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Gourmet News Publisher Passes

It is with deep regret and profound sadness that we announce the passing of our founder, friend and colleague Lee M. Oser.

We are deeply saddened to share with you that Lee M. Oser, our Chief Executive Officer, passed away on November 26th. Lee was an incredible friend, mentor and colleague to us, and his passing is an incredible loss. Oser Communications Group, a company Lee founded over 40 years ago in New York City, thrived under his leadership. In response to this tragic event, the Company’s plan for succession will ensure the continuity of the Company’s strategic direction and operations. Lee is survived by his wife Kimberly; sons, Peter Oser, Lee Oser III and daughter-in-law Kate; daughters Delaney Oser, Margaret Oser and Mariella Oser; grandchildren, Ellie Oser, Briana Oser, Emma Romanow, Jackson Romanow, Gaven Williams and sister, Gail Wimmer. During this time, our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

A funeral mass will be held on Monday, December 5, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Cyril’s of Alexandria Roman Catholic Church, 4725 E. Pima St, Tucson, Arizona, with entombment immediately afterwards at East Lawn Palms Cemetery. Flowers or messages of condolence can be sent to the funeral home.

Schuman Cheese Debuts New Cheddar Flavor of Cello Whisps

Schuman Cheese has just launched a new flavor of its beloved crisp snack with Cheddar Cello Whisps, an all-natural, rBST-free, gluten-free, high-protein snack. This flavorful, protein-rich snack hit the shelves this month nationwide.

cheddar-whisps-bag-only“As a company, our mission is to enhance everyday eating experiences with the highest quality cheese. With Cheddar Cello Whisps, we were able to provide consumers with a new delicious way to enjoy our hand-crafted artisan cheddar,” said Ilana Fischer, Vice President of Innovation and Strategy at Schuman Cheese. “In fact, cheddar cheese ranks as the top flavor requested in the US, so this innovation made perfect sense. Making Cheddar Cello Whisps was the natural choice for the next flavor in the Whisps portfolio.”

The newest flavor was called for by Cello Whisps lovers who loved the Parmesan-flavor Whisps and wanted another choice.  Cello Whisps has already received recognition in the industry with several awards including a gold at the 2016 World Cheese Contest.

“The space is inundated with fake ingredients and unhealthy choices, and Cello Whisps brings a uniquely wholesome and delicious option for those wanting a better-for-you cheese snack,” continued Fischer. “What better way than to use our expertise in artisan cheese to bring a pure cheese snack to the market.”

Cheddar Cello Whisps are a real-cheese snack that won’t leave orange fingers and regret behind it. They provide consumers with a delicious, protein-rich treat that does not consist of a long list of unfamiliar ingredients. The snack is all-natural, gluten and wheat-free and provides an excellent source of calcium with 10 grams of protein and zero percent carbohydrates per serving.  It’s easy to enjoy them as-is or toss them on a salad or appetizer plate for flavor and crunch.

Cello Whisps are available to purchase throughout the U.S. in Costco, Publix, Shoprite, Stop & Shop, Amazon.com, and many others. To learn more about Cello Whisps’ new product, Cheddar Cello Whisps and Schuman Cheese visit CelloWhisps.com and SchumanCheese.com.

Two Booze-Centric Cheese Spreads from Di Bruno Bros.

441266-1Di Bruno Bros. has launched two new cheese spreads– Pinot Grigio & Fig or Smoked Gouda & Beer with Pimentos. These two unique flavors are the first new spreads added to the lineup in over a decade!

Di Bruno Bros. cheese spreads are made with real Wisconsin cheddar, and are inspired by family recipes. They are sold in the Philadelphia retail shops, in national grocery partners and on dibruno.com to ship anywhere in the country.

The line of spreads includes six other options: Spicy Abbruzze, Roasted Garlic & Herb, Port Wine, Gorgonzola, Provolone & Chianti, and Cheddar & Horseradish.

Emilio Mignucci, third-generation owner and Vice President of Culinary Pioneering says, “Our customers across the country, and especially Philadelphia, love the original six spreads and people were asking for more. I’m excited that we were able to bring them two incredible new spreads…. We think our grandparents would be proud. And, while it’s a proud moment for us, it’s been even more fun for us to work together with our team and create something new and delicious for our customers.”

New England Made Trade Show to be Held in March

This spring’s New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Show will take place at the Portland Sports Complex in Portland, Maine, from Saturday, March 18 through Monday, March 20, 2017. Admission is complimentary for qualified buyers of wholesale giftware, specialty food, and home furnishings.

The New England Made Giftware & Specialty Food Show features unique, locally-made goods from 350 businesses from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The Show offers specialty gift and gourmet food retailers an entree into the wide world of artisanal merchandise produced in the region, including everything from apparel to pottery and glassware to artisanal food products.

“New England Made has been presenting quality locally made giftware and specialty food products for 33 years to the wholesale market. This year New England Made will present our largest show ever with 350 companies in Portland, Maine,” said New England Made Show Producer Stefa Normantas. “With the cancellation of the Boston Gift Show in 2017, New England Made is even more important to retailers and local companies. Our regional show has a national reputation for quality and craftsmanship. Retailers from around the country are discovering why our show continues to have significant growth. It’s a place to find truly unique items for their shops while meeting the artists and craftsman who make each product right here in New England.”

Over 95 percent of the buyers who attended last fall’s New England Made Show said they would recommend the event to a colleague or friend.

“We were blown away by the number of exhibitors and their unique products. We thought that the show was extremely well run in every aspect. We ended up purchasing several exciting new lines for our store!,” said buyer Brad Sevaldson, Owner of Wiscasset, Maine’s BIRCH Home Furnishings & Gifts.

Exhibitors also find participation in the Show a highly rewarding experience.

“The New England Made Giftware and Specialty Food Show has helped me over fifteen years of wholesaling to grow my business. It would have taken me countless hours and dollars to find regional (and some beyond New England) wholesale buyers,” said exhibitor Betsy Hanscom, Owner of Maine Warmers. “The show looks great, the quality of the goods exhibited is excellent, and the show is well managed and staffed with caring people.”

Registration for qualified buyers is open now.

Pereg Natural Food’s Banana Flour Now Available

banana-flourPereg Natural Food’s Banana Flour was recognized with a SIAL Innovation Award, as one of the most innovative products around the world.

This flour is made from 100 percent ripe, yellow bananas and makes an amazing gluten-free alternative flour for baking way more than just banana bread. It’s Non-GMO Project verified, gluten free, vegan, and kosher.

Like all of Pereg’s alternative flours, this is packed in a stay-fresh zip-top pouch, for easy pouring and resealing without the flour clogging up the zipper. Pereg Natural Foods offers a wide range of alternative flours in addition to this Banana Flour: there’s also Almond Meal, Buckwheat Flour, Chickpea Flour, Coconut Flour, Farro Flour and Quinoa Flour. Each has its own unique features perfect for all cooking and baking needs.

Fresh Market Brings Holiday Spirit to Families in Need

Fresh Market is bringing Thanksgiving to 25 Utah families this week through a partnership with the South Salt Lake Police Department. The local grocery store donated turkeys to the department’s Team Pal Thanksgiving Service Project, which provides Thanksgiving dinner to families in need throughout Salt Lake City.

“One of our biggest focuses is supporting our communities and helping those in need,” said Ryan Woodfield, Sales Manager for Associated Retail Operations, which operates Fresh Market. “We are grateful for the opportunity to make Thanksgiving happen for many members of the community in partnership with the Salt Lake City police department.”

This is the third year Fresh Market has participated in the service project, which provides turkeys and a box of items for a complete Thanksgiving meal. The police department and members of their Police Athletic League after-school program organize and distribute the boxes to families in Salt Lake City.

“South Salt Lake Police Athletic/Activities League (PAL) is grateful to Fresh Market for partnering with us for the last three years. This partnership has been priceless,” said PAL Director, Officer Jerry Silvia. “We have been able to prepare Thanksgiving for multiple families and help the youth learn the true meaning of giving with this project.”

Frozen Food Hall of Fame Inducts Three

The American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) and the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) have announced that the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats has selected three food industry leaders as the 2017 Frozen Food Hall of Fame inductees.

The 2017 inductees are the late E. Glen Grader, Founder of Albany Frozen Foods, William S. Smittcamp, President and CEO of Wawona Frozen Foods, and Ron Suchecki, retired Vice President of Sales for Ateeco, Inc./Mrs. T’s Pierogies.

E. Glen Grader began working as manager of a frozen food facility with Stokely-Van Camp in Marysville, Washington, in 1951, later moving with the company to Albany, Oregon. Grader founded Albany Frozen Foods next to a cold storage facility in Albany in 1961. Starting and ultimately growing Albany Frozen Foods was one of his most satisfying career accomplishments. In 1975, he sold Albany Frozen Foods to Seabrook Foods, Inc. Following the sale, he held executive positions with Seabrook Foods, Inc., Oxnard Frozen Foods Corp. and Continental Companies. In 1986, during his time at Oxnard Frozen Foods, Grader served as chairman of the board for AFFI. Her retired in 1987 and passed away on Aug. 27, 2014.

William S. Smittcamp is President and CEO of Wawona Frozen Foods in Clovis, California, a family-owned grower and processor of frozen fruit. During college through 1983, Smittcamp directed the family’s fresh operation, Wawona Ranch, packing fresh peaches, plums, and nectarines. In 1983, he assumed the reins of Wawona Frozen Foods, then processing and freezing approximately 15 million pounds of freestone peaches and 5 million pounds of strawberries. Today, Wawona has grown to be the largest frozen peach processor in the nation. Smittcamp joined the AFFI board of directors in 1988 and was appointed as AFFI Western Frozen Food Convention chair in 1995. In 1997, he served as AFFI chairman of the board and currently serves on the Frozen Food Foundation Board of Directors.

Ron Suchecki served as Vice President of Sales for Ateeco, Inc./Mrs.T’s Pierogies for nearly 27 years. He retired in December 2015 after a heart transplant the previous year. Suchecki continues to consult with Ateeco on a limited basis and enjoys mentoring others in the frozen food industry through his association with NFRA and the Frozen and Refrigerated Association of the North East (FRANE). He served as NFRA’s convention chairman from 2005-2009. He was honored in 2015 as FRANE’s “Person of the Year” and was also presented with a prestigious Golden Penguin Award from NFRA for his dedication to the industry and National Frozen Food Month.

The inductees will be honored at the Distinguished Order of Zerocrats meeting during the AFFI Frozen Food Convention (AFFI-CON) on Saturday, March 4, 2017, in San Diego, California.

Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Names Chad Vincent New CEO

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board of Directors has named Chad Vincent its new Chief Executive Officer after an extensive national search.

Vincent is a seasoned executive with experience successfully taking startups, turnarounds, family owned brands and Fortune 50 divisions to record levels of sales and profitability. He brings to WMMB extensive dairy marketing and branding experience as well, having served as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of strategic development at Sartori Cheese in Plymouth, Wisconsin, for the past seven years. Prior to joining Sartori, Vincent held executive positions with H.J. Heinz, Miller Brewing Company, Fiskars Brands and other consumer products and beverage companies.

He will begin his tenure at WMMB December 1.

“I am extremely excited about our new hire, Chad,” said WMMB Board Chair Connie Seefeldt of Coleman, Wisconsin. “The board is really impressed with his experience, and we are excited to see how he will improve upon the fantastic work our team has been doing.” Seefeldt said she believes Vincent will help WMMB enhance the already strong promotional work and help strengthen partnerships with processors, farmers, industry partners and consumers.

Seefeldt added that the search firm, Herd Freed Hartz of Seattle, Washington, did a tremendous job of fielding a distinguished group of candidates for the board’s consideration. “The outstanding slate of candidates is a testament to WMMB’s strong reputation around the country,” she said.

“The universal positive response I received during my national outreach to potential candidates during this executive search speaks volumes about the excellent reputation of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board and Wisconsin dairy products,” stated Fred Pabst, Dairy Industry Practice Leader for Herd Freed Hartz Executive Search Partners.

Vincent, a native of East Lansing, Michigan, received his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Michigan State University. A resident of Waunakee, Vincent and his wife Wendy are the parents of four children.

David Isenberg of Chex Finer Foods Passes Away

isenbergDavid Chaim Isenberg, 73, Co-founder of Chex Finer Foods, passed away Saturday, November 12, 2016. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, the son of the late Jacob and Dorothy (Sherman) Isenberg.
David was a graduate of Hope High School in Providence and Boston University.
In 1965, David and his father Jay started Chex Finer Foods out of a small garage in Sharon, Massachusetts. David worked in all aspects of the business, serving as President for 25 years. One of David’s greatest accomplishments was seeing the family business successfully continue to the third generation of leadership, with his sons Jeremy and Michael.
David will be remembered for the family values and heritage he bestowed onto the business and its employees. David loved Chex, and worked tirelessly to deepen relationships with customers, build strong partnerships with vendors, and a dedicated extended Chex “family” of team members.
David was inducted in 2012 to the Griffin Report Food Industry Hall of Fame and in 2015 to the Specialty Food Association Hall of Fame.
David was a board member of: Temple Beth El, Temple Emanu-El, Providence Children’s Museum, Friends of Rochambeau Library, Miriam Hospital Board of Governors, Camp Jori and Providence Rotary. David cared deeply about and generously supported many community organizations and programs including: Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island, Jewish Family Service, Temple Beth-El, The Wheeler School, Providence Public Library, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.
He is survived by his children Michael Isenberg, Jeremy Isenberg, and Rachel Isenberg; former wife Dianne Isenberg; daughters-in-law Karen Isenberg and Amanda Isenberg; grandchildren Sophie, Caleb, Lily and Samantha; and companion Nancy Maloney.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, November 15th at 12:30 p.m. at Temple Beth-El, 70 Orchard Ave, Providence with burial in Sons of Israel and David Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Jewish Family Service 959 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02904.
The Chex Finer Foods office will be in limited operation from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in honor of David so that employees can attend the funeral service. Shiva will be held at the residence of Amanda and Jeremy Isenberg. Tuesday following interment and 7-9 p.m.; Wednesday 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.; Thursday 3-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and Friday 2-4 p.m.

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