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Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Returns to New York City

 Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a micro-lending and coaching program for small business owners working in food, beverage and craft brewing, announced it will host its regional Pitch Room competition and small business Speed Coaching event in Brooklyn, New York on Monday, November 16.

The Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room is a national competition that helps food and beverage business owners perfect the art of the sales pitch, as well as gain exposure to important food and beverage retailers and buyers. More information on the Pitch Room can be found at:

Starting at 5:00 p.m. ET at Berg’n (899 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11238), entrepreneurs will present their best sales pitch to a panel of expert judges including:

  • Jim Koch, Founder and Brewer of Samuel Adams
  • David Burke, American Chef and Restaurateur
  • Jonathan Butler, Co-Founder of Berg’n, Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasburg
  • John Holl, Journalist, Editor of All About Beer Magazine and American Craft Beer Cookbook
  • Farrah Shaikh McLaren, Food & Lifestyle Editor
  • Matthew Stinchcomb, Executive Director of

After providing critical, impactful advice to each of the participants, the judges will select a winner based on criteria including quality of pitch, creativity, passion, and product viability. The winner will be invited to participate in the finals in December, also in New York City, where they will compete with other regional winners from across the country for a $10,000 business grant, extended mentoring from Samuel Adams, and the potential for their product to be sold at leading retail locations.

New York City is one of the most difficult cities in which to start and grow a small food and beverage business, which is why our Brewing the American Dream events are so useful,” commented Jim Koch, Brewer and Founder of Samuel Adams. “We have worked with hundreds of small businesses in the area since bringing the program to New York City in 2011, and are really looking forward to continuing to support more passionate local entrepreneurs through nuts-and-bolts coaching, mentoring and advice to help give them a leg up.”

Koch noted that both regional winners from the NYC Pitch Room competitions over the last two years – Brewla Bars and Caputo Brothers Creamery – also went on to win the finals. Additionally, since the 2013 competition, Brewla Bars has entered more than 700 stores with its brewed ice pops and attributes the Brewing the American Dream program as a major catalyst for its recent growth opportunities.

Small Business Speed Coaching in New York City
The Speed Coaching portion of the evening, held from 7:00 pm to 9:30pm (EST), is a free event open to any small business owner in the food, beverage, and craft brewing industries. At the event, which is hosted in partnership with Accion, the nation’s leading nonprofit provider of small business capital and education, attendees will participate in up to six 20-minute, high-impact coaching sessions in areas such as sales and distribution, packaging, and finance with expert coaches from Samuel Adams, local area businesses, and Accion. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to bring questions about specific business challenges they face, as well as samples of packaging, point-of-sale items and other material on which they would like feedback. For more information on Speed Coaching, visit:

Year-Round Lending to Support Craft Brewing Competition 
Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream continues to support New York small businesses year-round, in partnership with Accion, by providing microloans to entrepreneurs who are often shut out of traditional lending institutions. Since 2008, the program has offered solutions to the barriers that many of these viable small businesses face – from lack of credit to requests for small loan amounts to surviving the volatile nature of the food and beverage industry – and provided more than $960,000 to nearly 100 food and beverage entrepreneurs in the New York area.

“Access to capital is one of the major obstacles small business owners continue to face,” said Paul Quintero, CEO of Accion in New York. “These entrepreneurs deserve the opportunity to take their innovative new business ideas to the next level, and through our partnership with Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, we’re able to help them do just that.”

Brewing the American Dream Inspiration and Impact 
Samuel Adams is celebrating 31 years of brewing, and despite the craft brewery’s success, Jim Koch hasn’t forgotten how hard it is to start and run a successful small business. That’s why he created Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream, a unique program that provides the two things he wishes he had when starting Samuel Adams: financing and real-world business advice.

Since 2008, through the support of Brewing the American Dream, Accion has lent more than $6.4 million to nearly 625 businesses. Just as important, the program has coached or mentored over 5,000 businesses and created or saved more than 2,600 jobs. The program also has a repayment rate of 98.1 percent with all payments recycled and repurposed into new loans to help other small businesses. To learn more, visit:

KeHE Holiday Show Named as One of Fastest Growing

KeHE Distributors has been recognized for two awards from the Trade Show News Network (TSNN). KeHE’s Holiday & Product Innovation Show was named to TNSS’ list of “2015 Top 25 Fastest Growing Trade Shows in Attendance” and its list of “2015 Fastest Growing For-Profit Show in Attendance.” The show was chosen based on year-over-year attendance growth between 2012 and 2014. This is the first time KeHE has received these two awards. In 2013, the company’s Summer Selling Show was named to TSNN’s list of the “Top 25 Fastest-Growing Trade Shows in Attendance.”

The KeHE Holiday & Product Innovation Show has experienced double-digit attendance growth and doubled sales over the past several years. It is the only food-related trade show to achieve this distinction.

“We are laser-focused on the attendance at our events. Without the perfect mix of retailers and suppliers, we wouldn’t be able to create the robust buying and selling marketplace that we have today. Our attendees come from all over the U.S. and many parts of the world; it is our goal to make sure we provide an experience that is fruitful for everyone,” said Mike Leone, KeHE Chief Commercial Officer.

The KeHE Holiday & Product Innovation Show is held annually in June. In 2015, the two-day event brought together over 4,500 retailers and suppliers to see, sample, buy and sell products for the upcoming holiday season. New, emerging and familiar must-have items are sold throughout the show floor via proprietary, iPad ordering technology.

“Our retailer and supplier partners rely on our guidance on products that will perform well,” stated Brandon Barnholt, President and CEO of KeHE Distributors. “We believe it is critical that ‘We Make On Trend Easy™’ for them. One way we achieve this is by creating outstanding events that connect suppliers and retailers of all kinds. The passion and excitement for emerging products, as well as for more established brands is unmistakable at our shows.”

The KeHE shows are invitation-only events.

Three New Flavors of Meat Sticks from Vermont Smoke & Cure


By Lorrie Baumann

Vermont Smoke Cure imageVermont Smoke & Cure launched a bold new brand design and three new flavors of its Meat Sticks during this year’s Natural Products Expo East. Like the other half-dozen flavors of the better-for-you meat snacks in the line, the Spicy Italian Pork, Rosemary Thyme Chicken and Teriyaki Chicken Sticks are gluten free and contain considerably less fat and salt than competing meat sticks.

We are working to make the whole meat business better – with new products made from vegetarian-fed meats that are raised with no antibiotics or added hormones,” says Chris Bailey, Vermont Smoke & Cure’s CEO. “Our new packaging look better conveys our clean ingredients and the positive impact we work to bring about in our community and landscape.”

Vermont Smoke & Cure Meat Sticks start with quality meat. Beef in the sticks comes from lead supplier Pineland Farms Natural Meats in Maine or other similar suppliers. Pork comes from DuBreton in Quebec or from Coleman Natural Foods, which works with family farmers throughout the country to produce meat raised entirely without antibiotics.

Our Sticks don’t have overwhelming flavors – you get nice spice and you can still taste the meat,” Bailey says. “It’s all ingredients you’d find in your kitchen, just meat and spices with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.”

The Sticks have been the fastest-growing part of our business,” he added. “The bacon has been growing quite well also, but the Sticks have been outpacing it.”

To fulfill the demand for its products, the company just installed the equipment for quadrupling its processing capacity. Its Meat Sticks, which retail for $1.69 to $1.99, are currently distributed nationally in Whole Foods and through major natural foods distributors to hundreds of co-ops and natural and conventional grocers around the country.

For more information, visit


Gourmet Sausage from the Heart of Montana


By Lorrie Baumann

Uncle Bill’s Sausages started with a breakfast burrito. Today, Uncle Bill’s Sausages makes 50 varieties of sausage that are sold in supermarkets across Montana.

That breakfast burrito came into the story when Bill Stoianoff went to San Francisco to attend the Winter Fancy Food Show. He was staying with a friend, and he thought he’d make her a nice breakfast burrito one morning to help show his gratitude for the lodging. To make his burrito, he says, you boil a potato the night before, and then in the morning, you cube it up, dice an onion and fry it, and you scramble an egg with some sausage in it. He’d bought some chorizo to put into it, but when he opened the package and looked at it, it scared him so badly that he just tossed it into the garbage. “It was one of those aha moments where you think, ‘I could do this better,’ and that’s what I do,” he says. “I said, ‘You know, I could make this from pork shoulder, and it would be better.’”

That started something. In 1987, he went to New Orleans to take lessons in andouille. “I had a letter of introduction, and in the South, a proper introduction is everything,” he says. “I couldn’t get the good stuff, so I learned to make it.”

Uncle Bill Making Sausage at K C Foods 003He came back to Montana from New Orleans, met up with a friend who was opening a Cajun restaurant and made up a batch of the andouille he’d just learned to make. “We were in business after that,” he says. “I used to make it in a teeny kitchen in the back of a bar that was about three phone booths big.” Then after a few years, a butcher who was supplying him with his meat offered him the use of his kitchen, and Stoianoff made his sausage there for the next 15 years. “It’s just kind of the Montana way of things,” he says. “You just say, ‘This seems like a good idea,’ and run with it.”

For the past nine years, he’s been making his sausage in a commercial processing kitchen called the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center in Ronan, Montana. It’s a hundred-mile drive from Stoianoff’s home in Missoula, but it’s worth the drive because it’s also a US Department of Agriculture-inspected facility, which allows for commercial production. “Before that, I could only sell in the farmers market,” Stoianoff says. “Now I can sell to grocery stores.”

It’s just wonderful. I went to Bozeman to get more USDA training,” he says. “To do USDA, you have to be perfect. But once you’re certified, people will buy it because they know it comes from a completely clean situation.”

Stoianoff insists on using only high-quality ingredients. “No preservatives, no additives, no fillers, low fat, low salt, and I grind all my spices from whole just before I use them,” he says. “It’s made with pork shoulder. No noses, hoses or roses. They call that offal for a reason.”


Citarella and Chefs Deliver for Citymeals-on-Wheels

Citymeals-on-Wheels Board Member Yusi Gurrera of Citarella – a top destination for gourmet groceries and fine prepared foods – delivered meals to homebound elderly New Yorkers as part of the Chefs Deliver for Citymeals program.

A Citymeals initiative, Chefs Deliver brings together a rotating cast of culinary stars who, once a month, lend their talents to Citymeals – cooking and often personally delivering the meals to the doors of New Yorkers who are too frail to shop and cook for themselves. Chefs Deliver was launched in January 2014 by Citymeals Board of Directors Co-President Chef Daniel Boulud and Citymeals Board Member Chef Charlie Palmer.

Yusi Gurrera packing meals

Yusi Gurrera packing meals Photo by Eric Groom

Citarellaprepared a total of 100 meals consisting of salmon Florentine and bruschetta, quinoa salad and sautéed peas and mushrooms. Gurrera, Citymeals Executive Director Beth Shapiro, and four Citarella store managers hand-delivered several meals to Citymeals recipients living in Greenwich Village. The remainder of the 100 meals was delivered to recipients on the Upper East Side.

A longtime Board Member and supporter of Citymeals, Gurrera will be honored at Citymeals’ 29th Annual “Power Lunch for Women” on Friday, November 20. Later this month, Citarella will kick off its annual “Round Up for Citymeals-on-Wheels” program.  Running from Thanksgiving through December 31, 2015, customers at participating Citarella stores will be asked if they would like to make a donation to Citymeals at checkout. Participating locations include all New York City and Hamptons stores. Over the years, Citarella has raised over $620,000 for Citymeals through the “Round-Up” program.

“With Thanksgiving just weeks away, it’s important for us to remember those who are in need, especially our frail aged neighbors who live behind closed doors,” noted Shapiro. “Citymeals is extremely grateful to Yusi and Citarella for participating in Chefs Deliver this month and for their ‘Round-Up’ beginning in just a few weeks. We also look forward to honoring Yusi at our Power Lunch for Women.”

Citymeals-on-Wheels prepares and delivers weekend, holiday and emergency meals for 18,000 homebound elderly New Yorkers. More than 60 percent of Citymeals recipients are over 80 years old; 23 percent are over 90; more than 200 have lived at least a century. All recipients are chronically disabled by conditions such as vision loss, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. Nearly all need assistance walking. It is estimated that 66 percent use a cane, 39 percent use a walker and 16 percent use a wheelchair. Citymeals recipients are also isolated: 57 percent live alone; 40 percent rarely or never leave their homes; 8 percent have no one with whom they can talk. Many are also at risk for malnutrition.

10th Annual Fabulous Food Show Presented by Giant Eagle Market District

The 10th annual Fabulous Food Show, presented by Giant Eagle Market District, returns to the I-X Center in Cleveland, OhioNovember 13-15, 2015.  Guests can taste, try and buy their way through America’s largest presentation of fine food, fine art, breweries, wineries, restaurants and purveyors all under one roof.  This premier culinary celebration is a massive event, featuring 10 different performance stages with more than 100 live demonstrations and hundreds of companies showcasing specialty foods and culinary gadgets.  The floor plan is equivalent in size to seven football fields.  The event attracted 27,219 visitors to Cleveland in 2014 from twenty-six states and parts of Canada.

A terrific roster of renowned celebrity talent will appear throughout the weekend for live demonstrations, experiential events and fan engagement.  Stars include Cleveland’s own Iron Chef, Michael Symon, co-host of ABC’s “The Chew” and star of TLC’s hit series “Cake Boss,” Buddy Valastro.  Bravo’s Emmy winning “Top Chef” series judge Gail Simmons and co-star of Food Network’s hit series “Chopped” Aarón Sánchez, America’s most popular Latin Chef.  “Rachel Ray Show” correspondent Jason Roberts returns for his 10thstraight year to emcee.  Culinary comedian Mark DeCarlo, “Food Network Star” Season 8 finalist Martie Duncan and ABC’s “Shark Tank” winner Kim ‘Daisy’ Nelson are back this year.

Sculptor Natalie Sideserf, dubbed by Food Network ‘one of the most talented young cake artists in the country’, will make her first appearance, along with legendary singer/actor Frankie Avalon, who will launch a new product line of his famous family recipes and a companion cookbook.  Independent music legends The Samples add a flavorful sound with a ‘Concert in the Kitchen’ along with Cleveland’s favorite local Newgrass act Honeybucket who will perform at the Michael Symon Block Party.

The World Food Champion, to be crowned Tuesday, November 10 in Kissimmee, Florida, will make his/her first national appearance accompanied by World Food Championships (WFC) CEO, Mike McCord.  Each will be on hand to discuss the genesis and future of competitive “Food Sport,” as well as to certify an eager new crop of judges through the WFC E.A.T. methodology class.

New This Year

Street Scene & Stage
A gathering of the best food trucks in northeast Ohio with ongoing demonstrations all weekend. Attendees will also see Tri-C Hospitality Management students compete in a variety of mystery basket challenges. All stage performances are included with admission.  Seating is first come, first served.

Concert in the Kitchen
With 20 albums and over 1 million records sold, The Samples continue to delight fans with music that transcends age and genres.  Lead Singer/Guitarist Sean Kelly & The Samples will bring their unique sound on Saturday, November 14 from  6:30-8 p.m. live from the Giant Eagle Market District Theatre.

Happy Hour with Gail Simmons
Join Food + Wine Magazine Special Projects Director Gail Simmons from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 14 for specialty cocktail and food samples while enjoying sounds of The Samples. (Additional charges apply for alcohol sampling. Must be 21 or older to participate.)

Art of Food 

Confection displays, cake sculpting by Natalie Sideserf, Ice Carving Demonstrations by Aaron Costic of Elegant Ice, Specialty cakes from Anna Weisendof the Grand Finale, and cheese and produce carving demonstrations from George Niemoeller and a team of culinary professionals.

Culinary Connection Showcase
An exhibitor product display connecting consumers with new and featured products in the show.

The Hot Spot Pavilion
Fiery food and salsa sampling along with voting for a people’s choice award

Gospel Brunch presented by House of Blues Cleveland
House of Blues Cleveland will bring a taste of their world famous Gospel Brunch to the Fabulous Food Show on Sunday, November 15 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Enjoy live music in the Giant Eagle Market District Theatre led by award winning keyboardist Lafayette Carthon included with show admission.  Brunch will be served in the Fabulous Bistro.  (Additional charges apply for food and alcohol.)


Thursday, November 12, 2015: 3rd Annual Cleveland Culinary Awards Gala (6:30-9:30 p.m.)
Friday, November 13, 201510:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 14, 201510:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 15, 201510:00 a.m. – 6:00p.m.

TICKETS: $19.99 – $75.00 Kids 12 & Under: FREE General Admission: $24.99 (Advance Online)Reserved Seating including General Admission: $44.99 (Advance Online) Signature Events/VIP Meet & Greet: $30.00 each (does not include GA – separate ticket required) Cleveland Culinary Awards Gala: $75.00 (Online)

Promotional Discounts:
Super Saver General Admission: $19.99 (Available at Giant Eagle and Giant Eagle Market District)
GA & Reserved Discount/Signature Events: $22.99-$42.99 (Available at select Ohio Discount Drug Mart store locations)

Gift Ideas from Tortuga Rum Cake Company

Tortuga Rum Cakes editTortuga Rum Cake Company is known world-wide for authentic and original Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes. Baked in the Caribbean from a generations old island family recipe, the cakes are made with the finest ingredients and special oak-barrel-aged Tortuga gold rum. Each cake is hand glazed and vacuum sealed, locking in the delicious freshness and giving the cakes a shelf life of 12 months.

The company also offers Chocolate Rum Turtles with Sea Salt, Caribbean sauces, flavored gourmet coffees including single-serve coffee, rum balls and rum fudge. Tortuga is also now offering homemade Salt Water Taffy with Rum. It is made from a special recipe and with the finest ingredients.

Sweet Salt Water Taffy will bring back memories from your travels to sea side destinations including the Caribbean. Each package includes eight unique flavors that are individually wrapped: TORTUGA Rum and Cola, TORTUGA Rum, TORTUGA Coconut Rum, TORTUGA Banana Rum, TORTUGA Mango Rum, TORTUGA Pineapple Rum, TORTUGA Orange Liqueur and TORTUGA Rum Punch.

The taffy boasts a shelf life of 12 months and has received rave reviews on the delicious tropical, rummy flavors. This new treat is a perfect addition to the delicious gourmet products you offer year-round.

Wixon Welcomes Greg Gonzales, Packaging Operations Manager

Wixon, a manufacturer of seasonings, flavors and technologies for the food and beverage industry, has named Greg Gonzales as Packaging Operations Manager.

In his new role, Gonzales is responsible for oversight of the packaging department, including scheduling and management of facility staff, directing lean manufacturing practices, and coordinating and ensuring compliance with established standards for production and quality.

Gonzales has more than 20 years of food industry experience from a variety of production management assignments, with companies including Kangaroo Brands/ConAgra Foods, Unilever, and Ventura Foods. He has previously implemented TPM (Total Productive Maintenance) lean manufacturing programs and lead teams to achieve Level 3 in the SQF (Safe Quality Foods) Certification.

Gonzales and his wife reside in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, and have four boys. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching soccer and baseball within the community.

For more than 100 years, Wixon has been a trusted provider of flavors, seasonings, and technologies for food and beverage manufacturers. With its scientific and culinary capabilities combined with a passion for service, Wixon drives innovation and solutions for its customers. Wixon focuses on its core areas of expertise: Industrial Ingredients, including Foodservice; Consumer Products; and Protein. Customers are encouraged to tap into a portfolio of services, including R&D, custom formulation development, turnkey solutions, and menu ideation. Wixon ingredients are globally-sourced and go beyond FDA standards to ensure quality and cleanliness. The company also offers spice grinding, blending, and a complete line of package engineering options. Located in St. Francis, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wixon is GFSI Certified to FSSC 22000, ISO9001 Certified, and QAI Organic Certified. More information on Wixon or any of its products may be obtained at or by calling 414.769.3000.


From Farm to Flavor with Tres Hermanas


In the sunburned heart of southern New Mexico, the Tres Hermanas Mountains rise from the horizon. Nearby, in the town of Deming, family homes, local business, and acres and acres of pepper farms sprawl out in their protective shadow. It is from these mountains that Tres Hermanas takes its name. It is from this community where Tres Hermanas is inspired.

Mizkan editTres Hermanas believes that great flavor comes from great farms. This is why the company works diligently alongside farmers that have grown peppers for generations. Together, Tres Hermanas and its farmers cultivate the very best seeds and ideal growing conditions to raise delicious, uniquely New Mexican peppers. All jalapenos, green chiles and tomatillos are grown within a 30-mile radius of the company’s headquarters to ensure maximum farm-to-flavor freshness.

Each fall, these peppers are harvested by hand, with each one carefully considered to ensure that only the best New Mexican peppers make it to your shelves – and your shoppers’ tables. The farmers and their families celebrate this pepper harvest by making a whirlwind of sauces and salsas, bringing age-old family recipes to life with flavorful fresh ingredients.

Tres Hermanas brings these traditional recipes to you with a full line of peppers and sauces. These peppers fill dishes with raw desert spices. Sauces run from sunset red to verdant green. All are imbued with a touch of something special that sparks the senses, something that transports anyone who enjoys their flavor from their dining room to a sun-soaked plain outside Deming, where three gentle peaks rise to kiss the turquoise sky.

Inspired by the vivid flavors this community has enjoyed for generations, these cooking sauces make it easy to create truly authentic Mexican meals in only a few simple steps.

So whether your shoppers enjoy spicy peppers, authentic sauces or both, everyone will love the dips, enchiladas, nachos, tacos, burritos and even pizzas they can make with the bold, farm-raised flavor of Tres Hermanas.


Food Lion Presents $2 Million to Wounded Warrior Project

Food Lion hosted a special breakfast on Veterans Day at its corporate headquarters to present a $2 million donation to Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP). The in-store initiative, which ran from Oct. 21 through Nov. 10 was a part of the WWP Believe In Heroes® campaign.

The donation by Food Lion will go to support the 20 free, life-saving programs and services that are offered by WWP, which are uniquely structured to engage warriors, nurture their minds and bodies, and encourage economic empowerment.  Since 2003, WWP has grown its programs and services to meet the growing needs of the constituency it serves. Currently, WWP provides support to more than 80,000 injured service members and over 13,000 caregivers and family support members. Through a high-touch and interactive approach, WWP’s vision is to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.

“At Food Lion, we are honored to support our military and veteran associates and customers,” said Rudy DiPietro, Vice President of Merchandising for Food Lion. “Whether it’s helping a teammate’s family out while being deployed or raising money for Wounded Warrior Project in our stores, giving back to our communities and helping our neighbors is so important to who we are and what we do.  We want our customers to know that we are there for them and they can count on Food Lion to meet their needs.”

Believe in Heroes is one of the largest national cause marketing campaigns in the United States, annually bringing together brands, retailers and consumers in support of injured service members, their caregivers and families. The 2015 Believe in Heroes campaign began on Oct. 24, and runs until Nov. 20.  The campaign aims to tell the stories of warriors and bring to light the non-profit organization’s long-term needs in order to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. Believe in Heroes calls upon on Americans to support the brands that support our heroes. For more information, visit

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