Free Seminar on European Meat for Specialty Foods Retailers
The Union of Producers and Employers of Meat Industry (UPEMI), in cooperation with the Trade and Investment Section of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York is holding an informational seminar organized as part of the information and promotional campaign called “Tradition and Quality of European Meat.”
You will learn first-hand about the methods and practices applied by the European meat industry. Experts from the EU meat market will explain how they care about animal welfare, tradition and high standards that govern the production of beef and pork and their products in the European Union and about the future of the European meat industry in the United States, as well as the development of European traceability system, sustainable development and the “farm-to-table” production principles.
This exceptional seminar will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24 at the City Winery restaurant, located near the famous Meatpacking District. Participants of this event will have an opportunity to sample dishes prepared by the renowned chef and culinary expert, Dariusz Zahoriański and the City Winery chef, Michael Jeanty.
For further information or to reserve your seat, contact Janet Wilhelms before June 15: email@example.com. Telephone 773.904.2849.
European Meat Culinary Workshop: “European Sausage Making”
Experience the “Tradition and Quality of European Meat” by attending an exciting and informative “European Sausage Making” workshop hosted by the Union of Producers and Employers of the Meat Industry (UPEMI), the organization that oversees all meat trade in Poland and the Republic of Poland.
This “European Sausage Making” workshop is being held at the International Culinary Center (ICC), New York’s first-class training facility to the most esteemed, globally-recognized chefs in the world. Polish culinary expert and top chef, Dariusz Zahoranski, along with ICC’s professional staff, will lead a class through the process of fresh sausage making. Guests will not only learn to make sausages, but taste for themselves what sets European pork products apart through the exceptional flavor and high quality standards producers stand by. Guests are also invited to take sausage home after the class.
The event will be held on Tuesday, June 23 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the International Culinary Center, at 462 Broadway, 4th floor, New York City. Attendance is free, but you must reserve your seat by June 19 by contacting Janet Wilhelms at Red Meat Market, firstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone 773.904.2849.
Tradition and Quality of European Meat Reception
The Union of Producers and Employers of Meat Industry (UPEMI) in cooperation with the Trade and Investment Section of the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York invite specialty foods retailers to participate in a reception organized as part of the information and promotional campaign called “Tradition and Quality of European Meat.”
The reception will be a great opportunity for you to establish new business networks with representatives of the European meat sector and exporters. EU experts and representatives of the campaign’s organizer will also be present at the reception.
The event will take place at the City Winery restaurant, located near the famous Meatpacking District. Especially for you, a renowned chef and culinary expert, Dariusz Zahorański, in cooperation with City Winery chef, Michael Jeanty, have prepared a special menu based on high quality beef and pork.
The event will be held from 7-10 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at the City Winery Winery Room at 155 Varick Street, New York City.
For further information and to confirm your presence, please contact Janet Wilhelms before June 15: email@example.com. Telephone 773.904.2849.
By Lorrie Baumann
Foothills IGA is located Marble Hill, Georgia, a community of around 30,000 people in the foothills of the north Georgia mountains, about 75 miles north of the Atlanta airport. The store was recently named an IGA 2015 USA International Retailer of the Year.
Owner Jeff Downing started his career working for various grocery companies and was a vice president of A&P before deciding to go into business for himself in 1996. His first venture on his own was the purchase of a store in North Carolina that had been an A&P. He was living in Atlanta and had a weekend home in Big Canoe, a gated resort community that’s adjacent to Marble Hill, so when he decided to expand his company, he looked around the neighborhood close to his weekend home, where a shopping center was under construction. The development company heard he was looking and got in touch with an offer for the storefront in which the Foothills IGA is now located. “It just fell into place,” Downing says now.
Foothills IGA broke ground in 2001 and opened in January of 2002 with a mix of gourmet products and everyday staples to meet the grocery needs of a very diverse customer base – the town has an estimated median household income of around $50,000 and about half of Foothills IGA shoppers have high-end incomes and want better wine, organic produce and all-natural beef while the other half buy more pantry staples. “It was the intent to appeal to everyone to succeed because we have very few people,” Downing says. “The needs of some require more thought, more research, a little more seeking out of products…. In a lot of ways, we’re like a big-city market.” Downing moved permanently to Big Canoe in 2000 and sold the North Carolina store in 2006.
His store is about 10 miles from the closest big-box grocer, and to keep his clientele shopping with him instead of taking their business to Kroger, Publix or Walmart, Downing stocks his 25,000 square foot market with a great produce department, a full service floral department, the first lobster tank in the county, certified Angus beef and 1,800+ SKUs of wines. On top of that, breads are baked fresh daily, USDA choice and prime meats are cut to order, and the seafood selection includes fresh fish and seafood from the Georgia coast and elsewhere. Whole chickens are cut in the store to supply shoppers with what Downing calls “an enormous amount of fried chicken.” He added a pharmacy in 2008, and today, that department represents what Downing calls “quite a nice business.”
“We do a large wine business in our store,” he says. “We get as much variety as we can in our store while staying very, very close to what our customers want.”
Downing’s research into products that bring something special to his store while staying very close to what customers want recently took the form of an appointment as a judge in an annual Flavor of Georgia Food Product contest sponsored by the Georgia Department of Agriculture that included 30 finalists among the entrants, who were all local food producers. “From that I made contact with several of those who had very interesting products,” he says. “We need to be competitive with big box stores, so if I can do something different, I like to do that.”
That includes the 14 to 16 different salads that are offered in the store’s deli case on any given day. A couple of them are made by Nadine’s Classic Cuisine, which sends staff into the store a couple of days a week to make salads that have made Nadine Wardenga a two-time finalist in Flavor of Georgia contests as well as the White County (Georgia) Chamber of Commerce’s 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year. “She couldn’t handle the demand of a big box store,” Downing says. “It’s a point of differentiation.”
Today, Downing and his staff have renewed their efforts to source organic produce, which he says has always been a challenge. “You have to have enough variety so the consumer can plan a meal,” Downing observes. Local organic farmers are small-scale operators who sell their produce in farmers markets and to local restaurants, where they get a premium price, partly due to their ability to make direct contact between farmers and buyers. Dogged effort has improved Foothills IGA’s produce supply lines for a whole range of products from potatoes and squash to apples, organic lettuces and organic wines to the point at which the store has been able to negotiate prices that keep organic produce prices at the independent store competitive with the big box grocers.
Foothills IGA is also doing good business in gluten-free products, with about 500 SKUs in store and integrated into the center store shelves. “It’s a growing category for us,” Downing says. “We have all manner of gluten-free items in our store and are constantly looking for more.”
Of course, big-city access to premium products can’t take the place of home-town feeling, and Foothills IGA strives to create that through special events throughout the year that are built around community involvement when the opportunity arises. During football season, the high school band comes out to play in the Foothills IGA parking lot, and hot dog wagon sales help fund the school’s booster club. The winter holiday season is celebrated with a variety of events, and there are other special events throughout the year. “It’s fun to walk out on Saturday morning and hear the band playing,” Downing says. “It helps us to become the community center that we have always strived to be as an IGA operator…. We’re proud to be the Foothills IGA and proud to serve our community, and the community in turn supports us very well.”
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2393, the Country of Origin Labeling Amendments Act, by a vote of 300-131. Introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), H.R. 2393 amends the Agriculture Marketing Act of 1946 to effectively repeal mandatory country of origin labeling requirements for beef, pork, and chicken.
“I am thankful for the support of my colleagues today in passing this common-sense, bipartisan bill that is a necessary targeted response to avoid retaliation from Canada and Mexico. Two of our top trading partners announced earlier this month their intention to seek more than $3 billion in retaliatory sanctions against U.S. exports. This would extend far beyond the agriculture industry and would hurt nearly every sector of the U.S. economy. H.R. 2393 will prevent retaliation and bring the U.S. back into compliance, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to act quickly on this urgent matter,” said Chairman Conaway.
“Today’s passage of the COOL Amendments Act is a critical step towards ensuring that the United States is no longer burdened by a law that harms our economy and our nation’s beef, pork, and poultry producers. California exports billions of dollars of commodities and manufactured goods to Canada and Mexico, many of which are produced in the San Joaquin Valley. The tariff retaliations will cost California more than $1 billion, inflicting a devastating blow to the state’s economic well-being. Country of Origin Labeling is a very real problem that requires a legislative fix. The COOL Amendments Act will put the U.S. back in compliance with its international trade obligations and stop trade retaliations by two of the nation’s top export partners,” said Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee’s Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Committee.
“Today, the House of Representatives continued the work started in the House Committee on Agriculture to repeal the non-trade compliant COOL law. We look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to send this legislation to the President in an effort to protect our American businesses. After multiple failed attempts at the World Trade Organization to bring the COOL law into compliance with our trading partners, Canada and Mexico, the House has done its part expeditiously to guarantee that no American industries are hurt through retaliation,” said Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee’s Livestock and Foreign Agriculture Committee.
Matt Anderson has been named CEO of Frontier Soups™, bringing a second generation into management of the company, which has produced gourmet soup mixes since 1986, according to company founder Trisha Anderson, who will remain in the role of President.
Matt, who is Trisha Anderson’s son, has immersed himself in company operations for the past year and now has assumed responsibility for business operations, including financial oversight, strategic planning, sales, and production. Trisha will retain responsibility for product development and marketing, she said. Both of them will be at the 2015 Summer Fancy Food Show, Booth 4121, to continue Matt’s introduction to customers and others within the specialty food industry.
“Matt has been on a fast track for the past year learning all aspects of our business, and it’s now time for our continued growth and development to be a function of the strength and initiative the younger generation represents,” Trisha said. “Matt and Frontier Soups literally grew up together. I’m thrilled with the business and financial expertise he brings to the company and that this business, which I started at home while my children were young, is now transitioning to a second generation of our family.”
Matt has 15 years of experience in the financial services industry. He began his career in 1999 at Lehman Brothers and then joined Goldman Sachs in 2010, where he worked until joining Frontier Soups last July. “Working for these firms taught me the importance of developing my relationships with both my clients and my team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to meeting more of our customers and to continue developing the outstanding workplace that my mom has built at Frontier Soups. I’m also excited about taking on management of a growing business and moving it into its next phase of development.”
Frontier Soups produces 36 non-GMO soup mixes accommodating a variety of consumer tastes and dietary needs. No salt is added, and the mixes contain no preservatives, artificial ingredients or MSG. The company, which has two lines of soup mixes, now offers 13 vegetarian options and 30 of its soups are gluten free. The Homemade-In-Minutes line of quicker-cooking soup mixes serves four to five, and the Hearty Meals™ line serves from eight to 10. More information is available at www.FrontierSoups.com or by calling 1.800.300.7687.
Salazon Chocolate Co., a premium chocolate maker known as the first company to craft salted chocolate, is launching a line of premium salted chocolate bars to demonstrate its dedication to outdoor adventure. The TRAIL SERIES features three dark salted chocolate bars, including:
Salazon has garnered a reputation for crafting delicious, premium salted chocolate in unique flavor combinations. Founded by Pete Truby, an avid outdoorsman and trail enthusiast, the company’s commitment to the U.S. national scenic trails can be traced back to the origin of the company. According to Truby, inspiration for an energy-rich salted chocolate bar came to him in 2009 during a backpacking trip in Utah.
“The Appalachian Trail, our country’s oldest and original protected trail, is right in our back yard and we frequently find ourselves on the trail in our spare time,” said Pete Truby. “The ability to get out and hike for a day, a week, or even go for a life changing six-month hike is the magic of the national scenic trails. We wanted to make a line of chocolate specifically honoring our amazing national trails.”
Salazon is partnering with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for its Caramel bar, the Pacific Crest Trail Association for its Coffee bar, and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition for its Almond bar. The packaging for each bar depicts actual scenery captured on the trails.
A portion of the gross proceeds from the Trail Series funds the efforts of these nonprofits to protect, preserve, and promote the country’s national scenic trails, one being the Pacific Crest Trail Association.
“The Pacific Crest Trail Association is very appreciative of Salazon Chocolate Company’s support in our work to promote the Pacific Crest Trail,” says Angie Williamson, Development Director for the association. “Their support helps us coordinate hundreds of volunteers to keep the trail clear, and ensure that the trail will remain pristine and undeveloped for future generations.”
The Trail Series will be available at natural food stores and outdoor retailers nationwide, available at a suggested retail price of $3.99.
New England Natural Bakers is adding two new granola clusters to its Organic Select line. These niche designed offerings are targeted to the discerning consumer and capture the hottest trends: organic, Non-GMO Project verified, high protein, and gluten-free.
“We are happy to present these exciting new products, extending our line of the successful Organic Select Granola with offerings that capture emerging industry trends and address functionality,” said Director of Brand Sales and Marketing Larry Cornick.
The new item launch by New England Natural Bakers, a 100 percent employee-owned company, marks an aggressive strategy to increase brand presence. The company will be displaying the line, now seven SKUs in all, in the Massachusetts pavilion at the Summer Fancy Foods Show.
Fred Morganthall, currently President of Harris Teeter Supermarkets, has been named Senior Vice President of Retail Divisions for The Kroger Co. Rod Antolock, currently Harris Teeter’s Executive Vice President, has been named President of Harris Teeter.
Fred Morganthall Named Kroger Senior Vice President, Retail Divisions
Morganthall, 63, has been president of Harris Teeter Supermarkets since 1997. He brings more than 37 years of grocery industry experience to his new role. He began his career in grocery retail in 1978 at Spartan Stores in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and joined Harris Teeter in 1986 as director of grocery merchandising, then went on to serve in several key leadership roles including vice president of merchandising, vice president of distribution, and vice president of operations, before taking his current role as president. Morganthall has also been an active leader in industry organizations, including the Food Marketing Institute.
“Fred is an exceptional leader who is respected throughout the industry,” said Mike Ellis, Kroger’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “We continue to learn a lot from Fred about building even stronger connections with our customers. We are delighted that he is taking on this broader role at Kroger.”
Rod Antolock Promoted to President, Harris Teeter Supermarkets
Rod Antolock, 56, began his retail career in 1978 with Albertsons, where he held a number of leadership roles before joining Harris Teeter in 2000. He has served in several executive positions, including senior vice president of operations, and senior vice president of operations and merchandising. He has been serving in his current role since 2012, where he is responsible for merchandising, operations, marketing, human resources, loss prevention, store development, quality assurance and distribution, as well as manufacturing.
“Rod’s leadership has contributed to Harris Teeter’s success for more than 15 years,” Ellis said. “He has been instrumental in developing Harris Teeter’s exceptional customer service and product quality. We look forward to his continued leadership in his new role.”
Kroger, one of the world’s largest retailers, employs nearly 400,000 associates who serve customers in 2,625 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 34 states and the District of Columbia under two dozen local banner names including Kroger, City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, Jay C, King Soopers, QFC, Ralphs and Smith’s. The company also operates 782 convenience stores, 326 fine jewelry stores, 1,330 supermarket fuel centers and 37 food processing plants in the U.S.
Harris Teeter Supermarkets, Inc., with headquarters in Matthews, North Carolina, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Kroger Co. The regional grocery chain employs approximately 28,000 associates and operates stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Maryland, Delaware, Florida and the District of Columbia.
Recipe and ingredient delivery service Blue Apron has just locked in a $135 million investment from a group led by Fidelity Management and Research Company, with participation from existing investors. The company will use the new capital to scale its rapidly growing network of farms, suppliers, and fulfillment capabilities throughout the country.
“Our mission is to make incredible home cooking accessible to everyone. This financing will allow us to further improve the efficiency of our model, from sourcing to fulfillment, in order to bring our customers a level of quality that has never been available at scale before,” said Blue Apron Co-Founder and CEO Matt Salzberg.
Blue Apron has tripled its volume in the last six months, and is now delivering over 3 million meals a month to homes across the United States. To further its mission, the company has forged exclusive relationships with hundreds of farmers and artisans. These direct relationships, along with advanced menu-planning, allow Blue Apron to collaborate with farmers to plan their crop rotation throughout the growing season. This summer alone, Blue Apron will purchase millions of pounds of produce directly from small, family-run farms who emphasize sustainable growing practices, with over 1 million pounds of specialty crops being planted and harvested for specifically for the company.
To further support the company’s rapid growth, Blue Apron is developing custom fulfillment software tools and investing in automation. These new capabilities will be deployed across Blue Apron’s network of fulfillment centers, including the company’s newest facility, which opened in Arlington, Texas this month and enables Blue Apron to reach home chefs in over 99 percent of the continental United States.
The news marks the latest in a series of milestones for Blue Apron. Earlier this year, Blue Apron expanded its product offering to include a family plan, featuring seasonal, family-friendly recipes for four, which has proven extremely popular among busy parents. In November of last year, Blue Apron opened its largest, state of the art fulfillment center in Jersey City, New Jersey, and launched the Blue Apron Market, a curated e-commerce store for Blue Apron home chefs.
For many years, sweet cherries have been commercially classified in two ways at grocery stores – dark sweet and Rainier – but now, a rare new cherry has created cause for a new classification due to its unique attributes and sweet flavor that set it apart from the rest. Debuting in select grocery stores mid-June, the new Skylar Rae® brand Tip Top cultivar cherry was discovered by chance in a family-run Washington State orchard, and is distinguished by its beautiful red and yellow bi-colored skin, firm texture and a flavor profile that makes it “The Sweetest Cherry You’ll Ever Eat™.”
Grown and marketed exclusively by Stemilt Growers, the Tip Top cherry cultivar, which goes to market under the Skylar Rae brand, was granted its own varietal classification by the International Federation for Produce Standards and is the first cherry in years to be given its own price look-up (PLU) number. While Skylar Rae was released in a miniscule volume the last two years to a handful of grocery stores, 2015 marks the first season this unique cherry will be nationally available through select grocery stores. During the cherry’s short four week season, from mid-June to mid-July, Stemilt estimates it will ship 20,000 units of Skylar Rae cherries, with plans to increase production in future years.
“A rarity in nature, Skylar Rae’s unique genetics and extremely high natural sugar content set it apart from other cherries – it truly is a treat from nature,” said West Mathison, Stemilt President and fifth generation grower. “We are excited to introduce this special cherry to the world, and encourage shoppers to pick up Skylar Rae cherries when they see them this summer because they won’t be around for long!”
The parentage of the new cherry is unknown, and was the result of a natural mutation of one tree that was planted from nursery stock. The “mother tree” was propagated upon its discovery and plantings of Tip Top cherries (the cultivar name which comes from the name of the orchard where it was discovered) have moved from a test environment to commercial orchards over the past decade. Today, only the highest quality Tip Top cultivar cherries go to market as Skylar Rae brand cherries.
Boasting a golden yellow skin with a partial to full orange-red blush, and a firm and nearly colorless flesh, Skylar Rae cherries contain the highest sugar content of any sweet cherry on the market, measuring in at 23-25 Brix. In comparison, Rainier cherries contain a Brix of 19-23 and Dark Sweet cherries, 17-20. Because of its sweet flavor profile, Skylar Rae cherries are ideally enjoyed as a pop-in-your-mouth snack, and can also be added to any number of culinary adventures and recipes for an extra sweet kick.
The new cherry is grown exclusively on Stemilt orchards in Washington state – where all cherries naturally flourish in eastern Washington’s dry, warm days and cool nights. In 2005, the Toftness family, who have been farming cherries at Tip Top Orchards for more than a decade, suffered the unimaginable loss of their infant daughter. As the family was healing, they discovered a cherry never before seen on a single tree growing in their orchard. The family felt it was a gift from nature meant to honor their beautiful daughter, Skylar Rae Toftness; and when it came time to trademark a brand name for the fruit, it was a unanimous decision that the cherry should be called, “Skylar Rae.”
“While new cherry discoveries in nature are not unheard of, what makes this particular cherry so special is that it was able to be cultivated into a commercially viable varietal, which is a very rare occurrence,” continued Mathison. “The fact that the Skylar Rae cherry also holds a special honor among one of the hard working family farmers we partner with, is, as they say, the cherry on top.”
Skylar Rae cherries are available in two packaging options: a convenient 1.25-pound bag and a smaller 1-pound clamshell carton for $5.99 – $6.99, depending on the harvest window. The cherries are available from mid-June to mid-July, in select markets. Stemilt has plans for increased distribution in the future as the crop and demand for the cherry continues to multiply. For more information on the Skylar Rae cherry, visit www.SkylarRaeCherries.com.
Matcha LOVE CULINARY MATCHA from ITO EN was named as “Best New Product-Tea as an Ingredient” at the recent World Tea Expo 2015 held in Long Beach, California. “We are greatly honored with this award as we invite more aspiring cooks to explore the purity and vitality of the entire green tea leaf,” says Rona Tison, Senior Vice President of Corporate Relations for ITO-EN. “The fresh balance of sweetness and herbaceous grassiness is a taste profile and sensation like no other.”
Fast becoming a popular ingredient for its rich umami taste and antioxidant rich benefits, Matcha LOVE’s CULINARY MATCHA is a finely milled green tea powder, traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, made from premium quality whole tea leaves. Today a versatile ingredient used for baking or cooking both sweet and savory dishes is also a favorite in smoothies and super drinks.
Celebrated for its powerful EGCG tea antioxidants and Vitamin C, matcha is considered and natural energy boost. Matcha generates new layers of amplified flavors with a sweet lingering taste sensation. Bold and rich in flavor with an herbaceous finish, a little matcha goes along way. The new CULINARY MATCHA joins the Matcha LOVE’s® line of ceremonial matcha powder, teabags and convenient on-the-go Matcha drinks, available in unsweetened and sweetened. Taking a modern take on an ancient ritual, the innovative Matcha LOVE line is making its way into the urban lifestyle.