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KeHE Appoints Chief Financial Officer

KeHE Distributors, LLC (KeHE) has named Timothy J. Wiggins as its new Chief Financial Officer, effective July 11.

In his new role, Wiggins will be responsible for leading all aspects of KeHE’s finance function and strategic planning, as well as business unit and subsidiary performance. He will also serve as a member of the board of directors of World Finer Foods, a KeHE subsidiary, and as a member of the advisory board to Tree of Life Canada.

“After an extensive nationwide search, we are pleased to welcome Tim Wiggins to the team,” said Brandon Barnholt, President and CEO, KeHE. “Tim brings a depth of financial experience in the public and private sectors that will be valuable as we continue to drive shareholder value. Just as important, Tim is an excellent cultural fit due to his commitment to the development of people and a desire to help us live out our mission and values.”

“I am delighted to be joining such an outstanding organization,” added Wiggins. “KeHE’s mission, vision and values resonate deeply with me, and I look forward to contributing to this important work.”

Prior to joining KeHE, Wiggins served as senior vice president and chief financial officer at DeVry Education Group. He is a CPA and holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Michigan State University.

For more information, visit www.KeHE.com.

Junior’s Cheesecake Gains Traction at Retail

By Lorrie Baumann

Renowned New York bakery, Junior’s Cheesecake and Desserts, is gaining traction in the retail marketplace after opening a 103,000 square foot baking facility in Burlington, New Jersey, that gave the company the capacity to expand beyond supplying its own restaurants with cheesecakes that have been consistently voted New York’s best.

“We’re really excited about the progress that Junior’s has made in the past year. We have successfully transitioned our business from our Brooklyn facility to a state-of-the art facility in Burlington, New Jersey,” said Alan Rosen, the company’s third-generation Owner. “The best part is that we have more room to make our desserts the same way we have in Brooklyn for more than 65 years. I can proudly say that the recipe has not changed one ounce.”

New York has voted Junior’s cheesecakes the best the city has to offer every year since the early 1970s, and Junior’s is still using the same cheesecake recipe developed by Rosen’s grandfather, Harry Rosen, who opened his first restaurant on election day in 1950 with the idea that if Junior’s was going to be a great New York restaurant, it needed to serve great cheesecake.

Junior’s still operates four restaurants, soon to be five, as well as the bakery. Three are in New York City – one in Brooklyn, one in Times Square and one in Grand Central Terminal. The fourth is in Foxwoods, Connecticut, and there’s one coming in Boca Raton, Florida. Junior’s also has satellites in South Korea and in the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

“Over the past year, we have found ourselves in both bakery sections and frozen sections, depending on the needs of the retailer. Wegmans, Kroger, Tops Friendly Markets, ACME Markets, Stop & Shop – we are well represented in the New York market, including upstate,” Rosen said. “We are growing, but we still listen to the needs of our customers. In the past six months, we’ve gained retail distribution in over 1,500 stores, and we look forward to bringing to the whole country what New Yorkers have known forever – you haven’t really lived until you’ve tasted cheesecake from Junior’s.”

New for this year, Junior’s Cheesecake is featuring its six-inch Apple Crumb Cheesecake, seasonal specialties, and of course, traditional New York cheesecakes in 10 varieties. In addition to cheesecakes, Junior’s Cheesecake and Desserts also offers layer cakes, loaf cakes, shortcakes and tiramisu as well as seasonal specialties for any sweet occasion. “We are a full line bakery,” Rosen said. “We even customize items for special customers.”

Making Cannoli an Everyday Snack Experience

Golden Cannoli is a 40-year old second generation family owned business and makers of premium cannoli shells, chips and fillings. It is continuing to expand with great success in all trade channels with the production of ‘The Original Cannoli Chip,’ a crispy snack chip. The company plans to make cannoli “an everyday snack experience.”

Golden has found great success in the bakery department with cannoli chips and dip over last three years, with sales growing over 100 percent per year. This item has created more cannoli awareness and offered opportunities for continued expansion into other market locations. With the launch of the cannoli chip, the entire cannoli category has improved across the country, with Golden leading the industry.

The snack chip is sold in 5-ounce and 14-ounce bags, and the chips contain no artificial ingredients, no trans fats, no preservatives and are nut-free. The product will be sold as a retail snack in supermarkets, delis and in specialty departments coast to coast. Golden Cannoli intends to launch “limited batch” flavors throughout the year and continue to innovate far beyond expectations.

Besides its quality cannoli products and packaging, the company has been recognized for impeccable customer service, commitment to quality and on-time deliveries. Golden plans to launch these snack chips coast to coast in the third quarter of 2016, and offers support in development, private label and creative solutions for point of sales.

For more information, email Owner and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Valerie Bono at valerie@goldencannoli.com.

Columbus Eases the Charcuterie Board

Not only are charcuterie boards easy to prepare ,  they work for every season. Whether a spring brunch, a summer pool party, or the ever-busy winter holidays , they are always a great option for entertaining.

Sometimes building a charcuterie board can be a bit intimidating. Where do you start? Columbus makes it easier for you with its Charcuterie Sampler, which provides a variety of four delicious salami : Calabrese, Genoa, Italian Dry and Sopressata. These four styles give diverse flavor profiles that range from a slow mild heat to fresh garlic and even hints of fennel. Both the Italian Dry and Sopressata are a thicker cut, creating a mouth-feel akin to a hand-cut slice (without the work!). All you need to do is add some accompaniments .  The key is variety and balance with a focus on foods that complement each other without overwhelming the palate.

Calabrese is a zesty salame made with red bell peppers. Enjoy it with a hard cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano. Wash it down with an IPA or a Syrah.

Genoa is a mild salame seasoned with wine and garlic. Add a softer cheese, like fontina or fresh goat cheese for a different texture. They go well with a chilled Sauvignon Blanc or Pilsner.

Italian Dry is the company’s San Francisco classic salame that pairs well with a hard sheep-milk cheese like pecorino romano. This combination works well with Pinot Noirs, Pilsners and Pale Ales.

Sopressata brings flavors of sweet fennel and chili pepper. Combine with a harder cow cheese like grana padano. Savor it with a glass of Pinot Grigio.

You can also include other delicious cured meats like prosciutto or coppa to your board. Here are some other suggestions for your mouth-watering charcuterie platter:

  • Crunchy breads and crackers: These should be plain so as not to compete for the many flavors on the board. Favorites: Toasted plain baguette, pita bread, water crackers and bread sticks.
  • Spreads: Both creamy and seeded mustard versions are good choices. Sweet and savory jams with caramelized onion flavors or deep fruity notes are also welcome partners. Be sure to select flavors that aren’t overwhelming. Favorites: Fruit chutney, fig jam, hummus or a white bean dip.
  • Olives and pickled vegetables: Always great additions. Cornichons and pickled radishes work very well.
  • Fresh seasonal fruits are welcome too. In the winter, dried fruits including apricots and figs are great complements.

That’s it! Just start with the best craft meats, include complementary cheese, breads and spreads that provide different textures and flavors, pop open bottles of wine and beer, and enjoy the gathering.

Nestle Professional Applications Offered to Deli Operators

At the annual International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA) Show in Houston, Texas, Nestlé Professional® featured four key culinary and insight driven categories in its booth, designed to help deli operators create a destination that competes with restaurants.

“People want to be wowed wherever they go, and at Nestlé, we are driven by this simple truth,” said Todd Muller, Business Development Manager at Nestlé Professional. “With culinary expertise and support plus extensive market knowledge and insights, we are equipped to help delis and bakeries provide restaurant-quality offerings that meet the evolving tastes — and expectations — of consumers.”

According to Datassential, 84 percent of consumers are interested in purchasing supermarket deli “meals at home” at least one day a week. To support deli operators cater to these customers and maximize margins by repurposing extra protein to cut down waste, Nestlé Professional launched Home Meal Solution Kits at the IDDBA show.

Varieties include: Chipotle Macaroni and Cheese, Stroganoff and Tuscan Style Cavatappi. Another new product line was showcased: Minor’s® Ready to Flavor™ bases, and sauces concentrates. These products are tested Ready-to-Eat, which means they are edible without any additional preparation to achieve food safety. Operators can now add the trusted Minor’s flavor to hot or cold applications without the added step of cooking or equipment restrictions.

The third corner featured Nestlé® Branded Dessert Ingredients customers know and enjoy. Nestlé’s consumer-loved dessert toppings make great additions to traditional and innovative bakery items that command premium price points. Operators can elevate bakery items and drive sales by adding variety and brand familiarity with quality ingredients, including: Butterfinger®, Nestlé® Crunch® and Toll House® Morsels.

For the final corner of the booth, Nestlé Professional worked with Datassential to provide one-on-one insights-based consultation with the Firefly tool. This tool indexes more than 1.3 million foodservice locations, and operators were able to enter their ZIP codes and see the top trending flavors in a given market. Nestlé representatives then take that data and create personalized Radius Reports to support customers in finding profitable opportunities.

Senate Passes GMO Labeling Bill

The U.S. Senate has passed  a new national standard for labeling food that contains ingredients from genetically modified crops (GMO). “The compromise bill passed by the Senate doesn’t make advocates of labeling genetically engineered foods particularly happy, but is a relief to food producers fearful of a patchwork of state labeling laws,” said Creighton R. Magid, a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney and head of its Washington DC office. “The bill would prohibit states, counties and cities from enacting their own disclosure standards for genetically engineered food.  Vermont’s labeling statute, which went into effect July 1, would be preempted.”

NASDA President and Nebraska Director of Agriculture Greg Ibach issued the following statement on the bill’s passage: “We are one step closer to staving off a fifty-state patchwork of GMO labeling laws. We urge the House to take swift action to finalize a national labeling system to provide consumers with information about these critical technologies. NASDA Members will be working with their delegations to get this bill across the finish line next week. While these provisions will allow for consumers to have access to additional information it is important to remember science has again and again proven the safety of genetic improvements to allow farmers to produce the safest food possible for consumers in our nation and around the globe.”

NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories.

The bill won the endorsement of the Organic Trade Association after it included language assuring that organic producers will be able to label their products as non-GMO, according to a letter from Laura Batcha, the OTA’s Executive Director, and Melissa Hughes, its board President.

 

 

Fiesta Mart Acquires Minyard Food Stores

Houston-based Fiesta Mart, L.L.C. is acquiring 11 Minyard Food Stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex from RLS Supermarkets, L.L.C. Fiesta is a specialty grocery retailer known for its international offerings that cater to the diverse communities served by their stores. With the Minyard Food Stores acquisition, Fiesta will now operate 70 stores across Texas.

“We are excited to welcome Minyard Food Stores to the Fiesta family. This action reinforces the strategic growth plan we put forth early last year,” stated Michael Byars, Fiesta CEO. “Our entire Fiesta team has worked together to move the brand forward organically, and now through acquisition we continue on our growth plan.”

Byars has personal ties to Minyard, working for the company from January 2005 through January 2009, ultimately serving as CEO and President of Minyard for more than three years. He joined Fiesta in 2015 and has focused the company on reinvigoration of its core consumer promise, “To provide consumers the freshest quality products and extensive assortment, at the value they need to celebrate food and family every day.”

In early 2015, Fiesta was purchased by ACON, an international private equity investment firm. “ACON is pleased to add Minyard Food Stores to the Fiesta team as part of our strategic vision to grow the Fiesta brand,” remarked Andre Bhatia, a Managing Partner of ACON. “Our prior supermarket investing experience and success will further strengthen Fiesta’s position in the markets we serve.”

The newly acquired Minyard store locations will continue to be supplied by current supplier AWG, along with Fiesta’s supplier, Grocery Supply. The Minyard stores will be transitioning to Fiesta over the next several months. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board Promotes Abby Despins to Director of National Product Communications

Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB) has named Abby Despins to the position of Director of National Product Communications, where she will spearhead national public relations and social media campaigns for WMMB.

Despins has been with WMMB since 2014, serving as Public Relations Manager. Despins brought nearly a decade of experience in public relations, social media and strategic marketing communications in a variety of agency, corporate and nonprofit roles. Since joining WMMB, she has worked with cheese companies, food bloggers and industry media to share WMMB’s message on a regional and national level through targeted social media and public relations efforts.

In her new position, Despins will manage national product communications for the Wisconsin cheese and dairy industry, including consumer social media and events as well as foodservice, retail and consumer media relations.

SOUR POWER QUATTRO DOUBLES from Dorval

Dorval Trading Co., Ltd. announces its latest SOUR POWER® item in the 2-pound bag range: New SOUR POWER QUATTRO® DOUBLES.

A creative new spin on “assorted,” each mini-belt has two colors and two flavors, either strawberry/tutti frutti or blue raspberry/green apple. The DOUBLES concept is a variation on Dorval’s popular Sour Power Quattro, a four-color/four-flavor belt.

17557 Quattro Doubles bagSOUR POWER is now available in Straws and Belts, all in wrapped, unwrapped or in bulk format in a variety of package types and flavors. Packed in 9 x 2-pound cartons, these SOUR POWER QUATTRO DOUBLES bags are available to ship now.

Kroger’s Summer Celebration of Military Service Members Continues

The Kroger Company’s summer-long Honoring Our Heroes campaign continues in stores through July 19.

Customers can show their support and donate through register scan cards and coin boxes at stores or by donating online at www.honoringourheroes.com. All funds raised from customers will be additional to Kroger’s $1 million commitment. All gifts will help the USO continue its mission to keep service members connected to family, home and country throughout their service to our nation.

More than 2 million Americans serve on active duty or in the reserves today, including many Kroger family of stores associates. Kroger’s Honoring Our Heroes program is designed to show Kroger’s deep gratitude to our active duty service members and our nation’s 23 million veterans through the company’s partnership with the USO.

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