Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News March 2019

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BY LORRIE BAUMANN Jasberry is exhibiting for the first time this year at Natural Products Expo West to introduce the American market to Jasberry ® rice, a rice with antioxidant power that's forty times higher than brown rice, three times higher than blueberries, four times higher than quinoa and seven times higher than kale and that also has the power to lift Thai farmers out of poverty. Find Jasberry rice in booth N1830- N1831. Peetachai (Neil) Dejkraisak co- founded Jasberry with a commit- ment to helping others that started when he was a boy grow- BY GREG GONZALES It's a quiet morning on 18th Street, in San Francisco's Mission District, just 7:59 a.m., but as the next minute rolls around there's a familiar shout from Bi-Rite Market: "All right folks, we're open!" One of the employees, Nicole, is putting the fin- ishing touches on the flower and cit- rus displays, care- fully placing each item on Strunk's Apple Creek Ranch crates, just under a painted tagline on the window that reads, Bi-Rite Market: Building Relationships Through Food Continued on PAGE 13 Continued on PAGE 8 Continued on PAGE 10 "The California Citrus Experi- ence," all under the blue art-deco Bi-Rite sign that hasn't changed at all since the 1940s. Inside and out, the team is hard at work; some unload produce from a truck parked out front — there's no parking lot or loading dock — some stock shelves with greens and cheese and chocolates, and others slice up meats and cheeses in the back while the kitchen gets ready to churn out hundreds of sandwiches. This happens here every day, like clockwork. Except on sunny days, when it gets busier as nearby Dolores Park turns into what looks like a music festival. The customer count at Bi-Rite quadruples as families, couples and daily visi- tors all drop by to pick up their picnic to enjoy while they watch the city from the top of the park. The Mission wasn't always such a pleasant place. After booming with an art, punk and jazz scene in the 70s and 80s, the area went a little downhill. ""People used to avoid the area," said Kourtni John- son, Assistant Manager at Bi-Rite. "The park wasn't a place where you took your children." But the park was renovated, and busi- nesses slowly trickled into The Mission during the 90s and early 2000s, along with a more affluent crowd. As General Manager Stefan Morin explained, The Mission was the new Haight-Ashbury, with neo-hippie types moving in when the neighborhood was just closed storefronts and cheaper rent. The new tenants made the place their own, opening new businesses and Alter Eco Evolves to Stay Mostly the Same Superfood Rice with a Mission Launches into American Market ing up in Thailand and Australia, where he lived on a farm while at- tending school. "Growing up, I didn't want to be rich or fa- mous; I just wanted to make a difference," he said. I was really moti- vated by people like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela." That dream faded a bit as he began a career as an investment banker after he finished school in Australia and returned home to Thailand, but it came roaring back when he got an alumni newsletter that had a photo of one of his high school friends who had shared that dream of helping others as they were youths. In his friend's case, that dream had ex- pressed itself as a vision of starting a school of Africa. "The newsletter had a picture of him sur- rounded by his African students," Dejkraisak said. "The next day I quit my job." That started a search for how Dejkraisak was going to make his difference in the world and particularly in Thailand. He BY LORRIE BAUMANN Alex Borgo has joined Fiscalini Cheese as its new Head Cheese- maker. Borgo succeeds Mariano Gonzalez, who has moved on to become the Head Cheesemaker at Grafton Village Cheese in Ver- mont. Borgo came to Fiscalini Cheese, which specializes in aged cheeses and the company's inter- nationally renowned Clothbound Cheddar, all made with milk from the California company's dairy herd, from Marin French Continued on PAGE 6 Fiscalini Cheese Company Welcomes New Head Cheesemaker Cheese, which specializes in soft- ripened cheese made in the French tradition. Although Borgo will have to make some adjust- ments in his thinking to adapt to the Fiscalini cheeses, he doesn't anticipate that he'll have much difficulty with that, he said. "I've been in the business for a long time," he said. "I've been in this business for a very long time, and I know what I'm capable of and what I can bring to the table." Previous to his employment at Marin French Cheese, Borgo worked as a fifth-generation cheesemaker in his family's busi- ness in Canada. "I started mak- ing cheese when I was 10," he said. "I started making brie when I was 18.... My dad has some aged cheeses, and the process we do in vats here – even mozzarella – is similar, al- though with different cultures and different temperatures. I'm BY LORRIE BAUMANN Alter Eco's hiring of Mike Forbes as its new Chief Executive Officer late last year sets the company up with executive leadership with experience in growing a brand through timely acquisitions and leadership in en- vironmental is- sues. The move also frees Co-Founders Mathieu Senard and Edouard Rollet from day-to-day responsibilities with company management so they can pursue plans for a new foundation that's under development with funding from Alter Eco's owner, NextWorld Evergreen, the private equity firm that acquired Alter Eco in 2017. "We want to elevate the livelihoods of the farmers we work with to make sure that they live a good, rich, full life off the cacao they sell." Forbes said. Forbes came to Alter Eco from California Olive Ranch, where he played a key role in the com- pany's 2015 acquisition of Lucini Italia and grew the company past $100 million in sales, expanding its production and reach into the American olive oil market. Alter VOLUME 84, NUMBER 3 MARCH 2019 n $7.00 News ..............................................6 Ad Index .......................................18 Calendar.......................................18 www.gourmetnews.com G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ® SPECIAL ISSUE INSIDE: NATURALLY HEALTHY CHECK IT OUT! UPDATE: Fancy Food Show Wrap-Up SEE PAGE 15 (Following Naturally Healthy) HOT PRODUCTS: Lorissa's Kitchen SEE PAGE 17 (Following Naturally Healthy) SUPPLIER NEWS: Pepper Jellies SEE PAGE 13 (Following Naturally Healthy)

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