Do you like shopping? I sure do. Imagine that you own a store, maybe one that sells neat things like those you find on this blog, and you had to shop for cool inventory to sell in your store. Where would you go to find those neat things? Well, one place you can go for your one-stop shop shopping is the Retail RenaissanceNY Now wholesale gift trade show, which features thousands of handmade, home, and lifestyle gift items all under one roof. NY Now takes place at the Javits Center twice annually, in the winter and summer, and it gets exponentially better with each passing seasonal edition. I always have a fun time at NY Now, but the Summer show that just happened in August was mind-blowingly great. Really. Wow.
I tend not to recap my visits to NY Now because it’s massive, and I just end up blogging about a handful of the coolest items spotted on the show floor. But because I had so many great photos this time, I feel compelled to share them with you. Don’t expect much commentary, because this post is mainly about taking you on a little visual journey, but if you have questions about anything in this piece please speak up in the comments and I’ll be sure to address your inquiries!
Food Glorious Fancy Food: the most-anticipated annual food show is now behind us, and I must say that nobody has their act together quite like the Specialty Food Association does when they take over the Javits Center for the annual Summer Fancy Food Show here in NYC. Cheese whiz, what a fantastic show!
There is so much ground to cover when attempting to distill the Summer Fancy Food Experience, and it’s a monumental task because, as the largest show of its kind, there are literally thousands of participating exhibitors! This year, I was fancying a wide variety of sweet treats and snacks. Let’s go to the photos!
Mmm, don’t these look delicious? C’est Gourmet makes exceptional artisanal pastries – in both sweet and savory varieties – that arrive frozen so that customers can bake fresh pastries at home easily and conveniently. C’est Gourmet selects only the finest ingredients, including organic fruit and artisan cheeses, and they have mastered their own European methods of laminating and resting dough, which results in flavorful pastries with crispy, flaky texture, and a memorable eating experience. C’est Gourmet’s newest offering is the Croissant Muffin (pictured above). I could eat a dozen of them!
Bakerly Crepes To Go are authentic French Crepes rolled with delicious fillings and packaged individually for bakery-fresh, grab-and-go snacking! I discovered Bakerly crepes a few years ago and they are now one of my very favorite snacks! Fillings inside each impossibly flaky crepe include Chocolate Hazelnut, Crunchy Chocolate Hazelnut, Crunchy Caramel, and Strawberry. Take one bite and you will understand immediately why Bakerly’s website is loaded with glowing five-star reviews of these extremely yummy crepe treats!!
Sugar Bowl Bakery makes tiny snack-sized cakes that are instantly addictive, but my favorites are their Duet Bites.
Duet Bites are two treats in one, combining a luscious almond-flavored Madeleine cake and a moist chocolate Brownie in one tiny cake. I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Resistance is futile.
By the time you say the name of Dewey’s Bakery Donut Shop Soft Baked Cookies Collection, your mouth will be watering, just imagining the dream-like idea of cookies that taste like donuts.
Choose from Old Fashion Glazed, Cinnamon Bun, Chocolate Glazed, Apple Fritter and other luscious varieties. Best served warm!
And while we’re talking about Donut Cookies, check out these Donut Hole Cookies, which are brand new from Too Good Gourmet. Enrobed in a sense-tempting glaze and colorful sprinkles, they look as amazing as they taste.
If you seek a sweet snack that manages to be both indulgent and healthy, you may flip for Tru Fru; 100% frozen fresh (aka freeze dried) fruit — cherries, strawberries, raspberries and chunks of coconut — encased in white, milk, or dark chocolate. Mmmm.
I sampled Tru Fru’sWhole Raspberries in White & Milk Chocolate and they were just insane. Unlike dehydrating, the process of freeze-drying locks in the majority (97+%) of the vitamins, nutrition, taste color and texture the fruit. Tru Fru is a unique fruit-based snack that lives up to its name.
Behold, an idea whose time has come: Candy Poppopcorn (by Nestle) is Butterfinger candy-coated popcorn drizzled with peanut butter. Please pass the dental floss!
Socado Funky Pretzel Truffles have successfully harnessed the power of the sweet and savory combination. Individually wrapped for extra fanciness, these crunchy, sweet morsels of endless goodness take the Milk Chocolate Truffle experience even further, adding a creamy filling studded with salted pretzel bits. Kill me.
Hands Off My Chocolate truffles are made with the finest fair Belgian chocolate. They not only come in unique flavors such as Strawberry Meringue and Cinnamon Cookie, but some varieties also embrace interesting shapes, like these highly-Instagrammable truffles that look like a sunny-side up egg. Fun! Hands Off My Chocolate‘s packaging illustrations are also very whimsical.
Remember the popular Birthday Cake flavor profile from SFFS18? Hands Off My Chocolate is keeping it on-trend!
Halloween is not too far away to make you aware of this Witches’ Finger Cookie Kit from The Invisible Chef! Bake up a batch to keep the little Goblins happy!
Inside this classy-looking, cylindrical red box, there lurks one of the most unique food products I saw on the exhibition hall floor. Let’s see what’s inside!
Well, it’s Fiasconaro Dolce Presepe, a traditional Italian holiday cake made with fresh candied orange and raisins, and flavored with Marsala and Zibibbo (I had to look it up; it’s an Italian white wine) that surrounds a nativity scene carved from white chocolate. Holy Italian Cake! It is almost too fancy to eat. Almost.
Eventually, someone had to invent the Waffleshot: a edible cup made from an ice cream waffle cone, coated inside with Belgian chocolate and, depending on the variety you choose, possibly hiding a filling at the bottom. I mean, it was only a matter of time.
Look at these cups. Just look at them, ready to be filled with hot coffee, cocoa or espresso. Or whatever.
Created by Los Angeles-based sisters Doris and Naomi, Waffleshots come in a variety of exciting flavors and can be purchased at This Link, just in time for the Holidays!
If you like nuts and you also like cheese (because who doesn’t) you may be intrigued to know that nuts are now being used to make cheese. Yes I just typed that. Parmela Creamery Aged Nutcheese is traditionally cultured from creamy whole cashew milk. OMG.
This quesadilla was made with Parmela Creamery’s shredded, sharp cheddar variety artisanal nutcheese and it tasted as delicious as you would expect any quesadilla to taste! What a welcome product for the lactose intolerant, or anyone who cares about reducing greenhouse gasses caused by cattle farming. A delicious product with a conscience deserves our support!
Nuts are also getting into the world of dairy with Milkadamia products, which are derived from the finest raw macadamia nuts — because plant-based dairy is officially a thing.
Milkadamia Buttery Spread, a heart-healthy, reduced calorie alternative to butter and margarine, was a new product at SFFS19. This spread has a fantastic buttery taste and a light, creamy texture. Milkadamia also has an extensive line of macadamia nut-based milks and creamers. At the show, I was given a 32 oz carton of their Unsweetened Vanilla Macadamia Milk to take home, which I enjoyed on cereal and in my coffee over the course of three weeks. I emphasis three weeks because a message on the carton recommends consuming the milk within seven days after opening, but it tasted very fresh and delicious for three times that long. Worth noting!
Another trending ingredient among a more health-conscious consumer base is Cauliflower. Not surprisingly, we saw new products at SFFS19 using this versatile vegetable in innovative ways. From the Ground Up makes familiar savory snacks, with a plant-based twist, with their line of Cauliflower-based Tortilla Chips, Stalks, Pretzels and Crackers. Yummy.
Crepini brand Egg Thins crepes, made with cauliflower, are a carb-free, gluten-free, paleo-friendly bread alternative.
I sampled Egg Thins cauliflower crepes rolled up with a slice of deli turkey at the show, and it was a super tasty snack. These crepes would be a great starting point for creative party snacks to impress even your most finicky guest. I definitely will be following up with Crepini post-SFFS!
The Summer Fancy Food Show is an place ideal to discover a vast selection of gourmet variety jams, dips, spreads and sauces. A leader in this category is Terrapin Ridge Farms, who were one of the first outlets I know of to market several kinds of Bacon Jam!
Terrapin Ridge Farms products allow the home cook to redefine his or her approach to food, entertaining and cooking. One jar of their sauces eliminates the need to buy multiple ingredients and spend hours in the kitchen, leaving you more time to spend with your guests! Margarita Jelly, which can enhance the flavors of meats or sweets, is one of their new products on the shelf!
Stonewall Kitchen, unique not just for the distinctive hand-written-look of its labels, but for the culinary innovation that goes into all of its sauces, jams, dips and spreads, always has dozens of delicious new products to sample SFFS. This year I especially loved the Apple Blueberry Salsa and Bacon Queso!
The memorably-named Bitchin’ Sauce took home a pair of Sofi Awards for its delicious Almond Dip! Congratulations!
Freak Flag Organics, possibly the best-named product in the sauces category, makes a healthy Kale Pesto that tastes great on pizza or pasta, or used in dips. Let your Freak Flag fly in the kitchen!
Crazy Go Nuts Walnut Butter not only has a funny name and a wacky label, but it also tastes amazing! Co-owned by friends Courtney Carini and David Wolfe, Crazy Go Nuts is a small business dedicated to environmental advocacy as they turn the superfood that is the walnut into a delectable, wholesome spread that tastes great on bread, fruit, or just eaten by the spoonful from the jar! You can buy Crazy Go Nuts products on Amazon!
O’Dang Hummus makes a line of flavorful and low calorie chickpea-based bottled Salad Dressings.
Macaroni and Cheese from a box, despite its crave-able taste and comforting mouth feel, can get a bad rap for being a convenience food that’s perhaps not so good for you. Funny Farm Macaroni & Cheese Dinner mixes (by LaLoos) challenge that notion, appealing to ‘kids of all ages,’ as they say, for its use of lower-in-fat goats’ milk-based cheese and its absence of preservatives, artificial flavors and synthetic dyes. I tried Funny Farm Mac & Cheese at SFFS and can conclude that it is one of the best-tasting dinner mixes I’ve encountered. They also make a version with the same enriched pasta, but in the shapes of little goats, pizza slices and ice cream cones, to get the little ones on board.
Funny Farm also had these Cheese Wedge-Shaped Mardi Gras Beads as giveaways in their booth!
Also getting into the game of healthier Mac and Cheese in fun shapes is Pastabilities (bonus points for getting to that name first), who make this organic Mac ‘N Cheese dinner with pasta in the shapes of princesses, crowns and castles! Why didn’t this exist when I was a child?
Moon Cheese (Cheese That Crunches) has all the flavor and nutrition of real cheese because it is really just 100% delicious cheese that has been made into little crunchy nuggets. Without additives or preservatives, crunchy Moon Cheese is a perfect on-the-go healthy snack that needs no refrigeration! They also gave my first-ever fidget spinner! Yay, Moon Cheese!
Check out these random products that made it into the recap for their funny names or eye-catching packages!
Kudos to Java Factory for its Smooth Caffeinator medium-roast Keurig pods. You know you hear Sade crooning in your head right now. You’re welcome.
I love this name: Tea Pigs. Because pigs. Tea Pigs is a UK-based small company dedicated to the enjoyment and worshipping of tea. Tea Pigs is a high-quality, whole-leaf tea that, rather than a standard tea bag, comes in a roomy, biodegradable mesh bag that they call a tea temple. I love it.
Wouldn’t this Lychee & Rose cold brew tea taste refreshing on a hot summer day? You know it would. Tea Pigs teas are available in the US via Amazon.
There is so much more to and Mrs. Muffin and Mr. Brownie than set of adorable names. These individually-wrapped mini snack cakes are so delicious, you really should read the brand backstory for yourself!
Uglies Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are delicious chips crafted from potatoes with minor cosmetic imperfections. This includes potatoes that are too large or too small; those with the wrong color or the wrong sugar content. Some of the potatoes are slightly blemished and, of course, some are just farmer surplus. Until now, these orphaned potatoes were destined to become food waste. Uglies has helped to reduce food waste by saving over 1,500,000 pounds of potatoes since 2017. Uglies for the win!
King Floyds Bitters: Bitters are not my thing, but the name made me smile!
Joe Tea and Joe’s Lemonade: Because these label are works of art!
My favorite product that isn’t exactly a food product, but is nevertheless edible, goes to Gerrit’s Top This! Edible Cake Toppers, made by retro and nostalgic candy company Gerrit Verburg! These take me back.
Now I’d love to pay homage to the exhibitors who went the extra distance to guarantee that the Summer Fancy Food Show is Instagram-able for more than just the food. Check out these creative displays, fun use of props and outstanding booth designs!
Goodie Girl, makers of gluten-free cookies in both creative and classic varieties, got a brand new sign this year: a Pink Neon glow encircling their Giggling Goodie Girl logo! Distinctive and fitting!
Goodie Girl Magical Animal Crackers are new on the shelf now!
Salsa God, makers of delicious spicy salsa varieties, earns a mention in our recap each year, because skulls! I love these little Day Of The Dead skulls!
Salsa God’s new product on the shelf is this Chips & Salsa Combo Pack, so that you can enjoy crunchy tortilla chips and fresh hot salsa as a grab-and-go snack any time! Salsa God!
Got Attitude Vodka made the most of a less-than-desirable end-of-the-aisle booth location by bringing in a mechanical Fire Breathing Dragon! Every few minutes, the dragon’s mouth would open wide, its eyes would begin to glow red, and smoke would emerge from its mouth, along with a mighty roar! You had better believe everybody stopped by for a sip and a snap!
Got Attitude Vodka is smooth and sassy, and tastes great with any mixer, or on the rocks with a twist. It’s a party in a bottle!
Here’s a close-up of the dragon’s glowing-red eyes (which I imagine would be more impressionable in the dark)! Still, it provided show-goers with a memorable Game of Thrones-style moment!
Over at the Jelly Belly booth, there was a photo op with Mr. Jelly Belly, who is the brand’s official mascot! He is all kinds of cute.
Jelly Belly Candy Cupcakes, a non-jelly bean candy similar in texture to candy corn, is new on the shelves now!
Maud Borup is known for providing retailers with unique flavor profiles and confectionery gifts that include candy, snacks, baking kits, and beverage mixes, which often come with a reusable collectable item that is sure to be remembered. Check out this sweet and simple display they created to show off their Organic Cotton Candy treats!
It was so festive! You really felt like you were at the Fair!
Coco Well 100% Pure Coconut Water constructed its booth from clear lucite panels filled with fresh whole coconuts. What a clever idea, and there was no confusion as to what their product is all about!
We know that coconut water is super health and hydrating, and Coco Well produces the freshest tasting coconut water possible by packaging its beverages in Tetra Pak, an eco-friendly and socially-responsible form of packaging based on the use of a sustainably-sourced wood fiber. Coco Well is good for your body, and the planet!
Greenpoint Trading Co (based in Brooklyn) brought in this a bike-driven cart as part of their booth display for its line of Spices, Herbs and Seasonings. It definitely relays the message of freshness!
For SFFS19, Pop Art Gourmet Popcorn made good on last year’s promise / threat to retire their fabulous Mirrored Disco Ball Booth, only to debut a new booth design that is equally distinctive; being comprised of multi-colored, stacked LEGO bricks, making it a work of Pop Art itself!
Pop Art also replaced their famous Neon Popcorn Kernel signage with this stunning new sign, which is also made of LEGOs. Well played.
New flavors of Pop Art Popcorn include Dill Pickle Ranch (which tasted exactly like what it says it is) and Cheddar Jalepeno!
The Pinkest Booth at the Summer Fancy Food Show award (which is a thing that I just made up) goes to Belgian Boys European bakery! Beyond the pink plush carpeting (which was very comforting to our tired feet), let’s take a look at some of the awesome pink things found in the Belgian Boys booth!
Put It Here: Pink Recycling / Waste Bin!
Keeping It Cool: Pink Smeg Brand Refrigerator and a Pink Plant!
The booth’s central display was a counter comprised of colorful dessert packaging, stacked high and topped with a Pink Sand Beach, which included a Pink Pineapple!
Alongside the Boys‘ best-loved product line such as their famous Mini Cookie Stash (#rockthatstash), authentic Stroopwafels and assorted Liege Waffles and Waffle Chips, SFFS19 launched the debut of a full line of gourmet single-serve Mini Cheesecakes and a Dark Chocolate Lava Cake – super decadent. These treats are imported from Belgium and come two to a pack, with a premium presentation in a re-usable glass ramekin! Begian Boys new desserts are Non-GMO and made with premium ingredients, no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, and are kosher certified. Crave-able flavors include Key Lime, Cookies & Cream, and Raspberry. Yum!
Niman Ranch, purveyors of humanely-raised quality meats, went all out with their idea of a Summer BBQ, bringing the free spirit of outdoor entertaining inside the Javits Center for the debut their new line of sustainably raised products featuring New Belgium Brewing’s Fat Tire Amber Ale!
Grilled tastings and samples of the meats were an instant hit! The Niman Ranch booth also included a living plant wall with bicycle tires, and with a bar serving freshly brewed Fat Tire Amber Ale. The joint venture of one of the most recognized names in the craft beer industry and a highly-regarded meat company brought show attendees a fresh idea on how to reach millennial audiences — who are concerned with how their food is produced — while supporting value-driven brands.
For fans who longed for an expanded taste of the new line, Niman Ranch hosted a BBQ Party at Hearth restaurant, located on NYC’s High Line Park, after the Monday evening of the Summer Fancy Food Show, where I was able to enjoy all five items that make up their complete BBQ collection. I hope my photos of the event will inspire you to include Niman Ranch products in your next summer BBQ! Let’s eat!
Fat Tire Beer Bratwurst, served here on a potato roll with sauerkraut and German-style mustard.
Fat Tire Spicy Cheddar Beer Bratwurst served with pickled mustard seeds. Little bits of cheddar cheese locked inside the sausage become melty and extra flavorful when grilled!
Niman Ranch Pulled Pork with Fat Tire BBQ Sauce show here alongside all the fixings — including crunchy coleslaw and crisp fried shallots — to make an amazing sandwich!
Pulled Pork Sandwich. Mmmm.
St. Louis-Style Pork Ribs with Fat Tire BBQ Sauce. Unbelievable!
Shredded Beef with Fat Tire BBQ Sauce on a potato roll, sharing the plate with one of those tender, meaty pork ribs. Outstanding!
All items are uncured and fully cooked, making the line perfect for anyone looking for easy-to-prepare meals without sacrificing quality and taste. The new Niman Ranch New Belgium line will be available in specialty stores across the country beginning in August. The complete selection will also be available on Niman Ranch’s new digital storefront powered by ButcherBox.
And that wraps up our recap of Summer Fancy Food 2019! Congratulations to all of the SOFI Award winning brands and thanks to the Specialty Food Association for another fantastic show! See you back here in 2020!
Each year at the Summer Fancy Food Show, I enjoy tasting hundreds of delicious new specialty foods and meeting new friends, but I especially love to return from the show with camera full of crazy photos of the fun and creative displays and props that exhibitors use to attract show-goers to their booths — because the competition is fierce! Most years, Belgian Boys Bakery puts together a visually engaging and whimsically-themed display that does justice to the company’s line of scrumptious desserts. This year, that theme was all about Pink Things, as you can see here by this Hot Pink Plastic Pineapple resting on a tony pink sand beach. Yummy! Stay tuned for more photos of the pink things spotted in the Belgian Boys’ booth once I get my Summer Fancy Food Show 2019 photo recap online, later this month!
Oh my goodness, you know I must have been having a crazy fun summer when the season is essentially over before I can even get around to posting my always-hotly-anticipated annual photo recap of the Summer Fancy Food Show, 2018 edition! I have no excuse, except to admit that there is too much rad fun going on over here! Please forgive my tardiness, Specialty Food Association — I promise I will make it up to you with this awesome coverage that you are about experience. To kick things off, let me give a round of shout outs to the considerable number of tasty edibles that you should be putting in your mouth right now. Let’s do this thing!
How luscious do those chocolate-enrobed morsels look in the above photo? Please allow me to introduce you to Michelle’s Maccs — the Macaroon of the Gods. If you are a fan of coconut, then you need to get hip to Michelle’s Maccs, an elite coconut macaroon that comes in 13 gourmet varieties — including Amarena Cherry, Peanut Butter, Orange Zest, Banana Walnut (with little bits of real banana) and Espresso — each covered either milk, white, or dark Belgian chocolate. Decadent.
Check out this close up of the Simple Milk variety: dense with sweet, chewy coconut and drenched in rich Belgian Milk Chocolate. Irresistible! Handcrafted with simple, high-quality ingredients, Michelle’s Maccs are eggless, flourless and naturally gluten-free. What a perfect confectionary treat for yourself, or to give as a gift. Michelle’s Maccs’s are part of the full line of gourmet baked goods from Fresh Baked NY, and you can find out more about them at This Link!
Over in the New Brands on the Shelf aisle, we met the lovely ladies behind Something Good to Eat Soups! Meet Sandy Khorrami and her two beautiful daughters. Something Good to Eat is a line of hearty and exotic soups made in small batches right here in NYC. Vegan and sugar-free, with no preservatives or stabilizers, these delicious soups are as close to homemade as you’ll find outside of your own kitchen!
Inspired by her own mothers home-cooking, Sandy has hand-crafted original recipes for unique soup flavors like Pomegranate Beet with Basmati Rice (which reflects Sandy’s Iranian heritage), and Spicy Mushroom with Lemongrass and Quinoa. Delicious served hot or cold, Something Good to Eat is a brand to put on your radar.
Another new brand exbibiting at SFFS for the first time is Peekabo Organic Ice Cream. What makes Peekabo a unique product is the main ingredient hiding in each flavor — fresh vegetables! Take their Chocolate ice cream, made from the finest cocoa and pure, sweet cream to create a decadent, velvety dark chocolate ice cream. And the hidden cauliflower is providing your kids with a variety of vitamins, folate, fiber, potassium, protein, phosphorus and magnesium — wow! Eating your vegetables never tasted like this before!
Vegetables Never Tasted So Good
Other Peekabo flavors include Strawberry with Hidden Carrot, Mint Chip with Hidden Spinach, and Vanilla with Hidden Zucchini. Scoop them up at your local grocery!
I was first introduced to Graeters Ice Cream at SFFS 2016 and so it was nice to see the brand thriving at this year’s show. Their Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip totally owns me.
Jenji’s Ice Cream wins Best Ice Cream Flavor Name for their scrumptious Brambleberry Crisp variety!
Sugar Bowl Bakery, a family owned company based in Hayward, CA, bakes a variety of bite-sized cakes and pastries that are perfect for lunch bags, afternoon tea, or easy snacking when you really want to treat yourself.
Possibly my single favorite new sweet discovery of SFFS18 were Sugar Bowl’s Duet Bites; tiny cakes that uniquely blend chocolaty Petite Brownie Bites with buttery Madeleines cakes. Dessert perfection achieved!
Also introduced at SFFS18 are the bakery’s new Button Cakes, which are on shelves now. Button Cakes have the look, texture and taste of tiny, bite-sized muffins and come in four tempting flavors including Tropical Mango, Wild Blueberry, Lemon Zest and Madagascar Vanilla. Sugar Bowl Bakery’s Button Cakes contain real fruit and vanilla bean seeds, with no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. The Button Cakes are available in 8 and 16-count packages, with distribution throughout the United States.
One Entrance to SFFS17 Flanked By Larger-than-Life Replicas of the Coveted Sofi Award! (All Photos By Gail)
If you would like to know what it is like to eat and drink your way from one end of NYC’s Javits Convention Center to the other, then the Specialty Foods Association’s annual Summer Fancy Food Show is the must-attend event for you! Sadly, you must have at least a tenuous relationship to the Specialty Food business in order to get in, and lucky for us (and you) we have that connection. I attended with my food critic friend Anne on the opening day of the event’s three-day stretch of wild food delirium. It was all kinds of exhausting fun, but it was worth it.
The Sofi Awards Honor the Best and Most Innovative Products in Specialty Food
With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, the SFFS is a kind of blissful food overload that is virtually impossible to thoroughly distill — but we are going give it our best shot! We have a lot ground to cover, so we will break it down into a few subcategories covering food that just was simply delicious to put in the mouth, plus the most striking booth displays, stand-out product packaging, favorite brand mascots and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our amazing discoveries!
PastificioBacchini Pasta Display
The Pastificio Bacchini booth was loaded with gorgeous fresh pastas that they were cooking up on site for tasting and swooning over.
When they say that these pastas are the Chef’s Best Friend, they mean it!
This Heart-Shaped Ravioli Pasta (stuffed with mozzarella di bufala campana, tomato and basil) looked almost too beautiful to eat!
Our very favorite had to be the Fiocchi Formaggio e Pere (a pasta purse stuffed with cheese and pears), pictured above, which was just insane. Mangia bene!
Also taking top honors in the pasta category was the Amore brand Sun-dried Tomato Ravioli Salad featuring Amore Four Cheese Ravioli, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Pesto Paste! So easy to make — we got the recipe!
Calabro brand Fresh Rotolo are tiny, hand rolled pinwheels of Mozzarella and Prosciutto that make a delicious, convenient and visually-compelling party snack! Our favorite meat and cheese snack of the show!
Soon we came across the well-attended booth for C’est Gourmet Ready to Bake Pastry, from which you can make so many delicious treats of both sweet and savory variety — because everything is fresh baked by you at home!
In addition to an assortment of fruit and cheese strudels, and other pastries, C’est Gourmet also offers fill-and-bake Danish Twists and Swirls. You officially have no excuse not to bake!
Behold: the Red Velvet Bomboloni from Forno d’Asolo Italian Bakery! We are speechless!
Three words: Sticky Toffee Pudding from the Sticky Toffee Pudding Company. Like you couldn’t have just guessed that! Created by British ex-pat Tracy Claros, who is now based in Austin, Texas, these desserts are her updated approach on the great tradition of British hot puddings brought to America to share with you! You can buy them online!
Look at this cake. Just look at it. We found this gorgeous and outrageously moist and delicious Pistachio Pound Cake in the booth for Hahn’s Old Fashioned Cake Company!
This an Orange Creamsicle Smoothie that we refreshed ourselves with at the Walden Farms booth. The light and luscious smoothie is officially a low-sugar, low calorie treat as it’s made with both fat free yogurt and fat free milk, sweetened fresh fruit and two Walden Farms products: their Orange Marmalade Fruit Spread and their Marshmallow Dip. It tastes fantastic and you can get the recipe at their website!
Two Friends Chocolates makes gourmet candies that look like Art! We love the Mondrian design in the lower right hand corner, especially.
We had fun spotting and collecting snaps of products that had fun or funny names, eye-grabbing signage or clever slogans. Too Cool Chix are two cool chicks (Michele Elmer and Sharon Monahan) who have elevated the humble ice cream sandwich, because they think outside the pint!
Too Cool Chix all natural ice cream sandwiches are layered with handmade, soft cookies, paired with extraordinary micro-batch ice cream — what they call their “magic in the middle” — with the result being beautiful, delicious, classic and innovative flavor combinations.
The Beauty Bar: Lavender Ice Cream with a Soft Lemon Cookie Sandwich was my favorite!
Pickled Pink Foods, well, if you know me at all, it is obvious why this is included in the round up. These guys pickle foods that you would not necessarily traditionally pickle.
Like these Pickled Peaches, which taste exactly like you would imagine. They would be great served with barbecued meats (especially ribs), I think.
This is the slogan for Crapola Granola. Do you need me to explain to you why this is hilarious? It might not be as outrageous as This, but it still rates.
Crapola Cranbrerry and Apple Granola: It tastes good, and it makes you go. What more do you want?
Mallow Tree Fruit Flavoured Balls. The joke just writes itself!
“Eat Our Meat” is the sexually suggestive slogan for Ayoba-Yo, makes of Biltong Jerky and other fine dried meat products. Biltong (a word which I recently played in a game of Words With Friends) is a South African style of air-dried steak jerky which makes all other jerkies taste like chewy rope by comparison. The photo above shows a selection of Droewors, the new standard for Beef Sticks. Eat their meat, indeed.
Meat Jokes! Pigs! We can’t get enough of either!
Meat Mitch BBQ Sauce featuring a Pig named Mitch: Put it on Your Meat, and Eat It.
SuperSeedz Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds initially got our attention because their logo is a Big Pink Pumpkin! SuperSeedz makes seasoned and toasted, no-shell gourmet pumpkin seeds in a variety of delicious flavors that include Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, Garlicky Dill, and Italian Tomato!
Al Dente Artisinal Pasta gets a pass for the pun! Ha ha ha, Pasta!
Suckerpunch Gourmet Bloody Mary Mix: There are so many things to like about the label alone.
Wise Crackers: For Health Snacking!
Brooklyn Brine Company is famous for its handmade pickles! Also: Metal!
Whitley’s Peanuts presents the Andrew Dice Clay version of Mr. Peanut.
Mama Zuma’s Revenge Kettle-Cooked Habanero Potato Chips (from the Route 11 brand)got everyone’s attention, not just with its fiery heat, but with its packaging art inspired by actress Jane Russell’s role in the 1943 film The Outlaw! Mama Zuma/Jane is depicted on the bag, carrying a Route 11 flag in one hand and a flaming habanero pepper in the other, while wearing a bunch of hot peppers like a grenade belt. Hot and Hot!
Red Rocker Candy Summer Sunset Mix: A Raspberry Lemonade Delight. It looks and sounds amazing!
Best Holiday Packaging, hands down, goes to Frau Helga’s Dresden Butter Stollen, which encapsulates everything delicious about the Christmas season in one festive package!
Chomperz Crunchy Seaweed Chips from Seasnax: Winner of our Shark Attack Snack Packaging Award that we just made up right now!
Choc Stars Chocolate Bars are all natural German-made milk chocolate bars with easily recognizable (and hilarious) depictions of popular music star as pets on their labels. The Michael Jackson one is just too perfect. Also: Katty Perry, HA! Winner: Best Pop Culture Mash-Up!
The Cuteness in Packaging Award goes to P-Nuff Crunch, with its tiny peanut mascot lifting weights. OMG so adorable. This snack is delicious and crunchy like Cheetohs but with Peanut flavor, and it is not made with corn. P-nuff Crunch is the only baked puff snack made from heart-healthy and protein-filled peanuts, fiber-full navy beans, and slow digesting complex carbohydrate rice — natural ingredients, with no artificial flavors, sweeteners, or preservatives are added! Our Favorite Bagged Snack of the show!
Enlightened Red Velvet Ice Cream Bar. Anne and I were initially chatted-up in the ladies room by the mother of the guy who created this line of high protein/low sugar frozen desserts. She claimed that it greatly assisted her weight loss efforts — worth exploring!
Best Coffee Pun goes to Java Factory’sJava Nagila Chocolate Mint Keurig pods (photographed in the booth for Brooklyn Bean Roastery)!
We love the retro-style packaging art for Virginia Diner Can-Do Button Mix. With every purchase of this item, a 10% donation is made to cancer research. This tasty candy/nut mix features Virginia Diner’slightly-salted Virginia peanuts mixed with candy coated chocolates to create a sweet/salty treat. For The Cure.
A shout out to Strawberry Hill Candy for their Sugar Skull, Bat, Ghost and Jack-O-Lantern-shaped Lollipops for Halloween!
We have no competition here against this gentleman clad in lime green trousers that flaunt a Hot Pink Crabs and Lobtsers motif (with bonus points for the coordinating Top-Siders, jacket, and tote bag)! Winner: Best Pants of the Show! (Update: Mr. Best Pants has now been identified to us as Stan Ferguson!)
With a staggering number of exhibitors vying for even 5 minutes of attention from dazed attendees, it can pay off well to have an adorable, or otherwise eye-catching, focal point at your boot or display that will attract those who simply must stop to snap a photo for their Instagram so they getinstagram likes. Greenlid compost bins is where we found these little Veggie Guys — a Broccoli Flowerette and her Carrot companion — which made us stop for a photo op, and a chance to learn more about their product. Greenlid is the first compostable and disposable composting bin, made entirely in Canada from locally-recycled cardboard. It breaks down with your compostable waste and produces nutrient-rich soil. Just fill it, seal it, and toss it in your backyard compost pile or put it curbside for municipal pick-up. It’s that easy!
Yes, there are real guys inside these hilarious inflatable costumes for Mr. Turkey and Mr. Bull, whom we found over at the booth for Field Trip Jerky.
All natural and gluten free, Brooklyn-based Field Trip Jerky is a fast growing, health lifestyle brand aimed at providing delicious and versatile meat snacks that complement a large variety of on-the-go consumers. Formed by three friends who saw a need to transform meat snacks after tasting their first craft jerky on the ski slopes in Vermont, Field Trip makes healthier protein-rich snacks without sacrificing quality and taste!
Winner: Best Mascots at SFFS17!
I somehow neglected to get a full photo of the booth for Cookie Dough Confections, makers of gourmet, customizable cookie dough for eating and baking, but I think that was because I was distracted by a couple of amazing Pink Things in their booth.
One being this Hot Pink Neon Cookie Light!
And the other being this Hot Pink KitchenAid Mixer! WOW! Winner: Best Pink Things of the SFFS17!
Stonewall Kitchen, an award-winning purveyor of jams, condiments, spreads, mixes and other gourmet specialty foods embraced a Winter Holiday theme by parking a miniature Red Christmas Tree Truck right in the middle of their rather expansive booth! You can see and feel the effects of Kitchenistic products in your home.Winner: Best Holiday-Themed Booth!
No gimmicks are needed for this super-clean yet visually seductive display for Peter SpantonDrinks: a selection of specialty tonics that can be served on their own as unique ‘soft drinks for grown ups’ or used as a bespoke mixer when paired with its suggested complementary spirit. For example, Lemongrass No. 5 pairs ideally with vodka or gin, while Chocolate No. 4 — an exotic blend of mint and dark chocolate — goes well with dark spirits. Home mixologists take note! Winner: Best Mixers!
Yo Mama Foods, makers of delicious homemade Marinara Sauce, Sesame Dressing and Marinade, and Balsamic Dressing and Marinade, made the most of their smaller space in the New Brands on the Shelf Alley with this fun illuminated vintage signage! Winner: Best Logo Signage!
Chuao Chocolatier make premium gourmet chocolate bars with unexpected add-ins that include Honeycomb, Potato Chips (my personal favorite) and even Bacon! A SFFS17, this Fair Trade company introduced two new Latin-inspired flavors: Cheeky Cheeky Churro (with little Churro bits mixed in) and Totally Tangy Mango! Mmm, mouthwatering!
Chuao Display — Choose Your Favorite!
Their booth incorporated this old fashioned Bicycle-Driven Ice Cream Cart, on which they displayed their many Sofi Awards! They had a little Boom Box Dance Action going on as well. Very fun!
And finally, we present our favorite booth of the show: Belgian Boys European style cookies and treats! The Boys (and Girl) brought the beach right into Javits Center with their Say Hello to Summer-themed booth, which featured a bamboo bar display, Surfboards, a Wading Pool full of cookies and a giant Waffle Shaped Pool Raft!
The Lovely Anouck Poses with a Giant Belgian Waffle Pool Raft!
Belgian Boys dominate in the European Bakery treats category with their Mini Pancakes, Crepes, Waffle Chips, Chocolate Waffle Chips and their famous Cookie Butter, the National Belgian spread, made of crushed Speculoos cookies. We were also introduced to the Mini Cookie Stache, everyone’s favorite cookie butter cookies in a cute mustache shape! Mustache-tic!
Mmm…so much deliciousness!
And…that about does it for our photo recap of the Summer Fancy Food Show 2017! We hope you had as much fun as we did! See you next year!
There is no delicate way to put this: when you share a home with other people, maintaining the quality of the bathroom “atmosphere” is an ongoing consideration. It’s easy enough to light a match or spray some room fresher into the air, but when a solution that’s both discrete and longer-lasting is desired, I’ve got just the thing for the occasional malodorous situation: POTTYMINTS.
I discovered POTTYMINTS at the recent New York Now home show, when I was trawling the aisles fro free stuff and was charmed by their attention-grabbing booth display, featuring an extra tall toilet with an extravagant bouquet of flowers extending from its bowl to the ceiling. Very impressive! I stopped to talk to POTTYMINTS representative, Matthew Grobman, whose sister and business partner Suzanna Grobman, invented the product after taking a vacation (my guess is they went to Mexico) with her then-boyfriend-now-husband. You can read an abridged version of what I assure you is an hilarious story here.
Matthew gave me a few sample packets of POTTYMINTSto try at home and here is what happened next.
Behold, the POTTYMINTS displayed on the seat of my toilet! Please note that correct use of the POTTYMINT involves waiting until after the flush (#theafterflush)!
After flushing, drop one POTTYMINT into the clean water and watch it go!
The POTTYMINT will effervesce and dissolve, leaving the air sweet smelling for, not even kidding, a few days! POTTYMINTSare sold in assorted sizes, including a small packet perfect for traveling or just keeping in your purse or bag. All packaging embraces a minimal-yet-elegant design aesthetic — like something you would find in the bathroom at a very fancy hotel and want to take home with you! POTTYMINTScome in two very appealing fragrances: Arancia di Capri (Citrus) and La Fleur (Light Floral). These varieties are effective and impart a fresh and enduring scent without becoming cloying, as some sprays or atomizers can be.
Find out more about POTTYMINTS, and get a 10% discount on your first purchase, at This Link!
Food bloggers, restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and other assorted foodies alike kicked off the summer in style with the three-day tour de force that is the Summer Fancy Food Show, which took over Manhattan’s massive Javits Center in its entirety from June 26th to 28th. Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods Association event of the year, and SFFS16, as it will now be known in food tradeshow history, did not disappoint!
With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, the SFFS is virtually impossible to thoroughly distill. In fact, this was the single largest show ever held at Javits to date! As usual, we arrived with an appetite, a huge empty bag, and eyes wide open for spotting the most striking booth displays, stand-out product packaging and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our favorite discoveries!
Gelato master Luca Grassi has been carefully crafting this award winning gelato in Turin, Italy since 1986 ! You can taste the quality ingredients in every mouth watering bite.
We couldn’t help but linger at the Gelarto booth; with so many luscious gourmet flavors, we had to sample a few!
Feast your eyes on this colorful tower of gourmet French Macarons from Dana’s Bakery. We tried the strawberry (pale pink, third row up from the bottom) and immediately declared this Macaron to be the Best Ever!
Oh my! The deluge of psychedelic colors coming from the Goodie Girl Cookies display gave us acid flashbacks! Located close by in New Jersey, Goodie Girl makes tiny, delicious gluten-free cookies that will knock your socks off. We are especially partial to the Midnight Brownie variety. Mmm…Brownie…
Meet Goodie Girl owner and founder, Shira Berk. She’s fabulous. And dig that crazy dress! What a vision with a vision she is.
For a food blogger, there is no better way to kick off the summer in style than with the three-day tour de force that is the Summer Fancy Food Show, which took over Manhattan’s massive Javits Center in its entirety from June 28th to 30th. With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods product showcasing event of the year for restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and foodies alike!
As usual, I went with an empty tummy, a huge swag bag, and eyes wide open for spotting the most striking booth displays, stand out product packaging and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our favorite discoveries!
Simply Baked makes eye-catching packaging for baked goods, treats and gifts. They even have cupcake cups that go right into the oven and come out ready to serve! I appreciated the pink popcorn and cupcakes that were part of an overall visually enchanting display.
Salad Shotz makes Kid Friendly Salad Dressings with all natural ingredients, that will appeal to the adult palate as well. Chocolate Chip salad dressing, mmmmm.
I imagine it was fun for the folks at Buen Sabor to drive their Empanada-serving VW Bus right up to and inside of Javits Center!
Promising Food Truck Flavors Without the Line, Buen Sabor nevertheless attracted a consistent queue with their delicious offerings of frozen empanadas in tempting flavors like Plantain and Cheese, and Beef Picadillo.
Lolea Sangria is an exceptionally delicious beverage that comes in both red and white varieties and is as distinctive for its flavor as it is for its red and white polka dot bottles that recall the work of Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama. When I brought it up, no one at the booth had heard of her.
Morfat is how I felt when I was only about a tenth of the way through the show! And don’t these cakes look delicious!
Kefla Glass Bottles from Germany come in so many different shapes, sizes and colors, but I loved the ones that look like little shoes!
Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites is one of the most original and great tasting snacks I’ve encountered at any food show, anywhere. Unfortunately, they did not have free samples to take home at their booth, and when I tried to surreptitiously pilfer a bag from their display, I was caught red handed. The shame.
Mocktails brand non-alcoholic cocktail beverage alternative comes in this neato, totally reusable Cocktail Shaker packaging! Adding alcohol is allowed, at your discretion!
Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Mix gets bonus points for having Satan depicted on its packaging. I imbibed my first Frozen Hot Chocolate at the age of 18 years and still recall how it made me feel drunk, even though it contains no alcohol. Mysterious! And now you can prepare one at home, in a variety of flavors no less!
Best Mobile Display goes out to Brian Levin of Perky Jerky!
I didn’t see too many Brand Mascots on the floor this year, but the Mamma Chia Human Squeeze Bag sure was friendly! Read more about the health benefits of Chia seeds at This Link!
Blue Isle Mediterranean dairy products had a String Cheese on display at their booth that was the size of a small infant. Impressive!
In line for Best Slogan/ Tag Line is Smari Organic Icelandic Yogurt with “Strong, Like My Mother.” Also, I love the Spoon wearing a Viking Hemet. Valhalla, I am coming!
Four Words: Beer Flavor Jelly Bellys.
Fancy Food is so huge, it has room to feature aisle after aisle crammed with hundreds of hot sauce products. These booths provide the best photos ops you could imagine. Let’s take a look!
Red Robot Hot Sauce, features a cute little Red Robot on its label!
Fat CatFoods makes an extensive line of spicy sauces, but this Bacon Sriracha was my favorite. I bet it tastes insane.
I put Empire Mayonnaise at the top of my list of booths to visit when their friendly PR Rep told me in an email that one of her favorites sayings was, “Hating Mayonnaise Does Not Make You Interesting.” They gave away little jars of their delicious gourmet mayonnaise. Best Booth Ever.
I also didn’t see as much candy at this year’s show, but we were impressed by Strawberry Hill Candy’sEmpire State Building Lollipops. New York City!
Cracked Candy may be capitalizing on the still-trending popularity of all things Breaking Bad (one representative in the booth was shamelessly sporting a Heisenberg-esque Pork Pie Hat) but this sweet stuff is sugar and gluten free, non-GMO and diabetic friendly, so it’s all good! Say Their Name: Cracked Candy!
Wine Sticks (tag line: “Sass with your Glass”) from South Carolina’s The Sweetery are thin, crispy biscuits (cookies) that pair with wine and can even be dunked! I enjoyed tasting several varieties with a glass of red wine, and company co-owner/founder Jane Jarahian was a sweet and attentive lady.
Aside from having an awesome name, Steve’s Ice Cream took home a coveted Sofi Award in the Category of Outstanding Ice Cream, Gelato, or Frozen Treat for their Speculoos Cookie Butter Ice Cream! My personal favorite flavor though was the Southern Banana Pudding. Mmmm, Ba-na-na.
I was already at the point of exploding when I hit the Brownie Points Bakery booth for a sampling of their assorted mouth-watering, home made brownies and popcorn treats. They were baking fresh brownies right in the booth! Heaven.
Wouldn’t this multicolored popcorn make a fun party favor? Sure it would.
Sexy Pop Snacks always creates a bold presence with their brightly colored bags of chips and popcorn that come in all kids of yummy flavors.
Boulder Granola (tag line: “Unleash Your Inner Hippie!”) brought a much smallerVW Bus into the Javits Center (see below) but, dang if the don’t embrace a memorable and vibrant brand identify with their psychedelic flower power Bus logo/backdrop and commitment to being Organic and Gluten Free.
And finally, let’s wrap up this thing with the Pop Art SnacksGourmet Popcorn Booth, which got everything right! From the clever product name and Lichtenstein knockoff artwork to the Neon Logo and the custom-made Popcorn Disco Ball — this brand really made themselves stand out from the crowd! Owners Mike and Venessa (who, like me, are big Pop Art fans) started out in Brooklyn and relocated to Utah where they are growing the brand and enjoying great success! We hope to see them back at Javits for FFS 2016 next summer!
The Summer Fancy Food Show – which is sponsored by the Specialty Food Association – takes over NYC’s Jacob Javits Convention Center for three days each July, and it is the most fun thing imaginable for people who like food. This year’s event took place from Sunday June 29th through Tuesday July 1st, and while you really do need three days to “do” the show, I had to cram my visit into just one day (Sunday). My foodie friend and fellow writer Anne and I blazed a trail across three floors and two entire wings of Javits, coming away with very full tummies, even fuller bags of food swag and samples, and a ton of (mostly) hilarious photos, some of which I will share here. Enjoy!
Gummi Candy Bandaids – taste like fruit!
Whoop Ass Hot Sauce Bottles that look like little Cowboys.
Hotter than Hot. In other words, Very Hot.
Amoretti Martini Mixes
Now, this is a great product! Just add alcohol!
To demonstrate how delicious this butter is, they fried bits of cheese in it.
Cheese Fried in Butter: Yes, Delicious.
I wish had had made a note of the exhibitor in the booth where I took the picture above, because he was a complete dick to me. Dick.
Pink Hot Chocolate
Black Heart Licorice
I wonder if Bethenny Frankel is their spokesperson?
It’s a Birthday Party in a Bon Bon!
Giant Easter Candy Display from Sweet Works Chocolates!
Just Mayo: a mayonnaise product from Hampton Creek made with plant emulsifiers instead of eggs. Just Delicious!
Takeya Iced Tea’s Gets Super Arty.
Mr. Cucumber Head for Rick’s Pick K.O. Pickles!
Whirley Pop Popcorn Popper!
Sexy Pop Popcorn for use with the Whirley Popper!
Counting Sheep Coffee: Relaxing Coffee with Valerian Root. This product was a big hit at the show!
Red Velvet Cake Flavored Milk Chocolate.
Pulque Can Mariachis!
Image not Photoshopped
One of the great finds of the day was Holy Crap Breakfast Cereal. Anne and I asked the lady in the booth why it is called Holy Crap, and she replied, “Because it is very high in fiber!” “Ohhhh…” we replied in unison.
Icee Cherry Cake Bite Petit Four.
These little statuettes are Sofi Awards – “Sofi” standing for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation – which are awarded to outstanding specialty foods and beverages across 32 awards categories. These Sofis belong to Dancing Deer Baking Company.
The GoGo Gang. To make you “go” I guess.
3D Sugar Cake Topper by created by 3D Systems.
Coco Libre Coconut Water Giant Inflatable Display!
For more information on The Fancy Food Show, visit the Specialty Food Association’s website at This Link. See you next July!