompano filets (sub tuna or swordfish), a small smoker, and a flavorful cream cheese sauce made with shallots, Dijon mustard, horseradish, chives, lemon, capers, and sour cream. Images & Recipe: HERE; Website:



BRAISED TABASCO BABY BACK RIBS By: Chef/Owner Isaac Toups Braised Tabasco Baby Back Ribs - James Beard Awards finalist for “Best Chef: South” 2022, Chef Isaac Toups shares a bold and flavorful, easy at-home rib recipe that can be made in the oven. Perfect for summer entertaining! Images & Recipe: HERE; Website:



MANILA CLAMS WITH SUMMER PEACH CHAAT By: Chef/Owner Sophina Uong Manila clams are steamed and prepared with yogurt, honey, lime juice, olive oil, and topped with a mixture of peaches, peppers, herbs, celery, onions and radishes. Garnish with sesame, sunflower seeds, cornflakes or toasted ramen for a nice crunch! Images & Recipe: HERE; Website:

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CRAWFISH & CRACKED POTATOES By: Chef/Owner Chef Brian Landry Chef Landry shares his recipe combining Louisiana crawfish tails, spices, alliums, peppers and lemon with crispy potatoes and a spicy cayenne cheddar mornay. Images & Recipe: HERE; Website:



SCALLOP CRUDO By: Chef/Owner Nina Compton James Beard Awards “Best Chef: South” 2019 recipient Nina Compton combines sashimi-grade snapper with a mango emulsion and herbaceous marinade for a refreshing and vibrant summer crudo. Images & Recipe: HERE; Website:



GRILLED GULF FISH By: Executive Chef Gus Martin Served with new potatoes (also known as baby potatoes), caramelized onion hash, topped with a creamy citrus beurre blanc and seared shrimp. Images & Recipe: HERE; Website:

!"#$%&'( @34%

Dear FVP Gals, I’m noticing a boom in the popularity of non alcoholic drinks, and I’m wondering if this will be a trend that sticks around. If so, how do I successfully incorporate them onto our restaurants’ menu?

Signed, My Spirits Are Down

The Food Venture Gals are the founders of Food Venture Program; a leading organisation in North American food and beverage product development offering online programs to help food entrepreneurs turn their recipes into retail-ready products! Do you have a non-alcoholic beverage recipe you want to get into retail? Email us: Info@FoodVentureProgram. com

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Dear My Spirits, You are right! Non alcoholic beverages are on the rise with food trend experts predicting this trend is here to stay! We are seeing people who choose not to consume alcohol now having access to an ever-increasing number of delicious and exciting new drink options. Bars and restaurants that don’t cater to this growing demographic are missing out on this growing demand.

MAKING THE CHANGE TO A MORE SOBER LIFE: More and more Americans are cutting

down or eliminating alcohol from their lives for various reasons including mental and physical health, a desire to be more present for their families, faith-based reasons, to reach fitness goals and more. Andreas Duess, co-owner of Auralis Botanical, a non alcoholic beverage company, states that those gravitating towards these drinks are typically people aged 35 to 50 and are often mostly female. In our society, we’re used to adults consuming alcoholic beverages during a social event almost anywhere in our nation and as the world opens up post COVID, these occasions are becoming more frequent. Just because the booze is gone from one’s life doesn’t mean people don’t want to be part of a group of friends getting together or a family gathering.

WHAT DO YOU DRINK WHEN YOU’RE NOT “DRINKING”? To “raise your spirits,” bars and restaurants

could start catering to the increasing demand for non alcoholic beverages instead of the regular fountain drink or virgin caesar. People are looking for non alcoholic beverages that are not only delicious but also beneficial for their health. These beverages may contain adaptogens in the form of functional mushrooms such as those available from Auralis Botanical who offer unique combinations of functional mushrooms combined with medicinal herbs and fruit. Other options are kombucha (very minimal alcohol content) or de-alcoholised beers/ciders from the Sober Carpenter and dealcoholized wines!

People are looking for non alcoholic beverages that are not only delicious but also beneficial for their health.


restaurants that are still not offering anything on their menus that caters to the sober curious crowd. Sugary soda or the non advertised virgin cocktail is all too often the only alternatives to alcohol. Duess of Auralis Botanical notes, “Over the last two to three years we are noticing a societal erosion of the assumption that you need alcohol to have a good social time and bar and restaurant owners are also beginning to incorporate new beverages onto their menus.” In some restaurants we are seeing non-alcoholic beverages being served on tap and included on “drink of the day” menus, including locally-brewed kombucha or functional mushroom beverages, for example! For some, the idea of ditching a possible hangover the day after a night out and replacing it with a great, rejuvenating morning because of an adaptogenic beverage is their idea of a successful night out! Now is the time to jump on this trend! Offering that new non alcoholic beverage of the week may just be the reason that crowd keeps coming back! The change is already happening in grocery and other front of bar locations and now it needs to be embraced by the restaurant industry! Sincerely,

The Food Venture Gals Sima & Kiran

Contributor: Andreas Duess, Auralis Botanical: Functional beverages available for retail and food service.

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Anatolia, located on the Historical Spice Road, has been an area of attraction since the ancient times of humanity with its climate, fertility, variety and beauty offered by its nature. Türkiye is home to 12,000 plant varieties and has incredible potential for aromatic herbs and spices. Due to Türkiye’s climatic and ecological conditions, many herbs and spices are cultivated or collected from the natural sources, allowing access to approximately 3,500 varieties of endemic medicinal and aromatic plants. It is a leader in the export of dried oregano and laurel leaves in the world. Türkiye exports to almost all of the countries in the world in the forestry products sector. At the crossroads of civilizations, Türkiye has long been a hub for trading spices. For millennia, it was the heart of the spice route with the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul functioning as one of the most famous spice hubs in the world. Türkiye houses some of World’s most advanced herb and spice cleaning Operations, and excels in traceable sourcing, cleaning and bringing products to a finished state, ready for direct consumption. We: • Enhance the value of meals, • Enrich every table, • Simplify life, • Offer sustainable, traceable products and • Add a unique kick to every meal with precious raw materials.

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Despite almost every country having its own food culture,


they all have one thing in common - adding herbs, spices, and forestry aromatics to foods makes them delicious! Spices and herbs from Türkiye are often used in cuisines to add flavor to food, provide aromatic finishes, and take advantage of their benefits in compliment dishes. FIELDS OF USAGE • Some spices bring the flavor of the dish to the fore, while others balance the flavors. • Herbs are typically used in stews, roasts, casseroles, soups with relatively long cooking time, marinades, and for pickling. • Some herbs are primarily used as a flavoring to enhance the taste of pork, lamb, beef, and sausages. • Dried herbs and seeds can also be used to make various herbal teas, which have a diverse range of health benefits.

OUR PRODUCTS Dried oregano, laurel leaves, dried mint, rosemary, fennel, cumin, sumac, pepper, sage and aniseed are among the most popular.

DRIED OREGANO Grown in the Mediterranean and Aegean Regions in Türkiye, the oregano plant is one of the most popular aromatic plants. Oregano derived its name from the Greek, meaning “Joy of the mountain”. Available in graded leaf sizes or in ground form, with a strong aromatic flavor, Oregano is a most versatile and commonly used herb. Türkiye is responsible for 80 percent of the world’s production of oregano which is among the most demanded medicinal and aromatic products in the world. Oregano adds flavor to a diverse range of products, from sauces to marinades, spice blends and of course adds the classical taste to Pizza Worldwide! Oregano is the most recognizable herb in the World of culinary art, and easily suits both direct and indirect applications.

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BAY (LAUREL) LEAVES Türkiye is the first exporter of oregano and laurel leaves in the world. Oregano and laurel leaves exports are mostly from the Aegean Region of the world. Medicinally, leaves have been used as an antiseptic and antioxidant. Almost all have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and possess antibacterial activity. Leaves have been used to treat many different ailments and serve as powerful antioxidants. They may help to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which are likely involved in inflammation, degenerative arthritis, and the aging process in general.

ROSEMARY Rosemary is Native to the Mediterranean region. The leaf of this tree has a pleasant smell and is always green. The small thin spiny leaves are used both fresh and dried. Rosemary is popular for its medicinal uses but is now more commonly known as a seasoning used in cooking. It has a tea-like aroma and bittersweet clean fresh flavor. It is used as a tea and condiment in the food sector and it has many health benefits. Reduces stress and creates a relaxation effect. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Rosemary is heavily used for extraction, as an excellent source of antioxidants. Rosemary is also a prominent culinary herb, adding taste to grills, marinades and seasoning. Rosemary is also very popular throughout the Mediterranean basin for use in salads, to add that bittersweet taste.

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SAGE With its fuzzy leaf structure, sage is a characteristically aromatic plant. The silvery-gray leaves of the sage plant has a distinctive flavor and aroma. The plant is widely used in the food and cosmetics sector. Sage has proven to be as popular culinary uses as Oregano to flavor meat and poultry dishes, as well as salads, pickles, and cheese. Two main varieties of sage are used by the herb industry. Salvia Officinalis, also known as Albanian Sage, is mostly preferred in North America, adding the distinctive taste to breakfast sausage

ANISEED Growing in the Mediterranean and Aegean Regions in Türkiye, the seeds of aniseed plant are used to obtain the aniseed spice. It has a sweetish taste and a characteristic aroma. With its high level of oil essence, aniseed is used in medical and food industries. Aniseed has a distinctive licorice-like flavor and has been used for medicinal purposes throughout history, especially as a digestive aid. Anise is heavily used by the liquor industry, dairy manufacturing, meat industry, and as a prime ingredient for breath-fresheners.

CUMIN Cumin is a flowering plant that has been grown as a spice since ancient times. Growing in Central Anatolia and Southeast Anatolia Regions in Türkiye, cumin is an annual plant blooming whitepink flowers in summer months. It has a sharp and bitter taste. It is widely used in the food sector. Cumin is the main ingredient of almost all meat blends, marinades and seasoning. With its sharp and distinctive taste, Cumin is one of World’s most highly demanded spices. Türkiye offers ground, 99.5% (bottle grade) and 99.8% (dairy and direct applications) optical and IR sorted cumin for all practical uses.

FENNEL Growing in Western Mediterranean climate of Türkiye, this plant gives small, greenish-brown and fine scented fruits which are used in food, beverage and medical industries. Its sweet, pleasant licorice-like flavor is wellsuited for marinades and spice rubs for chicken, fish, pork or lamb, sausage dishes, and baked goods. It enhances the flavor of sweet and savory dishes. With its soothing taste, fennel is also heavily used by the tea industry and baby food manufacturing as it helps digestion in early stages of a baby’s life.

MINT With its intense essence and refreshing flavors, mint which is very essential in Türkiye is a favorite herb used in salads, appetizers, cold juices, stuffed vegetables (dolma) and yogurt dishes. Mint is also good for stomach ailments and helps with your respiratory tract.

SUMAC Sumac is a spice known to be as tart and tangy as a lemon and used in Turkish Cuisine a lot. Grown in southeast Türkiye, sumac is collected from dwarf trees and the leaves are dried and ground into powder. Sumac is the perfect alternative for those professionals looking for the alternative sour/tart taste. Not as sharp as lemon, the mellow tartness of sumac adds a significantly different twist to salads, dressings and water based light sauces

ISOT Isot is a unique variety of pepper from the city of Şanlıurfa, Türkiye. The word “Isot” stems from the works “ısı” (heat) and “ot” (herb) in Turkish. Isot is produced by exposing the seed and wing parts of hot red pepper to heat under a certain level of moisture. Isot is used in the food sector and exported across the globe. Isot red pepper isn’t just for your taste buds, these colorful peppers are a rich source of anti-carcinogenic carotenoid called lycopene that is believed to work against cancer.

June Issue 2022 v Food & Beverage Magazine | Page 52

There is nothing better than a proper breakfast. Sophie Dahl

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JUNE 2022 COVER IMAGE National Retail Solutions

PUBLISHER MICHAEL POLITZ DIRECTOR & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LAUREN KANE EDITOR AT LARGE JENNIFER ENGLISH PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR TRACY STERN HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS SUSAN GOLD DIRECTOR OF ARTISANAL PARTNERSHIPS ANTHONY LANE DIRECTOR OF CPG PARTNERSHIPS TERRY HART NATIONAL SALES MANAGER RON STERN NATIONAL SALES DIRECTOR COLLIN MILLINGTON DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMMATIC SALES BARB ROGERS PUBLIC RELATIONS THE INFLUENCE | ALI LASKY CONTRIBUTING EDITORS DEBBIE HALL LAUREN MCINDOO MICHELE TELL TERRY HART KAIULANI DELGADO ANTHONY LANE SUSAN GOLD KRISTI HILL We honor and remember the support of Chef Kerry Simon, Gary Cantor, Robin Leach, Chef Paul Prudhomme, & Gary Coles Food & Beverage Magazine® is owned and published electronically by Beautiful People, LLC. Copyright 1995-2016 Beautiful People LLC. All rights reserved. Food & Beverage Magazine® and distinctive logo are trademarks owned by Beautiful People, LLC. “” is a trademark of Beautiful People, LLC. No part of this electronic magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of Food & Beverage Magazine. Requests for permission should be directed to: The information contained has been provided by such individual, event organizers or organizations. The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author, organization or public relation firm. Food & Beverage Magazine is not affiliated with any other food and beverage or hospitality publication.

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Americans love convenience, especially for retail, and, according to, 148,026 convenience stores are operating in the United States, with 89,336 (2021) single-store operators. National Retail Solutions (NRS) is what one might call a “hidden gem.” The company offers these hard-working independent retailers and bodega owners nationwide, who are providing for their families, solutions for more profitability, and digital resolutions for smaller supermarkets, convenience stores, tobacco, liquor, and gas station marts. These operators can utilize NRS products and services to process transactions and manage operations more effectively.

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Elie Y. Katz, president and CEO of National Retail Solutions cofounded NRS as a startup through its parent company, IDT Corporation, in 2015. “We care about our customer base, the independent convenience store operators. I stress the word ‘independent’ because this is our community—the blue-collar, working, and middle-class that is not backed by corporate America with a lot of money, resources, and data. So we came in to fill that void and give Mom ‘n’ Pops a competitive edge,” Katz explains. “We provide a POS register that is very robust, feature-rich, efficient, and easy to use; many bells and whistles at an affordable price.”

One significant function of the NRS point of sale is sales tracking and inventory management. With challenges in the supply chain, knowing precisely which items are selling fastest and needing to be restocked, adds to profits and productivity. Reports generated on the POS system offer the merchant critical insight into sales trends and helps keep them prepared and ahead with ordering and avoiding empty shelves. Built-in POS features also include remote store management via app and web, a free customer loyalty couponing program, 1-touch Boss Revolution® pinless recharge, and the ability to run instore promotions on the customer-facing screen. Other NRS POS add-ons include e-commerce, Tobacco Scan Data, ID scanning, POS-DVR camera integration, employee time clock, advanced data (cost v. profit reporting), customer tabs, and item modifiers with a separate kitchen printer. NRS recently also introduced its patented Panic Alarm Button feature, a silent alarm right on the merchant touchscreen to silently call for police. While these services could typically be cost-prohibitive for many independent owners, NRS packages them together within the POS at affordable costs with a significant ROI, leveling the playing field for independent convenience operators.


Competitors include brick-and-mortar with corporate backing as well as e-commerce, since NRS also offers an established e-commerce program. The feature includes an online ordering site plus a presence on its customer shopping app, with both platforms linked the store’s POS system. “We want to turn the 18,000 stores we service into 18,000 distribution points,” explains Katz. “This will be another way independent operators can reach their community so they can offer the residents fast, convenient service. With independent store owners, there is no common denominator except they all decided to become entrepreneurs and risk their money opening their store to support their family. They demonstrate grit as they fill roles such as human resources director, head of marketing, and other vital roles. These independent operators do it all,” says Katz. “Using our NRS POS register is a life-changer. It frees up their time, reduces the number of employees needed and helps keep store management stress-free.”

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There are hundreds of different types of POS registers. National Retail Solutions has specifically developed its POS registers for independent convenience store operators, a niche that is hungry for solutions to help them survive and grow, amidst Goliath competition. While an NRS register could operate in many types of businesses, its state-of-the-art technology offers features specially-designed for single-store operators, including gas stations with multiple pumps and a c-store. The POS integrates seamlessly with NRS Pay credit card processing. To help build loyalty, the POS includes a free couponing program for stores to be able to offer discounts on popularly advertised items at checkout. Customers sign up with their phone number to participate and are given a key fob to scan each time they check out, to get discounts at the register. This enables small retailers to benefit from pricing that would otherwise only be available in larger stores with higher budgets. NRS has relationships with the couponing companies and takes care of refunds of coupons, saving the store owner time and effort. Customers tend to purchase on impulse, and NRS helps stores increase sales at the point of purchase. With a state-of-theart digital-out-of-home network, NRS Digital Media is the next generation of retail media, the only dedicated advertising network for the independent merchant arena. The NRS Digital Media network allows brands to reach consumers throughout the USA, running customer-facing ads on the POS register in over 18,000 retail outlets. Because NRS ranks No. 1 as the largest POS company serving independent c-stores in the country, NRS Digital Media offers ideal reach into a target niche.

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“NRS Digital Media is the largest, digital in-store ad network facing the customer in the country, for the independent convenience store space, in the digital out-of-home ad world,” explains Eli Korn, COO of National Retail Solutions (NRS), including NRS Digital Media. “The customer screen at checkout and register are eyelevel, influencing shoppers with their wallets in hand, when they are purchasing. Over 75 million customers see our ad network each month.” Advertisers can access the terminal’s digital display network to reach retailers’ massive customer bases. In addition, suppliers of consumer-packaged goods (CPG) can leverage the NRS platform to provide promotions, coupons, and special offers to independent retailers. “Our range of consumers is very broad since income is not a determining factor for who buys something in a convenience store,” Korn explains. “We can offer the gamut when it comes to advertising. Our largest advertising partners are typically in the telecom space, CPG space, and insurance. Those are our three largest categories.” CPGs include endemic brands such as spirit brands, sodas, and other recognizable products. However, NRS Digital Media partners with a large range of advertisers, making the network the leading point of sale media platform offering CPG brands unique reach into the independent retail niche. CPG advertising partners include brands such as General Mills, Gatorade, Entenmann’s, Diageo, Smirnoff, Rockstar, Bud Light, and Budweiser, as well as

e-commerce businesses such as Amazon. Other advertising partners include telecommunications companies like T-Mobile, Metro, and Sprint; finance and tech companies such as Chase, Visa, and American Express; and ads for health companies and government agencies. As for how it works, first think of advertising consumers “see,” whether driving (billboards) or walking (bus stop benches). An ad comes up while watching YouTube with the ability to “skip” after five seconds. However, these potential customers are not engaged in buying mode. However, when paying for purchases in a store and an ad is played at eye level at the POS, customers are enticed to purchase more, especially if they can save money. They are buying products, and it is both convenient with possibly a savings if they are already in the store waiting to check out and pay for their purchases. NRS Digital Media is very effective because advertising engages during the path of purchase as a more impactful blast. Case studies are conducted, and one recent one was for a wellknown vodka. During the six months the vodka was advertised in their stores using the NRS Digital Media network, there was a 24 percent increase in purchases with an increase of 27 percent in revenue. Another case study involved a food product brand with a 9 percent increase in purchases of the brand during a three-week ad campaign. NRS Digital Media identifies the network of stores that carry the selected products, then targets the ads to purchase level. At the time of purchase, they scan data to analyze the millions of transactions and analyze, test, and control categories such as brand, flavor, and package size efficacy. NRS Digital Media is the only company that engages customers at the point of purchase with advertisements at the point of purchase while capturing targeted, daily point of sale statistics and data. Katz developed NRS to help the independent single convenience store operators succeed and thrive. “Yes, we want to make a profit as well, but we wanted to support this backbone of convenience stores and all of the independent operators. That is why we created the technology with the POS system at an affordable cost making it mutually beneficial for the company and the operators. We sell our POS systems for probably 25 percent of the cost of our competitors. This helps them run their business, bringing many up-to-date technology, apps, and several programs. The advertising helps offset the cost, and it is a win-win for everyone.” To learn more about National Retail Solutions, visit To learn more about the NRS Digital Media network, visit Follow on Facebook @ NationalRetailSolutions, Instagram @nationalretailsolutions, and Twitter @nrsplus.

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Just use great tomatoes: the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe All architects know that a solid foundation is the key to the entire structureʼs stability and longevity. In the same manner, the best chefs, cooks, and recipe developers know that the quality of the ingredients is crucial for an outstanding dish. The end result will be lackluster, no matter where it is made, how it is made, or who made it, without using the best of ingredients. Take the worry out of one of the most used ingredients in your restaurant, cafe, professional, or home kitchen by using the Greatest Tomatoes from Europe canned products. Cherished as a key ingredient in a plethora of Italian dishes and more, these canned tomatoes will bring a delicious sweetness and vibrance to all the dishes to which they are added.

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