If you are one of the 20 million tourists that visit the Caribbean each year, you might have had the chance, after dinner and a stroll along the beachfront in Nassau or Montego Bay, to taste a delightful dessert that does big business in the islands not to mention the United States, but that does it with a homemade just-out-of-the-oven flair: Tortuga Rum Cakes.
Some 30 years after founder Capt. Robert Hamaty took a secret family recipe and set out to share it with the world, the Tortuga Rum Cake Company ships seven varieties of rum cakes in brightly colored hexagonal boxes to 70 countries and generates high-volume sales through the travel retail channel. The cakes are sold in the United States seasonally in large grocery and specialty food retailers.
“There’s a romanticism associated with Tortuga Rum Cake. It’s something that customers find to be rare and unique,” said Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, Tortuga’s Chief Marketing Officer and daughter of the company’s founder
While Tortuga receives virtual sackfuls of customer emails from U.S. tourists to the Caribbean, they often do not hear from these visitors until they arrive back home. Hamaty-Simmonds quotes some typical customer responses: “Wow, I can’t believe my eyes, I had that while in Jamaica!” and “It’s the best cake I have ever had.”
Tortuga’s cakes come in sizes ranging from 4 to 33 ounces and in seven different flavors: Golden Original, Chocolate Rum, Coconut Rum, Blue Mountain Coffee Rum, Banana Rum, Key Lime Rum and Pineapple Rum. The 4-ounce cakes are also available in six-packs, and the 16-ounce size is also available in cases of nine cakes. Tortuga also offers attractive shipper display cases to retailers as well.
The company boasts a variety of offerings beyond its namesake cakes, offering gourmet coffees, rum balls, candies and fudge, as well as pepper jelly and a line of seven cooking sauces. Based in the Cayman Islands, Tortuga employs 100 workers across all units and has a staff of 12 in the United States, with offices in Miami. The company estimates it will grow 10 percent over the next two years.
In surveying the U.S. gourmet food industry, Hamaty-Simmonds sees a lot of the family business in the U.S. market. “There are so many entrepreneurs in the industry, people with the next big gourmet product, someone looking to share their secret family recipe just like our company has done,” she said. “I see continued industry growth, and that will mean more shelf space for specialty and gourmet foods in the larger grocery chains across the U.S.”
For more information on Tortuga Rum Cake Company, visit the company online at www.tortugarumcakes.com.
B&G Foods has added Garlic Parmesan flavor to its line of New York Style Bagel Crisps®. The new flavor lets you experience New York-style bagels in a light and crispy chip with the zest of garlic and the zing of Parmesan cheese. These crunchy baked snacks are made with bagel bread and have half the fat and fewer calories than fried potato chips.
Garlic Parmesan New York Style Bagel Crisps can be adorned to create party fare that will impress the most discerning of foodies, or they can be enjoyed straight out of the bag. They’re great on their own or paired with toppings, dips and spreads, providing a delectable appetizer in a New York minute. New York Style Bagel Crisps are made without artificial flavors or colors.
Garlic Parmesan New York Style Bagel Crisps will be available in stores starting in September.
Click here for more coverage of gourmet snack foods.
The Eli’s Cheesecake Company of Chicago is now offering Mini Pumpkin Pies for foodservice and in-store bakeries. These are the perfect, easy dessert to re-pack or sell individually in service cases.
These Mini Pumpkin Pies feature a custardy, lightly-spiced filling made with pumpkins from Stahlbush Island Farms, baked in an all-butter crust, sprinkled with coarse sugar. Stahlbush Island Farms is an environmentally friendly farm and food processor committed to sustainable agriculture. As an ingredient supplier to the bakery industry, Stahlbush is one of the largest processors of frozen pumpkin puree in the industry. Quality control is a high priority in their production process. For every lot processed, they run tests to ensure the best results for moisture, grit, pH, brix, total plate count per gram, texture, color and flavor, as requested. Additionally, they have a program in place for pathogen screening to ensure food safety. Their philosophy is that farming practices should leave the soil, air, water, plant life, animals and people healthier. For them and Eli’s, sustainability is a continuing journey. In 1997, Stahlbush became one of the first farms in the country to be certified sustainable by the Food Alliance.
Bridor Inc., which makes authentic European breads and Viennese pastry for the retail and foodservice industry, is introducing its Greek Yogurt & Cherry Danish and Chocolate Avalanche. The Greek Yogurt & Cherry Danish combines the tart and creamy taste of Greek yogurt with Bridor’s house-made cherry filling in the company’s signature flaky, croissant pastry. This is the only Greek Yogurt Danish available to the U.S. retail bakery and foodservice market. Additionally, Bridor has introduced a Chocolate Avalanche pastry created to please the North American palate with its generous amount of milk chocolate filling.
“The Greek yogurt trend is here to stay, and we are proud to be the first industrial baker to give our customers that competitive advantage, and our Chocolate Avalanche is in a class by itself,” said Jean-François Duquesne, CEO, Bridor Inc. and Bridor USA Inc. “Our success is dependent on our client’s success, which is why providing high quality and innovative pastries that bring novelty to the category is key in order to ensure consumer satisfaction.”
Both new products are made with croissant dough that contains pure butter, fresh milk and fresh eggs, delivering the ultimate in quality and indulgence, and reflecting the company’s French baking heritage and expertise. Geared toward customer efficiency and satisfaction, the products are pre egg-washed and pre-proofed for time-saving, hassle-free baking upon arrival.
The brand new Chocolate Avalanche gives customers a different oblong shape and style of Danish and contains 35 grams of fine milk chocolate filling.
Rustic Crust, a manufacturer of organic and all-natural pizza crust and sauce, today honored the New Hampshire Police, Fire & EMS Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to supporting firefighters, police officers and emergency medical service personnel, for its statewide contributions. The event coincided with the ground-breaking of a new Rustic Crust and American Flatbread frozen pizza facility soon to be erected on the site of its former factory in Pittsfield, New Hampshire, which burned to the ground earlier this year. The new two-story 27,000 square-foot facility, 30 percent larger than the original structure, will be in operation this fall. After the fire, Rustic Crust’s President and CEO Brad Sterl kept more than 100 workers on payroll while he began to rebuild the company.
Sterl and Governor Maggie Hassan recognized first responders as unsung heroes who risk their lives daily to protect the communities they serve, just as they did during the company’s devastating fire. The event marks the start of a national campaign, The Rustic Crust First Responders Recognition program, to support and acknowledge these service workers across the nation. In New Hampshire and in states across the U.S., Rustic Crust and American Flatbread frozen pizzas will donate product to state first responder organizations assisting with fundraisers and other events. The company will also continue to send its mobile pizza truck to natural disaster sites to feed fatigued workers.
“As a result of the fire at our production facility, we know firsthand the courage and sacrifice displayed by first responders,” Sterl said. “We are launching this national program to honor the extraordinary work of these brave men and women – fire, police, and emergency rescue people – in their times of need.”
Rustic Crust was founded in 1996 and is the number one U.S. national brand of natural prepared, ready-made pizza crusts. American Flatbread is a market leader in natural frozen flatbread pizzas which are available in supermarkets, health and gourmet stores nationwide. The company is Pittsfield, New Hampshire’s second largest employer.
Bauli, a creator of authentic Italian holiday cakes and pastries, is announcing its official launch in the United States. Bauli products are now available at retailers, including Fairway, Whole Foods and Duane Reade stores nationwide. Bauli’s line of products will introduce traditional Italian desserts to the U.S. market, guaranteeing the highest quality of natural ingredients to customers.
Rooted in Verona, Italy with history dating back to 1922, today, the Bauli family business maintains the same dedication to excellence that it started over 80 years ago. Bauli prides itself in having combined the skill of homemade recipes with high technology to bring authentic Italian baked goods and holiday products to consumers. With respect for traditions and ancient recipes, Bauli products are oven baked and made with no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors and no genetically modified ingredients and are kosher certified. The Bauli family’s guiding principle has always been a desire for excellence.
Bauli’s core products include Il Panettone di Milano, the traditional and most famous Italian Christmas bread, loaded with candied citron, lemon zest and raisins; Il Pandoro di Verona, a pan d’oro or golden bread, which is a traditional Christmas bread from Verona that’s baked in a special star-shape mold, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar and made with real eggs, which gives it the beautiful golden color; and its everyday croissant treats, which include chocolate cream, vanilla custard, and cherry jelly. In addition to these core products, Bauli is also offering its specialty Italian treats for the U.S., including Il Budino, a moist cake with delicate chocolate filling, exquisite chocolate icing and dark chocolate decorations, and La Bavarese, a soft pan d’oro dough with delicate custard cream and sugared cocoa filling. Bauli’s authentic products are the ultimate holiday hostess gift, arriving in a beautiful packaging, Il Panettone and Il Pandoro are an awaited Christmas tradition at many family tables throughout Italy, uniting the love of family, friends and food. Bauli products are a delicious Italian tradition that’s perfect for sharing with family and friends just like in Italy, and great for making delicious recipes, including panettone pudding and orange ricotta panettone ‘shortcake’.
Bridor Inc., which makes authentic European breads and Viennese pastry for the retail and foodservice industry, is expanding its U.S. facility at Vineland, New Jersey. The plant will continue to produce Bridor’s broad line of baguettes, breads and rolls that reflect the company’s 30 years of European heritage and baking mastery. The $32 million expansion will enhance its laminated pastry dough and signature flaky croissant capacity. The enlarged facility will increase from 136,000 square feet to 183,000 square feet, and its employee count will grow from 132 to 177 employees.
“This expansion represents our deep commitment to our U.S. customers and significantly enhances what we can offer them,” said Jean-François Duquesne, CEO, Bridor Inc. and Bridor USA Inc. “We pride ourselves on being an industrial baking company that combines advanced manufacturing technology with traditional European baking techniques. This enables us to produce on a large scale the highest quality, authentic European pastry and breads in the world.”
The pastry line that Bridor will manufacture in its expanded Vineland facility will cater to the taste and other preferences of the U.S. customer. It will include a wide variety of croissants and Viennese pastries with distinctive homemade fillings that incorporate locally-sourced, high quality ingredients. Bridor’s research and development department of master bakers travels the world to stay ahead of consumer trends and baking innovations. The company continuously adapts and makes new bread and pastry products to meet its customers’ evolving needs.
Ozery Bakery, the artisanal baker best known for Morning Rounds® Breakfast breads, today launches yet another bakery first: pre-sliced Soft Ciabatta Thins. Available in Multi Grain and Chia and authentic Sour Dough varieties, Ozery’s newest sandwich breads are non-GMO certified, vegan, low fat and cholesterol- and preservative-free. They are also the first true Italian ciabatta bread crafted to make the ultimate sandwich: perfectly square, soft, thin, pre-sliced and less bready than conventional ciabatta bread.
Putting the chia in chiabatta bread, Ozery’s Multi Grain variety brings chia seeds to the party along with cracked wheat, rye, barley, oats, crushed flax and sunflower seeds to elevate the Omega-3 content while providing a whopping 8 grams of fiber per serving. Similarly, the Sour Dough has the authentic tang you would expect and toasts up to a satisfying crackly crunch.
“We’ve had our eye on ciabatta bread for some time now. We tinkered with our recipe over the past two years until we got it right,” says Alon Ozery, who, along with his brother, Guy, is driving innovation in the baked goods industry. “Ours is the first soft ciabatta thin sandwich bread in the market. We hope you like it as much as we do!”
Ozery Soft Ciabatta thins are available at natural and specialty food stores in addition to other fine retailers across the country for a suggested retail price of $4.69 for each 16.9-ounce package containing six buns. Food service packaging and pricing is also available.
On the heels of the Dairy-Deli-Bake show earlier this month, Tribeca-based Goodie Girl announced expanded distribution of its full line of cookies nationwide, initially focusing on the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern markets. The company, which specializes in creating gluten-free cookies that are just as good or better than the classics, will increase availability beyond specialty stores into major chains as demand for high-quality gluten-free goodies continues to rise.
“Goodie Girl cookies are for all cookie lovers, including those intolerant to gluten,” said Shira Berk, founder and owner of Goodie Girl. “The gluten-free category is experiencing double-digit growth annually and according to some sources, almost a quarter of consumers now have someone at home eating gluten-free. Those are big numbers, but we all know that the key driver of repeat purchase is great taste. We are truly proud of our products and excited to be increasing distribution so that we can share our cookies with more consumers.”
Known as the creators of gluten-free cookies that everyone can enjoy, Goodie Girl is thrilled the market for its cookies goes far beyond celiac or gluten-intolerant individuals. Known for her baking skills, Shira Berk founded Goodie Girl in 2010 after a friend requested she reconstruct cookies for a gluten-free child. To her delight, Berk baked her way to the discovery that she could make delicious gluten-free cookies with “just the right amount of wrong.” With flavors ranging from Mint Slims and Quinoa Choco-Chip to Midnight Brownie and Oatmeal Raisin, her mouthwatering cookies have been delighting consumers ever since.
To help make increased production and distribution goals a reality, Goodie Girl recently partnered with Toufayan Bakeries. As one of the largest family-run bakeries in the United States, Toufayan provides production and distribution expertise and has become well-known in the gluten-free market for its line of gluten-free wraps featuring flavors such as Spinach and Garden Tomato.
“The gluten-free food category continues to grow, but what are emerging are true innovators in baking. It is one thing to make a gluten-free item; but Goodie Girl has created incredible cookies, that happen to be gluten-free,” said Greg Toufayan, COO of Toufayan. “We take great pride in our line of gluten-free wraps and when I was introduced to the delicious tasting Goodie Girl line, I knew we wanted to help this business grow.”
“It’s a dream-come-true, to find a home for our very special cookie brand within a family-owned business recognized nationwide for their commitment to authentic, high-quality baked goods. We welcome the expertise that Toufayan brings and an enhanced ability to bring Goodie Girl cookies to both retailers and consumers,” said Berk.
Absolutely Gluten Free Foods is introducing a flourless, cauliflower crust gluten-free pizza, which will be hitting supermarket shelves in August.
Absolutely Gluten Free pizzas are available in two varieties: Mozzarella and Non Dairy Mozzarella Style topping. Individual pizzas are just 57 calories each and contain only 1.7 grams of fat or 2.0 grams of fat.
According to Mordy Dicker of Absolutely Gluten Free, “The cauliflower pizzas not only address the fast-growing gluten free-market, but the low-calorie, low-fat and lactose-free market as well. This will be the first nationally available cauliflower crusted gluten-free pizza. Being able to fulfill the needs of these rapidly growing markets with America’s favorite food is a win-win for the retailer and the consumer. Absolutely Gluten Free cauliflower pizzas, which were first introduced to the trade at Expo West earlier this year, received an overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic response.”
“Absolutely Gluten Free Pizza provides the health benefits of cruciferous rich cauliflower and antioxidants which help to protect the body,” states nutritional expert Ellen Piernick. “In addition, Absolutely Gluten Free Pizza offers healthy levels of fiber and protein making it a great choice for an after school snack for children.”
Absolutely Gluten Free pizzas are packaged and shipped frozen, three pizzas to a box, and will retail for approximately $4.99. They are certified gluten free, non-GMO and certified kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU). United Natural Foods International (UNFI), a leading national, natural food distributor will be the first to begin shipping the product in August 2014, in time for back-to- school.
Absolutely Gluten Free is headquartered in Bayonne, New Jersey, and currently has a line of flatbreads and crackers available in stores nationwide. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @AbsolutelyGF and online at www.absolutelygf.com.