We had fun visiting with clients and colleagues at the Winter Fancy Food Show again this year. As always, we discovered smart new brands with marvelous products to share with you.
Here are our top 10 brands to watch:
1. Little Red Dot Kitchen What’s better than beef jerky? Bak Kwa, the roasted Southeast Asian inspired meat snack from Little Red Dot Kitchen. Bak Kwa is slow roasted, juicy and has a burst of umami in every bite. Flavors include Pork, Turkey, Lemongrass Beef, Spicy Chipotle Beef and our favorite Candied Bacon.
2. Stolen Fruit Cocktail Mixers These grape-based mixers let you create delicious drinks with as few as two ingredients. Stolen Fruit’s mixers are created in Sonoma County by Chef Peter Brown and Dry Creek grape growers Doug and Susan Provisor. Check out their recipes–with or without alcohol–like Hibiscus Margarita and Juniper Jasmine Spritzer.
3. Lemonette These products are so delicious you’ll use them for dressing salads and also in dips and as marinades. Each is made with a lemon foundation, is non-GMO, gluten-free, has no artificial colors/preservatives or added sugar. Flavors include Lemon-Garlic, Spicy Basil and our favorite Zesty Cumin.
4. Back To The Roots Co-founders Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora continue to create such great natural products that we decided to include them again this year. In addition to their 100% stoneground whole wheat breakfast cereals they’re bringing their mini-gardens and growing kits—including gourmet mushrooms grown in coffee grounds—into classrooms to help kids understand where their food comes from. They‘ve recently been featured on the White House Blog for their business and work in the community.
5. Nona Lim This line of soups, broths and noodles are inspired by Nona’s childhood in Singapore as well as her culinary creativity. Located in California, ingredients are responsibly sourced through partnerships with local farms and purveyors. Be sure to try the Thai Curry & Lime Broth. Delicious.
6. Torie & Howard We’ve enjoyed Torie Burke and Howard Slatkin’s hard candies for years. Their new Chewie Fruities come in mouth-watering flavors like Meyer Lemon & Raspberry and Tarocco Blood Orange & Honey. Each serving has your full daily requirement of Vitamin C and contains no artificial colors or flavors so you can feel good while indulging.
7. O Olive Oil & Vinegar This company and their products are on our list for the third year in a row. 17 Sofi Awards prove we’re not the only ones who love O’s organic olive oils and naturally-aged vinegars. Co-founder Greg Hinson was the first in the U.S. to crush whole organic citrus with California Mission olives to create an entirely new product category—the extra virgin citrus olive oil. O is a neighbor and we like that they’re committed to healthy eating and supporting the community here in Sonoma County. Check out their new Quartet Gift Sets.
8. Rustic Bakery Speaking of talented people in our community, Rustic Bakery’s co-founders Carol LeValley and Josh Harris continue to create delicious hand crafted flatbread, granola, cookies and crostini with the best organic ingredients. We’re lucky to enjoy their bakery/cafés with fresh offerings sourced from local farms and producers.
9. Marin French Cheese Since we live and work just north of San Francisco, we’re surrounded by amazing specialty food companies like Marin French Cheese. They’ve been handcrafting delicious soft-ripened cheeses since 1865. Sourcing their milk from local family dairy farms (no farther than 20 miles from the creamery!) they use time-honored cheese making techniques and their products are free of preservatives or additives.
10. Donsuemor You may know Donsumor for their Madeleines—elegant, moist little cakes inspired by a French recipe and made here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now its time to try their artisanal French Almond Cakes, Biscotti and Donsumor’s new Sablés. Each is truly unforgettable.