Food & Drink: Best of Show

By Tanya Henry

With two big food events—the Specialty Food Association’s annual Winter Fancy Food Show, and the Good Food Awards (now in its seventh year)—taking place in San Francisco last week, there has been a lot of buzz around all things food. These two organizations offer us a window into what is happening right now in the world of specialty food.

More than 80,000 products from 1,400 companies were on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center for three straight days (January 22-24). Here is a sampling of some of the innovative ones that stood out.

ReGrained Sustainable Supergrain Bars: Two college students started homebrewing and realized that throwing out all of the spent grain was a waste. They came up with a recipe for small-batch granola bars that are high in protein and fiber, and low in sugar.

Bee Free Honee: Owner Katie Sanchez grew up on an apple orchard with a father who was a beekeeper. While trying to make apple jelly, she came up—by accident—with the recipe for a vegan honey made from apples. Years later when learning about the decline of the bee population, she revisited the recipe as a business idea.

Copper Cow Coffee—Vietnamese Coffee Single Pour-Over Kit: This innovation allows you to make Vietnamese coffee on the go without all of the equipment. The all-in-one kit contains ground Vietnamese coffee served in a single-use, pour-over bag, along with a sleeve of condensed California milk.

Baruvi Fresh—Hummustir: Think deconstructed hummus kit packaged in a paper cup that also serves as a mixing bowl. Inside are packets of organic chickpea puree, organic tahini, spices, an instruction card and a sealed wooden spoon.

Tea Drops—Tea Drops: Tea Drops are organic teas that dissolve in your cup, made from finely ground organic tea, raw sugar and spices.

On January 20, the Good Food Awards recognized winners in 14 different categories including beer, charcuterie, cider, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil and preserved fish.

Chosen from more than 2,000 entrants, 193 companies were recognized for creating delicious products that support their sustainable food communities. California was well represented and both Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company (PRFC) and Nicasio Valley Cheese Company had winning entries (Original Blue for PRFC and Foggy Morning from Nicasio). Mill Valley’s Headlands Brewing Company, and Wild West Ferments in Point Reyes Station were finalists in this coveted group of ethical food makers.

For a complete list of winners, visit

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