Creating a brownie empire is no easy feat, but Sheila G. Mains, CEO and Founder of Brownie Brittle, LLC, has taken her celebrated brownie products from door-to-door to a multimillion-dollar brand. Her hard-won success hasn’t gone unnoticed.
The South Florida Business Journal has just announced that Sheila G (as she’s known in the food industry) will be honored at its 2014 Palm Beach Ultimate CEO Awards. The awards recognize the top 10 business leaders of Palm Beach County for their achievements, vision, and dedication to excellence. Sheila G and other nominees will be honored alongside top executives from Broward and Miami- Dade counties on October 23 at an awards ceremony held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood.
In the early ’90s, after losing her executive position with an industrial advertising agency, Sheila G refused to be another Friday afternoon casualty and embarked on her “Plan B for brownies.” After selling small batches of brownies to local stores, her notoriety as a brownie maven spread, and Walt Disney World’s parks and resorts began featuring Sheila G’s signature brownies.
Nibbling the rich chocolate drippings from the sides of the sheet pans while her brownies were cooling inspired Sheila G to come up with a recipe that would bring the “best part of the brownie” to market. The result: Brownie Brittle, a thin, crispy chocolate snack made from natural ingredients. In 2012, Sheila G partnered with Jerry Bello, founder and CEO of Keen Marketing, and in just 18 months, took Brownie Brittle from $500,000 in sales to over $38 million.
Sheila G has crafted specialty desserts featuring Brownie Brittle for Hollywood’s star-studded elite at The Weinstein Company’s Golden Globe Awards After-Parties in 2013 and 2014, and its 2013 Oscar Party. Brownie Brittle also received Fitness magazine’s 2013 Healthy Food Award, Self Magazine’s Healthy Food Award, the “Editor’s Pick” award from The Gourmet Retailer Magazine, and more.
At only 120 calories per ounce and in four award-winning flavors — Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, Salted Caramel, and Toffee Crunch — Brownie Brittle is available at major retailers and online at BrownieBrittle.com.
With its 2014 graduating class, the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program celebrates 20 years of providing the nation’s only advanced training course of its kind for veteran cheesemakers. This year’s class includes four new Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers and three veteran Masters who repeated the program to earn certification in additional cheese varieties.
The four new Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers are:
Returning graduates in the 2014 class are:
The graduates will be honored and presented with Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker medallions at a ceremony during the International Cheese Technology Exposition in Milwaukee on April 24.
“We congratulate the 2014 graduates and are proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this unique program. Those who have earned the title of Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker have such a dedication to their craft and pride in what they’ve achieved,” says James Robson, CEO of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). “The impact of the program on them personally, as well as on their companies and the Wisconsin cheese industry has been immeasurable.”
Established in 1994 through a joint partnership of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, UW-Extension and WMMB, the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker program is the most formalized, advanced training program in the nation. Patterned after European programs, it is administered by the Center for Dairy Research and funded by Wisconsin dairy producers, through WMMB. Applicants to the program must be active, licensed Wisconsin cheesemakers with at least 10 years of experience. Cheesemakers can earn certification in up to two cheese varieties each time they enroll in the three-year program and must have been making those varieties as a licensed cheesemaker for a minimum of five years prior to entering the program. Once certified, they’re entitled to use the distinctive Master’s Mark® on their product labels and in other marketing materials.
Grower-owned cooperative Oregon Cherry Growers’ new Royal Harvest branded line of natural maraschinos has passed a rigorous, independent verification process by the Non-GMO Project. The four certified products include non-GMO certified, natural maraschinos – Nature’s Maraschino Cherries, Bordeaux Maraschino Cherries, Pink Blush Maraschino Cherries and Rainier Maraschino Cherries. In addition to using non-GMO ingredients, the Royal Harvest line is sweetened without corn syrup and is free of sulfites and preservatives.
“There are specific consumers and retailers that are looking for products made with non-GMO ingredients and since our line of Royal Harvest Maraschino’s already met all of the Non-GMO criteria, it seemed only natural that we would pursue the Non-GMO certification,” said Tim Ramsey, Oregon Cherry Growers President and CEO.
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization and North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. The Royal Harvest line of natural maraschinos are produced in compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard, which includes ongoing testing of all GMO risk ingredients, facility inspections and an annual audit to ensure that companies are meeting the highest possible standards for GMO avoidance. For more information, visit www.nongmoproject.org.
The Royal Harvest line with the Non-GMO Project Verified seal for retail has a recommended SRP of $5.99-$6.29. For additional information as well as foodservice purchase, contact Kent Spalding at email@example.com or (503) 364-8421.
Family-owned Graeter’s Ice Cream is releasing its first completely new product lines in 144 years this spring. Graeter’s Gelato and “A Little Less Indulgent” lines are made with the same high quality ingredients and attention to detail as Graeter’s original flavors, but offer a new spin on the traditional recipe.
The new product lines will be launched at select grocery stores, but available to all online at graeters.com.
Graeter’s signature French Pot process that makes its ice cream so dense and creamy was actually based on Italian gelato machines, making its Gelato the most authentic Italian gelato available in the United States. Using this old-world freezing process, Graeter’s artisans create the hand-crafted gelato using specially made truffles from a family owned candy confectioner in Pennsylvania. Flavors include Caramel Truffle, Hazelnut Truffle, Vanilla with Milk Chocolate Truffles and Dark Chocolate Truffle.
A Little Less Indulgent
A Little Less Indulgent stands apart from other reduced sugar ice cream varieties thanks to the sweetness provided by a natural sugar substitute made from Monk fruit extract. The new line has 50 percent less sugar, roughly 25 percent less fat and 25 percent fewer calories than Graeter’s regular ice cream, making it a just little less indulgent while retaining all the flavor of Graeter’s traditional ice cream. Flavors include Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip.
Sunshine Burger, the #1 selling brand of certified organic veggie burgers in America, has been honored with recognition in Prevention Magazine’s2014 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards for its Black Bean South West Burger.
The Black Bean South West Burger, which is made with sunflower kernels, brown rice, jalapeño, carrots, cilantro and black beans, is a good source of plant-based fiber and protein, as well as vitamin A, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Like all of the company’s products, the burgers are baked and made with verified non-GMO whole food ingredients – free of wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, corn, dairy, eggs or any added oils.
“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Cole Jones, General Manager of Sunshine Burger & Specialty Food Company. “Sunshine Burger is dedicated to providing food that is healthful and wholesome and that starts with using real, certified organic, non-GMO ingredients in all of our burgers.”
Sunshine Burgers are available in seven unique flavors – Garden Herb, Loco Chipotle, Barbeque, Falafel, Shiitake Mushroom and Hemp & Sage Breakfast. Last month, the Garden Herb burger was ranked the best-selling meat alternative item in the natural channel by SPINs, a market research company.
Hot Fiesta Pepper from JilliPepper is an all purpose dry spice that can be added to beef, pork, chicken or fish. Shake it into tomatoes for a great tasting salsa; mix it with sour cream for a dip for vegetables or chips, make fabulous queso dip by mixing it with chesse. Shake it into ground beef or ground turkey for spicy meatballs. For a unique Bloody Mary just stir some Hot Fiesta Pepper into your drink. A great rub on steak or a pork roast. Hot Fiesta Pepper is your Shake it! Mix it! Dip it! Roll it! Rub it! product.
A Scovie award winner 2010, 2011, 2012 and again in 2013, Hot Fiesta Pepper is the creation of JilliPepper’s Founder and Owner, Jill Levin. Since 1994, JilliPepper has created hot and spicy products for everyone who loves the flavor of New Mexico foods.
Hot Fiesta Pepper is currently being used by foodies and gourmets nationwide, leading restaurants and caterers and anyone who loves the flavor of New Mexican food. It can be purchased at leading grocery and food services, gift and gift basket companies, kitchen accessories retailers, food catalogs, gourmet and specialty retailers or online at www.jillipepper.com.
For more information, contact: JilliPeppers Inc. www.jillipepper.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org 505-385-7714, Fax: 505-344-8633.
Award-winning Caramelized Onion Marmalade from The Tracklement Company, one of the U.K.’s most celebrated specialty condiment producers, is now available in the U.S. through online outlets and retail grocery stores.
Made by hand in small batches at Tracklement’s factory in Sherston, a village of 2,000 in Wiltshire, England, Caramelized Onion Marmalade won top “Great Taste” and “Taste of the West” awards in the U.K. in 2012. It has a sweet roasted-onion flavor derived from its main ingredient: white onions that are cooked fro three hours and enriched with redcurrant juice.
In England, Caramelized Onion Marmalade is served alngside grilled or roasted meats and is a popular accompaniment for pates, terrines and cheese. Tracklement’s owner Guy Tullberg serves it melted over sausages and as a topping for any grilled burger. It is also used to enhance gravies or sauces.
The Tracklement Company produced more than 60 tons of Onion Marmalade last year. It is currently available online at Amazon.com through CyberCucina.com and Lobels.com, and at independent retail stores, including Eli’s Manhattan, Formaggio Kitchen, Epicure Market and Home Grown Meats. The suggested U.S. retail price is $7.99 for a 9-ounce jar.
Tracklement’s U.S. distributor is Belgravia Imports of Portsmouth, R.I.
Hood®, a leading dairy brand in New England, is welcoming spring in New England with the launch of two new flavor additions to the Hood Cottage Cheese family: Cucumber and Dill and Garden Vegetables. An excellent source of protein and a good source of calcium, Hood Cottage Cheese is a healthy and versatile food that can be enjoyed as a snack, a recipe ingredient, a topping or as a dip.
“We’re thrilled to add two delicious new cottage cheese flavors to the Hood family of products,” said Sarah Barow, Hood spokesperson. “Our new Cucumber Dill and Garden Vegetable flavors bring the fresh taste of spring to a healthy snack or meal.”
The new flavors, Cucumber and Dill and Garden Vegetables, are a good source of calcium, and contain 13 grams of protein per serving (26 percent of the recommended daily value).
“Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein, which plays a key role in eating satisfaction and may help with weight control,” said Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D. and the Hood Answer Mom™. “What I really love about cottage cheese is how easy it is to incorporate into regular meal planning. Hood’s savory cottage cheese is delicious on its own, and is a great ingredient in many different dishes.”
Hood Cottage Cheese with Cucumber and Dill and Hood Cottage Cheese with Garden Vegetables are now available at major grocery stores across New England. To learn more about Hood Cottage Cheese, visit Hood.com or become a fan at Facebook.com/HPHood.
Castleton Crackers has been named a Finalist in the Outstanding Cracker category for its Governor’s Cheddar cracker in the Specialty Food Association’s 2014 sofi™ Award competition.
A sofi is the top honor in the $88 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation and represents the best of the best from members of the Specialty Food Association
The Governor’s Cheddar Crackers were one of 109 finalists selected by a national panel of specialty food professionals from 2,025 entries across 30 Award categories from Outstanding Appetizer to Outstanding Vinegar. Winners will be announced by noted chef Dominique Ansel at a red-carpet ceremony June 30, 2014, at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.
We are thrilled that the Governor’s Cheddar Crackers made it to the finals among such worthy competition,” says Whitney Lamy, Founder of Castleton Crackers. “This is a delicious combination of Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company’s award-winning Governor’s Cheddar cheese and my artisan cracker recipe,” says Lamy, who started working with VFCC in January of 2013. Whitney’s complete Castleton Cracker line is sold at grocery and specialty stores throughout the country and online at castletoncrackers.com.
“A sofi is the highest honor for products from our members, who bring craft, care and joy to the specialty food they create. The honor means the product is simply the best in its category,” says Specialty Food Association President Ann Daw.
The sofi Awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952 for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs with more than 3,000 members in the U.S. and abroad. For more information on the association and its Fancy Food Shows, go to specialtyfood.com. Learn more about the 2014 sofi Awards at specialtyfood.com/sofi.
In the recent “Best of California Wine Competition 2013″ Hunt Cellars, a Paso Robles based boutique winery, was just notified that in this competition held by Food and Beverage World, Hunt Cellars won four out of the 11 categories.
Hunt Cellars won the following: