By Reg Godin, VAAFM
Vermont specialty food producers took home gold at this week’s Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. The sofi Awards, which stands for “specialty outstanding food innovation,” are the most prestigious awards in the specialty food industry and represent the best of the best. Vermont’s winners were Big Picture Farm, Fat Toad Farm, and Vermont Creamery, along with Wozz! Creative Kitchens, a New Hampshire producer who makes their product at the Vermont Food Venture Center in Hardwick.
Goats win big! The gals at Big Picture Farm and Fat Toad Farm, respectively, wowed judges at the New York Fancy Food Show. Photo Courtesy of Big Picture Farm
This year's winners were selected from 2,771 entries across 32 categories and were announced at the gala red-carpet awards ceremony by television’s Chopped host Ted Allen, and judge, Alex Guarnaschelli.
“With five golds bestowed on Vermont manufactured products it was a very good night for the state’s specialty food industry. Only the much larger states of California and New York came away with more awards than the Green Mountain state.” Said Chuck Ross, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
Jim Harrison of the Vermont Specialty Food Association added “It is pretty amazing how well Vermont food producers did with the awards this year, as they also did last year. We should all be very proud of our state’s specialty food industry and the positive reflection it has on Vermont.”
Two of the top awards went to Fat Toad Farm for the coveted Outstanding Product Line and to Big Picture Farm for New Product with their Raspberry Rhubarb Goat Milk Caramels. Big Picture also took home a very rare second gold with their Goat Milk Chai Caramels in the Confection Category. Vermont Creamery, which has won a number of sofi Awards in the past, received honors for their Cultured Butter Sea Salt Basket in the Classic Category. Wozz! Creative Kitchens was recognized for their Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde in the Salsa and Dips Category.
The three day Fancy Food Show, held at the Javits Center in New York City, features specialty food companies from around the world. Thirty Vermont producers exhibited at the show gaining direct access to over 25,000 buyers.
Fat Toad Farm’s Prize winning offerings, on display. Photo Courtesy of Fat Toad Farm
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets includes several programs which help local farmers and producers promote their goods to markets beyond the state’s borders as part of its Domestic Export Program. This includes sponsoring a Vermont booth at the Fancy Food Show that samples Vermont product (Vermont is the only state to have such booth). The Agency also offers grants to help new producers afford the costs of exhibiting at a trade show. To learn more about the Domestic Export Program, contact Reg Godin at Reg.Godin@state.vt.us or (802) 522-3648.