Early on Day 1, Food Institute stalwarts Ron Tanner (middle), Brian Choi (right), and Susan Choi (foreground) ran into SFA president Bill Lynch, who later joined Susan on the live broadcast from the Specialty Food Association / TFI stage.
One of the first Fancy Fooders the TFI staff met was in line at the hotel Starbucks. James Mousigian is a salesman for European Imports and was thrilled to regale us with tales from the road. “That’s the life of a traveling salami salesman,” he said with a smile.
The Soul Patty won a gold SFA award several years ago for their plant-based chorizo and meat, which they were delighted to share with The Food Institute staff.
40 Below Joe is a sister brand to the original Dippin’ Dots candy pioneered by Curt Jones in 1988. 40 Below Joe is a frozen coffee and creamer bead concept.
TFI senior editor Jordan Wiklund bellies up with Mr. Belly. As the #foodstalgia trend continues, brands like Jelly Belly are roaring ahead as those Gen X returns to the flavors they knew as children.
World of Coffee is a second-generation, family-owned coffee business out of New Jersey that happens to have the Jack Daniel’s license. Vice president Jackie Newman was happy to chat with The Food Institute about an impending coffee shortage as the Brazilian market has been rocked by a series of storms and droughts.
So. Much. Cheese.
The Brooklyn Bred company’s impressive display of neopolitan-style pizzas kept showgoers salivating (and fed).
More from the Brooklyn Bred company. These didn’t last long.
Ryan Demirjian is one of the founders of Habanero Cartel, whose Kill Sauce and unique branding has helped them grow for almost a decade. He was happy to chat the hot sauce market with the TFI staff, including the whiplash (and ongoing shortage) of srircha, opening the market once more for hot sauce entrepreneurs.
During Day 1 of live interviews from the Chocolate Pavilion, TFI senior editor Jordan Wiklund met Madonna Schmitz, president of Abadallah Candies and Gifts, located not three miles from his house in Minnesota, doncha know!
Many Fancy Food goers hoped for a pint and a pour from the BMI Guinness booth.
End to end, truffles are a trend. BMI and its most infamous brand – Guinness – didn’t disappoint with their Irish truffle chocolate. Slàinte!
Atalanta brought some of its most vibrant offerings to the Fancy Food Show.
Meats, cold cuts, and protein, oh my! For every plant-based option in one aisle, there was a whole cooler of some of the world’s finest cow-based products nearby.
Southern Recipe Small Batch Pork Rinds were a hit with the staff; the pineapple flavor hits immediately followed by a minor and pleasant heat that doesn’t linger.
Wilderton is an NA spirits producer and botanicals distillery from the Pacific Northwest. They have the only NA distillery with a tasting room in the country, and comprise a growing number of NA producers in a hybrid space of “drink it with tonic water and it’s good or enjoy one with complementary booze.” The hybrid option is popular.
Food (or the neon glamor of Vega$?) really does bring people together.
At the end of a long day of food, flavors, trends, and coverage, the team at Gelato International (Los Angeles) made sure to take care of The Food Institute staff.
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