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Finest Kind Tea a Finalist in Crowd Funding Contest

Maine-based Finest Kind Tea is a finalist in Fresh Direct’s Next BIG Food Thing contest, a crowd funding contest created to “find the next food idea, product or innovation that could change the food world.”

Through the contest, which closes on December 17, 2013, Finest Kind Tea will have the opportunity to crowd source support for its new all organic tea concentrate using, an online crowdfunding platform.

Finest Kind Tea founder, Jay Lombard, is committed to using only sustainable, natural ingredients, and he pledges never to use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or artificial ingredients in any of his products. He is proud of the low carbon footprint of his teas—each bottle is filled with16 fluid ounces of concentrate that, when mixed with water, makes a gallon of tea or the equivalent of eight bottles of ready-to-drink tea. If Finest Kind Tea wins the Next BIG Food Thing contest, Lombard will use the proceeds to develop a tea made with organic, non-GMO, ethically-sourced ingredients.

Lombard started brewing his tea in small 80-gallon batches. This winter, he will increase production at a new facility on the coast of Maine to support expanded distribution throughout greater New England, greater New York, and eventually, nationwide.

The Next BIG Food Thing contest winner will be chosen based on a range of criteria including- amount of funds raised, funder engagement, and overall quality of the idea. The business with the winning idea will receive $10,000 and the chance to partner with FreshDirect, a food supplier in metropolitan New York and Philadelphia. Two runners-up will receive $2,500 each to fund their businesses. The judges include David McInerney, the co-founder of FreshDirect; Geoff Bartakovics, the CEO of Tasting Table; Natasha Case, the CEO of Coolhaus; Sarah Copeland, the food director of Real Simple; and John Craven, the founder of BevNet. Learn more at:

Over 1,000 Cheese Lovers Expected at Crucolo Cheese Parade Thursday in Concord, Mass.

No one can call the residents of Concord, Mass. blasé. Each year, on the first Thursday in December at 3:30 PM, residents of all ages assemble on Walden Street for the arrival of the largest wheel of Italian cheese in North America. This year, the date is this upcoming Thursday, December 5.

The annual Crucolo Cheese Parade attracts over 1,000 adults and children. The event includes a number of spectacles and special attractions.

The highlight of the Crucolo Cheese Parade is the arrival down the town’s main commercial street, by horse-drawn cart, of a 400 lb. wheel of Crucolo cheese. The wheel is equal in diameter to a 3-year-old child. The Crucolo is accompanied by a member of the Purin family, makers of Crucolo for the past 250 years. Its trip began in Scurelle, a town in the mountains of Trentino, Italy, where the cheese is made especially for this event.

The Crucolo Dancers, a troupe of exuberant Concord Academy teenagers, prance down the street in advance of the cheese. Simultaneously, the cheese is loudly serenaded by an Italian chorale group, while 1,000 excited onlookers brandish Italian flags.

A proclamation announcing Crucolo Day in Concord will be read in both English and Italian. Then, the Crucolo will be rolled from the horse cart to a stage to be cut, sliced and distributed to the hungry crowd.

On the sidewalk, parade attendees will have the opportunity to pose with the giant cheese. Meanwhile, inside The Concord Cheese Shop, cheese-lovers clamor to purchase Crucolo, which retails for about $20 per pound. The entire 400-lb. wheel will be sold before Christmas.

The Crucolo parade is free and open to the public.  The 4th Annual Crucolo Cheese Parade is being sponsored by The Concord Cheese Shop, as well as Savello USA (exclusive U.S. importer of Crucolo) and Accardi Foods (Boston-area distributor).

Chex Finer Foods Named 2013 Whole Foods North Atlantic Regional Supplier Partner of the Year

Chex Finer Foods was the inaugural recipient of the 2013 Regional Supplier Partner of the Year across all Whole Foods departments on November 15 and the first annual Supplier Appreciation Luncheon held by Whole Foods North Atlantic Region. Chex was also recognized as the 2013 Grocery Supplier of the Year. The two awards come as a result of dedication and a strong partnership with the Whole Foods North Atlantic region that spans almost 15 years.

“I am humbled to receive these awards and recognition from Whole Foods Market. I am proud of all the hard work and results that we have achieved together with our partner Whole Foods Market,” said Chex President Jeremy Isenberg. The Whole Foods award recognizes Chex for excellence in service, adapting to the changing needs in the marketplace, business insights, and for being Whole Foods’ “go to” distributor across multiple departments.

Founded in 1965, Chex Finer Foods is a 3rd generation family business. In December 2011, the company was inducted into the Food Industry Hall of Fame. In January, 2012, Chex Finer Foods moved its headquarters to Mansfield, Mass. where it doubled its warehouse and office space. Chex has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the top 5000 fastest growing companies for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Inventure Foods to Present at Wedbush California Dreamin’ Consumer Management Access Conference

 Inventure Foods, Inc. has announced that Terry McDaniel, President and CEO, and Steve Weinberger, CFO, will present at the Wedbush California Dreamin’ Consumer Management Access Conference on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 9:45 a.m. EST.  The conference will be held at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City.

The presentation and related materials will be available to all interested parties through a live audio webcast accessible in the investor relations section of Inventure Foods’ website at, where it will be archived for 90 days following the presentation.

About Inventure Foods, Inc.
With manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Indiana, Washington, Oregon and Georgia, Inventure Foods, Inc. is a marketer and manufacturer of specialty food brands in better-for-you and indulgent categories under a variety of company-owned and licensed brand names, including Boulder Canyon Natural Foods®, Jamba®, Seattle’s Best Coffee®, Rader Farms®, T.G.I. Friday’s®, Nathan’s Famous®, Vidalia Brands®, Poore Brothers®, Tato Skins®, Willamette Valley Fruit Company, Fresh Frozen and Bob’s Texas Style®.

Holiday Pasta Recipe from Cat Cora

Residence Inn sent us over this recipe by Residence Inn by Marriott’s Resident Mom of the Year, Cat Cora.

With four hungry boys to feed over the holidays, Celebrity Chef and lifestyle entrepreneur Cat Cora knows a thing or two about sizzling up festive dishes that are sure to please! Please see below for the unique holiday dish she created exclusively for Residence Inn that incorporates seasonal ingredients such as pumpkin, sage and cinnamon. This recipe is easily prepared at home or on the road for family holiday travel, while staying at a Residence Inn! All rooms feature fully-stocked kitchens, and the brand offers complimentary grocery delivery service so you can have all of the ingredients delivered right to your room.

IMG_9494Very Merry Holiday Pasta

Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces turkey or chicken sausage, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 pound orecchiette
1 cup of white wine
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh sage, thin sliced

Boil water for pasta in a pasta pot, fitted with a strainer. Add the fresh orecchiette pasta to boiling water, cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add turkey or chicken sausage and saute for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add garlic into the pan, and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.  Add white wine and reduce heat by half.  Add in chicken stock, canned pumpkin, heavy cream and cinnamon. Stir until well mixed.  Add the turkey or chicken sausage to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cooked orecchiette pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a warm platter or bowls, top with parmesan cheese and fresh sage.

Snikiddy Launches New Soy Ginger Eat Your Vegetables Flavor Exclusively at Kroger

Snikiddy®, a line of all-natural snacks made from simple, real-food ingredients, today announced it is introducing Soy Ginger Eat Your Vegetables® as an exclusive to Kroger stores nationwide. The Asian-inspired, veggie-packed variety will be available in more than 730 Kroger stores from coast-to-coast beginning at the end of October.

“The combination of soy and ginger deliver that umami (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, taste) all of our taste buds crave.  These flavor contrasts all packed in one is quickly becoming more and more popular in many of our favorite entrees, but finding this Far East combination in the snack aisle is very unique,” said Mary Schulman, Founder and Executive Vice President of Marketing for Snikiddy. “We left no stone unturned to perfect our new flavor and are excited to debut this completely unique snack to Kroger shoppers!”

Like all other Eat Your Vegetables varieties, the new Soy Ginger crisps are made with eight vegetables including kale, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, navy beans, carrots and shitake mushrooms, and provide a full serving of vegetables per ounce. Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, C, E, B1, B6 and antioxidants. The chips also provide 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per serving from a proprietary blend of beans and brown rice. All Snikiddy snacks are all-natural, certified gluten and wheat free, made with non-GMO ingredients, and are completely peanut and tree nut free. Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables are available in other fun, family-friendly flavors including: Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, Jalapeno Ranch, Italian Herb & Olive Oil and Sea Salt & Lime.

The entire line of Snikiddy snacks are available at grocery, natural, specialty and family retailers nationwide, including select Target locations, Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Babies ‘R’ Us as well as online at

Babo Botanicals Products Help Keep Baby Clean, Safe and Comfortable

by Lorrie Baumann

Winter weather can be particularly tough on babies, whose skin is 70 percent thinner than adult skin and very susceptible to dehydration. Baby’s skin needs to be moisturized frequently with products that do not strip natural oils from the skin. Products should allow the skin to breathe easily and be free of irritants that can cause allergic reactions.

BaboGroupKate Bio

The Babo Botanicals products meet these requirements and are also all-natural, free of parabens, phthalates, gluten, synthetic fragrances and colors as well as nuts. “These are things that more and more kids and adults appear to have sensitivities to,” says Babo Botanicals owner and CEO Kate Solomon. “We wanted to make the most hypoallergenic products on the market.” The products are all dermatologist-tested, allergy-tested and tear-free.

Oatmilk Group 8041-8040-8042-9606Each of the product lines within the brand are formulated to provide specific solutions to problems that babies and their parents commonly experience. For dry skin or eczema, Babo Botanicals’ oatmeal and calendula shampoo, diaper cream, moisturizing lotion and body wash are the solution. For calming the fussy baby, Lavender Meadowsweet bubble bath and shampoo is great. Berry Primrose shampoo and detangler spray are the solution for tangled locks. The products are all made on a farm in upstate New York from pure flower and plant extracts.

They come from a mom with a background in working with farmers and who began her career with the Peace Corps by developing a beekeeping program for farmers in the Paraguayan village of San Antonio Guazu. Solomon had applied for the beekeeping program after raising bees with her father at the family home in Connecticut. “Paraguay was one of the few countries that had beekeeping as part of their agriculture program,” she says. With a grant from the World Bank, she was able to develop a very solid beekeeping program there before the end of her two-and-a-half-year assignment.

Home from the Peace Corps, she went to work for Avon Products. I was attracted to Avon because I wanted to go into a global personal care business, and I loved the Avon philosophy of women making extra money with their own personal care products businesses,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business, always. I come from a line of entrepreneurs in my family.”

While at Avon, she realized that she had a knack for developing brands and products, and she continued her career doing that for other companies, including, most recently, almost a decade with L’Oreal developing products for the professional market.

I realized I had a knack for developing brands and products, and I continued my career doing that for other companies. “I saw a real need for very high quality products using the power of botanicals for the kids that could be used by the entire family. The botanicals are important because plants and flowers can produce amazing results in a natural way. That’s better than depending on chemicals that may irritate the skin.”

She began developing the Babo Botanicals products after leaving L’Oreal in 2007 and launched the business in 2010. Babo Botanicals, named after Solomon’s son’s security bunny, was immediately successful in the marketplace. “It’s doubled every year, and we expect it to continue to double,” Solomon says.

The Babo Botanicals products retail from $12 to $14.95. For more information, visit



Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods Introduces Three New Harvest Season Veggie Pancakes

This year, the first day of Hannukah coincides with Thanksgiving Day — the first and only time this will happen. This rare occurrence has inspired Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods to celebrate with the launch of three new seasonally inspired veggie pancakes: Roasted Corn, Root Vegetable and Zucchini & Carrot. All three varieties will be available exclusively at Whole Foods.

Each all-natural, kosher certified pancake incorporates the finest, recognizable ingredients with an assortment of harvest flavors, making them a convenient option for customers looking to create tasty and sensible holiday dishes.

The first of the new flavors, Root Vegetable Pancakes, are like a better-for-you version of cranberry stuffing in the shape of a pancake. This variety features a mix of beets, cranberries, and quinoa with rutabaga, potatoes, celery and sweet potatoes. It is vegan and gluten-free.

Roasted Corn Cakes combine roasted corn with roasted garlic, leeks, cilantro and chipotle, making these cakes a nutritious and delicious addition to a traditional holiday vegetable side. They are vegetarian.

Finally, Zucchini & Carrot Pancakes feature two harvest favorites. This variety delivers the ultimate taste of fall in a convenient to prepare pancake! This variety is vegetarian and gluten-free.

“Given our family and company heritage, we thought this was a fun opportunity to celebrate and create some seasonal offerings,” said Larry Praeger, vice president of Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods. “These pancakes incorporate a lot of the harvest vegetables and tastes associated with traditional holiday meals. We’re excited to offer a tasty, healthy and convenient twist on these seasonal dishes.”

The new pancakes have an SRP of $4.99 per box of six, individually wrapped patties. In addition to these new products, Dr. Praeger’s offers a broad assortment of veggie burgers, veggie pancakes, fish sticks, and an entire line-up just for kids. With no artificial flavors or colors, and low saturated fat and cholesterol, Dr. Praeger’s Sensible Foods products appeal to a wide range of consumers – from those looking for a sensible meat alternative to those looking for a healthier snack options.

Saffron Road Awarded Best Halal Food Company at the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2013

Saffron Road, the packaged food brand of American Halal Co., was awarded Best Halal Food Company in the World at the prestigious Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) in Dubai, U.A.E. yesterday. The GIES is the equivalent of the Global Economic Forum of the Middle East and is facilitated by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Thomson Reuters as the world’s leading Islamic economy conference. The award was bestowed on American Halal’s Chief Executive Officer, Adnan Durrani, by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, before 3,500 registrants in attendance at the Jumeirah Arena Ballroom in Dubai. The Award celebrates global emerging companies that have demonstrated significant social and business impact and have inspired a new generation of leaders. Saffron Road was selected from a competitive list of applicants from more than 30 countries.

Adnan Durrani commented by saying, “We are so honored at American Halal to achieve the utmost level of global accolades by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum and the Global Islamic Economy Summit. I am so proud of our team at Saffron Road for our dedication to Halal values that not only meet the needs of the wider Muslim community, but are also being applauded around the world for our steadfast purity and excellence.  On the heels of Saffron Road winning Best Halal Product in the World at the World Halal Forum in 2011, in just a short period of time our impact on the global stage has been remarkable.”

The American Vegetarian Association Awards Eggland’s Best Certification

 For the tenth year in a row the American Vegetarian Association (AVA) has awarded its certification to Eggland’s Best.

The AVA certification acknowledges Eggland’s Best as a part of the American Vegetarian Association’s Global Certification program, which recognizes the standards of vegetarian assurance and enables vegetarian-minded people to make the best food choices. Eggland’s Best’s 2014 AVA certification assures vegetarians that by selecting Eggland’s Best products, they are receiving the very best vegetarian foods.

“We are honored that Eggland’s Best’s eggs are the only eggs to be certified and recommended by the American Vegetarian Association,” says Charles Lanktree, President and CEO of Eggland’s Best, LLC. “We are proud to be a part of AVA’s growing family of quality certified products, which allows consumers to trust our product with the highest vegetarian certification.”

The Eggland’s Best hen feed consists of a proprietary all-vegetarian feed of healthy grains, which gives EB eggs significantly better nutrition compared to ordinary eggs. As a result, Eggland’s Best eggs contain 10 times the vitamin E, four times the vitamin D and twice the amount of omega-3 fatty acids than ordinary eggs.  Eggland’s Best eggs also contain 25 percent less saturated fat and only 70 calories per egg.

For more information on Eggland’s Best eggs, please visit

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