Two Emmi Roth USA employees are among the 2014 class of American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals™. Krista Schoppenhauer and Kristin Sande are part of an elite group of 153 individuals from 32 different companies who passed the third annual ACS Certified Cheese Professional Exam, held July 29 in Sacramento, California.
Krista Schoppenhauer, Inside Sales Representative for Specialty Cheeses at Emmi Roth USA, has more than 10 years of experience in the cheese industry. Schoppenhauer, who developed a love of fine food at a young age, said she is “proud to have attained this milestone while working at Emmi Roth.”
With more than 20 years of experience in the cheese industry, Kristin Sande is the Inside Sales Manager for Specialty Cheeses at Emmi Roth USA. “I am fortunate to have a career that not only provides continued growth but also tastes delicious,” said Sande.
Sande and Schoppenhauer join Roger Olsen, Specialty Sales Trainer, who passed the ACS Certified Cheese Professional Exam in 2013. “The ever-expanding cheese community is a wonderful place to be, especially now,” said Olson, who has more than 20 years of professional experience in the food industry. “It is a joy sharing great cheese and education with people who are passionate about food.”
“We are exceptionally proud of Krista, Kristin and Roger,” said Jodie Wische, Vice President of Specialty Sales at Emmi Roth USA. “Becoming a Certified Cheese Professional is a prestigious achievement and true testament to their dedication and passion for the cheese industry.”
In support of cheesemongers and cheese professionals, Emmi Roth USA proudly sponsors the American Cheese Society CCP reception to honor and celebrate the efforts of exam takers. The exam is the only one of its kind, and it was established to encourage improved standards of comprehensive cheese knowledge and service. Aspiring cheese professionals need 4,000 hours of work experience and formal education just to be eligible to take the exam. Those who pass the test are awarded a lapel pin, jacket patch and certificate.
To learn more about the Certified Cheese Professional Exam, visit www.cheesesociety.org.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released its annual report, Household Food Security in the United States 2013. The report reveals that 14.3 percent of U.S. households were food-insecure in 2013. This number is a slight decline since 2011 but remains well above the rates of food insecurity recorded before the recession.
“Our elected officials need to make ending hunger a national priority,” said Rev. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World. “It is unacceptable that 17.5 million households in this country must choose between paying for medicine, rent, day care, or food.
In 2008, the number of food-insecure Americans increased by more than 30 percent as a result of the recession and has remained above 14 percent. The USDA defines food insecurity as “when consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.”
The working poor and families living in poverty are most vulnerable to food insecurity. The threat to children is especially high – 15.8 million children lived in food-insecure households in 2013.
According to the USDA report, for 360,000 households, “food insecurity among children was so severe that caregivers reported that children were hungry, skipped a meal, or did not eat for a whole day because there was not enough money for food.” Studies show that children who are hungry and at risk of hunger are more likely to struggle in school and have an increased risk for illnesses and weakened immune systems.
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.
Terlato Wines has entered into a new partnership to take over the U.S. sales and marketing of Cecchi, a leading producer in Chianti Classico and other Tuscan wines, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The long-term agreement with the Cecchi family adds depth and diversity to the Terlato Italian portfolio with a highly regarded and established premium brand from Tuscany’s renowned Chianti Classico region.
Cecchi has been producing premium wines from single vineyard estates in Tuscany for more than 120 years, and is in its fourth generation of family management with brothers Cesare and Andrea Cecchi – great grandsons of founder Luigi Cecchi – leading the winery today. They have invested significantly in expanding their vineyard holdings and modernizing their wineries and winemaking operations, always with a goal of improving the quality of their wines. The Cecchi brand has been sold in the U.S. for more than 25 years. Today, Cecchi is a leading Tuscan brand, focused on its range of wines from Chianti Classico, with additional wines from Maremma and Umbria.
“We started discussions with Cesare and Andrea earlier this year, as they initiated their search for a new U.S. importer,” said Terlato Wines Chief Executive William A. Terlato. “Cesare and Andrea wanted to make certain they chose the right long-term partner to build their brand in the U.S. market. A blind tasting conducted at their winery convinced us that their winemaking approach and commitment to quality would make Cecchi an ideal fit in our portfolio. Both families are aligned on the brand’s untapped potential. We have an opportunity to build a leadership position in the Chianti Classico category and establish a stronger brand presence with the current portfolio and some exceptional new wines.”
Terlato will import a collection of wines from Cecchi, but will focus on a targeted range of six wines that are key expressions of Cecchi’s Tuscan heritage and their diversity of vineyard holdings, including: Chianti Classico DOCG; Chianti Classico Riserva di Famiglia DOCG; Coevo IGT Toscana; La Mora Vermentino DOC Maremma Toscana; La Mora Morellino di Scansano DOCG and; Sangiovese IGT Toscana.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with the Terlato family,” said Cesare Cecchi. “Terlato Wines is widely known as the leading luxury importer in the U.S., and we know our partnership will build our U.S. brand presence and image. They are a great fit for us.”
Terlato Wines has a global portfolio of more than 70 brands from world class wine producers in more than a dozen countries and controls a 20 percent market share of wines $20 and up in the U.S. Terlato Wines garners more 90+ ratings than any wine company in the world and is a division of the Terlato Wine Group, the parent company comprising several small businesses specializing in the marketing and production of exceptional wines. Owned and operated by the Terlato family for four generations, the Group also includes the family’s winery investments and partnerships in some of the world’s most esteemed wine regions including: Napa Valley; Sonoma County; Sta. Rita Hills in Santa Barbara County; Victoria, Australia; the Rhone Valley in France and; Montalcino,Italy.
The Terlato Wines portfolio of brands includes: Napa Valley: Chimney Rock, EPISODE, Galaxy, Jack Nicklaus Wines, Luke Donald Collection, Markham Vineyards, Rutherford Hill, Tangley Oaks, Terlato Family Vineyards; Sonoma County: Alderbrook, Giarrusso, Hanna, Rochioli, The Federalist, Terlato Family Vineyards; Santa Barbara County: Flor de Campo, Sanford; California Appellation: Glass Mountain, Greystone Cellars, Mike Ditka Wines, Seven Daughters; Oregon: Sokol Blosser; Washington State: Grace Lane; Argentina: Cuarto Dominio, Tamari; Australia: Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier, the Lucky Country, Twelftree, Two Hands; Austria: Kracher; Canada: Peller Estates; Chile: Lapostolle; France: Belleruche by M. Chapoutier, Champagne Bollinger, Chateau de Sancerre, Chateau Timberlay, Chanson Pere & Fils, Domaine Ramonet, Langlois-Chateau, M. Chapoutier, MARIUS, Mischief & Mayhem; Greece: Boutari, Elios; Italy: Anselmi, Berlucchi, Ca’Marcanda (GAJA Toscana), Cecchi, Colavita, Cusumano, Fizz 56, GAJA, Goretti, Il Poggione, Mazzoni (Toscana), Nino Franco, Santa Margherita, Torresella,; Japan: Shimizu-no-mai Sake; Mediterranean: Elios; New Zealand: Loveblock, Turning Heads, Wairau River; South Africa: Anthonij Rupert, Ernie Els, Guardian Peak, Protea, Rust en Vrede; Spain: Bodegas Valdemar, Marco Abella. Artisan Spirits: Adelphi Selections Scotch, Distillatori Nonino (Grappa), Don Pancho Origenes Rum, Heartland Prohibition Gin, Langley’s No. 8 Gin; Marnier Cognac, Riazul Tequila, Spring Mill Bourbon, Tigre Blanc Vodka and Tiramisu Liqueur.
Capital Teas has added two senior executives, both with extensive experience in developing and implementing aggressive growth strategies in the consumer goods market.
White House Black Market co-founder Michael Smith has joined Capital Teas as Special Advisor to the company’s CEO, Peter Martino. Additionally, Keith Rogers has signed on as Executive Vice President, incorporating his previous related experience with Dolcezza Gelato and Coffee, where he served as COO, and five years in various leadership roles at Starbucks Coffee Company.
A reflection of the strength of the specialty tea market, which has seen explosive growth in North America in 2014, Capital Teas received a $5 million investment in March and will double the number of its stores by year’s end including new locations in Charlottesville, Virginia, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and BWI Airport.
“To foster our accelerated development effectively, we have brought aboard two key executives whose collective experience will be crucial to Capital Teas as we forge our path on the national and international consumer goods landscape,” said Peter Martino. “Recognizing that we have tremendous opportunity in front of us, we are thrilled to bring aboard two business powerhouses whose strategic insights and experience we admire.”
Michael Smith, Special Advisor to the CEO
Michael Smith co-founded White House Black Market and was instrumental in building the brand and business from the ground up, ultimately expanding to 107 locations. In 2003, White House Black Market was acquired for $90 million by Chico’s FAS, Inc., and Smith moved on to oversee the investor relations and community affairs for all brands within the Chico’s FAS portfolio until 2008. With dual experiences as both an entrepreneur and a corporate executive, Smith understands the priority of creativity, product and customer service, while also setting strategic and operational priorities and procedures.
Keith Rogers, Executive Vice President
Keith Rogers comes to Capital Teas from Dolcezza Gelato and Coffee, where he served as COO from 2013 to 2014. In his role at Dolcezza, Rogers led in building organizational capacity, financial analysis & planning, integrating technology, and strategic development of retail, food manufacturing, and eCommerce. From 2010 to 2011, Rogers served as CEO of Annapolis Foods, where he completed a one-year overhaul in its retail, restaurant and food service operations and wholesale distribution. A graduate of Cornell University, Rogers’ experience spans restaurant, hotel, retail, and entertainment operations, including five years at Starbucks Coffee Company in roles from District Manager to General Manager of Starbucks Entertainment.
It’s party time at the Organic Trade Association. For 10. Straight. Days. And everyone’s invited.
September is “Organic Month,” and OTA and its member companies are teaming up with other leading organic influencers to throw “Organic-Palooza,” a first-ever 10-day social media festival that gets going on September 8 to celebrate the benefits of organic, clear up confusion about what organic really stands for, and share how and why consumers should incorporate more organic – whether it’s organic food or organic fiber – into their lives.
From affordability issues – how your family can create an at-home organic menu without breaking the budget – to the trustworthiness of organic – an explanation of the strict regulations and standards that go into growing and making every single organic product – the blitz, delivered by OTA and some 50 strategic partners, will delve into the biggest issues surrounding organic, bust a few myths, and provide an unprecedented and free-wheeling exchange of ideas and views and knowledge between top organic experts and just normal folks.
“We are very excited to be engaging our members and the public in such a creative and accessible way to answer questions about organic,” said Laura Batcha, Executive Director and CEO of OTA. “Each day we’ll be focusing on one key organic topic in order to spark conversation and share as much knowledge as we can between organic news watchers and newsmakers, and ultimately to help consumers make the best choices for their families.”
Using the #OrganicFestival hashtag on its social media channels (Facebook facebook.com/OrganicTrade, Twitter twitter.com/organictrade, Pinterest pinterest.com/organictrade), daily themes include nutrition, the latest trends in organic, organic standards and the meaning of the organic seal, affordability, organic’s role in mitigating global warming, a look at the latest research on organic, and more. Through recipes, meal-planning tips, and updates on organic fiber, consumers will be shown how to make organic a regular part of their lives.
Special sessions will feature organic thought leaders including top food and nutrition writers and bloggers, organic policy and agricultural experts, and OTA members sharing their perspectives on policy, regulatory, and real-life concerns being faced by the organic community. The public will be introduced to the organic visionaries who have helped make the organic industry the robust part of the American food and fiber sector that it is today.
A five-day Twitter party will be wrapped into the festival, with each party zeroing in on a specific organic focus and co-hosted by an expert in the subject. One of the parties will be a “myth-busting” session to debunk common myths and misinformation about organic, co-hosted by “Coach” Mark Smallwood, head of the Rodale Institute and an internationally recognized organic expert, and Dr. Jessica Shade, Lead Scientist for The Organic Center. Another will be on GMOs in our food supply with host Matt Dillon, an advocate and recognized expert in organic seed systems and agricultural policy and programs manager at Clif Bar. Dr. Alan Greene, a kids’ health expert devoted to giving answers to parents’ real questions will co-host a session on what organic means for kids. Finally, eco-fashion pioneer Marci Zaroff will co-host a party on organic textiles, clarifying the importance of driving sustainability by choosing organic—beyond food.
Each Twitter party will be sponsored by OTA members who are offering dozens of prizes to festival participants ranging from organic snacks and sauces to a basket of organic linen. Randomly selected Facebook fans sharing news about the festival with their friends will be awarded daily prizes donated by OTA member companies, as will selected Pinterest followers who repin the campaign image.
The Kroger Co. has announced that 13 Kroger associates and 4 Murray’s Cheese associates have been named Certified Cheese Professionals™ by the American Cheese Society.
All 17 have joined the ranks of an elite group of individuals who have passed the Certified Cheese Professional™ Exam. The exam was created by the American Cheese Society to promote the large and comprehensive world of cheeses and encourage food industry professionals to master the knowledge. Before taking the exam in Sacramento this summer, the associates participated in a rigorous three-month training course led by Amanda Parker, Director of Kroger Programs at Murray’s Cheese. Parker has also been tapped to co-chair the American Cheese Society’s annual conference in 2015.
“This is only the third year of this certification program, but it is already bringing the cheese profession to a whole new level,” said Rob Kaufelt, Owner and President of Murray’s Cheese. “After studying everything from milk chemistry to aging techniques to pairing and serving cheeses, these mongers are now even better equipped to educate and delight our customers.”
“We are proud of our associates for working so hard to earn this important recognition, which reflects their commitment to gourmet cheese craft,” said Margaret McClure, Kroger’s Vice President of Deli/Bakery. “Kroger’s unique partnership with Murray’s Cheese continues to inspire our associates to share their passion for cheese with our customers every day.”
Through an exclusive partnership with New York City’s Murray’s Cheese, the Kroger family of stores features more than 140 Murray’s counters in stores from coast to coast. Featuring more than 175 cheeses and specialty goods from all over the world, the Murray’s counters are staffed by associates who have been trained by the Murray’s experts in New York.
Tim Omer will join Emmi Roth USA as President and Managing Director effective September 15, 2014. Omer brings more than 25 years of specialty cheese industry experience to his new role, having previously served as the CEO and President of DCI Cheese Company, which was sold to Saputo in 2011.
In announcing the appointment of Omer, Matthias Kunz, Chairman of the Board of Emmi Roth USA, stated that, “As a true insider to domestic and imported specialty cheeses, Tim brings a deep and thorough knowledge that will be instrumental in helping our company continue to grow. We view this appointment as a sign of our commitment to being one of the leading companies in our industry.”
As President and Managing Director, Omer will help underpin Emmi Roth USA’s position as an artisanal-centered, cheese-driven organization. “I am excited to start a new challenge with one of the finest cheese companies in the world, and I am fortunate to have the opportunity to lead a group of passionate team members that are committed to the highest quality products and service,” said Omer.
Omer received his bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2004, Omer was the recipient of the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for Wisconsin.
Bissinger’s announced today that Carla Ravarino is joining the firm, serving as Director of Sales, East Region. Ravarino has over 20 years experience in business development, portfolio management, sales and operations.
A veteran in both the food and specialty retailer industries, Ravarino was most recently National Account Executive at Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, Washington. She played a key management role in developing, opening and managing more than 500 locations in the Foodservice and Licensed Stores divisions throughout the country. She also served in multiple roles with specialty retailer Neiman-Marcus in corporate buying, store management and sales.
“I am pleased to be a part of such a committed, industry-revered company and being surrounded by people very passionate about the art of crafting fine chocolate,” said Ravarino. “Growing up in St. Louis, I have an innate affinity for the Bissinger’s brand and high-quality confections.” Ravarino comes from a long linage of food retailers as well. Her family’s former pasta company business originated in 1901 and was committed to brand recognition, quality products and service excellence in the industry.
Ravarino will be responsible for wholesale sales efforts, working with the Bissinger’s Broker Network and key customers in the East region to grow the brand. “We feel very fortunate to have her on our team,” said Jeff Tillery, Vice President of Sales and Business Development. “She is a natural fit for the company, has a strong background working with brokers and is well-versed in overseeing multiple territories.”
Earlier this month, Bissinger’s moved into its new headquarters facility, combining multiple operations under one roof — a beautiful, historic 220,000 square-foot building that underwent $15 million in renovations. The additional space allows for new, state-of-the-art equipment, private tours, special event space and ensures it keeps up with strong growth in both the retail and wholesale sectors. “It’s a transformative time at Bissinger’s,” said President and CEO Tim Fogerty. “The new facility allows us to continue our commitment to sourcing the finest ingredients and providing unique and sophisticated flavor combinations—while staying true to our long-standing legacy.”
Backed by centuries of confectionery excellence, the company traces its roots back to 17th Century France when King Louis XIV granted the company the title of “Confiseur Imperial” for confectionery excellence. Sourcing the finest all natural, sustainable ingredients is the company’s central focus. Bissinger’s is the recipient of numerous sofi™ Awards and may be found at the larger national stores such as Whole Foods Market, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales as well as the high-end boutique retailers like local Straub’s and Draeger’s Markets across the country.
Tyson Foods, Inc. has completed its merger with The Hillshire Brands Company, a transaction that positions Tyson Foods as a clear leader in the prepared foods business. In connection with the merger, shares of Hillshire Brands common stock will be delisted and cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Chicago Stock Exchange before the opening of the respective markets on August 29, 2014.
The combination of Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands creates a single company with more than $40 billion in annual sales and a portfolio that includes recognized brands such as Tyson(R), Wright(R), Jimmy Dean(R), Ball Park(R), State Fair(R) and Hillshire Farm(R).
“As of today, Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands are officially together in one great company,” said Tyson Foods CEO Donnie Smith. “Part of our strategic growth plan has been to shift toward higher-margin prepared and branded foods. This transaction gives us a portfolio of complementary, proven brands as a new springboard and accomplishes in a short time what would have taken us years to build on our own.”
The integration of the two companies is currently expected to generate synergy savings of $225 million in fiscal 2015 and more than $500 million by fiscal 2017.
Teams of people from Tyson and Hillshire have been working on integration plans since July to help make sure the combined company gets off to a good start.
“During this process, I’ve had a chance get to know many people on the Hillshire Brands team and the great work they’re doing, and I’m more convinced than ever that the future of our combined companies is bright,” Smith said. “As excited as I am about our new brands, I’m equally excited about the combined talent of the two companies.”
A new leadership team has been selected and includes a mix of existing senior leaders from Tyson Foods and Hillshire Brands.
Andy Callahan, former president of Hillshire’s retail business, will manage all retail consumer brands, including the legacy Hillshire consumer brands (such as Jimmy Dean(R), Ball Park(R), Hillshire Farm(R) and Sara Lee(R)), Tyson’s consumer brands (such as Tyson(R) frozen, value-added poultry and Wright(R) Brand bacon) and Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group.
Sally Grimes, former chief innovation officer and president of Hillshire’s Gourmet Food Group, will lead Tyson’s innovation (including research and development), sales and global brand strategy teams to support all products sold through retail channels and to maximize global growth of our consumer brands.
Donnie King, former president-Prepared Foods, Customer and Consumer Solutions for Tyson Foods, will oversee Tyson’s legacy poultry, fresh meats and non-branded prepared foods businesses as well as the combined Tyson Foods and Hillshire foodservice businesses. Those reporting to him will include Steve Stouffer who will lead fresh meats; Noel White who will lead poultry; Wes Morris who will lead prepared foods operations; and Tom Hayes, currently chief supply chain officer for Hillshire Brands, who will lead the combined Tyson and Hillshire foodservice businesses.
Those continuing to report to Donnie Smith will include David Van Bebber, who leads the Tyson legal team; Sara Lilygren, who leads corporate affairs; Dennis Leatherby, who continues as the company’s chief financial officer; Hal Carper, who heads strategy and new ventures; Mike Roetzel, who oversees operations services; and Russell Tooley, who heads the company’s business process and continuous improvement practice.
Ken Kimbro, who has led Tyson Foods’ human resources functions since 2001, will be transitioning into retirement. He will be replaced by Mary Oleksiuk, former chief human resources officer for Hillshire Brands.
Malik Sadiq, senior vice president-Asia Pacific, will oversee Tyson International on an interim basis. He takes the place of James Young who will be transitioning to Tyson’s Cobb-Vantress breeding stock subsidiary in the coming months.
“This is an awesome team and they’re prepared to make this integration process smooth and efficient while we continue to exceed the expectations of our customers and consumers,” Smith said.
Sean Connolly, former president and chief executive officer of Hillshire Brands, has chosen to pursue other interests, but will consult during the integration process.