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Counter Culture Coffee Team Members to Compete in Coffee Championships

Two Counter Culture Coffee team members will compete in the United States Brewers Cup and Barista Championships this weekend (April 24–27) in Seattle. J. Park Brannen (2014 Northeast Regional Barista Champion), will participate in the U.S. Barista Championship using Counter Culture Coffee’s Buziraguhindwa Natural Sundried coffee, and Jonathan Bonchak (2014 Southeast Regional Brewers Cup Champion) will participate in the  U.S. Brewers Cup Championship. The competitions will serve as the national stage for some of the country’s most talented coffee people, who will prepare coffee beverages—including manual brewing in various formats, espressos, cappuccinos, and signature drinks—accompanied by intensive, personalized, and informative brewing presentations. The event is co-hosted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America and Barista Guild of America.
At the Brewers Cup, competitors are judged in two rounds by skilled coffee tasters. The first round is a blind tasting; the competitors will all brew the same coffee using their chosen brew methods. Those who advance to the second round will brew and present their chosen coffee to the judges’ panel. The winner of the U.S. Brewers Cup will represent the United States in the World Brewers Cup Championship June 1012 in Italy.
At the Barista Competition, baristas will prepare and serve espressos, cappuccinos, and a personally designed signature beverage for four sensory judges; all while being assessed on their preparation abilities by two technical judges. The winner will go on to represent the United States in the World Barista Championship June 912 in Italy.
Additional participants who will compete using Counter Culture Coffee include Dawn Shanks from Peregrine Espresso in Washington, D.C., who will brew Biloya Natural Sundried; Tim Jones of Jubala Village Coffee in Raleigh, N.C., who will compete with a blend of Idido washed processed coffee and Biloya Natural Sundried; Nathan Nerwsick of 5&10 in Athens, Ga., who will use the Baroida; Erika Vonie of Ultimo Coffee in Philadelphia, competing with Tairora Project; and Corey Reilly from Everyman Espresso in New York City.
Founded in 1995, Counter Culture Coffee is the much-loved coffee roaster dedicated to finding and bringing to market the most exciting and delicious coffees in the world. The company’s vision is to pursue coffee perfection by creating partnerships dedicated to environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability throughout the coffee chain, improving the natural environment and operating efficiently to minimize environmental impact. Counter Culture has eight training centers across the country including locations in New York; Chicago; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Asheville, N.C.; Atlanta; and Durham, N.C., with a new training center and roastery set to open in Emeryville, Calif., later this year. Served in more than 200 of the country’s top restaurants, Counter Culture Coffee is available in coffee shops, specialty grocers and online at counterculturecoffee.com.

Discovery Communications and Single Cup Coffee Launch New Cake Boss Coffee Line

Discovery Communications and Single Cup Coffee announced today an innovative new line of Keurig®-compatible single serve coffee cups inspired by the hit TLC series, Cake Boss. The line, debuting this month on TLCstore.com, starts with the smooth, medium roast Buddy’s Blend as the perfect complement to your favorite dessert.

Famous around the globe for the creativity he brings to the world of baking, the Cake Boss himself, Buddy Valastro, has infused this rich, smooth, Cake Boss coffee with the tastes of his favorite bakery creations to create seven flavored coffee originals, including Hazelnut Biscotti, Chocolate Cannoli, Italian Rum Cake and more.

“Whether at home, in my bakery or on the road, I don’t start my morning without a hot cup of coffee,” said Valastro. “I’ve been working with TLC and the coffee pros at Single Cup Coffee to create a variety of coffee flavors unique to Cake Boss that can satisfy both the sweet tooth and coffee craving.”

Now you can have your cake and drink it too with eight blends including:

  • Buddy’s Blend: This classic Italian Roast features East African coffees that are roasted extra dark to offer intense, bold flavor in a heavy-bodied cup.
  • Chocolate Cannoli: A caffeinated tribute to Buddy’s famous chocolate cannoli— a delectable mingling of creamy custard, chocolate drizzle and hints of buttery pastry.
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake: Fresh, creamytaste and dark cocoa flavors combine to create a deep, delicious chocolaty fudge flavored coffee.
  • Dulce de Leche: A bakery mainstay, Dulce de Leche is rich, creamy caramel flavor kissed with a hint of buttery sweetness.
  • Dulce de Leche Decaf: Dulce de Leche Decaf is rich, creamy caramel flavor kissed with a hint of buttery sweetness.
  • Vanilla Buttercream: Flavors of buttercream frosting and delicate vanilla come to life in this smooth flavored coffee.
  • Hazelnut Biscotti: Fill your cup with the flavor of freshly toasted hazelnuts and the rich, vanilla taste of freshly baked biscotti.
  • Raspberry Truffle: Taste the flavors of fresh raspberries smothered in milk chocolate ganache.
  • Italian Rum Cake: A flavored coffee inspired by the buttery sweetness and smooth rum syrup of Buddy’s signature sponge cake.

“Cake Boss coffees offer a fresh take on what we expect from our existing single serve coffee lines,” said Tim Cook, President of Single Cup Coffee. “The Cake Boss Coffee line is bringing in brand new flavors inspired by the delicious Italian pastries and cakes seen on the show. It’s a very exciting product line that you just have to taste for yourself.

Cake Boss Coffee will be supplied and distributed across North America by specialty coffee company Single Cup Coffee. Retailers across the US and Canada will begin stocking the product in spring 2014

New episodes of Buddy’s hit series NEXT GREAT BAKER and BAKERY BOSS will air this summer on TLC.” For more information on Cake Boss Coffee and Single Cup Coffee, visit SingleCC.com.

Vegan Cookies from Gourmet Treats

Gourmet Treats, a  manufacturer of soft-baked treats from all natural ingredients is introducing its new line of Vegan Cookies and Treats.  With no animal products, these baked goodies have complex flavors, rich in taste and texture, producing a deliciously soft and chewy experience.
Delicious Vegan Cookies From Gourmet Treats“Our soft baked cookies are made from scratch with deep, rich flavors, yet fit completely with the vegan lifestyle,” said Shaffin Jinnah, President of Gourmet Treats.  “Our moist and chewy vegan line of cookies includes Chocolate Chip, Double Chocolate, Oatmeal Raisin, and Peanut Butter ‘N Chocolate Chip,” added Jinnah.

Gourmet Treat’s mission is to deliver delicious, soft-baked treats from scratch with deep rich flavors from all natural ingredients for health-conscious people of all ages.

For more information about the new line of vegan cookies or other soft-baked cookies and treats, contact Shaffin Jinnah at 310.951.7367 or visit www.GourmetTreats.com.

Torie & Howard Names Chris Lockwood Inside Sales Manager

Torie & Howard, a producer of organic, Non GMO and kosher hard candy, has named Chris Lockwood as the company’s inside sales manager effective immediately.

Lockwood is responsible for in-house sales management, assisting National Sales Manager Rod Bambach, and handling independent accounts and Torie & Howard’s marketing and advertising programs, said Torie Burke, company Co-founder.  “His experience with food and supply sales, catering, hospitality, and foodservice along with his training as a chef give him an in-depth understanding of the needs of the specialty food and foodservice industries,” Burke said.  “We’re happy to have him on board as we continue to grow in those areas.”

Lockwood most recently was a territory manager for U.S. Foods of Norwich, Conn., for three years with responsibilities for managing customer accounts and new business development.  Previously, he was director of purchasing and handled accounts receivable for Embassy Suites Hotel for two years and also served as assistant purchasing manager for Myriad Restaurant Group, both in New York City.  Lockwood also has a Grand Diploma in Culinary Arts from the French Culinary Institute of New York and has worked as a chef for Riverbank Farm in Roxbury, Conn., as a cook for Match Catering & Event Styles in New York City, and completed an internship with Gramercy Tavern in New York City.  Lockwood has a master’s degree in food systems from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.

Torie & Howard organic hard candy is available in four flavors: California Pomegranate and Sweet Freestone Nectarine, Italian Tarocco Blood Orange & Wildflower Honey, D’Anjou Pear & Ceylon Cinnamon, and Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey.  The candy is USDA organic and kosher certified and contains no GMOs, preservatives, artificial dyes, casein, soy or gluten, Burke said.  The 2-ounce recyclable steel tins have a suggested retail price of $3.99 to $4.99 and the handbag gift package is $7.99 to $8.99.  A new 10-ounce Halloween package of assorted, individually wrapped candy has a suggested retail price of $7.99 to $8.99.  The candy also is sold in bulk.  More information is available by calling 1-888-826-9554 or online at www.TorieAndHoward.com.

Brownie Brittle Creator Nominated for Palm Beach Business Award

Creating a brownie empire is no easy feat, but Sheila G. Mains, CEO and Founder of Brownie Brittle, LLC, has taken her celebrated brownie products from door-to-door to a multimillion-dollar brand. Her hard-won success hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The South Florida Business Journal has just announced that Sheila G (as she’s known in the food industry) will be honored at its 2014 Palm Beach Ultimate CEO Awards. The awards recognize the top 10 business leaders of Palm Beach County for their achievements, vision, and dedication to excellence. Sheila G and other nominees will be honored alongside top executives from Broward and Miami- Dade counties on October 23 at an awards ceremony held at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood.

In the early ’90s, after losing her executive position with an industrial advertising agency, Sheila G refused to be another Friday afternoon casualty and embarked on her “Plan B for brownies.” After selling small batches of brownies to local stores, her notoriety as a brownie maven spread, and Walt Disney World’s parks and resorts began featuring Sheila G’s signature brownies.

Nibbling the rich chocolate drippings from the sides of the sheet pans while her brownies were cooling inspired Sheila G to come up with a recipe that would bring the “best part of the brownie” to market. The result: Brownie Brittle, a thin, crispy chocolate snack made from natural ingredients. In 2012, Sheila G partnered with Jerry Bello, founder and CEO of Keen Marketing, and in just 18 months, took Brownie Brittle from $500,000 in sales to over $38 million.

Sheila G has crafted specialty desserts featuring Brownie Brittle for Hollywood’s star-studded elite at The Weinstein Company’s Golden Globe Awards After-Parties in 2013 and 2014, and its 2013 Oscar Party. Brownie Brittle also received Fitness magazine’s 2013 Healthy Food Award, Self Magazine’s Healthy Food Award, the “Editor’s Pick” award from The Gourmet Retailer Magazine, and more.

At only 120 calories per ounce and in four award-winning flavors — Chocolate Chip, Mint Chocolate Chip, Salted Caramel, and Toffee Crunch — Brownie Brittle is available at major retailers and online at BrownieBrittle.com.

Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker Program Announces 2014 Graduates

With its 2014 graduating class, the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker® program celebrates 20 years of providing the nation’s only advanced training course of its kind for veteran cheesemakers. This year’s class includes four new Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers and three veteran Masters who repeated the program to earn certification in additional cheese varieties.

The four new Wisconsin Master Cheesemakers are:

  • Mike Brennenstuhl, Great Lakes Cheese Seymour, Inc., Seymour, Wis., certified for Blue and Gorgonzola
  • Pat Doell, Agropur, Inc., Luxemburg, certified for Mozzarella and Provolone
  • Brian Renard, Renard’s Rosewood Dairy/Renard’s Cheese, Algoma, Wis., certified for Cheddar and Colby
  • Chris Renard, Renard’s Rosewood Dairy/Renard’s Cheese, Algoma, Wis., certified for Cheddar and Mozzarella

Returning graduates in the 2014 class are:

  • Mark Gustafson, Sartori Company, Plymouth, Wis., now certified for Fontina and Romano, as well as Parmesan and Asiago
  • Paul Reigle, Maple Leaf Cheese, Monroe, now certified for Cheddar in addition to Yogurt Cheese and Monterey Jack
  • Bruce Workman, Edelweiss Creamery, Monticello, now certified for Cheddar and Gouda in addition to Baby Swiss, Brick, Butterkäse, Emmental, Gruyère, Havarti, Muenster, Raclette and Specialty Swiss (low-sodium, low-fat lacy Swiss).

The graduates will be honored and presented with Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker medallions at a ceremony during the International Cheese Technology Exposition in Milwaukee on April 24.

“We congratulate the 2014 graduates and are proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of this unique program. Those who have earned the title of Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker have such a dedication to their craft and pride in what they’ve achieved,” says James Robson, CEO of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). “The impact of the program on them personally, as well as on their companies and the Wisconsin cheese industry has been immeasurable.”

Established in 1994 through a joint partnership of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research, UW-Extension and WMMB, the Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker program is the most formalized, advanced training program in the nation. Patterned after European programs, it is administered by the Center for Dairy Research and funded by Wisconsin dairy producers, through WMMB. Applicants to the program must be active, licensed Wisconsin cheesemakers with at least 10 years of experience. Cheesemakers can earn certification in up to two cheese varieties each time they enroll in the three-year program and must have been making those varieties as a licensed cheesemaker for a minimum of five years prior to entering the program. Once certified, they’re entitled to use the distinctive Master’s Mark® on their product labels and in other marketing materials.

 

Oregon Cherry Growers Launches Non-GMO Certified Maraschinos

Grower-owned cooperative Oregon Cherry Growers’ new Royal Harvest branded line of natural maraschinos has passed a rigorous, independent verification process by the Non-GMO Project. The four certified products include non-GMO certified, natural maraschinos – Nature’s Maraschino Cherries, Bordeaux Maraschino Cherries, Pink Blush Maraschino Cherries and Rainier Maraschino Cherries. In addition to using non-GMO ingredients, the Royal Harvest line is sweetened without corn syrup and is free of sulfites and preservatives.

cherries“There are specific consumers and retailers that are looking for products made with non-GMO ingredients and since our line of Royal Harvest Maraschino’s already met all of the Non-GMO criteria, it seemed only natural that we would pursue the Non-GMO certification,” said Tim Ramsey, Oregon Cherry Growers President and CEO.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization and North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. The Royal Harvest line of natural maraschinos are produced in compliance with the Non-GMO Project Standard, which includes ongoing testing of all GMO risk ingredients, facility inspections and an annual audit to ensure that companies are meeting the highest possible standards for GMO avoidance. For more information, visit www.nongmoproject.org.

The Royal Harvest line with the Non-GMO Project Verified seal for retail has a recommended SRP of $5.99-$6.29. For additional information as well as foodservice purchase, contact Kent Spalding at kspalding@orcherry.com or (503) 364-8421.

Graeter’s Ice Cream Releases New Product Lines

Family-owned Graeter’s Ice Cream is releasing its first completely new product lines in 144 years this spring.  Graeter’s Gelato and “A Little Less Indulgent” lines are made with the same high quality ingredients and attention to detail as Graeter’s original flavors, but offer a new spin on the traditional recipe.

The new product lines will be launched at select grocery stores, but available to all online at graeters.com.

Graeter’s Gelato

Graeter’s signature French Pot process that makes its ice cream so dense and creamy was actually based on Italian gelato machines, making its Gelato the most authentic Italian gelato available in the United States. Using this old-world freezing process, Graeter’s artisans create the hand-crafted gelato using specially made truffles from a family owned candy confectioner in Pennsylvania. Flavors include Caramel Truffle, Hazelnut Truffle, Vanilla with Milk Chocolate Truffles and Dark Chocolate Truffle.

A Little Less Indulgent

A Little Less Indulgent stands apart from other reduced sugar ice cream varieties thanks to the sweetness provided by a natural sugar substitute made from Monk fruit extract. The new line has 50 percent less sugar, roughly 25 percent less fat and 25 percent fewer calories than Graeter’s regular ice cream, making it a just little less indulgent while retaining all the flavor of Graeter’s traditional ice cream. Flavors include Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, Chocolate Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip.

Sunshine Burger Receives Cleanest Packaged Food Award from Prevention Magazine

Sunshine Burger, the #1 selling brand of certified organic veggie burgers in America, has been honored with recognition in Prevention Magazine’s2014 Cleanest Packaged Food Awards for its Black Bean South West Burger.

The Black Bean South West Burger, which is made with sunflower kernels, brown rice, jalapeño, carrots, cilantro and black beans, is a good source of plant-based fiber and protein, as well as vitamin A, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and omega-3 essential fatty acids. Like all of the company’s products, the burgers are baked and made with verified non-GMO whole food ingredients – free of wheat, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, corn, dairy, eggs or any added oils.

“We are honored to receive this recognition,” said Cole Jones, General Manager of Sunshine Burger & Specialty Food Company. “Sunshine Burger is dedicated to providing food that is healthful and wholesome and that starts with using real, certified organic, non-GMO ingredients in all of our burgers.”

Sunshine Burgers are available in seven unique flavors – Garden Herb, Loco Chipotle, Barbeque, Falafel, Shiitake Mushroom and Hemp & Sage Breakfast. Last month, the Garden Herb burger was ranked the best-selling meat alternative item in the natural channel by SPINs, a market research company.

For more information about Sunshine Burger and its complete line of products, visit www.SunshineBurger.com or follow the company on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Hot Fiesta Pepper Spice Mix and Rub

Hot Fiesta Pepper from JilliPepper  is an all purpose dry spice that can be added to beef, pork, chicken or fish. Shake it into tomatoes for a great tasting salsa; mix it with sour cream for a dip for vegetables or chips, make fabulous queso dip by mixing it with chesse. Shake it into ground beef or ground turkey for spicy meatballs. For a unique Bloody Mary just stir some  Hot Fiesta Pepper  into your drink. A great rub on steak or a pork roast. Hot Fiesta Pepper is your Shake it! Mix it! Dip it! Roll it! Rub it! product.

A Scovie award winner 2010, 2011, 2012 and again in 2013, Hot Fiesta Pepper is the creation of JilliPepper’s Founder and Owner, Jill Levin. Since 1994, JilliPepper has created hot and spicy products for everyone who loves the flavor of New Mexico foods.

Hot Fiesta Pepper is currently being used by foodies and gourmets nationwide, leading restaurants and caterers and anyone who loves the flavor of New Mexican food. It can be purchased at leading grocery and food services, gift and gift basket companies, kitchen accessories retailers, food catalogs, gourmet and specialty retailers or online at www.jillipepper.com.

For more information, contact: JilliPeppers Inc. www.jillipepper.com Email: jilli@jillipepper.com 505-385-7714, Fax: 505-344-8633.