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Hickory Farms Offers New Artisanal Gifts for 2013 Holiday Season

Hickory Farms, the specialty food and holiday gift retailer recently announced the official grand opening of more than 700 Holiday Market storefronts and kiosks for the 2013 holiday season.

This year, the company introduces Hickory Farms Reserve, a new collection that will delight even the most discerning foodies. These new gifts feature artisanal Dry Salami and eight all-natural cheeses handcrafted in Wisconsin by an award-winning master cheese maker. The cheeses include Apple Smoked Cheddar with Paprika, Smoked Garlic Cheddar, Smoked Pepper Jack, Smoked Blue Cheese, Triple Creme Cheese, Classic Cheddar, 1 Year Aged Cheddar and 3 Year Aged Cheddar.

In addition, Hickory Farms has expanded its offering of wine gift baskets at hickoryfarms.com through a new partnership with Wine.com. One of these new gifts, Winter Wonderland Basket, features the perfect balance of classic, savory favorites like Hickory Farms’ gold medal-winning Signature Summer Sausage and Smoked Gouda, complemented by some of their irresistible sweets, all paired perfectly with the lively character of Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay and the full, rich flavor of Parducci Small Lot Pinot Noir.

Shoppers at Hickory Farms’ Holiday Markets will be hard-pressed to resist new dessert and snack offerings that are sure to make the season even sweeter. Selections include mouthwatering Peanut Brittle Popcorn with Chocolaty Drizzle, Lemon Shortbread cookies, and Snowflake Pretzels.

“Hickory Farms has been a family favorite for over 60 years, and we’re excited to bring an even broader array of delicious options to market this year,” said Mark S. Rodriguez, the company’s CEO.

Customers can find Hickory Farms’ award-winning sausage, cheese and other specialty items at their holiday stores in the U.S. and Canada, online at www.hickoryfarms.com, in catalogs, and at leading retailers throughout the season.

Safeway Announces Sale of 11 Dominick’s Stores

Safeway Inc. has announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to sell 11 of its Dominick’s stores in the Chicago metropolitan area in a cash and lease assumption transaction to Roundy’s, Inc.  Roundy’s will take possession of the stores during a transition period that will take place over the next two months.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. The eleven stores are:

  • Park Ridge: 1900 S. Cumberland Ave.
  • Western Springs: No. 14 Garden Market St.
  • Chicago: 3145 S. Ashland Ave.
  • Chicago: 2021 W. Chicago Ave.
  • Northfield: 1822 Willow Rd.
  • Westchester: 3020 S. Wolf Rd.
  • Buffalo Grove: 450 Half Day Rd.
  • Chicago: 5201 N. Sheridan Rd.
  • Gurnee: 6655 Grand Ave.
  • Aurora: 3025 E. New York St.
  • Shorewood: 950 Brook Forest Ave.

Earlier this year, Safeway announced its decision to exit the Chicago market and focus its efforts in other operating areas where its business is stronger. The company continues to be actively engaged in a process to identify purchasers for its remaining stores in the Chicago market, and make announcements as and when pending deals are finalized.  Safeway previously announced the sale of four stores in the greater Chicago area to New Albertsons, Inc., which operates Jewel-Osco grocery stores.

Teatulia’s Newest Fine Cut Jasmine Green Tea Given Honor at North American Tea Championship

 Teatulia Organic Teas has earned third place at the North American Tea Championship in the 2013 Packaged Single-Service Tea Class for its fine cut Jasmine Green Tea. This win marks Teatulia’s fourth recognition as North American Tea Champions.

The Championship is the only independent competition, judged by tea professionals, to distinguish the highest quality and best tasting teas commercially available in the North American marketplace. The Packaged Single-Service Tea Class is evaluated once a year, and every submission is cupped blind and rated by flavor, body, color, clarity and balance. An overall numerical value on a 100‐point scale is calculated to get the winning teas. The results allow producers to understand how their tea compares to others through impartial judging by industry professionals, something that aids tremendously in marketing, operations and product development.

“We are excited to have received such an honor for our brand new Jasmine Green Tea,” says Co-founder and CEO of Teatulia,Linda Lipsius. “Our colleagues in the tea industry have once again recognized Teatulia’s dedication to producing superior tasting, ethically grown teas.”

The Jasmine Green Tea is blend of organic green tea and organic jasmine. It is a mild and refreshing tea, and the delicate floral notes give it a smooth, sweet finish.

Teatulia’s exclusive line of fine cut teas was created so, high-quality, organic tea could be affordable to every household. Along with the award winning Jasmine Green Tea, the fine cut line also includes Earl Grey, Teatulia Black, Teatulia Green, and Lemongrass Herbal Infusion. Currently sold at Target Stores.

Finest Kind Tea a Finalist in Crowd Funding Contest

Maine-based Finest Kind Tea is a finalist in Fresh Direct’s Next BIG Food Thing contest, a crowd funding contest created to “find the next food idea, product or innovation that could change the food world.”

Through the contest, which closes on December 17, 2013, Finest Kind Tea will have the opportunity to crowd source support for its new all organic tea concentrate using RocketHub.com, an online crowdfunding platform.

Finest Kind Tea founder, Jay Lombard, is committed to using only sustainable, natural ingredients, and he pledges never to use high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or artificial ingredients in any of his products. He is proud of the low carbon footprint of his teas—each bottle is filled with16 fluid ounces of concentrate that, when mixed with water, makes a gallon of tea or the equivalent of eight bottles of ready-to-drink tea. If Finest Kind Tea wins the Next BIG Food Thing contest, Lombard will use the proceeds to develop a tea made with organic, non-GMO, ethically-sourced ingredients.

Lombard started brewing his tea in small 80-gallon batches. This winter, he will increase production at a new facility on the coast of Maine to support expanded distribution throughout greater New England, greater New York, and eventually, nationwide.

The Next BIG Food Thing contest winner will be chosen based on a range of criteria including- amount of funds raised, funder engagement, and overall quality of the idea. The business with the winning idea will receive $10,000 and the chance to partner with FreshDirect, a food supplier in metropolitan New York and Philadelphia. Two runners-up will receive $2,500 each to fund their businesses. The judges include David McInerney, the co-founder of FreshDirect; Geoff Bartakovics, the CEO of Tasting Table; Natasha Case, the CEO of Coolhaus; Sarah Copeland, the food director of Real Simple; and John Craven, the founder of BevNet. Learn more at: www.rockethub.com/projects/partner/nextbigfoodthing

Over 1,000 Cheese Lovers Expected at Crucolo Cheese Parade Thursday in Concord, Mass.

No one can call the residents of Concord, Mass. blasé. Each year, on the first Thursday in December at 3:30 PM, residents of all ages assemble on Walden Street for the arrival of the largest wheel of Italian cheese in North America. This year, the date is this upcoming Thursday, December 5.

The annual Crucolo Cheese Parade attracts over 1,000 adults and children. The event includes a number of spectacles and special attractions.

The highlight of the Crucolo Cheese Parade is the arrival down the town’s main commercial street, by horse-drawn cart, of a 400 lb. wheel of Crucolo cheese. The wheel is equal in diameter to a 3-year-old child. The Crucolo is accompanied by a member of the Purin family, makers of Crucolo for the past 250 years. Its trip began in Scurelle, a town in the mountains of Trentino, Italy, where the cheese is made especially for this event.

The Crucolo Dancers, a troupe of exuberant Concord Academy teenagers, prance down the street in advance of the cheese. Simultaneously, the cheese is loudly serenaded by an Italian chorale group, while 1,000 excited onlookers brandish Italian flags.

A proclamation announcing Crucolo Day in Concord will be read in both English and Italian. Then, the Crucolo will be rolled from the horse cart to a stage to be cut, sliced and distributed to the hungry crowd.

On the sidewalk, parade attendees will have the opportunity to pose with the giant cheese. Meanwhile, inside The Concord Cheese Shop, cheese-lovers clamor to purchase Crucolo, which retails for about $20 per pound. The entire 400-lb. wheel will be sold before Christmas.

The Crucolo parade is free and open to the public.  The 4th Annual Crucolo Cheese Parade is being sponsored by The Concord Cheese Shop, as well as Savello USA (exclusive U.S. importer of Crucolo) and Accardi Foods (Boston-area distributor).

Chex Finer Foods Named 2013 Whole Foods North Atlantic Regional Supplier Partner of the Year

Chex Finer Foods was the inaugural recipient of the 2013 Regional Supplier Partner of the Year across all Whole Foods departments on November 15 and the first annual Supplier Appreciation Luncheon held by Whole Foods North Atlantic Region. Chex was also recognized as the 2013 Grocery Supplier of the Year. The two awards come as a result of dedication and a strong partnership with the Whole Foods North Atlantic region that spans almost 15 years.

“I am humbled to receive these awards and recognition from Whole Foods Market. I am proud of all the hard work and results that we have achieved together with our partner Whole Foods Market,” said Chex President Jeremy Isenberg. The Whole Foods award recognizes Chex for excellence in service, adapting to the changing needs in the marketplace, business insights, and for being Whole Foods’ “go to” distributor across multiple departments.

Founded in 1965, Chex Finer Foods is a 3rd generation family business. In December 2011, the company was inducted into the Food Industry Hall of Fame. In January, 2012, Chex Finer Foods moved its headquarters to Mansfield, Mass. where it doubled its warehouse and office space. Chex has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the top 5000 fastest growing companies for 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Inventure Foods to Present at Wedbush California Dreamin’ Consumer Management Access Conference

 Inventure Foods, Inc. has announced that Terry McDaniel, President and CEO, and Steve Weinberger, CFO, will present at the Wedbush California Dreamin’ Consumer Management Access Conference on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 9:45 a.m. EST.  The conference will be held at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel in New York City.

The presentation and related materials will be available to all interested parties through a live audio webcast accessible in the investor relations section of Inventure Foods’ website at www.inventurefoods.com, where it will be archived for 90 days following the presentation.

About Inventure Foods, Inc.
With manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Indiana, Washington, Oregon and Georgia, Inventure Foods, Inc. is a marketer and manufacturer of specialty food brands in better-for-you and indulgent categories under a variety of company-owned and licensed brand names, including Boulder Canyon Natural Foods®, Jamba®, Seattle’s Best Coffee®, Rader Farms®, T.G.I. Friday’s®, Nathan’s Famous®, Vidalia Brands®, Poore Brothers®, Tato Skins®, Willamette Valley Fruit Company, Fresh Frozen and Bob’s Texas Style®.

Holiday Pasta Recipe from Cat Cora

Residence Inn sent us over this recipe by Residence Inn by Marriott’s Resident Mom of the Year, Cat Cora.

With four hungry boys to feed over the holidays, Celebrity Chef and lifestyle entrepreneur Cat Cora knows a thing or two about sizzling up festive dishes that are sure to please! Please see below for the unique holiday dish she created exclusively for Residence Inn that incorporates seasonal ingredients such as pumpkin, sage and cinnamon. This recipe is easily prepared at home or on the road for family holiday travel, while staying at a Residence Inn! All rooms feature fully-stocked kitchens, and the brand offers complimentary grocery delivery service so you can have all of the ingredients delivered right to your room.

IMG_9494Very Merry Holiday Pasta

Serves 4-6

3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces turkey or chicken sausage, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 pound orecchiette
1 cup of white wine
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon fresh sage, thin sliced

Boil water for pasta in a pasta pot, fitted with a strainer. Add the fresh orecchiette pasta to boiling water, cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add turkey or chicken sausage and saute for 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add garlic into the pan, and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.  Add white wine and reduce heat by half.  Add in chicken stock, canned pumpkin, heavy cream and cinnamon. Stir until well mixed.  Add the turkey or chicken sausage to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the cooked orecchiette pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a warm platter or bowls, top with parmesan cheese and fresh sage.

Snikiddy Launches New Soy Ginger Eat Your Vegetables Flavor Exclusively at Kroger

Snikiddy®, a line of all-natural snacks made from simple, real-food ingredients, today announced it is introducing Soy Ginger Eat Your Vegetables® as an exclusive to Kroger stores nationwide. The Asian-inspired, veggie-packed variety will be available in more than 730 Kroger stores from coast-to-coast beginning at the end of October.

“The combination of soy and ginger deliver that umami (sweet, sour, bitter, salty, taste) all of our taste buds crave.  These flavor contrasts all packed in one is quickly becoming more and more popular in many of our favorite entrees, but finding this Far East combination in the snack aisle is very unique,” said Mary Schulman, Founder and Executive Vice President of Marketing for Snikiddy. “We left no stone unturned to perfect our new flavor and are excited to debut this completely unique snack to Kroger shoppers!”

Like all other Eat Your Vegetables varieties, the new Soy Ginger crisps are made with eight vegetables including kale, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, navy beans, carrots and shitake mushrooms, and provide a full serving of vegetables per ounce. Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, C, E, B1, B6 and antioxidants. The chips also provide 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein per serving from a proprietary blend of beans and brown rice. All Snikiddy snacks are all-natural, certified gluten and wheat free, made with non-GMO ingredients, and are completely peanut and tree nut free. Snikiddy Eat Your Vegetables are available in other fun, family-friendly flavors including: Sea Salt, Sour Cream & Onion, Jalapeno Ranch, Italian Herb & Olive Oil and Sea Salt & Lime.

The entire line of Snikiddy snacks are available at grocery, natural, specialty and family retailers nationwide, including select Target locations, Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market, Whole Foods Market, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Babies ‘R’ Us as well as online at Snikiddy.com.

Babo Botanicals Products Help Keep Baby Clean, Safe and Comfortable

by Lorrie Baumann

Winter weather can be particularly tough on babies, whose skin is 70 percent thinner than adult skin and very susceptible to dehydration. Baby’s skin needs to be moisturized frequently with products that do not strip natural oils from the skin. Products should allow the skin to breathe easily and be free of irritants that can cause allergic reactions.

BaboGroupKate Bio

The Babo Botanicals products meet these requirements and are also all-natural, free of parabens, phthalates, gluten, synthetic fragrances and colors as well as nuts. “These are things that more and more kids and adults appear to have sensitivities to,” says Babo Botanicals owner and CEO Kate Solomon. “We wanted to make the most hypoallergenic products on the market.” The products are all dermatologist-tested, allergy-tested and tear-free.

Oatmilk Group 8041-8040-8042-9606Each of the product lines within the brand are formulated to provide specific solutions to problems that babies and their parents commonly experience. For dry skin or eczema, Babo Botanicals’ oatmeal and calendula shampoo, diaper cream, moisturizing lotion and body wash are the solution. For calming the fussy baby, Lavender Meadowsweet bubble bath and shampoo is great. Berry Primrose shampoo and detangler spray are the solution for tangled locks. The products are all made on a farm in upstate New York from pure flower and plant extracts.

They come from a mom with a background in working with farmers and who began her career with the Peace Corps by developing a beekeeping program for farmers in the Paraguayan village of San Antonio Guazu. Solomon had applied for the beekeeping program after raising bees with her father at the family home in Connecticut. “Paraguay was one of the few countries that had beekeeping as part of their agriculture program,” she says. With a grant from the World Bank, she was able to develop a very solid beekeeping program there before the end of her two-and-a-half-year assignment.

Home from the Peace Corps, she went to work for Avon Products. I was attracted to Avon because I wanted to go into a global personal care business, and I loved the Avon philosophy of women making extra money with their own personal care products businesses,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business, always. I come from a line of entrepreneurs in my family.”

While at Avon, she realized that she had a knack for developing brands and products, and she continued her career doing that for other companies, including, most recently, almost a decade with L’Oreal developing products for the professional market.

I realized I had a knack for developing brands and products, and I continued my career doing that for other companies. “I saw a real need for very high quality products using the power of botanicals for the kids that could be used by the entire family. The botanicals are important because plants and flowers can produce amazing results in a natural way. That’s better than depending on chemicals that may irritate the skin.”

She began developing the Babo Botanicals products after leaving L’Oreal in 2007 and launched the business in 2010. Babo Botanicals, named after Solomon’s son’s security bunny, was immediately successful in the marketplace. “It’s doubled every year, and we expect it to continue to double,” Solomon says.

The Babo Botanicals products retail from $12 to $14.95. For more information, visit www.Babobotanicals.com.

 

 

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