Gourmet News • July 2020

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DeBrand Chocolate

ENZO Olive Oil

Stonewall Kitchen







VOLUME 85, NUMBER 7 JULY 2020 n $7.00


Clear-Headed Choices for Conscious Consumers PAGE 6




Barons Market opened its ninth location on May 22 in the Otay Ranch neighborhood of Chula

4Sisters Grow Rice in America PAGE 10


Mission-Driven Company Continues to Innovate PAGE 13


Now Premiering PAGE 15

Vista, California. A grand opening had been planned for April, complete with a ribbon-cutting,


Brighter Flavors Ahead PAGE 35

News..............................................6 Ad Index .......................................42




face-painting, 15 to 20 demonstrations throughout the new store and live music. “We usually have 600, 700, maybe 800 people just waiting to get into the store,” said Rachel Shemirani, Senior Vice President of Barons Market and daughter of Founder Joe Shemirani. “It’s a big party, and part of that party is serving food.” And then the COVID-19 pandemic hit southern California like a freight train jumping the tracks and crashing through the station. Shemirani re-

members when the panic-buying started. “It was March 13 when the panic buying in California started,” she recalls. “We were at the job fair for our new store, and 12 or 13 managers were there to do the interviewing. We started hearing stories about what was happening in the stores, and within 15 minutes, we sent most of them back to their stores. It just went very crazy in a minuscule amount of time.” It quickly became obvious that plans for a festive grand opening weren’t the first priority. Barons pushed back the new store’s opening from April to May, installed

In 1926, Karen Toufayan’s grandfather Haroutoun was a baker living amidst an Armenian community in Egypt. As soon as he could after he emigrated to the United States in the mid-1960s, he set out to make a living in his new country doing what he knew best

– making the pita bread that had its origins in the prehistory of the Middle East. In the fall of 2018, Toufayan Bakeries celebrated 50 years of doing business in the U.S. Haroutoun and his son Harry set up their bakery near the New York-New Jersey border with a small retail store in front and the bakery in the back. “They would bake the bread and sell it in their store and load it up

with a Long, Slow Kiss of Heat


in a station wagon and go out and sell it to restaurants and other retail stores,” Karen said. Toufayan’s business as a wholesale bakery really started when Harry persuaded a local delicatessen that his front counter would be a great place to merchandise bread to go along with the sliced meats that the store was selling to customers who were buying them for sandwiches

oo’mämē is a line of products that present consumers with one of those, “Is it a bird? Is it a plane?” moments. The labels for oo’mämē Mexican Chile Infusion and oo’mämē Chinese Chile Infusion both promise “1001 Uses. One Spoon,” and a look past the label and through the glass to the product itself automatically begins suggesting some of those uses to the savvy home cook. Visible through the glass are flakes immediately identifiable as chiles along with ingredients like pieces of dried fruits and whole seeds that are meticulously listed in the product’s ingredient label. Clearly, oo’mämē Founder Mark Engel is not a proponent of the five-ingredients-or-less school of thought, since these 14-ingredient lists eschew simplicity in favor of complexity and depth, a promise that’s redeemed in full once the jar is opened and the spicy aromas of culinary traditions developed through eons of experience waft into the atmosphere. “These recipes are hacks to make great food easily,” Engel said. “You can do anything with it, but everyone has his own way.” The Mexican Chile Infusion is

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oats for your breakfast, but you’d never find either white rice or refined cereals. “She was a trailblazer as a woman in the ‘20s, and in her focus on wellness in a meat and potatoes world.... She was brimming with vitality up to 100 years of age. She had an orange tint to her skin from an excess of betacarotene. Never walked with a cane,” he said. “That was the seed of the idea when I was thinking

about my interest in the snack space – and in the healthy snack space in particular.” Weiss remembers that his great-grandmother used to tell him that if he ate a piece of fruit, he should eat all of it – roots, rinds, stems and seeds, he said. She believed – and she told her great-grandson from the time he was eight or 10 years old – that the parts of the fruit that most people discarded had their own nutritional properties that his body needed, and he shouldn’t just throw those away. When he

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Family Tradition Drives Toufayan Bakeries Through Challenges of Pandemic BY LORRIE BAUMANN



Barons Market Opens New Store Amidst Pandemic Thoughtful Sauces



Dried Fruit Snacks with a-Peel BY LORRIE BAUMANN

Some of us had grandmothers who handed out home-baked cookies left and right. Others of us had fore-mothers who urged us to eat our vegetables because they’re good for us. Matt Weiss had a great-grandmother, Helen Seitner, who ran a health food store and urged him to eat his fruits whole – apple peels, peach skins, watermelon rinds and all. “She was one of those people I would go to

visit in Phoenix when I was a little boy,” he recalls. “She actually opened up her own natural foods store in the 1920s, Helen Seitner’s Stay-Well Health Shop. This was well before kale was cool.”

That little store was about 800 to 1,000 square feet of sales floor where you could buy a sack of carrots or whole-grain flour or the

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Dear Friends: As I write this, it’s been just under three months since Arizona’s governor issued a stay-at-home order and I, along with the rest of the staff at Oser Communications Group, went into lockdown. For me, one of the best things about this experience has been the opportunities that I have had to have many real conversations with so many readers of this magazine. In normal times, those conversations would be all business – now they are mostly business, but we wrap that up in talk about our real lives. It’s comforting to remember that we still have real lives that we hope are still waiting for us. Arizona’s official state of emergency has now passed, but the news reports I see are filled with warnings from our state health officials that our hospitals are full, and people are dying at hideous rates. Most days, I just can’t bear to know what’s going on outside my home and back yard. It is at times like this that I have, over more years than I can count, often leaned on the counsel of a woman named Elinor Pruitt Stewart. Most people know her, if they’ve ever heard of her at all, from the

1979 movie “Heartland,” which is based on a collection of her letters that was published in 1914 as “Letters of a Woman Homesteader,” a book that I think I probably picked it up in a museum gift store sometime in the early 1970s as a paperback reprint of the original volume published by Houghton Mifflin Co. The letters were addressed from Stewart to a former employer, and they started after Stewart had left her life of cooking, cleaning and stoking the coal furnaces of rich Denver families to take a job as a housekeeper on the Wyoming frontier. Her intention was to get herself hired by a western rancher who could advise her about how to file on a homestead of her own, and when Clyde Stewart saw her advertisement in the paper while he was visiting his mother in Boulder and responded to it, she accepted the job he offered her and joined him on his ranch. Within months, she’d thrown in her lot altogether with the soft-spoken rancher in spite of his deplorable habit of playing “The Campbells are Coming” on his bagpipes “at intervals all day long and from seven till eleven at night,” figuring, as she told her former employer, that the two could get married first and then do their “sparking” afterwards. By her own ac-

count, it was a happy marriage, and Stewart had a happy life on the Wyoming frontier. But it wasn’t all happy. She lost a child out there on the frontier – a baby who died in her arms. Clyde built the casket in which they buried their first-born son, and she lined the casket and read the words over him herself. She had a gift for working hard, for accepting troubles as they came and for remembering to be grateful for every blessing. But out of everything she wrote, there’s one particular passage that sticks with me. After a long, hard winter marked by blizzards and ill health near the end of her life, Stewart wrote to a friend, “The cattle died in piles and the horses died in other piles and I didn’t want to write to anyone. But I can tell you, my dear, that it is a relief when things get to their worst. You know what the worst is then and can begin to plan for better things. That’s what I have done, I have planted flowers everywhere.” For all of you, I hope that you, too, are able now to plan for better things. And that you will have flowers everywhere. GN — Lorrie Baumann Editorial Director


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News & Notes Clear-Headed Choices for Conscious Consumers BY LORRIE BAUMANN

Consumers want choices, including the choice of whether or not to drink alcohol. But even when they’ve decided to take alcohol off their menus, they still want to participate in the social context that surrounds the kinds of occasions in which alcohol is generally served. For those consumers, Ritual Zero Proof offers choices they haven’t had before – alternatives to whiskey, tequila and gin that mimic the flavors and even the burn of the alcoholic beverages to which they are analogs. “There’s a perception that this is about Millennials, but we’ve found it’s a much larger movement. People are demanding choice,” said Marcus Sakey, who founded Ritual Zero Proof along with his wife, G.G. Sakey; and his best friend, David Crooch. “People want a choice in the way they enjoy a sophisticated beverage.” Ritual is the first American spirit alternative to use all natural botanical flavors – the Ritual Gin Alternative is bright and herbaceous, and the Whiskey Alternative has flavors with the warmth of a bourbon. The Ritual Tequila Alternative that’s the newest of the line was blended particularly to substitute for the spirit component in a margarita recipe, and it even brings in the grassy notes along with the bright flavor of a smooth-sipping tequila. The burn of an alcohol, present in all three, is an effect achieved by a complex blend of botanicals ranging from chili peppers to jambu to prickly ash along with other botanicals that calm some of the heat. “The burn comes

from natural botanicals,” Sakey said. “It’s not alcohol with the alcohol removed.” All three can be crafted into cocktails exactly the same way as their spirit analogs – they measure identically, and they are complemented by the same mixers, so everyone’s signature recipes will still work. “These are alternatives with a whole range of uses,” Sakey said. “All the botanicals are natural – organic when we can get them. It’s chef wizardry – not mad science.” The flavors are close enough to their spirit analogs that Ritual can even be blended into cocktails that also contain spirits, diluting their alcoholic and caloric content and providing another range of reasons to use them. “If I can make a drink that has half the alcohol and half the calories, then I can have two of them,” Sakey said. “I still love a good drink, and I drink regularly, but I wanted another tool in the kit. It lets you stay up and out and keep laughing and talking with your friends. It’s about having more – and then being able to crush the next day.” Ritual started in Sakey’s home kitchen in 2018. A passionate amateur chef and bestselling novelist with nine books to his credit, Sakey, now in his mid 40s, was taking a conscious break from spirits. “I realized that what I missed was everything that went around making a drink – the process of crafting a cocktail, sitting around with a rocks glass in my hand in front of the fire,” he said. He decided to try and recreate the experience he craved – but without the alcohol. “I came up with an early draft of Ritual, which I shared with my wife and my best friend, and right then, we realized this was something we not only wanted, we

needed,” he said. Working with flavorists, distillers, chefs and bartenders through more than 500 iterations to achieve gin and whiskey alternatives that would share the gustatory delights of a fine spirit while leaving its consumers clear-headed, Sakey and his partners had a pair of products that were ready to launch onto the American market. “People have responded to this all over the country,” he said. “It’s been really thrilling to see that I wasn’t the only one waiting for this.” Development of a tequila alternative followed this year. Ritual’s launch last year was embraced by both bartenders and liquor retailers, and the products were so dramatically successful that the company had a hard time supplying the demand. “At first, demand made it hard to get supply under control,” Sakey said. “It’s a very happy problem that can come with a new business.” With production now scaled up, Ritual is ready for launch into conventional grocery channels, although the roll-out has been stalled by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sakey has responded with vigorous online marketing to help the brand find its tribe, so that when those people return to their neighborhood grocery stores after retailing has returned to something approaching normal, they’ll be looking for a brand with which they’re already familiar. In early results, demographics for the Ritual products are evenly split between males and females from ages 25 to 65, according to Sakey. “It’s just something that people wanted – they might not even have known they wanted it,” he said. “If you’re pregnant and still want to hang out. If you’re training or dieting or it’s a work night.... You are better than club soda.” Ritual has three SKUs that are widely available to grocery retailers – the Whiskey Alternative, Gin Alternative and Tequila Alternative. They’re packaged in 750 ml glass bottles that retail for a suggested $24.95. For more information, visit www .ritualzeroproof.com. GN

Saffron Road Frozen Dishes Now in Target Stores Saffron Road® has reached a new distribution partnership with Target, the third largest mass merchant in the U.S., with more than $76 billion in annual sales. Target’s food and beverage sales soared 20 percent in the first quarter of 2020 and added 80,000 in-store Shipt shoppers to make its groceries more accessible to Americans during the coronavirus crises. Americans’ eating habits have been suddenly disrupted due to the pandemic, causing people to eat at home for nearly every meal. As a result, there’s been a progressive shift in consumer habits as people look for the premium quality they’ve come to ex-

pect when dining out, according to Saffron Road Founder and Chief Executive Officer Adnan Durrani. Saffron Road prides itself as an epicurean brand devoted to culinary excellence, ethnic authenticity and socially responsible values, going to great efforts to ensure every meal delivers the very best in taste, quality and nutrition to even the most discerning palates. “We’ve seen an unprecedented seminal shift in at-home meal occasions occurring among Americans during this crisis. The ‘new normal’ will motivate consumers to increasingly look for healthier, higher quality,

natural, and non-GMO meal options like Saffron Road, versus the highly processed belly fillers that normally spike during previous crises,” Durrani said. “Especially given the severity and national footprint of this recent crises, our mission couldn’t be more relevant: to provide mainstream America easy access to Saffron Road’s premium quality meals. We are committed to giving guests an exceptional value at Target for the values Saffron Road is so passionate about: clean-label and finely crafted meals, authentic world cuisine flavors and better-for-you ingredients that Saffron Road delivers in every meal.” GN

BRIEFS C&S Wholesale Grocers Announces COVID-19 Relief Initiative C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S., has undertaken a nationwide relief initiative in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, including more than $300,000 in donations that will supply 100,000 KN95 masks to hospitals in hard-hit regions, as well as financial support for food banks and other charitable organizations across the country.

Consumers Fear Public Touchscreens Consumers on both sides of the Atlantic have raised concerns about touching public screens at self-service, supermarket checkouts, in health centers and at public transport ticketing kiosks as they look forward to a world post-lockdown. Research by a company that makes touchless interfaces, Ultraleap, in late April and early May found that among 538 respondents split almost 50:50 between the United States (267) and the United Kingdom (271), just 12 percent (14 percent in the U.S. and 9 percent in the U.K.) believed that touchscreens in public spaces are hygienic, while more than 82 percent on average were confident that touchless interfaces would be more hygienic and give them better protection.

Imperfect Foods Raises $72M in Series C Funding As a result of significant momentum in the business and continued dedication to improving the food supply chain, Imperfect Foods has closed a Series C funding round of $72 million, led by Insight Partners. The round was also supported by existing investors of the company, including Series B lead Norwest Venture Partners. These funds will fuel continued expansion of the grocery delivery service across the country, increase capacity in new and existing fulfillment centers, expand assortment and enhance technology to better connect producers, farmers and customers to the brand’s mission: to eliminate food waste and build a better food system. Since launching in 2015, Imperfect Foods has remained hyper focused on eliminating food waste and supporting farmers and producers when it comes to excess and imperfect products. The company now rescues and redistributes food across multiple grocery categories – including produce, shelf-stable goods, dairy, meat and seafood.

Retailers Rely on DERMALOG’s Fever Screening With its Fever Detection Camera, DERMALOG has developed a solution that measures body temperatures fast and accurately when walking by and can significantly reduce the risk of infection spreading in many areas. The system of the German biometrics company measures body temperature within one second by scanning people’s faces using state-of-the-art sensor technology. If an increased temperature is detected, the system displays an alert message. High accuracy, even from a distance of up to 2 meters, is another advantage of the camera.



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

BOS Brands Debuts Red Rooibos Teas BY LORRIE BAUMANN

After an initial market test through online sales in the U.S. last fall, BOS Brands launched its canned iced teas and tea bags at this year’s Winter Fancy Food Show and will be rolling the products out to retailers this month. BOS Iced Tea, a lightly sweetened iced tea made from rooibos, launched first in Lemon, Peach, Lime & Ginger, Yuzu and Berry. Consumer testing revealed that consumers like the rooibos teas, but they also wanted options without sugar and with bubbles, so BOS Brands followed that initial launch in May, 2019 with BOS Sparkling Unsweetened Iced Tea, offered in White Peach & Elderflower, Blueberry & Jasmine and Pineapple Coconut flavors. The teas capitalize on a growing trend in favor of ready-to-drink iced teas and appeal to consumers who have an active lifestyle and are health-conscious. Those consumers are already familiar with, and active consumers of, beverages such as kombucha, sparkling waters and other iced teas,

whether that’s black, green or white tea, according to Jeff Donaldson, Head of Marketing, USA for BOS Brands. “We get a lot of people who are iced tea drinkers who want something different or healthier or who are trying to stop consumption of other beverages, such as sugared sodas,” he said. “Everybody knows of black, green or white tea, but hardly anyone knows about red tea. This is known as a red tea because of the red bush that it comes from that’s only grown in South Africa.” All of the BOS Brands products are organic, and rooibos (pronounced ROYBOSS) is caffeine free. It’s an indigenous plant that grows as a spiky bush, rather like a Scotch broom, in a tiny area of South Africa where the soil is sandy and the climate is dry with moderate temperatures. At harvest time, the stalks are pulled from the bush and dried in the sun to make a tea that South Africans have been consuming for hundreds of years, Donaldson said. “It only grows in a 90-acre area in South Africa

that has the perfect climate,” he said. “You can’t actually grow it anywhere else in the world.” The iced teas are sold in 12-ounce cans retailing for $1.99. The cans are decorated in the bright colors of South Africa to communicate a sense of fun. “We’re not trying to be a stodgy, good-for you brand; we want it to be fun,” Donaldson said. “We are really focused on making healthy fun.” If the botanical flavors of the BOS Sparkling Iced Tea suggest cocktails to you, you’re not alone, and the company is promoting their use as cocktail mixers as well as refreshing beverages for any time of day. In addition, rooibos is considered a functional ingredient that’s thought to be an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent with positive effects on blood sugar and digestion. The company’s newest product for the U.S. market is BOS Red Rooibos Tea, tea bags for the hot tea drinkers who want to try something different. “They can have it

at any time of day, whether or not they’d cut themselves off from caffeine late in the day,” Donaldson said. “People like that this can be an all-day drink and not just when they want caffeine.” The BOS Red Rooibos Tea bags are packaged in a collectible tin that contains two sleeves of 20 tea bags and retails for $14.99, while the 40-tea bag refill for the tin (also containing two sleeves of 20) retails for $10.99. Adding to the appeal of the brand, BOS Brands has an active sustainability program in which the company plants a tree for every 2,000 cans of the iced teas that are sold. “So far, we’ve planted about 22,000 trees in South Africa, working with an organization called Greenpop,” Donaldson said. Greenpop is a South African nonprofit organization focused on sustainable urban greening and forest restoration across Sub-Saharan Africa. For more information, email hello @bosbrands.com. GN

Salt of the Earth Bakery Achieves SQF Certification Salt of the Earth Bakery, an artisanal baked goods company, has achieved certification under the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Food Safety Code for Manufacturing. The SQF Food Safety Code is a globally recognized, independent food safety standard administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute and benchmarked to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), a global collection of standards and

requirements for food companies to practice food safety management at the same highquality standards around the world. Widely considered one of the most rigorous and comprehensive food safety and quality standards in the world, SQF certification requires producers to develop and implement a stringent food safety system that applies to every step of their supply chain, ensuring that

products are produced, handled, processed and distributed in accordance with standards among the strictest in the industry. Salt of the Earth Bakery is thrilled to have achieved this high level of food safety certification as it exhibits its commitment to maintaining the most rigorous food safety and quality standards. Salt of the Earth Bakery’s manufacturing facility is also

certified kosher by the OK. This milestone is especially significant right now as food safety has been one of the top consumer concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the SQF Institute, while it’s highly unlikely to contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging, it’s now more important than ever for the food industry to manage food safety risks. GN

Fine European Tea Towels Confer Distinction Mary Althoff fell in love with fine European tea towels as soon as she was introduced to them in the early 1990s. Like most Baby Boomer women, she’d grown up in a kitchen with a drawer full of dish towels, but these were something different from white flour sacking dish cloths – these were beautiful and made to last. “Europeans have a different view of kitchen and household goods. They buy quality because they want it to last,” she said. By the 1990s, life had taken Althoff to a place where she found herself representing


Continued from PAGE 1 redolent of the flavors of a classical Oaxacan Mole Negro, while the Chinese Chile Infusion borrows from Sichuan sophistication around spice. These sauces were designed with organoleptic properties to work like mise en place in a jar, an assemblage of ingredients all ready for either a beginner in the kitchen or a home cook with advanced skills to create flavor and complexity in a dish with a simple counterclockwise twist of a jar lid. The chiles are crispy to add texture as well as spice; the seeds are toasted for crunch as well as depth of flavor; bits of dried fruit are chewy; and the ginger is sweet. “oo’mämē” represents the phonetic spelling for umami,

tea towels to the wholesale home goods market – first for another importer and then eventually on her own behalf. Along the way, her personal tea towel collection kept growing. “Any time a design is discontinued, I have to have one – I might never see this design or quality again,” she said. “That’s the feeling that I wanted to stick with. It’s a business of quality.” When she went into business for herself, she started out buying tea towels in off-theshelf designs from European manufacturers who were eager for the business. Over the

decades, though, the number of those manufacturers of fine-quality household linens diminished as European demand for the goods declined. That was less of a problem for Mierco, Althoff’s business, because at the same time that European demand for high-quality textiles was faltering, American consumers were discovering that a home’s kitchen could be its heart rather than a strictly utilitarian galley. American consumers were willing to pay more for kitchen accessories if that meant they could have beauty rather than just utility, and

Mierco’s sales were growing rapidly. By the time that most European Jacquard mills had dropped tea towels from their product lines, Althoff had enough business to support special orders of the custom designs that distinguished Mierco’s tea towels from all others. “Today, about 90 percent of our line is our exclusive designs,” Althoff said. “They’re classic and timeless and made with the best and most cotton you can weave into a Jacquard-woven tea towel.”

the fifth taste sense identified with savory, meaty flavors, and the sauces deliver that. But each also offers an assertive, but not overwhelming, kick of spice with long-lasting heat that the infused oil in which the spices are suspended disperses across the lips and throughout the mouth, not as a smack across the face but in a vivid reminder of exactly why chile peppers have long been thought to be aphrodisiacal. The oil is high-oleic sunflower oil. It has a high smoke point, so it withstands the heat of cooking, but it also has a low melting point, so it doesn’t

solidify in the refrigerator, where it should be stored after the jar is opened. The oil can be spooned out and used either with or without the inclusions as an oil for stir-frying, as a finishing oil, as the spice for a vegetable dip, to stir into mayonnaise for a sandwich spread, to spoon over scrambled eggs or to add zip to a soup or a stew. The Mexican Chile Infusion transforms an ordinary bean burrito into a gastronomic delight or tops a cracker spread with almond butter with enough zest to dress it up into a sumptuous

cocktail-hour snack. “I created these chile sauces to make cooking easier for me and my family,” Engel said. “I wanted to have great-tasting food, but I didn’t want to spend an hour prepping every night.” Engel’s own favorite uses for the sauces include mixing them into nut butters to use as a dressing for grilled meats, rice or noodles. “When you put it on top of a runny egg, it’s nothing short of heaven,” he added. oo’mämē sauces are made in the U.S., and they’re plant-based, with low sodium and gluten free. Two new flavors will be out this summer: Indian Chile Infusion and Moroccan Chile Infusion. “Chile is always the backbone, because that’s what we do,” Engel said. The sauces are packaged in 9.2ounce wide-mouth glass jars that retail for $16 each. For more information, visit www.oomame.net. GN

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Retailer News BRIEFS

Barons Continued from PAGE 1

Meijer Donates 750,000 KN95 Face Masks Meijer procured and distributed 750,000 KN95 face masks to help front-line workers and first responders throughout the Midwest. The retailer worked with COVID-19 Emergency Response Teams or municipal health departments to centrally manage the distribution to healthcare workers or first responders in those states to ensure those who needed them most got them quicker. The face masks were provided to government agencies, hospital systems, law enforcement agencies and other first responders in many of the communities Meijer serves, primarily in Michigan and Ohio. These include Macomb and Oakland counties in Michigan and the city of Detroit, as well as the Michigan State Police, which were then able to distribute the masks as needed.

Kroger Achieves New Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Milestones

plastic barriers at the registers in all of its stores and immediately started limiting the number of shoppers in the store, shortened open hours and created a senior shopping hour. “I’m so proud of our response,” Shemirani said. “We were able to pivot very quickly, even ahead of our county health department.” At the same time, Barons felt a responsibility to be there for its new community. “We had a store opening, not a grand opening,” Shemirani said. “We still had to open now more than ever because we’re in this pandemic.... Our goal here was literally to bring food to this community. We have a responsibility to bring food, to make sure that we’re as well stocked as possible, that there is no price-gouging.... We’re reminding ourselves that as an essential business, this is our priority. This is why we’re here.”

Kroger continues on its journey to achieve a future with Zero Hunger | Zero Waste with notable milestones achieved during 2019. Kroger surpassed its three-year goal to donate 1 billion meals by 2020, putting the retailer on track to achieve its goal of donating 3 billion meals by 2025. Kroger also directed a total of $279 million in charitable giving to its communities in 2019, including $205 million to organizations that are helping to end hunger. The grocer provided a total of 493 million meals, in food and funds, to its communities across the country, a 56 percent increase from 2018, including 101 million pounds of safe, surplus food from its retail stores, distribution centers and manufacturing plants to Feeding America® food banks.

Redlands Ranch Market Brings International Flavors to California’s Inland Empire Redlands Ranch Market has expanded its international grocery department. Redlands Ranch Market is a grocery market located in the Inland Empire in the vibrant city of Redlands, California. The market now offers Arabic/Mediterranean, Asian/South Pacific, Eastern European, Ethiopian/Eritrean/East African, and Indian foods and ingredients. The Redlands Ranch Market also showcases its Mexican heritage by offering authentic, readyto-eat Hispanic cuisine every day and throughout the year.

California Keto Opens in San Diego Jordanna and Michel Kasander, a husband and wife team, have launched California Keto, the first of its kind Keto retail shop. California Keto offers a variety of clean items that fully support a keto, sugar-free, gluten-free and low carbohydrate lifestyle, including MCT oils, CBD, chocolates and cakes, baking mixes, nut butters, energy bars, breads, ice cream and fresh baked goods. All items are premium American made quality with a keen focus on local suppliers.

The focus for the new store’s opening turned to ensuring that customers would feel safe coming to shop and that employees would feel safe coming to work. Plans for a big grand opening were scrapped, as were plans for food demonstrations with visiting vendors. There would be no large gathering in the parking lot as the community waited for the store to open. No one would be allowed to bring in their reusable bags, and anyone coming into the store had to be masked. On the big day, two employees stood outside to manage the line for social distancing and to meter the number entering the store. One person sanitized all the carts; another handed out hand sanitizer, masks and gloves to customers who didn’t have them and wanted them. “The customer would come in, and with no samples going on, instead, we had the employees walk around the store and talk, have a conversation about food. They’d say, ‘Have you ever tried our Fig Balsamic Vine-

gar? We like to put it over ice cream and strawberries. And while I’m sorry you can’t taste it, I’ve tasted it at our weekly food panel, and it’s really good.’” Shemirani said. “Basically, our Brand Ambassadors, our employees, just having conversations.” Signs throughout the store announced that the prices that customers were seeing were everyday low prices, not just grand opening specials. “We don’t buy on deals, and we had people telling us that they were surprised to see that we were so well stocked, happy to be seeing our safety precautions, happy to be having human conversations,” Shemirani said. “We were getting back to the human relationships that are so important. They were so excited and pleased. We heard from people who hadn’t been out of their homes for two months and came to this grocery store as their one outing – no pressure, right?” “We’ve created a customer experience that engages all five senses. That’s always been important to us, and now safety is a huge part of the customer experience when they go shopping,” she continued. “We’re all about community gathering – that’s what we’re

about. If we can’t communicate with our community through food, we definitely can through honest conversations.... We had one customer coming through the line who

said to one of our employees, ‘Can I say a prayer over you right now?’ and the employee said, ‘Sure,’ and he just said a little prayer: ‘Thank you for being an essential service and being open for us right now.’ It was a very kind moment.” Customers who came to the opening got one of Barons signature brownies on their way out. “It was individually wrapped and just handed to them on the way out – just a ‘Thank you for shopping with us’ gift,” Shemirani said. “We love to feed people; that’s literally what we do.” Barons Market has made its quarterly Barons Backroom Beer Pairing event a keystone of its community participation as well as customer experience. In the past, each of the Barons Markets throughout the San Diego area has selected local nonprofit organizations to receive funds raised by the events, then sold tickets and welcomed 60 to 100 people to come and enjoy small plates and local craft beers. Barons donates 100 percent of the ticket sales to the cause. The events are important to Barons Market’s company culture as well as to the communities and the organizations for which they provide financial support. They can’t be held in the immediate future – at least, not in the same way. “Now we’re thinking about what beer pairings look like. What does that look like?” Shemirani said. “We’re now collecting thoughts about what’s important to customers and thinking through what other ways we can get customers involved in their community and helping out the organizations that uplift the community.” “This is part of our culture as a company – the best ideas come from the challenges. When we are faced with a pretty big challenge, we’ve always figured out a better way in the solutions,” she added. “We’ll see what happens. We’re constantly talking. We’re having those conversations internally. But right now, it’s that focus on customer experience, which means safety, stocked shelves and good prices.” GN



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Supplier News 4Sisters Grow Rice in America BY LORRIE BAUMANN

4Sisters is a brand of American-grown organic rice that comes from a familyowned company that has its roots in a few leased acres on which a preacher’s kid who grew up in a house with a dirt floor started growing crops in 1965. He chose to grow rice. “Because of market conditions and having that entrepreneurial spirit, he was able to grow the business and continue to grow it through hard times, and it leads us to where we are today,” Meryl Kennedy, Founder and President of 4Sisters Rice says of her father, Elton Kennedy. Rice doesn’t spring to mind as a particularly American crop. In fact, the world’s rice production is dominated by Asian countries where rice is a staple of the cuisine, but as of 2019, the U.S. was the world’s 12th-largest rice producer. Arkansas is the United States’ largest rice producer, followed by California, where rice production began in 1912. Louisiana follows California, followed by Missouri and Texas. 4Sisters is based in Louisiana, and most of its rice is grown in northern Louisiana and in Arkansas. “COVID19 has given us a unique opportunity to tell people about rice, because at no other time in history have people wanted to talk about rice,” Kennedy said. “Now they’re interested in talking about rice being grown in the U.S. by American farmers..... We have a unique time where people are listening.” Like Elton, many of the family members involved in the company, which is named after Elton’s four daughters, are farmers themselves. “My sisters and their husbands farm, and we have outside farm-

ers that grow on our land, and we buy from

outside farmers,” Kennedy said. “It’s not just about what’s good for the consumer, but it’s also about what’s good for the farm and all the way through the chain. Many of the farmers have been partners for generations.” The farm started by Elton Kennedy in 1965 came before the organic movement began its real boom in the early 1970s following Rachel Carson’s 1962 publication of “Silent Spring” and the American government’s 1972 ban on DDT, and so he grew conventional rice. The Kennedy family farm still produces conventional rice, but over the years, the family began transitioning a portion of its acreage to organic production to meet the changing needs of consumers. Today, about 3,000 acres of the family’s holdings have converted to organic pro-

duction, with the family’s 4Sisters brand devoted to its premium products. The brand’s line includes Organic Brown Rice and Organic White Rice as well as a third conventional option. “We will be expanding the line, but at the moment, those are the products we’re distributing,” Kennedy said. “Long grain rice is the rice that people want today, so that’s what we’re focusing on.... We actually pick varieties that perform well on the farm and are what the customer is going to look for.... We are hopeful that we can bring taste back into the equation.

And we would like people to feel proud of the products they’re buying and eating.” Meryl Kennedy, the youngest of the four

BRIEFS Bact-Off Introduces Antimicrobial Shopping Cart Handle Bact-Off, a self-care consumer packaged goods company, in partnership with Smart Plastic Technologies, announces the introduction of a simple, snap on plastic handle enabled with Smart Plastic’s SPTek GARD™ antimicrobial additive for retail. SPTek GARD antimicrobial is added during the BactOff cart handle film production process, making it highly effective against MRSA, Salmonella, Listeria, E coli, and dozens of other dangerous organisms.

Instacart Introduces New In-App Safety Hub

sisters, joined the family business in 2010. Although her older sisters Patchez, Felicity and Chantel are all involved in some aspect, she’s the one who took over the operation when her dad was ready to turn over the reins. “By the time he got to me, he was, like, ‘Well, you’re going to be it. You’re either going to make it or not,’” Kennedy said. “Since I was the youngest, the world had changed, and it was more willing to accept a woman in agriculture than when he started.... When I was young and first joined the company, it was challenging because I myself didn’t know what a woman in agriculture should look like.” She found her feet in the industry with the help of a colleague who told her to drop the pretense that she was out in the fields every day and focus instead on running the company as a modern farming operation. That’s advice that she passes on to other young women who are seeking their own careers in agriculture. “I’ve mentored a lot of young women over the past 10 years. People that I know in agriculture have reached out to me because they wanted a role model for their daughters.... I didn’t have that when I started,” she said. “Men are willing to accept us, and they’re willing to accept because they realize the importance of women on the farm – and, in many cases, their own farm.” For more information, visit www .4sistersrice.com. GN

Instacart’s new shopper in-app safety hub offers its shoppers additional tools and resources to protect them while they’re picking and delivering orders. As part of this hub, Instacart is partnering with ADT to connect shoppers to emergency services in-app, providing urgent assistance in times of need. Instacart is also launching a new shopper identity verification feature, an updated contactless delivery offering, and additional perks for shoppers, including discounts on cell phone coverage and roadside assistance.

Riviana Foods Donates More than 22,000 Bags of Rice Riviana Foods Inc., America’s largest processor, marketer and distributor of branded and private-label rice products, has donated more than 22,000 bags of rice to benefit front-line Bronx, New York, firefighters and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic, including 4,500 cases of Carolina Rice and Grains Blends.

Collaboration to Improve Fat Performance in Plant-based Food Motif FoodWorks, an ingredient company that’s working to make plant-based food taste better and offer better nutrition has entered into an exclusive research collaboration and license option with the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario, and Dr. Alejandro Marangoni, Tier I Canada Research Chair in Food, Health and Aging at Guelph and founder of Coasun, Inc. Under this collaboration, Motif will evaluate novel technologies for formulating lipids and fiber-forming ingredients in plant-based meats and dairy products that have the potential to enable unprecedented taste and texture improvements in these fast-growing categories.

Amoroso’s Now Offers Extended Shelf-life Items For more than 115 years, beginning in 1904 in Philadelphia, Amoroso’s Baking Company and its authentic Italian Hearth-Baked Bread and Rolls have been the stuff legendary Philly cheesesteaks, hoagies, roast beef and roast pork sandwiches made their reputations on. Over the past 40 years, that reputation has spread across the country and around the world. Amoroso’s now offers its extended shelf-life items that have been inspired by Amoroso’s sandwich rolls in Philadelphia for commissaries and grab-and-go applications.


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Noodles that Consumers Will Pay for BY LORRIE BAUMANN

Like many others, Damien Lee used to buy instant noodle soups because they were convenient and tasted okay, not because he thought they were particularly good for him in any other way. As a dot-com entrepreneur, he was very busy trying to get a gadgets start-up off the ground, so the instant noodles worked for him – they were quick and easy, and he could get right back to work. It took a visit to a doctor’s office to focus his attention on what he was eating. “I thought, I’ve got to step up to the plate,” he said. “I instantly changed my life.” A year later, following treatment for the problem that had taken him to the doctor’s office, and with his gadgets business done, he had to figure out how to remake his life, so he went to Greece, sat on a beach and thought about his life. Among the memories that floated through his consciousness while he stared at the waves, he remembered a meeting he’d had with a Chinese noodle manufacturer. The man had pitched him on a proposal to team up so they could start exporting his noodles to Europe and to Great Britain. “I told them I knew nothing about either retail or noodles,” Lee said. “Thanks, but no thanks.” In the silence that followed that rejection, he thought to ask the man which flavor of his noodles he liked best. The man told him, “We don’t eat our own noodles.” He’d gone back to his home in the U.K. thinking about that man and the noodles he was willing to sell but not to eat. He figured that he knew why – China’s noodle

manufacturers had been competing on profit margin rather than on quality, which meant they were cutting costs and taking short cuts to bolster those margins, according to Lee’s analysis. “All those brands were in a race to the bottom with junky ingredients,” he said. “That was my light-bulb moment.” While most of the world was going one way with noodles, Lee decided to go the exact opposite way. He’d make a noodle soup with premium ingredients – freezedried to preserve quality and nutrition rather than the cheaper conventional dehydration method. “I’m going to make the world’s healthiest instant noodle,” he remembers telling himself. “I wanted to make a proper instant noodle that I could eat.” He consulted Andy Chu, a well-known executive chef in U.K. restaurants who lived in Bournemouth, where Lee had his home. “He’s originally from Macau,” Lee said. “I needed a chef to help develop the product range.... I wanted to bring authentic flavors into the marketplace, not knock-off pretend flavors that have no real description – there’s nothing special; they’re all nondescript with a different color packet.” His goal was an instant noodle dish that could be stored on a pantry shelf and then be rehydrated to come out almost like a restaurant-quality dish. With that mandate, Chu went to work. The noodle dishes he

came up with are chock-full of freeze-dried ingredients that rehydrate with hot water into vegetables that look almost like they were just picked from the garden, Lee said. “We don’t use MSG, palm oils, no plastic packets inside the package. All the seasonings and components are open inside the cup. Pour in hot water, stir, wait three minutes.” All of the Mr. Lee’s recipes are authentic and gluten free. In the U.K., where Mr. Lee’s launched four years ago, they’re some-

times sold in vending kiosks that take care of pouring in the hot water and allow customers to season their noodles with chile oil or soy sauce. “The consumer helps themselves. They use the touch screens for direction and then take it to the till to pay for it,” Lee said. Mr. Lee’s Noodles is planning to take that

concept as well as the noodle dishes themselves to the United States next. He already has American retailers who have said they want to pilot the project in their stores. “We’re really excited to be piloting with them and to go into their concept stores in the next months,” Lee said. “We’re launching into America with both the tech and with the food.” Mr. Lee’s will be launching in the U.S. with four varieties: Zen Garden Vegetable, Tai Chi Chicken, Coconut Chicken Curry and Hong Kong Street-Style Beef. Each single-serving cup retails for $4. Another two noodle varieties are coming along soon, and then Mr. Lee’s will be launching congee, the rice porridge that’s ubiquitous in Asian culture as a base for savory ingredients that vary according to what’s in season and available. “Every Asian knows congee,” Lee said. “It’s not just for breakfast – it’s comfort food.... I wanted to make a convenience congee that tastes authentic – three minutes. Add hot water; hey presto.” The Mr. Lee’s brand will be launching in the U.S. In the second quarter of this year with Whole Foods as a launch partner. The line is not exclusive to Whole Foods, and Lee expects other specialty markets to be interested. Distribution is through UNFI. For more information, visit www .mrleesnoodles.com. GN

America’s Original Beer Cheese Spread BY LORRIE BAUMANN

Hall’s Beer Cheese is America’s original beer cheese, developed in the 1930s to be served at a riverside tavern in central Kentucky that’s been in operation since around the time of the American Revolution. “The tavern has been there since Daniel Boone’s time,” said Kit Crase, who owns the Hall’s Beer Cheese brand today. “The restaurant is right on the river. It was very close to Fort Boonesborough, so there’s been something there since about 1780 – continuously.” The Hall’s Beer Cheese brand was spun off from the restaurant operation a few years ago and is now devoted to a range of products that includes Hall’s Original Snappy Blue Cheese, Hall’s Hot-n-Snappy Beer Cheese as well as a Benedictine Spread based on cucumber and cream cheese with some garlic notes that’s very popular in Kentucky, particularly around Kentucky Derby season, Crase said. The company has additional products in

the pipeline that will be introduced in advance of the holiday entertaining season. Those will include a line of cheese balls made from all natural ingredients. They’ll be offered in a wide range of flavors, including Bacon Jalapeño and about two dozen more. The company also makes Queso and Harissa Queso dips as well as a Pimento Cheese that has won kudos in blind taste tests, Crase said. As for the Original Snappy Beer Cheese, that’s made from aged Wisconsin cheddar cheese along with beer – the

identity of which is a proprietary secret – and some spices. “It’s got a little snap to it,” Crase said. “I find it delicious. I have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” Hall’s Beer Cheese is made in both Wisconsin, through a partnership with a cheesemaker there, and in Kentucky, so that it qualifies for the “Kentucky Proud” certification for locally produced products. It contains no oils or fillers, and the beer flavor isn’t overpowering, so it will be complemented by any beer that’s consumed along with it, Crase said. “Any beer goes with it. I personally like an IPA or a Guinness, but any beer goes with it,” she said. While most Hall’s Beer Cheese fans are probably happy spreading it on crackers or inside sandwiches, Crase also likes to add it to her breakfast omelet filling, and she has an apple tart that she has made

with it. Hall’s Beer Cheese also melts beautifully over chili or a burger, Crase

said. “There’s no wrong way to do it,” she said. Hall’s Beer Cheese is offered in 8ounce, 24-ounce and 5-pound plastic tubs. Distribution is available nationally for wholesale, and the product has fans all over the U.S. who buy Hall’s Beer Cheese online through the company’s website. For more information, visit www.beercheese.com. GN



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Silver Fern Farms Launches into American Meat Market BY LORRIE BAUMANN

Silver Fern Farms is launching into the U.S. market with a range of grass-fed beef, lamb and venison products in exact-weight vacuum-sealed packaging, that provides the grocer with 20-25 days in the store’s meat case. Packages are clearly (and proudly) marked with the meats’ New Zealand origin, and early next year they will include a code that allows consumers to trace the product back to the farms where the animal was raised. “We have supply chain traceability all the way from the farm to the retailer customers,” said Matt Luxton, Director of Sales, USA for Silver Fern Farms. “There’s lots of companies in the U.S. that buy from everyone and put it into a retailer program. We pride ourselves in having that connection all the way through to the retailer.” Silver Fern Farms will be supporting the retail roll-out in the first quarter of 2020 with a social media campaign that targets the conscious consumer as well as marketing collateral to assist the retailer that includes recipe fliers, shelf strips and promotional posters. Promotions and sampling programs are also included. “We have to make sure we help the retailer sell the product,” Luxton said. “We’re telling them [through the social media campaign] the story about water reduction, plastic use reduction, environmental standards, animal

Toufayan Bakeries Continued from PAGE 1 they’d make at home. Once that first delicatessen owner was successfully ringing up sales of Harry’s pita breads, he started knocking on other doors, Karen said. “As he got bigger orders, he automated and moved the business to North Bergen, New Jersey, and expanded his retail customers to include pretty much everybody up and down the East Coast.” From there, the business just continued to grow, and in the early 1980s, Toufayan Bakeries expanded again through the purchase of a bakery in Orlando, Florida. Harry added breadsticks that had been the Florida bakery’s specialty to his product line and began including flatbreads and other pita breads. In 2000, the company moved out of its North Bergen bakery and into a larger facility in Ridgefield, New Jersey, where the company is now headquartered. “We operate out of 180,000 square feet,” Karen said. “The Orlando bakery has expanded many times over the years and is now a little over 200,000 square feet.” The company’s latest expansion is already under way and will enlarge the Ridgefield plant yet

welfare standards. We know we’re doing a good job there, and we like telling the story.” The meat inside the Silver Fern Farms packages comes from all over New Zealand, which assures that supply will be available year-round. “New Zealand has a very temperate climate, we have got the ability to have a year-round supply, as opposed to being under three feet of snow,” Luxton said. “If there’s a drought somewhere, 90 percent of the country isn’t having a drought.” Animals graze on grass year-round, and their harvest involves minimal stress for them because their pastures are close to the processing facility. “The maximum trucking time in New Zealand is about two hours,” Luxton said. Primal cuts are shipped from New Zealand to the U.S. with a shipping time that averages about 3.5 weeks. During that time, the meat is stored in optimal condition for aging, according to Luxton. “The eating quality at the end of that process is better than when it comes out of the plant,” Luxton said. Once the meat has arrived in North America, it’s cut and packaged in one of

three processing facilities in which Silver Fern Farms is a partner. “We believe that we’re at the top of the game with regards to food safety and product safety. We can get 112 days on our expiry on product coming

out of our plant. We’re able to ship it to the U.S., process it and still provide 25 days after processing in the U.S.,” Luxton said. Silver Fern Farms retail partners are already auditing the plants, and that audit data is also available to future retail partners, he said. Silver Fern Farms can also guarantee to retailers that their consumers will be getting a consistently great eating experience from the company’s meats, although the grading system that the company uses in New Zealand is a little different from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s grading.

“In essence, we grade similarly to what the U.S. does. It’s a little more mathematical,” Luxton said. He promises that the steak that consumers get when they buy a package of Silver Fern Farms meat will be no different from the steak that the retailer sampled when he was making the decision to carry the product in his case. “You lose grass-fed customers when they get a bad experience,” he said. “We want to hold onto all of those people who are trying grass-fed meats for the right reasons.” Retail packaging for the company’s products comes sleeved in a colorful design that includes the information that consumers want to know about the meat they’re buying. The country of origin is clearly marked on the front, as is the package weight, the cut, the number of pieces included inside and the number of servings it will provide. The back of the package has recipes and directions for cooking, and the clear instructions and clarity on cooking times will appeal to the consumer who might be more familiar with meal kit cooking than with planning a meal from scratch. A QR code also provides transparency about the farms where the animal was raised. “It’s giving them a clear picture of what we do,” Luxton said. For more information, email matt.luxton @silverfernfarms.com or visit www .silverfernfarms.com. GN

again. It is scheduled for completion this fall. The company has also acquired a cookie bakery in Plant City, Florida, where Toufayan makes cookies, gluten free cookies and its gluten-free Pita Chips as well as hamburger and hot dog rolls. To u f a y a n Bakeries was the first company to introduce a Gluten-Free Wrap to the market, and its Smart Pocket is a modern take on its traditional pita breads – it’s got a pocket like a pita, so it’s easy to stuff, but it’s square, so it’ll fit into a sandwich bag. Toufayan also makes bagels as well as flatbreads that predate even pita in the history of Middle Eastern yeast-risen wheat breads. Toufayan Naan breads are offered in Garlic and Plain flavors, and the company also offers a tra-

ditional Tandoori bread. “We’ve certainly mastered it when it comes to the different flatbreads,” Karen said. And, of course, the company still makes lots of different pita breads so essential to the cuisine of the homeland that Harry embraced, and the company’s wide range of products are distributed and merchandised in bakery and deli departments of supermarkets across the U.S. “We’ve always been classified as specialty,” Karen said. “We’re not sliced white bread – we’re pita bread.” These days, the company is being run from day-to-day by the third generation of the family, which includes Karen, the company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing; her brother Greg, who oversees the factories and day-to-day operations; and her sister Kristine, who manages the company’s business affairs. “I’m lucky enough to be thirdgeneration, and I’m even luckier to be working alongside my brother and sister,” Karen said. “Having our own roles is what makes us successful in working together. My mother and father were very strict, and they made sure that we all just got

along.” Karen’s father, Harry, is still very involved in the business, although he’s had to stay away from the bakery during the COVID-19 crisis. “We’ve been missing him terribly,” Karen said. “Thankfully, he’s safe and he’s healthy, so that’s what’s most important.” The company has continued to operate through the COVID-19 pandemic by incentivizing the employees of all three bakeries with a bonus and has matched that bonus with large donations to food banks in the communities where the bakeries are located. “It’s a way to thank the communities where our factories are. We thought it was the right thing to do,” Karen said. “We consider all of our team, all the people who work for us, our extended family.” “It was really important for us to stay open so that we could continue to supply our customers. This was very important to my brother,” she continued. “It was not easy, by any means. We had a lot of people who were afraid to come to work, but we instituted specific distancing procedures to ensure the safety of all our employees. I think we made certain that everyone felt comfortable coming to work. After all we can’t continue to do our jobs, if our own people don’t feel we’re focused on protecting them.” GN


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Naturally Healthy Company with a Mission for Compassion Continues to Innovate Specialty Teas Organic India is a company with a mission – to practice love and consciousness in action. It’s a mission that includes the company’s employees, its customers and the entire planet, according to Miguel Gil, the company’s Chief Executive Officer for a bit more than a year. “It’s not a woo-woo goal,” he said. “The principles that our founders had in mind 20 years ago still stand.” Those principles include the idea that businesses can serve purposes other than greed, he said. “You can do things the right way, deliver beneficial products, and grow as a profitable, healthy company that takes care of its people and the planet,” Gil said. “Everything we do reflects our commitment to be a living embodiment of love and consciousness in action – suppliers, customers, employees – everyone that’s in the chain. We are all respected, interconnected and part of the same community.” Organic India was founded by Israeli Bharat Mitra and American Bhavani Lev, who met during the 1990s while they were studying with the same spiritual teacher in India. Outside the ashram, they saw farmers who were being urged by multinational agriculture companies to abandon their traditional farming practices in favor of using pesticides and the seeds that had been genetically modified to withstand them. “The farming sector in India had always been an organic farming sector before these external influences appeared,” Gil said. “What

just stand by and watch this happen around them, and they started talking to farmers about returning to organic agriculture with a crop they believed in – tulsi, also known as holy basil. Since tulsi grows wild around Uttar Pradesh, where Organic India now operates a brand-new LEED-Platinum facility to process its teas and supplements, the farmers were at first incredulous, Gil said. “The farmers asked who was going to buy tulsi. ‘Nobody buys tulsi – you pick it in the garden.’ … There was a lot of skepticism.... Most Indian households have a tulsi plant at home. It’s been a part of the blessings that they regularly do. Turning tulsi into herbal tea and trying to sell it didn’t make sense to the farmers. In India, black tea or chai was the familiar drink, nobody drank herbal tea at the time.” Mitra and Lev kept talking to farmers until they found one farmer who was willing to entertain their idea. He brought along three of his neighbors. “They didn’t have much to lose,” Gil said. Within less than a year, the farmers who tried returning to their organic practices could see that the land was changing – it had started to renew itself. Lev and Mitra bought their tulsi crop and stockpiled it in warehouses while they waited out the three years it would take for the farmers to gain organic certification. More farmers joined the effort as they saw the return of native birds that had vanished when pesticide use had become widespread. “Bit by bit, they

had been organic farmland was being turned into monocultures that depleted the soil of its resources and decimated communities that had been dependent on agriculture. As a result, tens of thousands of farmers were committing suicide, sometimes by drinking the same pesticides they were being asked to use on their fields.” Mitra and Lev decided that they couldn’t

started to add more farmers, so that today Organic India has a direct relationship with more than 3,000 small family farms. Since the program started, we have never lost a farmer. It’s one of our proudest achievements,” Gil said. Organic India’s product range now includes a wide range of herbal supplements and tea and the company exports products


from India to more than 40 countries worldwide. Organic India maintains its U.S. headquarters in Boulder, Colorado, and the American market now accounts for about a third of its business. In the United States, Organic India offers about 20 SKUs of tulsi teas and another 25 SKUs of herbal supplements based on Ayurvedic principles

and made from herbs that are grown across India by farmers with whom the company has a direct relationship, Gil said. “We’re the only company that is 100 percent vertically integrated,” he said. “This allows us to offer a better deal to our farmers and maintain quality control from end to end. The entire product line is USDA-certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified,” he added. A certified B Corp since 2015, the company continues to practice love in action even as it has also adopted modern practices to conserve natural resources, Gil said. For instance, Organic India provides crop insurance to all of its farmers, so that if they lose a crop because there’s a drought or a flood, they don’t also lose their livelihood, he said. “We pay for the insurance and contract to purchase 100 percent of the crop yield,” he said. “We’re the only company I know of that does that.” The company also employs women, paying them wages equal to those paid to men. That was a hard pill for some to swallow in a socially conservative culture in which women simply were not entitled to equal rights in the workplace, and widows are frequently ostracized by the family they joined when they became married, Gil said. “We employ women and widows wherever possible, and now men and women work side by side as equals,” he said. “This was unheard of then and is still very uncommon.” In addition to employing women, the

company also sponsors healthcare for them, so that widows with no husbands to accompany them on visits to male doctors can still receive healthcare provided by female practitioners, Gil said. “Widows would otherwise be unable to see male doctors,” he said. “These are active services that we provide today.” Organic India recently cut the ribbon on its new LEED-Platinum factory in Uttar Pradesh. “LEED” stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a rating system that expresses how efficiently a building is designed and operated, and reaching platinum status requires that the facility score more than 80 points on a 100-point scale that assesses water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and sustainability. Organic India’s facility is the only LEED Platinum plant in India’s organic food manufacturing space, according to Gil. “LEED Platinum is a tall order in any country. To get platinum is really unbelievable,” he said. “We didn’t just scrape by – the team knocked it out of the park in their efforts to achieve this goal.” The company’s newest product for the American market is Psyllium Pre & Probiotic Fiber in Orange, Cinnamon Spice and Original varieties. The products were recently awarded New Hope Network’s NEXTY Award as a best new product supporting a healthy microbiome. Organic India Psyllium Pre & Probiotic Fiber nourishes beneficial gut bacteria with a blend of three Ayurvedic herbs and heat-stable probiotics. Adaptable to blending into smoothies and shakes, it’s gluten free, vegan, keto and Paleo-friendly, and the heat stability lends itself to gluten free and vegan baking. Organic India’s Psyllium Pre & Probiotic Fiber is packaged in 10-ounce resealable pouches that retail for $15.99. “We are demonstrating that a business can operate consciously without any unfair practices in pursuit of profit. You can operate as a conscious business and really walk the talk with operations and commercial practices, and still grow profitably and be price competitive. That is really at the center of everything we do,” Gil said. “You can do things the right way and prosper and grow and deliver amazing products.” For more information, visit www .organicindiausa.com. GN



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

Vegan Cheesy Sprinkle Adds Finishing Flavor BY LORRIE BAUMANN

Parma! offers a great option for vegans and others who have decided that their life should no longer include the ritual of shaking grated cheese from the green can over their plates of pasta but yet still want that extra little fillip that a topping of grated cheese provides. Parma! is a vegan parmesan from Sister River Foods that’s now offered in Original, Better Than Bacon, Chipotle Cayenne and Garlicky Green flavors. They’re all plantbased, gluten free and soy free as well as being free of GMOs. Kosher certified,

Parma! is also a complete protein. The products are the brainchild of Shannon Schnibbe, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sister River Foods. She started making Parma! about 20 years ago from raw nuts and seeds and nutritional yeast after she’d developed food allergies that convinced her that she needed to modify her own diet. Then in 2004, she wanted to start a business out of her home and decided that she’d start bottling the cheesy substitute that she’d been making for her own use. She set her house up with a certified com-

mercial kitchen, made new batches of her Parma! and started calling health food stores from a list that she found online. “At that time, about half of them just took it,” she said. “For the others I sent samples and started making a sell sheet.” Since then, she’s seen substantial growth every year – growth that has propelled her out of her home commercial kitchen into a 1,600-square-foot facility in southern Oregon. Parma! is currently sold in about 550 stores, with a major presence in both the mid-Atlantic region as well as the Pacific

Northwest. Distribution is national, mostly in the natural foods and specialty channels. Parma! is shelf-stable, although it merchandises best in the refrigerator case next to dairy or non-dairy cheese, Schnibbe said. “It’s really good on popcorn, pasta, steamed vegetables, soups and salads,” she added. “It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, so it travels well, although we do advise refrigerating it for extended storage at home.” For more information, email shannon@eatparma.com or visit www .eatparma.com. GN

Comfortable Choices in Plant-Based Proteins BY LORRIE BAUMANN

UNCUT is a line of plant-based meat alternatives from Before the Butcher that offers consumers familiar, but guilt-free, choices in their grocer’s freezer case. UNCUT is currently offered in four formats that mimic meat protein choices that consumers already know how to fit into their meal menus: the UNCUT Plant-Based Burger, the UNCUT Plant-Based Savory Chicken Burger, UNCUT Plant-based Roasted Turkey Burger and UNCUT PlantBased Breakfast Sausage. The company has previously introduced these four products for food service use and is now launching them in retail packaging. They’re all certified 100 percent plantbased and GMO free, and they’re high in protein from soy and gluten free. “We try to be as transparent as possible,” said Danny O’Malley, President and Founder of Before the Butcher. “The base of the products is non-GMO soy.... We make sure that

Dried Fruit Snacks Continued from PAGE 1 grew up past the years when his greatgrandmother’s strictures just made him all the more eager for the highly processed and individually packaged items his friends were bringing to school in their lunchboxes, he found that some of his greatgrandmother’s lessons had just been waiting for him to mature. And when he started thinking about traveling his own path to bring food to the people, he found himself thinking that, especially when it came to dried fruit, his great-grandmother’s ideas had something to them. As he thought about dried fruit, it occurred to him that it’s a sleepy category – over the past few decades, the companies that have been making dried fruit snacks have mostly been processing them pretty much the same way and with the same fruits to make prunes, raisins, dried apricots and dried figs. When there was change, that often meant adding more sugar. “It’s largely pumped full of sulfur dioxide,” Weiss said. “Oftentimes, it’s hit with added sugar, when it’s the last thing that fruit needs. When you

everything is visible all the way down to the micro-ingredients that are in our natural flavors.” “Comfort is everything,” he continued. “The description of how to cook is that you’re going to cook it like a burger but a little quicker. Comfort is a very, very big thing.” UNCUT is also unusually low in sodium, compared to other plant-based burgers. “We’re really proud,” O’Malley said. “If you look at the UNCUT Burger specifically, you’ll notice that we only have 260 mg of sodium... We have an incredible product, and we have at least 30 percent less sodium than the competitors of our burger.” The UNCUT products offer consumers a variety of choices in plant-based protein that’s not matched by competitors who have focused intensely on the burger. “It was getting close to feeling like the beefbased plant-burger market was getting saturated,” O’Malley said. “Consumers are interested in more.”

UNCUT is preparing to extend that variety with other products that Before the Butcher had intended to introduce to the market at this year’s Natural Products Expo West, which had been expected to occur in March before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The newest products also build on the company’s experience with products that had already been adopted by the foodservice industry and include UNCUT Ground, UNCUT Sausage Ground, UNCUT Italian Ground, UNCUT Taco Ground and UNCUT Breakfast Ground. Those products are due to start appearing in 14-ounce packages in grocers’ cases at the end of this month. “We’ve had a lot of interest there – some of it generated by the retailers themselves,” O’Malley said. “We were already in development, but we pushed forward much faster knowing that we had interest.... They’re ingredients based on comfort foods.... People go, ‘I know what that is.’ Even though it’s plant-based,

there’s a comfort there. While the UNCUT products are aimed at the consumer who doesn’t mind paying a premium price for a premium plant-based product, Before the Butcher also has its eyes on consumers who are more valueconscious but still interested in including plant-based products into their meal rotation with a product that O’Malley says will retail for a price that’s very comparable to the price of conventional ground beef. “It’s going to be competitive on a level like we’ve never seen before for plant-based meats,” O’Malley said. “My thought, and I always end these by saying that all of us working together will make a difference on this Earth, and the big thing to remember is the health of the planet. It affects our own health and the health of the other animals on the Earth. It starts there and works its way down.” For more information, visit www .btbfoods.com. GN

remove the moisture, you’re concentrating those natural sugars.” Weiss found himself thinking about the category the way his great-grandmother would have, he said. “When I took a fresh look at this category, I got really excited about bringing new edgier, cleaner attributes to a category from which those were missing,” he said. “As a way of paying homage to her, I started the business around the nutrient density in the part of the fruit that’s usually discarded.” The result of Weiss’ thinking about his own experience and his great-grandmother’s wisdom is RIND, a line of dried fruit snacks that currently comprises four SKUs – three fruit blends and a fourth product that’s all chewy slices of skin-on dried California kiwi. The packaging for all four varieties urges their consumers to “Keep it real. Eat the peel.” “The secret ingredient in our fruit snacks is not something we add, but rather something we don’t subtract – the peel!” Weiss said. “All that power is in the peel, and we’re trying to let the natural integrity of the fruit shine through.” In addition to Tangy Kiwi, the line includes Tropical Blend, a mixture of dried orange, pineapple and kiwi slices; Orchard

Blend, which has dried persimmon, apple and peach slices; and Straw-Peary Blend, which is a mixture of apple, Bosc pear and strawberry slices. “It sounds trite, but it’s nature’s candy – the ultimate portable snack,” Weiss said. The fruit slices are unprocessed other than being gently dried, the slices are chewy, and the flavors are bright and tangy. “I don’t want my kids to grow up addicted to a fruit gummy and think that’s fruit. I want them to have a whole slice of a blood orange or a kiwi,” Weiss said. “It should look like fruit. It’s bringing the fruit snack category back to its roots.” Because RIND is fruit, it contains all the natural sugars characteristic of fruits, but because those sugars haven’t been separated from the fruit’s fibers, the body tends to absorb the sugars more slowly, so although it’s not a keto snack, it’s also not candy. “It’s a much more satisfying snack that fills you up,” Weiss said. “The North Star for us is fiber. More than any other nutritional property, what you are really getting with the rind, by keeping the rind on, is significantly higher fiber content – up to three times.... It’s a single-ingredient, highfiber snack that fills you up.” This summer RIND will add a fifth variety to its lineup: Coco-Melon, a three-ingredient dried fruit blend that Weiss describes as “a taste of summer in a bag.” It’ll contain coconut, which is high in calcium and iron; watermelon with its inner rind still at-

tached; and cantaloupe, also still with its inner rind. “What we’re trying to showcase is bringing to market a snack in this category that is evocative of sweet summer fruits, but without any of the added sugar or sulfites that people associate with summer-flavored candies,” he said. “It’s more nutritious, with more vitamins and minerals because of the way we process it. There’s no dried watermelon currently on the market, and when you do find it, it’s sweetened with added sugar and treated like candy, which is the opposite of what we’re doing.” RIND is packaged in 3-ounce resealable pouches that retail for a suggested $5.99. Distribution is widely available along the East Coast, and national distribution is in process. With its long shelf life, it’s a product that’s well suited to an e-commerce strategy, as indicated by its success in RIND’s online store, where sales have seen a ten-fold increase since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Weiss said. “We’ve become a nation of snackers and grazers, which speaks to the interest in variety and newness and snacks for different occasions, and I think RIND fits well into that new normal,” Weiss said. “It’s a snack that doesn’t require a lot of education. This is not something totally new or novel – it’s a new twist on a snack food classic. We’re bringing it into a modern pantry.” For more information, visit www.rind.com. GN

Newest Flavor from Crispy Green

The Fresh Mozzarella You’ve Come to Trust, Sliced for Convenience

Principe Unveils New Snack Pack





JULY 2020












GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

New Products and Packaging Options from The Spice Lab The Spice Lab specializes in creating exclusive, custom blends offering numerous packaging options and low minimums. Whether sold under private label or brands of The Spice Lab, the company’s creative packaging designs offer maximum flexibility, from small bags and stand up pouches to glass jars, tins, plastic containers, gourmet gift sets and free-standing store displays. Products are processed and packed in its 75,000 square-foot SQF-certified facility in Pompano Beach, Florida, that includes a design department, research and development kitchen with full-time chefin-residence, business offices and a product showroom. With six production lines, the company can produce more than 25,000 units per day. The Spice Lab is also certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for packaging organic spices. The company recently introduced Air Fryer Seasoning Kits in five flavors. Each box includes a packet of seasoned rice flour and a packet of seasoned panko bread crumbs to achieve that perfect crunchy coating without the fat of frying in oil. Flavors include Buffalo Spicy Cauliflower, Herb and Garlic, Lemon Pepper, Buffalo Spicy Chicken and Sweet Honey Mustard. The Spice Lab’s small resealing pouches are available in an extensive selection of conventional or organic spices, award-winning seasoning blends, gourmet salts, peppercorns and all-natural sugars.

Measuring 4.5 by 6.75 inches, the bags hold up to two ounces and come punched for ease in hanging. Choose a full color label or imprinted bag, depending on quantities. Expanding on the popularity of its Everything + More bagel topping blend that includes chile flakes for a touch of heat along with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, onion, garlic and sea salt, The Spice Lab’s chef has created other flavorful blends. New options include the mildly spicy Jalapeño, the sweet dried Tomato or the mild onion Scallion. Like all The Spice Lab seasonings, these allaround blends are all natural and OU kosher and come in a choice of packaging options. As a woman-owned and family-run business, The Spice Lab takes great pride in being one of the world’s premier suppliers of sea salts and seasoning blends. Its extensive product line includes salts, award-winning seasonings and rubs, premium spices, peppercorns, natural sugars, loose teas, Himalayan salt shot glasses and plates, regional brands, private label and a wide array of corporate gifts. The company’s high quality brands can be found in grocery, gourmet, specialty gift shops, foodservice, club, major retailers and online through Amazon and www.spices.com.

The Spice Lab Inc. 954.275.4478, extension 108 www.spices.com

Mr. Lee’s Noodles Mr. Lee’s Noodles is making its launch into the American market this month. Four varieties offer freeze-dried proteins and vegetables, air-dried rice noodles and authentic Asian flavor. They include no palm oil and no hydrogenated fats. Depending on the variety, the protein component is comprised of generous chunks of 100 percent chicken breast, cubed beef and whole shrimps. Just add hot water to a cup of Coconut Chicken Curry, Hong

Kong Street-Style Beef, Tai Chi Chicken or Zen Garden Vegetable soup that’s ready to eat in three minutes. Whole Foods is the launch partner for this introduction.

Mr. Lee’s Noodles www.mrleesnoodles.com

J&M Foods Offers Organic Wafers and Cookies Food = love. That’s the straightforward equation that compelled Jamie Parham to enlist the help of her two daughters, Janis & Melanie and start J&M Foods in her kitchen 30 years ago. The foundation: obsess over simple ingredients with consistent quality across every batch. No cutting corners with colors, artificial flavors or trans fats, just baking the way Jamie’s grandmother taught her. Never ones to rest on their laurels, Janis & Melanie are constantly testing, tasting and tinkering with new recipes. Most recently, they’ve created a captivating line of organic wafers and cookies sure to gain attention from even the most discerning eaters. Janis & Melanie Organics keep it simple

and taste great. Made with simple ingredients like rich chocolates, caramel, sea salt, lemon, ginger and vanilla, Janis & Melanie have married indulgent and organic together into a line of simply great tasting wafers and cookies.

J&M Foods 800.264.2278 sales@jm-foods.com www.janis-melanie.com

From Portugal’s Iconic Fisheries to Your Store Discover Porthos from Conservas Portugal Norte, one of The French Farm’s bestselling lines of Sardines, imported directly from Portugal. For more than 100 years, Conservas Portugal Norte has perpetuated the tradition of canned fish that have been passed down from one generation to another. In 1912, the company’s first cannery opened in the little fishing village of Sesimbra in Portugal, ideally located on the Atlantic coast. From this little village cannery, the company grew to become a reference in terms of canned fish. A few years later, in the 1940s, Conservas Portugal Norte moved to another village, Matosinhos, where the business could benefit from a more modern and efficient facility. After renewing all of its infrastructures, the company was able to produce the best canned fish while maintaining its traditional quality. Since then, the factory remains at the same address and preserved its savoir-faire to offer its consumers the best product. Every day, fresh fish arrives at the facility to be processed according to traditional recipes. Only just 10 minutes away from the port, the short distance enables Conservas Portugal Norte to produce its vari-

ous preparations with the best ingredients. The result is products of quality, certified by the highest standards. Since introducing Conservas Portugal Norte a little over a year ago, the demand for these unique tinned sardines has seen a steady increase, gaining more momentum with each passing day. The tins have eyecatching shelf appeal, attracting buyers and customers with their original artwork and bright colors. Each flavor comes in a different-colored tin, and a variety of these tins on the shelf will be sure to draw the attention of any consumer. Even better yet, their uncompromising quality and flavor will draw customers back for more. The French Farm offers the Porthos line from Conservas Portugal Norte Tuna in Olive Oil and six flavors of Sardines: Tomato Sauce, Hot Tomato Sauce, Brine, Hot Vegetable Oil, Olive Oil and Spiced in Olive Oil. They all come packaged 24 in a case and will please every seafood lover. Looking for an original gift? Try the wooden gift box assortment of five of the best-seller’s flavors.

The French Farm 713.660.0577 www.thefrenchfarm.com

Meet the ENZO Olive Oil Family ENZO Olive Oil Company got its start 12 years ago, when father and son Patrick and Vincent Ricchiuti, representing the third and fourth generation of Ricchiuti Family Farms set out to diversify their agriculture business. Through industry research conducted by the University of California, Davis Olive Center, they discovered that 98 percent of all olive oil consumed in the United States was imported. Further studies revealed a high percentage of the imported olive oil on American supermarket shelves continually failed to meet the sensory criteria for being officially classified as “extra virgin” as defined by the International Olive Council (IOC) and European Union (EU) standards. That information prompted them to found ENZO Olive Oil Company as a way to provide American consumers with the finest olive oil. Today, ENZO’s operation is vertically integrated, meaning the entire growing, harvesting, milling, bottling, and shipping process is completed from start to finish on-site on the Ricchiuti family farm, producing one of the most premium organic oils available. The certified organic olive trees―planted in an optimal climate, similar to the Mediterranean region―are carefully nurtured year-round. Once harvested at prime conditions, the olives are transported immediately from grove to mill, where the crush begins. As a member of the California Olive Oil

Council and the American Olive Oil Producers Association, ENZO Olive Oil Company adheres to the most stringent standards in the world and shares in the organizations’ mission of promoting fresh, certified extra virgin olive oil. ENZO Olive Oil is also sanctioned organic by the United States Department of Agriculture, certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers, kosher certified by Kosher Supervision of America, as well as Non-GMO Project Verified. Since 2008, ENZO Olive Oil Company has further evolved with the launch of a line of organic balsamic vinegars that pair perfectly with ENZO organic olive oil. The company has also introduced artisanal pantry items such as handcrafted almond butter made with Ricchiuti Family Farms’ almonds and a line of pesto made with ENZO extra virgin olive oil. Lastly, the company’s limited release of ENZO Crush Extra Virgin Olive Oil has been another celebrated addition. This highly sought-after oil begins with 100 percent estate-grown olives, which are then milled with organic fresh clementines, organic Fresno chile peppers, or organic basil. The result is exceptional, unfiltered infused extra virgin olive oils that yield a natural essence and aroma.

ENZO Olive Oil Company 559.299.7278 www.enzooliveoil.com



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

Newest Flavor from Crispy Green

DeBrand Chocolate Art Boxes

Crispy Green provides 100 percent pure fruit as a grab-and-go snack that satisfies without sacrificing taste, while adding more fruit to the diet. Crispy Fruit freezedried fruit snacks are a natural choice for the growing snack demand. But not just any snacks—clean ingredient, no sugar added, non-GMO snacks that taste great; which continues to fuel the Crispy Green brand to expand on its successful line of grab-and-go Crispy Fruit snacks. This has led to the recent introduction of the newest flavor, All Strawberry. Crispy Green’s beautiful and functional case-stack shipper is an excellent turnkey solution for retailers seeking attractive, affordable solutions with virtually no assem-

One of the newest additions to DeBrand’s collection of Chocolate Art Boxes is Draped in Gold, a box that’s elegantly adorned in edible 24karat gold leaf and handcrafted in rich, dark chocolate. DeBrand’s collection of Chocolate Art Boxes also includes Flower Power, Polka Dot, Rose and White Seashell. For the ultimate gourmet experience, these incredible, edible pieces of art can be filled with an assortment of DeBrand’s popular Classic Collection or its Truffle Collection. Each box can hold approximately 12 Truffles or 23 Classic Collection pieces.

bly required. This display is now available to order, and with back-toschool time just around the corner, now is a great time to reserve yours. Just send an e-mail to sales@crispygreen.com for information on how to place your order.

Crispy Green Inc. www.crispygreen.com

Le Gruyère AOP Switzerland: Great Taste, Naturally Dating back to its origins over 900 years ago, when dairy farmers made cheese as a way to make their milk last through the winter, the appeal of Gruyère AOP has always been its great taste. Today, the creamy, nutty flavor of Gruyère AOP Classic, the bolder taste and crystalline texture of the more mature Reserve and the rich, floral flavor and aromatic scent of Gruyère d’Alpage AOP are what people love, remember and look for. This superior flavor can only be found in Gruyère AOP Switzerland, where it is hand-made in 170 small batches from a recipe that has been passed down for centuries. Its inimitable, savory flavor starts with the raw milk of cows that are sustained in local fields, and the maturation of the cheese is completed in local cellars and caves under strict supervision.

Gruyère AOP is naturally free of lactose and gluten. And, as opposed to those products that alter their recipe or ingredients to provide some of these health benefits, with Gruyère AOP that’s just the way it has always been, so there are no sacrifices made that would affect its unparalleled flavor. The AOP denomination (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) as well as the association of milk producers, cheese makers and refiners passionately protect this unique flavor and ensure that the cheese maintains consistency with its origin, multi-generational history and rich culture. The experience and know-how of these producers, combined with the terroir of its region, makes Gruyère AOP incomparable and impossible to replicate.

Le Gruyère www.gruyere.com

Stonewall Kitchen’s Holiday Gifts Built to Charm Specialty food maker Stonewall Kitchen hits all the right holiday notes with its packaging for this season’s gift offerings. Hand-drawn and painted by the company’s talented design team, the collection features gum drops and peppermint sticks, beautifully wrapped gifts, drums, jingling bells and other festive imagery set against a variety of backgrounds. The design has a light, fun feel built to charm customers of all ages, and it’s enhanced by a little extra glitter for sparkle and shine. With a wide variety of unique gifts to choose from, this year’s collection has something for everyone. The Bloody Mary gift is new this year and includes a classic Bloody Mary Mixer from Stonewall Kitchen along with savory cocktail garnishes like Pickled Crunchy Carrots from the company’s Tillen Farms brand. Another appealing option is the Italian Dinner gift, which features a perfectly seasoned Tra-

ditional Marinara Sauce and a tasty Classic Italian Dressing as well as an organic Penne Rigate from the Montebello brand. The Cheese Pairing gift includes savory jams and spreads and an assortment of high-quality crackers that are perfect for pairing with favorite charcuterie meats and cheeses. And customers can’t go wrong with the best-selling Sampler Collection, which contains a variety of classic products, from company mainstay Wild Maine Blueberry Jam to guest favorite Red Pepper Jelly to sweet and tangy Maine Maple Champagne Mustard. It’s a great gift option for recipients who are new to the company’s wide range of high-quality foods. With gifts ranging from sweet to savory and from simple to extravagant, there’s something for everyone among these beautifully packaged offerings.

Stonewall Kitchen www.stonewallkitchen.com

The Classic Collection includes timeless favorites such as luscious caramel variations, pure fruit creams bursting with wonintense derfully flavors as well as reinspired traditional selections such as Gourmet PBJ, Orange Cream and Strawberry Rhubarb Caramel. DeBrand’s Truffle Collection includes 12 Truffle variations. Each oversized piece is individually and artistically designed, and every silky, rich Truffle is a luxurious chocolate dessert.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates www.debrand.com

Cynara Brings First-Ever Artichoke Chyps Artichoke Chyps are Cynara’s own innovation in the market and the newest addition to its family of premium artichoke products. This award-winning, superfood snack is made from three ingredients: fresh artichokes, high-oleic sunflower oil and sea salt. The artichokes are carefully collected and selected by hand, thinly sliced, lightly fried and then packed to enjoy in a resealable, recyclable, gusseted bag. Suitable for all food tribes; they are

plant-based, high in fiber (10 g), naturally gluten free, non-GMO certified, have zero sugar, zero cholesterol and zero trans fat. They are also loaded with minerals, vitamins and protein. Chyps can add texture and a burst of artichoke flavor to salads or they can be used just like any other produce-based snack product.

Cynara Worldwide Sourcing Inc. www.cynara.net/us

Sweet Deal from Country Fresh Country Fresh Food & Confections, Inc. offers premium Country Fresh Fudge Mix starting at just $67.50 per case. Additionally, Country Fresh Fudge Mix contains 2.5 pounds more than the competition. If a retailer charges $16.00 per pound retail, the two extra pounds yields $32.00 in extra profit per case. It is like getting a 52 percent discount per case! Even though competitively priced, Country Fresh Fudge Mix is made with premium ingredients such as Belgian chocolate, Dutch cocoa, and sweet cream for making fudge that is silky smooth and

less sweet than others. Fudge made with Country Fresh Fudge Mix also has an excellent shelf life. Country Fresh Fudge Mix uses only RSPO-certified palm oil that is sustainable and non-hydrogenated. Country Fresh Fudge Mix works in all fudge kettles and is available in Plain, Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, and Penuche. Sugar-free, ketofriendly fudge mix is also available. Compare and save.

Country Fresh Food & Confections Inc. 800.545.8782 www.countryfreshfood.com

Hawaiian Host’s Pancoated Chocolate Collection Hawaiian Host’s line of pancoated chocolates takes its cue from the traditional style of chocolate-making known as panning: pancoating is the brand’s artisanal method of coating macadamias. In this fashion, chocolate is slowly poured over the dryroasted nuts in a tumbling coating pan, then layer by delicious layer, a multi-textured bite-sized indulgence is created. The flavor lineup includes Honey Milk Chocolate, Sea Salt Toffee, Toasted Coconut, Kona Coffee and the ever-popular

Matcha. The pancoated collection comes in 4-, 8- and 20-ounce bags.

Hawaiian Host 808.842.7312 mjacinto@hawaiianhostgroup.com www.hawaiianhost.com



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

The Fresh Mozzarella You’ve Come to Trust, Sliced for Convenience Lioni carries on its long celebrated tradition by offering exceptional fresh mozzarella cheese pre-sliced in a new easy-to-open package with a fresh new look. Delicate and smooth, Lioni Sliced Fresh Mozzarella is created the old-fashioned way, made with 100 percent whole cows milk and always made fresh-toorder. Sliced into 21 pieces, this deliciously creamy mozzarella is quick and easy to add to any classic sandwich or Caprese salad. Lioni’s Sliced Fresh Mozzarella is all natural, has no additives or preservatives and is rBST free. It is available as a vacuumsealed 1-pound log with 21 slices. It is packed as six 1-pound logs with a shelflife of 30 days from date of manufacture. The Salzarulo Family began its tradition in the Latticini business in the town of

Lioni, Italy, many decades ago. Bringing Old World Italian values and traditions to Brooklyn, New York, they transformed their small neighborhood family business into a nationally renowned manufacturer and distributor of fresh mozzarella products. Lioni utilizes modern technology and c o m p u t e r- m o n i t o re d equipment imported directly from Italy. A strict attention to detail goes into every step of production. Lioni supplies buyers with a full product line of fresh mozzarella, burrata and bufala products for both food service and retail demands across the United States. The company ships nationally each week in refrigerated trucks.

Lioni Latticini Inc. 908.686.6061 www.lionimozzarella.com

Principe Unveils New Snack Pack Principe’s new D.O.P. Prosciutto di Parma & Parmigiano Reggiano Snack Pack features a never-before-seen pairing of truly Italian cured meat and cheese. Sourced from select heritage breed pigs, Prosciutto di Parma is imported from the Emilia Romagna region of Italy known for its sweet, aromatic and dry mountain air. Complementing the prosciutto are bite-sized cubes of Parmigiano Reggiano made from pasteurized cow milk. The story of this sharply flavored cheese is closely entwined with that of prosciutto, as hogs that live near Italian creameries are fed the natural by-products of the cheese-making process. This snack pack meets the health requirements of today’s demanding consumer. It is high in protein, gluten-free, and ideal for keto or Paleo diets. The Principe D.O.P. Prosciutto di Parma & Parmigiano Reggiano Snack Pack is the perfect grab and go option to simultaneously satisfy dietary restrictions and serious savory cravings.

Great for entertaining, the snack pack’s Parma prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano pair perfectly with artisanal beer, fruit –– melon is recommended –– or Italian wine. This matching potential opens opportunities for cross-promotion with wine and beer products, and the Principe D.O.P. Prosciutto di Parma & Parmigiano Reggiano Snack Pack can also be merchandised in both deli and specialty sections of retail establishments. Conveniently designed with separate, clear compartments for the Parma Prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano, each Principe D.O.P. Prosciutto di Parma & Parmigiano Reggiano Snack Pack offers an easily accessible and delicious snacking experience. Aged 16 months, every snack pack includes two ounces of prosciutto and 1.5 ounces of cheese. Each case contains 12 snack packs weighing 3.5 ounces each. Expect the Duo D.O.P. Snack Pack to hit store shelves this July.

Principe Foods www.principe.us

Artichoke Delights from Cynara Cynara Worldwide Sourcing, Inc. has announced its first-to-market Artichoke Chyps. Cynara’s Artichoke Chyps are made from farm-picked artichokes, higholeic sunflower oil and sea salt. The chyps are a crispy, authentic, snacking delight. They are plant-based, high in fiber, naturally gluten free, certified non-GMO and have zero sugar. Cynara’s other new product, Artichoke Delights, is sustainably packaged premium-quality artichokes. The artichokes are hand-picked at their peak and packaged ready to eat in a variety of sizes and flavor options (in brine, marinated or

grilled). The trays are BPAfree and safe to freeze or microwave. The artichokes are tender to the bite and don’t contain any artificial ingredients. They come in a variety of sizes and preparations for all culinary needs.

Cynara Worldwide Sourcing Inc. www.cynara.net/us

Organic Herbal Teas from a World Leader Teekanne (meaning Tea Pot in German) is a family owned business since 1882. The company is the market leader within the herbal and fruit-infused tea category. Being number one in the world allows the company to continue to make trend-forward combinations that are both healthy and tasty. Teekanne is introducing to the U.S. a new range of organic teas. Teekanne’s new organic tea line packaging has a fresh, young and chic flair aimed to capture the attention of tea lovers. The new flavors offered are: Start Your Day (mate, spearmint and lemon peel), Calm & Relax (honeybush, lemon balm and hops), Sleep & Dream (lemon balm, peppermint, lavender blossom); Spritz Up your Life (ginger infusion

with turmeric), You’re My Berry (raspberry and cranberry) and Swinging Green (green tea with moringa and lemon). From leaf to pot, Teekanne sources its ingredients, blends at its own factory, tests for 100 percent purity and uses all ecofriendly packaging. The company is FSC certified as well as 100 percent organic. All the ingredients come exclusively where the teas, fruits and herbs naturally grow and thrive. Begin 2020 with a fresh new addition to your tea set that’s bound to please your customers and create excitement to your sets.

Gourmet International Ltd. 800.875.5557 www.gourmetint.com

Specialty Foods from P-R Farms The Ricchiuti family has long been known worldwide for their almonds and more recently, for their organic almonds under the P-R Farms, Inc. label. P-R Farms, Inc. is a grower, huller, packer and shipper in addition to being qualified in all export regulations. As members of the Almond Board of California, P-R Farms, Inc. abides by prescribed grower practices that are sustainable, economical and environmentally friendly. With a strong commitment to staying up-to-date with technological advancements, the family continually re-evaluates and upgrades equipment and production methodologies to ensure exceptional products, efficiency and food safety. In a quest to continue diversification while responding to consumer demands, the Ricchiuti family took on a new venture in 2008 drawing upon four generations of farming expertise in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley to craft 100 percent estate-grown organic extra virgin olive oil. The Ricchiuti’s ENZO Olive Oil Company remains steadfast in its pursuit to uphold the family’s 100-year tradition of excellence by planting every single tree,

harvesting the crop, milling the fruit, and bottling the oil under the direction and supervision of Patrick and Vincent Ricchiuti. Most recently, the Ricchiuti family took another step to expand their organic extra virgin olive oils with the addition of ENZO Organic Eureka Lemon Crush. Made up of 100 percent estate grown organic olives milled with fresh organic Eureka lemons, creating a natural citrus olive oil. The line of specialty items has also been extended to include organic balsamic, handcrafted pesto, jams and almond butter that features nuts and organic extra virgin olive oil from the Ricchiuti orchards and groves.

Ricchiuti Family Farms 559.299.7278 www.prfarms.com www.enzooliveoil.com

Annabelle Candy Company: Sweet Nostalgia This year marks the 70th anniversary for Annabelle Candy Company, which is home to legendary candy bars, including Abba-Zaba®, Rocky Road®, Big Hunk®, UNO® and Look!®. Annabelle is a third-generation family owned and operated candy manufacturer whose heritage candy bars deliver sweet nostalgia to longtime customers while unique flavor innovations attract new generations of candy lovers. Throughout the years, the original Rocky Road handmade marshmallow bar has expanded into a flavor family that includes Mint, Sea Salt and S’Mores flavors. Annabelle recently launched a scrumptious new S’Mores recipe that delivers a spot-on taste profile. Annabelle Candy Company President Victor Moreno described the new S’Mores recipe as being “even ‘S’Morsier’ thanks to a more prominent graham cracker layer and a burnt

sugar flavor that perfectly mimics campfire goodness.” The Abba-Zaba taffy brand will expand to include an ever-changing Mystery Flavor bar that will be available this summer. When pressed for details, Moreno added, “We’re excited to launch our famously stretchy taffy in an ever-changing flavor profile. While I can’t give away all the secrets, I can promise that it will be delicious.” Annabelle is also planning a digital marketing campaign and new merchandise collection to correspond with the launch of the Abba-Zaba Mystery Flavor bar.

Annabelle Candy Co. 510.783.2900 www.annabellecandy.com



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

Summer Grilling Cheeses from Champignon N.A. Champignon North America’s summer season selection of all natural specialty cheeses are made just for the grill. Rougette Bon•Fire cheeses are served hot, fresh off the grill and are perfect for sharing! The product line includes two types of cheese, both made with all-natural ingredients: a mild and creamy softripened cheese, which comes in two individually packed cheeses per unit; and a semi-soft cheese marinated in herbs, which comes in a convenient ready-to-grill pan. The cheeses can be prepared on charcoal, gas, and electric grills as well as on the stove top or in the oven. Both types of cheeses are unique and approachable in flavor profile and truly bring something special to the summer barbecue experience. They are also lactose free and gluten free and are free from preservatives, stabilizers and additives. Mild and creamy Grilling Cheese is a soft-ripened cheese made to be heated directly on the grill just like a burger. Unlike other soft ripened cheeses, the rind becomes crisp when heated and can withstand the heat without melting or sticking.

The cheese develops a char-grilled, crispy golden outside and a warm and creamy inside. Marinated Grilling Cheese is ready to grill and easy to serve. This savory semisoft cheese is pre-marinated in herbs and oil and comes in a convenient aluminum pan for easy preparation and grilling. The cheese softens when warmed and can be either warmed on both sides ready to dice into a salad or melted into a hot dip. These prep a c k a g e d cheeses are also great options for graband-go in the deli wall or cheese case and include recipe inspiration right on the package. They are easy to scan, pack and ship for grocery delivery services or e-commerce. Additionally, both grilling cheeses would be perfect in barbecue and vegetarian meal kits. Champignon is supporting the summer season with in-store displays as well as many communication activities on social media and various digital platforms.

Champignon North America 201.871.7211 www.champignon-usa.com

Italian Specialties from Paesana Along with an extensive line of gourmet sauces, Paesana offers premium condiments and specialty olives. Paesana Castelvetrano is a tender Sicilian pitted olive with a gently rich and buttery flavor that’s perfect on crostini, in a martini or a lemon chicken dish. Paesana Cerignola olives are enormous in size and flavor. The salty-sweet flavor pairs beautifully with salami and hard cheeses. Finally, Paesana Kalamata olives are snappy with a light, fruit flavor. Paesana Pickled Herb Cauliflower is a choice side dish adding spice to salads, a sour punch to antipasto or a touch of acidity to meats. For a kick of pungency to herbsoaked vegetables, Paesana Garlic Herb Cauliflower is a perfect addition to antipasto. Paesana Country Garlic Mushrooms, a blend of soft and supple mushrooms and finely chopped garlic, are ideal to elevate a recipe or to eat straight from the jar. The sweet and tart delicacy of Balsamic seeps into bite-sized mushrooms in Paesana Italian Balsamic Mushrooms. For the addition of a sweet and smoky char, Paesana Portobello Mushrooms & Roasted Peppers is the ideal condiment for sandwiches, as it elevates Italian cured

meats and sharp cheeses. Paesana Marinated Artichokes are a stellar addition to antipasto salad, crostini, dips or even pizza toppings. Packed with oil and herbs, they bestow the essence of an Italian garden. Paesana Sun Dried Tomatoes are packed in oil with a garden-fresh flavor to enhance salads with an intensely sweet and tart flavor. The company’s Roasted Red Peppers are must-have in antipasto spreads, add depth to sandwiches, enhance flavor of grilled chicken or sausage and are a salad’s tasty best friend. A small jar of capers goes a long way to add intensity to a long list of Italian favorites. Paesana Non Pareil Capers are sun-dried for peak flavor, and pickled in vinegar. They impart a unique tangy zest to Chicken Piccata or Spaghetti Puttanesca.

L&S Packing Company 631.845.1717 www.paesana.com

New Ramen Soup Cups from Lotus Food Lotus Foods Ramen Soup Cups are now launching with two classic flavors, Garlicky Veggie and Hot & Sour. These soup cups are made with organic rice noodles and a freeze-dried soup cube with gourmet spices and veggies like spinach, mushrooms, day lilies and bamboo shoots. They’re shelf-stable and delicious with vegetables that spring back to their full

size, flavor and aroma in boiling water. The soup cups retail for $2.99 and are available to ship now.

Lotus Foods 510.525.3137 ext.118 www.lotusfoods.com

DeBrand Fine Chocolate’s Classic Collection DeBrand’s Dark Raspberry Cream has been the most popular piece from its Classic Collection for three decades. It contains a pure, smooth raspberry cream and tart raspberry juice surrounded by dark (or milk) chocolate. Raspberry Creams are available in conveniently and tastefully packaged boxes of five, in bulk to be beautifully displayed in a case or as part of the coveted Classic Collection gift box assortment. DeBrand’s Classic Collection is offered in several varieties so that it can be the perfect size and price-point for any occasion. This is DeBrand Fine Chocolate’s best-selling gourmet chocolate collection and is the ideal gift for people who appreciate quality and tradition. Timeless fa-

vorites make up DeBrand’s most popular collection, inluscluding cious caramel variations, pure fruit creams bursting with wonderfully intense flavors as well as re-inspired traditional selections such as Gourmet PB&J, Toffee Crush and Orange Cream. DeBrand offers a variety of options from impressive chocolate gifts to impulse items.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates 260.969.8331 www.debrand.com

Setton Farms Grows Industry with Innovative Pistachio Line Setton Farms recently debuted a new line of Seasoned Pistachio Kernels. They’ve done the work for pistachio lovers everywhere by removing the shells, dry roasting (no oil!), and seasoning the kernels through an exclusive process that maintains a superior fresh-from-theorchard taste. Five varieties are currently available: Salt & Pepper, Garlic Onion, Chipotle BBQ, Chili Limón and Jalapeño. Since its launch, the line of Seasoned Kernels has been winning acclaim from consumers and buyers. The Garlic Onion Seasoned Kernels won first place in the buyers choice award at the California Food Expo. Additionally, this variety won the new product competition

award at Kosherfest. The entire line of Setton Farms Seasoned Pistachio Kernels contains no artificial ingredients, are certified gluten free, certified by the NonGMO Project, vegan and kosher. Retailers can display the 3ounce resealable bags in a preloaded floor shipper with minimal foot space or individual varieties within a tear-away display case on shelf.

Setton Farms 631.543.8090 www.settonfarms.com

Shelf-Stable Gnocchi from Nocca Nocca®, founded in 2018, has launched shelf-stable gnocchi into the American market. The gnocchi come in several flavors, including Truffle, Pesto and Original as well as Gluten Free and Whole Wheat varieties. The Truffle flavor is infused in truffles and porcini mushrooms; the Pesto flavor is made with basil and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. All varieties except the Pesto flavor are vegan. The potato-based Italian dumplings are packaged in 7-ounce bags that serve two people, and it’s ready two minutes after dropping into boiling

water, or the gnocchi can be heated directly in sauce for an Italian meal that’s ready for the table in less time than it takes to make pre-packaged dried noodles.

Nocca www.nocca.co

New Organic Crackers from RW Garcia RW Garcia, a family-owned national brand of better-for-you chips and crackers, released two new organic cracker varieties – Organic Kale and Organic Everything – offering clean eaters a new snack that aligns with their lifestyle, yet doesn’t sacrifice on great flavor and crunch. Organic Kale is made with stone ground white corn, kale, flaxseed, chia seed and black sesame seed. Organic Everything also features stone ground corn, plus poppy and sesame seeds, onion, garlic

and sea salt. Like all RW Garcia snacks, the new organic crackers are certified by the NonGMO Project, certified gluten free, cholesterol free, kosher and free of trans fats.

RW Garcia 408.287.4616 www.rwgarcia.com


JULY 2020










flavors ahead




GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

New Flavored Havartis from Buholzer Brothers Klondike Cheese Company’s Buholzer Brothers™ brand is crafted by Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers and includes six flavorful varieties of Muenster, Brick, Havarti, Dill Havarti as well as the recently added Jalapeño Havarti and a Horseradish Havarti, available in loaves and 6ounce retail chunks. These two new flavors round out the family of Buholzer Brother chunks that range from mild to spicy in your deli cheese case. Havarti is a great melting cheese with its creamy, rich buttery flavor, but a slight kick of jalapeños makes a fiesta for the tastebuds. You can bet the same for the Horseradish Havarti, which has a delightful aroma as soon as the package is opened. Both melt into a creamy sauce to pair with prime rib or steak or can be sliced for grilled

Holiday Spiced Cranberry Sauce Brightens the Season cheese, cubed for salads or served on a charcuterie platter. The secret to Klondike’s exceptional quality is the company’s combination of state-of-the art equipment, proprietary recipes and time-honored traditions of cheesemaking along with local cow’s milk and high quality ingredients. Klondike cheeses are made in the Wisconsin, the heart of dairyland, so your customers will know it’s the best.

Klondike Cheese Company www.buholzerbrothers.com

Rich and Decadent Truffles from DeBrand Deliciously indulgent Truffles from DeBrand Fine Chocolates are the perfect gift your customers have been looking for. Customers will not be able to resist the over-sized pieces in 12 varieties, each bursting with its own unique flavor. Each Truffle is individually and artistically designed, and every piece in this collection is a silky, rich and luxurious chocolate dessert. DeBrand Truffles boast a minimum shelf life of two months at room temperature, with no need for refrigeration or preparation by your staff. All varieties are guaranteed in stock and are available to ship within one to two business days. DeBrand makes it easy to offer a gour-

met chocolate experience year-round. These beautiful Truffles can be purchased in bulk to be showcased in a display case or are available in various gift box sizes. While the Truffle Collection is ideal for the ultimate chocolate lover, DeBrand also has a wide variety of chocolates ranging from impressive gift box collections to snack and impulse chocolates. DeBrand offers several varieties so that it can be the perfect size and price-point for any occasion.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates 260.969.8331 www.debrand.com

Fine Culinary Salt from the Swiss Alps Saline de Bex SA is a Swiss producer of fine culinary salts from the heart of the Swiss Alps. Legend has it that goats first discovered Sel des Alpes more than 500 years ago at a saltwater spring erupting in Bex, a stone’s throw from Lake Geneva. By 1554, the village of Bex had grown up there, in a region that’s well-known for the beauty of its terrain, colorful vineyards, clear water, favorable climate and its salt mine that still produces Sel des Alpes today. Here in the last active salt mine in Switzerland, salt is extracted from the Earth in a labyrinthine series of tunnels using excavation techniques that have continually evolved from the digging of the first gallery in 1684 to today’s boreholes technology. This salt is imported into the U.S. for the American market exclusively by Voyage Marché, headed by Adrian Rene Czahar, its President. “We have a very pure salt, preserved in the heart of the Swiss Alps,” he said. “Extracted with crystal-clear water from our mountains and produced with our own green energy, this salt has been made with the utmost thoughtfulness for more than 500 years.” Fleur des Alpes is Saline de Bex’s specialty salt, produced by hand in a small artisanal workshop within the Bex Salt

Mines. Preserved in rock for over 200 million years, Fleur des Alpes salt is rich in minerals and trace elements. “Intended for the fine gourmet, Fleur des Alpes is the natural finishing touch to reveal all the flavors in your dishes,” Czahar said. “For the grocer, there’s no finer way to differentiate your store as a destination for high-end consumers who care about their food and have the means and the will to elevate their cuisine by seasoning their dishes with a top-quality product that commands respect.” For those customers who value the super-premium, Voyage Marché offers Saline de Bex’s Larch Edition of Fleur des Alpes. This very special salt is an homage to larch wood. “Thanks to its unique qualities, this wood has always been used in salt mines,” Czahar said. “Today, our Fleur des Alpes is still slowly and carefully dried on larch wood. In its elegant jar topped with larch, Fleur des Alpes will adorn your table and reveal all the flavors of your dishes.”

Voyage Marché 305.361.0871 www.seldesalpes.ch

Specialty food maker Stonewall Kitchen offers a dose of cheer with its new Holiday Spiced Cranberry Sauce. Featuring the warming flavors of orange zest, spices and a splash of brandy, it’s perfect for serving alongside a cozy holiday meal such as turkey or a roast. Customers can perk up any leftovers by adding the sauce to sandwiches or keep the party going by including it as part of a cocktail-hour cheese plate. There are some creative options for making use of this tangy sauce, too. Warm it up to a smooth consistency and use it to sweeten a holiday cocktail or punch. Drizzle it over vanilla ice cream for a delicious dessert. Or spread it over a warm bagel with cream cheese for a festive breakfast treat. It also makes a thoughtful gift to show teachers, coworkers or friends how much they’ve been appreciated throughout the year. The new sauce is a great addition to the company’s existing line of holiday-themed

products, among them, its bestselling Holiday Jam and Holiday Made Syrup. with jolly ingredients like cranberry purée and orange liqueur, both the jam and the syrup bring a merry twist to brunch and dessert favorites. More savory than sweet, the Holiday Spiced Cranberry Sauce, too, hits all the right holiday notes. With a rich burgundy hue to match its bright, satisfying flavor, this tasty new sauce is an ideal complement to the holiday comforts of home. Whether given as a gift or used in customers’ own kitchens, it’s an excellent addition to Stonewall Kitchen’s seasonal collection of products.

Stonewall Kitchen www.stonewallkitchen.com

Pearl and Johnny: Level up Your Pickle Obsession Pearl and Johnny 10-Minute Pickle Kits take it to the next level, allowing home cooks to make their own flavor-packed pickles in just 10 minutes. The kits include a glass canning jar, seasoning packet, and simple directions. All the consumer will need is vinegar and vegetables. The company encourages consumers to compare its ingredients to pickles on the shelf. Pearl and Johnny has ingredients like organic dill weed, organic dill seed, organic garlic and organic pepper flakes. Other available flavors include Fire & Spice,

Jalapeño Horseradish and Sweet Dreams, which is a lavender-infused sweet pickle. Four-pack refills are also available. The product retails from $5.95 to $6.95.

Pearl & Johnny 888.427.3235 windandwillow.com

Real Farmers, Real Mint Seely Family Farms’ Peppermint Patties are handmade right on the family’s fourth-generation mint farm. Real heirloom Black Mitcham peppermint oil is coupled with 70 percent fair trade European dark chocolate that makes for the best mint patty ever. The Seely Mint Patties are certified by the Non-GMO Project and are individually wrapped and perfect for the point of sale at the cash registers as well as the grocer’s shelf. Seely Mint

Patties are the only clear packaged mint, so that the customers can see the handmade quality.

Seely Family Farms 503.369.4350 www.seelymint.com

Skipjack and Petite Tonno Wild Tuna in Glass Jars Wild Planet Foods has expanded its line of ultra-premium wild tuna with the release of its new Skipjack Wild Tuna in Pure Olive Oil and Petite Tonno Wild Tuna in Pure Olive Oil. They’re hand-packed in pure olive oil, with 170 calories per 3-ounce serving for the Petite Tonno and 200 calories per 3-ounce serving for the Skipjack. Both are gluten free and certified by the Non-GMO Project. The Skipjack Wild Tuna is sustainably pole and line caught near Cape Verde, and

the Petite Tonno Wild Tuna is sourced in the same region by purse seine fishing vessels that do not use FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices). Both products are available in 6.7-ounce glass jars with 1.5 servings per jar (drained). Each has a suggested retail price of $6.99.

Wild Planet Foods www.wildplanetfoods.com


GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

World Champion Bone Suckin’ Mustard

Snackable Cheese Bites from Wisconsin

Bone Suckin’ Mustard is fantastic on ham biscuits, grilled cheese and hot dogs! Mix with cream cheese and diced onions for a bagel spread. It’s packed 12 12-ounce jars to the case. Bone Suckin’ Mustard is non-GMO, gluten free and contains no high-fructose corn syrup. It’s kosher and pareve, and it’s available now.

Just the Cheese® is 100 percent Wisconsin cheese baked into bars and mini bites. They are naturally low in carbs, gluten-free and only 75 calories per bar. While most “cheese crisps” are air-dried, Just the Cheese is oven baked, caramelizing the cheese which results in a cheesier flavor and crunchier texture. Perfect for a portable snack on the go, which all ages will love. Just the Cheese is available as bars and as mini bites. The bars are available in Aged Cheddar, Grilled Cheese, Jalapeno Cheese and Mild Cheddar fla-

Ford’s Gourmet Foods 919.833.7647 www.bonesuckin.com

Jake’s Nut Roasters Seasoned Almonds Jake’s Nut Roasters is a creative line of specialty almond snacks with distinctively bold and creative flavors, which include Bleu Cheese Cracked Pepper, Bloody Mary, Mesquite Smoked, Hatch Chile, Maple, and Barbecue. These almonds showcase the company’s vertical integration and commitment to sustainable growing practices as well as providing an unparalleled snacking experience that makes eating this healthy snack both fun and satisfying. Produced in a dedicated peanut-free facility, these premium California almonds are dry roasted and seasoned in small


vors. Just the Cheese Minis are available in White Cheddar, Grilled Cheese, Jalapeno Cheese and Garlic & Chive flavors as well as Wisconsin Cheddar flavor, which was a first-place winner at the 2020 World Championship Cheese Contest.

Just the Cheese 800.367.1711

Elmhurst Intros Capitalize on Oat Milk Boom batches to deliver exceptional q u a l i t y. Jake’s 7ounce can has a cool, classic appearance that looks great on store shelves, kitchen counters or table centerpieces.

Jake’s Nut Roasters 800.255.1641 www.jasperspecialtyfoods.com www.jakesnutroasters.com

Elmhurst’s new single-serve line condenses all the whole-grain nutritional wonder of oat milk into an 11-ounce carton. Besides original, there are kid-pleasing blueberry, chocolate and vanilla varieties. None exceed 6 grams of sugar. Chocolate oat milk is also offered in a 32ounce carton. Each serving offers a full serving of whole grain and just 4 grams of sugar in six simple ingredients. Elmhurst is also launching a new line of oat creamers to join its hemp creamer. The oat creamers are available in Unsweet-

ened, Hazelnut, French Vanilla and Chai Spice flavors, each with no more than 1 gram of sugar and 15 calories per serving. Elmhurst’s Oat Lattes are offered in four varieties: Cacao, Flash Brew, turmeric-infused Golden Milk and a Matcha Latte. Each carries 28 grams of whole grain (over half the daily value) and 550 milligrams omega-3 ALA.

Elmhurst Milked LLC www.elmhurst1925.com



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

Löwensenf Honey Mustard

Amazing Meals

Coming to the U.S. this July is an exciting new addition to the Löwensenf (German for Lion’s Mustard) family of quality mustards: Löwensenf Honey Mustard. This combines the extraordinary Löwensenf Extra Hot Mustard with high-quality honey, caramel sugar syrup, citrus fiber, turmeric and spices for some heat and some sweetness all in one amazing taste. This smooth mustard is ideal with cheese, fish and poultry. Löwensenf Honey Mustard is also a great ingredient for making salad dressings. They are Ideal mustards to cook with, whether for sautéing, barbecuing or roasting meats. The line includes Löwensenf Extra Hot; Whole Grain and Bavarian Style Mustards. These all natural, GMO-free mustards are ideal to create some excitement in your condiment/mustard section. Stack

Amazing Meals are shelf-stable meals that are as tasty as they are convenient, and they’re perfect for emergencies. Requiring no refrigeration, they heat quickly in any microwave oven or even boiling water. They’re ideal to have on hand for power outages, food shortages, natural disasters

the Extra Hot and new Honey Mustard on top of your deli section and watch those sales increase. Conveniently packed six to the case allows for multiple SKUs with single facings on your shelf. Löwensenf originated in 1920 and is produced in Dusseldorf, Germany. The iconic label and lid have been beloved for 100 years.

Gourmet International Ltd. 800.875.5557 www.gourmetint.com

Fromagerie Henri Hutin Gains VLOG Non-GMO Status Fromagerie Henri Hutin’s exceptional Belletoile triple crème brie is the perfect complement for any special occasion - from big celebrations to intimate tastings. Belletoile was first produced in 1960 by Fromagerie Henri Hutin, master cheese makers from the Lorraine region of France. It quickly rose to global acclaim when it became the first triple crème brie exported to the United States of America. Belletoile is recognized for its wonderful creamy and mellow mouth feel and elegant complexity - attributable to a century of cheesemaking know-how and indulgent amounts of cream added in the pre-production process. Because of the rind that protects the cheese while it ripens, Belletoile can be enjoyed for weeks after opening as it softens and ages. Its secret recipe includes living cheese cultures, so different flavor profiles gain prominence as the cheese matures, starting out fresh and mild but turning creamier and aromatic in taste as the cheese continues to age. Ingredients are simple: pasteurized cow milk, cream, salt, cultures, ripening molds and animal rennet. All Belletoile cheese is produced with premium milk from cows in the Lorraine Valley region in northeastern France, which is known for its agriculture and farmland. Notably, Fromagerie Henri Hutin has become the first French Brie manufacturer to be certified VLOG non-GMO for its Brie Couronne and Belletoile brands, paving the way for a new era of non-GMO cheese production. As of January of 2018, Henri Hutin cheeses officially met the VLOG 16.01, a GMO-free production and testing standard developed in Germany and recognized by several European countries.

This distinction is important as the American consumer has become more aware of the value of choosing non-GMO products. In addition to being non-GMO, Henri Hutin’s Belletoile is particularly special because of the heterogeneous texture that is created by ripening the cheese in the same way as raw milk Brie ripens, from the outside to the center, creating a cheese with a softer core. The ultra-filtered grade A milk is analyzed by a computer-controlled system that can maintain a consistent fat level throughout the year, ensuring a consistently rich and smooth flavor that pleases the palate. This commitment to quality and consistency through technology supports Henri Hutin’s rich traditions. Many of the same techniques that were used almost 100 years ago continue to be practiced today, but with modern equipment. Belletoile holds onto its tradition of artisanal craftsmanship in order to bring a flavor that is as sophisticated as its origins. Belletoile is available in Classic Round, Petit Round, and Creamy Wedges and Creamy Slices. Henri Hutin is committed to reinforcing the Belletoile brand in the United States, and to continue to meet wholesale and retail customer demands for high-quality, healthy offerings, and Belletoile Triple Crème Brie will be supported year-round. Henri Hutin has been a member of the Hochland family since 1978.

Fromagerie Henri Hutin www.belletoile.us

Pasilla Chili Pork Rinds from Southern Recipe Small Batch Southern Recipe Small Batch’s new Pasilla Chili Cheese pork rinds deliver the rich taste of Pasilla chiles paired with the indulgent and comforting flavor of chili cheese. Keto-friendly, low carb, high protein and low sugar, new Pasilla Chili Cheese pork rinds are ele-

and even a pandemic. They contain no artificial preservatives, are glatt kosher and have a shelf life longer than two years. Available in more than a dozen flavors, and vegetarian options are available.

Mann Sales Co. – Alle Processing 718.894.2000 www.alleprocessing.com

Pickle Juice Products Power Through Muscle Cramps Pickle Juice Sport and Extra Strength Pickle Juice Shots, from The Pickle Juice Company, are designed to relieve muscle cramps almost instantly. Scientifically proven, used by athletes all over the world at all levels of sports, it’s not just for elite sports people. It is also used by people who suffer from nighttime leg cramps or those who are looking for a certified organic, sugar-free sports drink. “Our customformulated products have nothing to do with the pickle brine in a jar,” said Filip Keuppens, The Pickle Juice Company’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “They’re custom-developed, tested and proven solutions to very common problems and function better than any other available remedy.” Pickle Juice is the only scientifically proven solution to the problem of debilitating muscle cramps, but the company isn’t stopping there – several products are in the post-development pipeline, Keuppens said. No release dates for the new products have yet been announced, but word is that the next year will bring the release of a few of these. “The Pickle Juice Company develops innovative products that take the concept of ‘functional’ from the physiological to the neurological level,” Keuppens said. “We also pride ourselves in being socially responsible, working with approximately 400 non-profit charity events a year, using only locally sourced ingredients and component parts, and we are actively working to help bridge the gender pay gap in sports.”

Sel des Alpes from Voyage Marché

vating the perception of the humble pork rind.

Legend has it that goats first discovered Sel des Alpes in a saltwater spring more than 500 years ago. Ever since, Switzerland’s last working salt mine has produced one of the purest salts in the world. Suitable for all salt needs.

Rudolph Foods 419.648.3611 www.rudolphfoods.com

Voyage Marché 305.361.0871 www.seldesalpes.ch

The company is also opening a new manufacturing facility that will allow The Pickle Juice Company, founded in 2001, to expand its business by copacking products for other companies. The company practices responsible manufacturing that protects the environment, including through and recycling reuse of materials. The expanded capacity that comes along with the new plant will also allow The Pickle Juice Company to extend the reach of its own products, which will appeal to consumers who suffer from muscle cramps, whether they’re induced by exercise or the garden-variety night-time cramps or, indeed, for anyone looking for a healthier alternative to sugary sports drinks. Pickle Juice Sport contains 10 times the electrolytes of many of those other sports drinks, providing athletes at all levels with the edge they need to succeed in their sport. Pickle Juice Sport is packaged in 8ounce and 16-ounce bottles. It contains no caffeine, no artificial colors or flavors and no sugar. Extra Strength Pickle Juice Shots are 2.5-ounce shots that offer concentrated electrolytes in a shot that contains 15 times the electrolytes of most other sports drinks. It’s also sugar free, caffeine free and certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Pickle Juice Company 972.755.0289 www.picklepower.com



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com

Hot Products Limited-Edition DRY Summer Celebration

DRY Soda Company, creator of a beautifully-flavored, lightly-sweet line of non-alcoholic beverages, has debuted its limited-edition 2020 Summer Celebration bottles in Pineapple and Watermelon. With beautiful summer-inspired packaging, these 750-mL shareable Celebration bottles are fresh zero-proof substitutes for rosé or sugary mixed drinks, providing refreshing summertime sips without the alcohol. The beverages are free of GMOs, sodium, caffeine and gluten and are OU kosher, with only 45 to 70 calories per 12-ounce serving and about half the sugar and calories of sodas and juices. Suggested retail price is $5.99. DRY Soda Company www.drinkdry.com

New HERDEZ Salsa Cremosa Line ®

The makers of HERDEZ brand salsa have launched its Salsa Cremosa line. The new collection of creamy salsas helps home cooks and salsa enthusiasts to experience the essence of authentic Mexican cuisine and transform everyday meals into delicious, social media-worthy dishes. The Salsa Cremosa line features three varieties. HERDEZ Cilantro Lime Salsa Cremos offers a combination of tangy tomatillos, fresh cilantro, lime zest with garlic and jalapeño that will transform fish tacos, grilled chicken or pasta salad. HERDEZ Chipotle Salsa Cremosa is a creamy take on the popular smoky, spicy flavor of chipotle that’s the perfect complement to chicken, pork or seafood. HERDEZ Roasted Poblano Salsa Cremosa has perfectly balanced flavors of roasted poblano peppers, garlic and cilantro. The new line is available in select grocery stores nationwide for a suggested retail price range of $2.38-$3.49.

MegaMex Foods www.herdeztraditions.com

Reduced Sugar Oat Beverage from Pacific Foods

Consumers looking to avoid dairy and minimize their sugar intake will enjoy the silky texture and mild flavor of Pacific Foods’ new Organic Reduced Sugar Oat Original Plant-Based Beverage. This latest variety boasts the same deliciously creamy consistency as Pacific’s Organic Original and Vanilla Oat flavors with 80 percent less sugar – only 3 grams of sugar per serving derived from the natural sweetness of oats. A plant-based beverage innovator, Pacific Foods debuted its first oat-based dairyfree beverage in 1996, and today offers the widest selection of plant-based beverages on the market. With nearly 30 varieties in all including almond, cashew, hazelnut, hemp, coconut and soy, Pacific is eager to give loyal fans of its existing oat beverage line the new lower sugar option they crave. Pacific Foods’ new Organic Reduced Sugar Oat Original Plant-Based Beverage is rolling out to natural food stores and conventional grocers across the country beginning this summer for a suggested retail price of $2.99-$3.99 per 32-ounce carton.

Chloe’s Offers New Plant-Based Frozen Treat

Chloe’s Oatmilk Pops are a deeper dive into decadence for a company best known for healthier frozen desserts that parents can feel good about giving to their children. The pops are a fresh and unique new way to enjoy the rich, smooth texture of oat milk in a oneof-a-kind treat that’s indulgent and satisfying. Chloe’s Oatmilk Pops are perfect for clean label seekers who still want a treat, as all three varieties are dairy free, plantbased, certified non-GMO, gluten free and made without the artificial ingredients found in many frozen novelties. Available now, Chloe’s Oatmilk Pops retail for $4.99 to $5.99. Chloe’s www.chloesfruit.com

Diestel Sous-Vide Turkey Meatloaf

Diestel’s Sous-Vide Turkey Meatloaf is super juicy and tender, delectably flavorful, and beautifully lean and clean. Available in traditional and Florentine flavors, the fully-cooked turkey meatloaf is made from butcher-quality, whole-muscle cuts to deliver authentic turkey flavor and premium texture with every bite. The sous-vide cooking method ensures a moist and tasty loaf every time, all while making it super simple to get dinner on the table in 30 minutes. Pre-formed and presauced, it’s ready to serve after simply re-heating it with a quick boil on the stove-top or warming it in the oven or microwave. Crafted with care from thoughtfully raised, slow-grown, vegetarian-fed turkeys, the delicious meatloaves are completely free of antibiotics, carrageenan, and MSG. Diestel’s Sous-Vide Meatloaves are available for retailers nationwide to carry. The product is sold frozen for a suggested retail price of $8.99 per 16-ounce package that serves two to three people. DiestelFamilyRanch 888.4.Gobble www.diestelfamilyranch.com

Sweet Black Garlic Miso Mayo

Slow, low heat for up to 90 days produces garlic cloves that are exotic black in color with a uniquely sweet, caramelized flavor and that are rich in antioxidants for Sweet Black Garlic Miso Mayo, which won a Good Food Award this year in the pantry category. Subtly sweet and savory, Sweet Black Garlic Miso Mayo is a premium condiment made with artisanal black garlic, and the newest addition to the So Good Food line of plant-based, vegan and Non-GMO Project verified condiments. All Miso Mayo is Non-GMO Project verified and has been made in small batches since 1990, when So Good Food Owner Janet Smith and her So Good gourmet food truck first served the vegan condiments in Los Angeles. So Good Food www.misomayo.com

Pacific Foods www.pacificfoods.com

New Fermented Krauts from Wildbrine

Wildbrine, a producer of naturally fermented, plant-based krauts, kimchis, srirachas and salsas, recently launched two new flavors of sauerkraut, Organic Jalapeño Lime and Organic Caraway Apple, as well as a new kimchi, Mild Kimchi with Turmeric. Jalapeño Lime Organic Kraut is tart with just a hint of heat and quite versatile with food. Caraway Apple Organic Sauerkraut is a wild twist on a classic recipe; the sweetness of the apples lightens up the sour in the sauerkraut. Mild Kimchi with Turmeric is a Korean-style white kimchi without spicy peppers to color it red. This kimchi is actually yellow, due to the addition of turmeric. Wildbrine 707.657.7607 www.wildbrine.com

Clean Beverage Highlights Watermelon Juice

Wonder Melon™ is made from 100 percent organic cold-pressed watermelon juice with no sugar, artificial ingredients or artificial colorings. This surprising newcomer to the beverage aisle contains a bounty of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and it’s excellent for hydration. It comes in two exciting varieties. Watermelon Cucumber Basil is a delightfully crisp concoction of real watermelon juice, lemon juice, apple juice, cucumber juice and basil, with only 80 calories per 8.45-ounce bottle. Watermelon Lemon Cayenne wakes up the taste buds with real watermelon juice, lemon juice, apple juice, and a dash of cayenne at just 100 calories per 8.45-ounce bottle. Both varieties are packaged in glass bottles, and they’re non-GMO verified, certified fair trade, organic and kosher (parve). Packaged six bottles per case to retail for a suggested $3.99 per bottle. KAYCO 718.369.4600 www.kayco.com



GOURMET NEWS JULY 2020 www.gourmetnews.com



Alle Processing Corp.



PHONE 718.894.2000

Safety Precautions to Guard Delayed Las Vegas, Atlanta Markets BY LORRIE BAUMANN

International Market Centers has announced that the Las Vegas and Atlanta Markets originally scheduled to occur this July will be postponed — but only into August. Atlanta Market will now be held August 13 – 18, and Las Vegas Market will now be held August 30 – September 3, which overlaps with the National Hardware Show, which is now scheduled for September 1-3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The decision follows a survey of buyers and vendors who have attended its shows in years past, more than 180,000 retailers and designers and nearly 6,000 manufacturers and sales agencies across the gift, home furnishings and apparel industries. The survey found that retailers will need to purchase new inventory within weeks after re-opening their stores, with half saying that they’ll need new inventory within three or four weeks of re-opening and more than three quarters saying that they’ll need new inventory within nine or 10 weeks of re-opening. “There isn’t a glut of inventory. Many retailers canceled orders. You have people with inventory but no pipeline for future inventory,” said Bob Maricich, IMC’s Chief Executive Officer. “There’s no question that as people’s business ramps up, they’ll need to reorder relatively quickly.” Buyers who responded to the survey said that they’re generally in favor of doing their buying in person at a market, although they do have concerns about safety that IMC is addressing in its plans to open the markets. “We will spare no expense. It’s going to extend to ensuring that our part-



Busha Browne




Be BOLD Bars




Champignon North America Inc. 33



Country Fresh Food & Confections 23



Crispy Green Inc.



Cynara Artichokes USA



DeBrand Fine Chocolates




Enzo Olive Oil Company







Fall River Wild Rice




Gourmet International




Henri Hutin – Hochland



Hot Ruby




Howard Products Inc.




Le Gruyer



Lioni Latticini Mozzarella Co.




Paesana Products




Principe Foods Inc.




Seely Family Farm Inc.




Stonewall Kitchen

34, 44 www.stonewallkitchen.com


The French Farm




The Spice Lab




Tea Towels

Voyage-Marché Inc.




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Wild Forest Products




The Jacquard weave means that those designs are woven into the tea towels rather than printed onto them. The technique was invented in 1804 by Joseph Marie Jacquard, who fitted a loom with a device controlled by a chain of punch cards that directed the process of lifting individual warp threads as the weft threads were woven to create the design in the fabric. The idea to control a sequence of operations through punched cards prefigured the use of punched Hollerith cards to control the operations of data processing computers. In the early 1990s, “the three best-selling kitchen towel colors were blue, blue and blue – it was a standard joke with everyone,” Althoff said. “Now it’s all over the map – still blues, but also brights and more subdued colorways.” Now, Mierco’s best seller is its Jacquard-woven Bee towel, which is available in three designs, each in a golden yellow that’s neutral enough to complement most kitchen décor. “Everybody has a soft

A Special Advertising Section



Ariston Specialties

An authentic Jamaican blend of herbs and spices creates the legendary hot marinade. The tradition of jerking meat is a unique Jamaican experience.

Distributed in the USA by Source Atlantique 888.470.0626 www.sourceatlantique.com

ners in conducting a market are complying too,” Maricich said. “It’s shared pain for all of us. Retailers have lost money over this. There’s a new normal coming out of all this, but between now and then there’s a new abnormal…. There’s going to be a considerable cost, but if we didn’t do this, we might as well not have a market.” IMC’s COVID-19 response and remediation task force is developing thorough and detailed protocols for market production designed to ensure the health and safety of all those attending market. All back-tobusiness operating plans are being vetted to verify efficacy and identify best practices by Dr. Carlos del Rio, the Chair of the Department of Global Health and Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health; and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine. Safety procedures are expected to include: the required use of personal protective equipment (PPE), temperature monitoring, social distancing, occupancy control, hand sanitizing/ cleansing and significantly enhanced housekeeping protocols for cleaning and disinfecting market facilities. IMC is also collaborating with hotels and food and beverage partners to confirm and communicate special protocols; planning new pre-registration requirements to enable contactless market entry; and preparing for arrival and departure strategies to facilitate social distancing. Comprehensive details around onsite health and safety protocols will be promoted in advance of each market and will be updated regularly at www .togethersafely.com. GN spot in their heart for the bees,” Althoff said. The Bee towels are 26-inch squares, 100 percent cotton and made in Portugal. Like most of the other tea towels in Mierco’s product line, they typically retail for $17.50 to $20. New designs for this summer include light blue and lavender Jacquard-woven tea towels featuring floral designs of lavender, tulips and irises. These towels are rectangular, measuring 20 inches by 28 inches. Like the Bees, they’re 100 percent cotton and made in Portugal. They merchandise best when they’re merhandised separately from other household linens, according to Althoff: “Roll them up, wrap around a pretty ribbon and put them in a basket on your counter,” she said. “They make a perfect hostess gift or add-on.” “We offer beautiful colorways in designs for gourmet food, wine shops and tasting rooms, lavender shops, kitchen and hardware, European shops and museum shops,” she added. “Our colorways cover the spectrum.” For more information about Mierco and about fine European linens in general, visit www.mierco.com. GN

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