Bissinger’s and The Caramel Room unveiled a new facility in a special chocolate ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening party on October 15, 2014. Over 300 guests looked on as Bissinger’s President and CEO Tim Fogerty and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay cut a specially-created chocolate ribbon to inaugurate Bissinger’s new corporate headquarters and showcase its 14,000 square-foot event space, The Caramel Room.
“We are so honored to be here carrying on Bissinger’s legacy. Originating in 17th century Paris, the company opened its St. Louis doors in 1925,” said Fogerty. “The increased capacity will allow us to keep up with demand and bring new jobs to St. Louis. The addition of private chocolate tours and special event space for parties, corporate meetings and receptions will make this a destination and major attraction for both local and out-of-town visitors.”
The ceremony was the culmination of a year of intense effort, and the renovation process took more than 250 people to complete. The project consolidated two facilities, bringing jobs from Bissinger’s Iowa City plant to St. Louis. Bissinger’s now employs approximately 100 people.
Constructed circa 1910, the historic property was once home to the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad Depot. A $15 million renovation was undertaken to upgrade to industry standards while preserving much of its original architectural detail. The four-story building contains 220,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space and will now accommodate private chocolate tours. The top floor has a new 14,000 square-foot event space which can seat up to 350 people for dinner and features a 4,200 square-foot deck offering expansive views
Fogerty presented the Mayor with a special limited-release chocolate bar commemorating the 250th anniversary of St. Louis. The hand-painted art features famous pioneers and landmarks that have been instrumental in the fabric of St. Louis’ iconic past, present and future. Available in both 60% Dark Chocolate and White Mint, the 8-ounce bars can be purchased for a limited time online and in stores.
DORVAL Trading Co. Ltd. has received the Non-GMO Project Verification seal for its DORVAL Premium Collection Cocoa. “We recognize today’s retailers and consumers have high standards and are becoming more aware of the use of GMOs in some products,” said Roberta Cappel, President at DORVAL. “At DORVAL, we strive to add superior quality to the market with our chocolate and cocoa products using natural ingredients. We are confident that this verification will increase distribution of our DORVAL Premium Collection Cocoa brand into more outlets that are committed to non-GMO products.”
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization and is North America’s only third party verification and labeling source for non-GMO food and products. Once products are Verified, they are authorized to bear the Non-GMO Verification seal indicating that the item has gone through Non-GMO Project’s strenuous Verification process.
DORVAL Cocoa is available in 12-count cases as well as a 32-count shipper. The product’s packaging has an upscale, premium look that stands out among the rest.
For over 45 years, DORVAL Trading Co. Ltd. has been an importer of an extensive range of high-quality confectionery products from major manufacturers around the world. Dorval has grown into a significant presence in the confectionery and specialty distribution arena.
Kane Candy offers a line of chocolate dessert and shooter cups, giving party hosts an opportunity to make a splash with a gourmet treat for their guests that does not require a lot of time and effort to put together.
The Kane Candy brand launched in 2012. According to Joe Kane, President of Kane Food Group, the product line drew attention immediately, because it offered the high-end quality that had been missing from competitive products. “The whole concept of the brand is the at-home entertaining,” said Kane. “It’s for the consumer who wants to prepare pastries and desserts just like a world-class pastry chef would make.”
Kane Candy products are all made with real chocolate with a high cocoa content. They are also gluten-free, certified kosher (dairy) and made in the USA. None of the company’s products include high fructose corn syrup. “We’re a firm believer in all-natural,” Kane said.
The chocolate dessert cups are easy to turn into gourmet treats. One simply fills them with a flavored mousse, sorbet or mascarpone cheese and tops them with a few chocolate curls, a couple of raspberries, a puff of whipped cream or even edible flowers. “The whole concept is for people to have fun with these and to be able to create,” Kane said. “We get emails all the time from people who say that these were the most popular dessert at their party.”
Kane also offers Cordial & Toasting Cups in white and dark chocolate, ideal for an after-dinner sweet of a more alcoholic kind. Fill them with port or a dessert wine or maybe a sip of amaretto or Bailey’s Irish Cream for elegance without effort. Home entertaining columnist, blogger and occasional talk show guest Cheryl Najafi filled the Kane Cordial & Toasting Cups with marshmallow fluff for an elevated version of s’mores. And TammyJo Eckhart, who styles herself a “Chocolate Priestess” in her blog The Chocolate Cult, noted that the Kane Chocolate Dessert Cups ranked among the best chocolate she tasted in all of 2013.
When Kane Candy first burst onto the scene, retailers embraced the company’s products during the holiday season. However, since then, they have become a year-round item, sought out for weddings and graduation parties as well as dinner parties at home. “We don’t try to seasonalize the product,” said Kane. “We have one holiday variety only.” The Kane Candy brand sales volume has grown as the products have found new fans, and sales for 2014 have more than doubled 2013 sales. “We’re very, very happy,” Kane said.
The company is expanding the product line this fall with chocolate baking bricks and chocolate disks for melting into candy, both made of premium-quality chocolate. “There’s lots of premium chocolate on the market, but that upgrade has not happened in the baking aisle,” Kane said. “Our goal is to upgrade that aisle with a premium product line.”
This story was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Gourmet News, a publication of Oser Communications Group.
Draft Beer flavor Jelly Belly® beans have taken the country by storm. Now available in bulk, bags and gift items, there are multiple ways to cool down with Draft Beer jelly beans. Created with beer-loving adults in mind, the Draft Beer jelly beans are alcohol-free and fit in perfectly with the craft beer trend. The gift packages are ideal for beer enthusiasts and easily double as keepsakes once the Draft Beer jelly beans have all been eaten.
In time for the gift-giving season, Draft Beer Jelly Belly beans are available in a collectible Draft Beer Can Tin, each containing pyramid bags filled with the new jelly bean. The gift-ready Draft Beer Glass Mini Mug is filled with Draft Beer and Jewel Cream Soda jelly beans to mimic the “foamy head” of a freshly poured glass of beer. The glass mug is the ideal size for beer tastings or for use as a shot glass for other drinks and festivities. The Draft Beer flavor of Jelly Belly beans is also available in the popular Jelly Belly Grab & Go® bag size. The 3.5-ounce bag is perfect for sharing with friends, gift bag additions and other social events.
Sensational Sweets recently announced new packaging and varieties for its line of handcrafted chocolate “Pizzas with Pizazz™.” The SUPREMES are built upon the original pizza, which has a popcorn lace crust, popcorn and pretzels, all drizzled with white chocolate. The SUPREME line includes No Melts, Chocolate Chips, Jelly Beans, Tropical Treat (lime and coconut), Sea Salt Caramel + Decorations, Dark Mint + Decorations, Cinnamon Cheesecake, Pumpkin and Raspberry. These Supremes are also available in the mini-sized pizzas. In addition, Sensational Sweets has expanded its gluten-free versions, now offering the option of gluten-free pretzels.
Additionally, new packaging choices include a large white box with a scalloped cello opening to highlight each large pizza and two choices of either white or brick red boxes with a scalloped opening for the Mini Pizzas. All the pizzas are shrink-wrapped and can still be packaged in the fun and distinctive pizza box. These SUPREME pizzas compliment the already great-selling original line.
The entire Sensational Sweets facility is nut-free and kosher certified. Visit the website for the pizza decoration choices, and view the rest of the company’s extensive product line at www.sensationalsweets.com. Call 570.524.4361 for more information.
The new tasting party gift set from Brix includes four varieties of chocolate in 3-ounce boxes: Extra Dark at 70 percent cacao, Medium Dark at 60 percent, Smooth Dark at 54 percent, and Milk Chocolate at 46 percent. The set includes a wooden cutting board and knife to break chocolate into bite size pieces and is packaged in a keepsake box with a special tasting guide.
Each chocolate pairs with different wine varietals or styles. Try Extra Dark with full bodied complex reds like Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Barolo or Malbec; taste the Medium Dark with fruitier medium-bodied wines like Merlot, Shiraz, Zinfandel, Chianti, and Rhone; try Smooth Dark with Champagne, Riesling and softer reds as Pinot Noir, or vintage port. Milk chocolate complements rose, Burgundy, port, sherry and dessert wines. Find pairings suggestions on all Brix packaging.
When Brix owners met up with Philip Goodband, Master of Wine, one of 300 of the highest level wine experts in the world, he tasted something very special in the pairings.
“It is the degree of bitterness combined with the other ingredients that is the key,” Goodband said. “Brix has a different set of textures, something in the formula that I’m not privy to but whatever it is, it works.” Goodband helped Brix to write the tasting guide in the gift set. An ideal gift for the wine enthusiast, the tasting set is available at gourmet retailers, wineries or at the Brix Online Store.
Brix is crafted from the finest single origin cacao beans from Ghana known for red fruit tones. Blended with the best confectionery chocolate, it’s the perfect companion to wine. Brix is also available in 8-ounce bars, 3-ounce bars, or single-serve bites packages. Created by Dr. Nick Proia in 2008, Brix is distributed in the US, and 14 other countries.
Just in time for Halloween, Verve, Inc., the producer of Glee Gum and Make Your Own Candy Kits, debuts the first and only 100 percent natural gum pops—hard candy lollipops with bubblegum centers. The limited release, special edition pack of 10 Glee Gum Pops is a sweet alternative to conventional Halloween treats.
Each pack of Halloween Glee Gum Pops contains a mix of three tasty flavors: Sweet Strawberry, Crisp Green Apple, and Juicy Orange. In contrast to most Halloween candy, which is filled with spooky, synthetic ingredients, Glee Gum Pops are made without artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Gluten-free, allergy-friendly, and certified kosher, the pops come packaged in recyclable plastic.
“We love that there are options on the market today for customers seeking natural lollipops and natural chewing gum, including our Glee Gum line. But, until now, there hasn’t been an option for a natural gum-filled lollipop,” notes Deborah Schimberg, Founder and President of Verve, Inc. “We’re thrilled to offer the first. We hope that our Halloween Glee Gum Pops turn scores of trick-or-treaters into more natural eaters!”
Americans are expected to spend $2.2 billion on Halloween candy this year, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey. While the vast majority of that candy won’t be natural, treats like Halloween Glee Gum Pops help to pave the way for a healthier, eek-o-friendlier holiday. Halloween Glee Gum Pops are sold in most Whole Foods Markets nationwide and online at GleeGum.com. The suggested retail price is $4.29.
VERVE, INC., maker of Glee Gum, is an independent, certified woman-owned business, dedicated to creating environmentally and socially responsible products. Verve produces Glee Gum, a natural chewing gum sold throughout the U.S. and Canada at stores like Whole Foods and Cost Plus World Market, as well as a line of natural, educational Make Your Own Candy Kits for kids. For more details, visit GleeGum.com.
Coco Polo offers healthy, natural, stevia-sweetened chocolates for consumers with a sweet-tooth. The high cocoa content in each bar (70 percent in Dark Chocolate and 39 percent in Milk Chocolate) adds to the rich cocoa taste that consumers savor. With new colorful packaging to pop off shelves, Coco Polo perpetuates chocolate’s popularity with a win-win of taste and health. Coco Polo’s 13 varieties of Dark and Milk chocolate are:
Gabi and Lisette is a chocolate company specializing in delicate Belgian chocolate. Gabi and Lisette has already introduced milk chocolate, milk chocolate mint, milk chocolate espresso, and milk chocolate toffee. This new, sophisticated line of dark chocolate embodies the motto of these two entrepreneurs: take your decadence seriously. In addition to traditional Dark Chocolate, Gabi and Lisette has added Dark Chocolate Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Orange.
Dark Chocolate: Dark Chocolate is complex. Like Gabi and Lisette’s friendship, their dark chocolate mixes several contrasting elements—sophistication and boldness, luxury and earthiness. Sweet and bitter, dark chocolate touches our flavor-receptors in a deeper way than milk chocolate can. Unlike its creamy sister, dark chocolate piques our curiosity with its full-bodied flavor. With its understated sweetness, dark chocolate lends itself to a more adventurous, complex palate. Gabi and Lisette Dark Chocolate captures the taste buds and takes us on a journey to parts of the world we’ve been, and places we’ve yet to go.
Dark Chocolate Raspberry: The bold, powerful flavor of cocoa meets sweet and tart raspberry goodness in Gabi and Lisette’s new Dark Chocolate Raspberry chocolates. Like Gabi and Lisette, these two flavors couldn’t be on more opposite sides of the spectrum. Raspberries are nostalgic; they remind us of our youth, of summertime, of simplicity. The natural sweetness cut with a hint of tart is somehow playful and innocent. Rich dark chocolate evokes different emotions—passion, boldness, indulgence. When combined, these two flavors become something that is greater the sum of their parts. Luscious Dark Chocolate Raspberry personifies the unexpected greatness that can occur when you fuse two seemingly contrary things.
Dark Chocolate Orange: This classic flavor combination is another example of the magnificence that transpires when two unique commodities collide. In Gabi and Lisette’s Dark Chocolate Orange chocolate, the tangy, bright, punchy citrus and smooth, rich cocoa pair up to tickle every taste bud. This is orange and dark chocolate like you’ve never tasted before. Elevated and high quality, Gabi and Listette embodies decadence and escape. The melt-in-your-mouth chocolate couples luxurious subtleties and adventurous flavors to create a daringly delicious combination. A delicate balance unites two unlikely forces into a harmonious whole.
For further information, visit www.GabiandLisette.com.
Crammed full of the snack lovers’ favorite holiday ingredients, barkTHINS is offering Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed for fall and will be releasing Dark Chocolate Peppermint Pretzel in limited edition for the winter holiday season. They’re crafted for the sophisticated snacker—thin, snapable and unbelievably delicious!
barkTHINS are nonGMO Project verified, fair trade ingredient certified™, and contain no artificial colors or flavors. Packaged in 4.7-ounce re-sealable gusseted bags, barkTHINS® are also available in four seriously tasty everyday flavors: Dark Chocolate Almond, Dark Chocolate Mint, Dark Chocolate Pretzel and Milk Chocolate Peanut.
“Pumpkin is fall’s favorite flavor so barkTHINS Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed with a touch of sea salt is a natural combination,”says Deborah Holt, Chief Marketing Officer of Ripple Brand Collective and a member of the board of directors for the Specialty Food Association.”Additionally, specialty food consumers love peppermint bark. By combining two classic barkTHINS flavors—Peppermint and Pretzel—we’ve given consumers an indulgent snack they won’t be able to put down this holiday.”
barkTHINS are also available in 10-ounce holiday tins, 2-ounce grab-and-go bags, as well as club size. For additional information on barkTHINS® products, visit barkthins.com and check them out on Facebook.