Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News December 2017

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BY LORRIE BAUMANN After wildfires devastated north- ern California's wine country, Bellwether Farms was ready to help with a matching gift through its Bellwether Farms The Untold Story of Manhattan's Oldest Chocolate House Continued on PAGE 9 Continued on PAGE 16 Continued on PAGE 11 For nearly 100 years, Li-Lac Chocolates has been handcrafting gourmet, small batch chocolate and confections in New York City using the same old-world cooking methods and time-honored recipes. Since 1923 — when French-trained founder George Demetrious made and sold his chocolate out of the original Christopher Street location — Li- Lac has built a loving, loyal fol- lowing which appreciates the company's obsession with quality, freshness, and adherence to treas- ured traditions over fleeting trends. Over the past six years, however, current owners An- thony Cirone, Chris Taylor and Master Chocolatier Anwar Khoder have taken Manhattan's oldest chocolate house to grand new heights. With one of the largest selections of fresh, gourmet chocolate in the country — over 120 unique items — and a growing roster of loca- tions, the brand is poised to remain a New York fa- vorite for generations to come. Anthony Cirone's relationship with Li-Lac began as so many oth- ers have: with an emotional con- nection to the chocolate. He was a Global Brand Di- rector at Unilever for 13 years, and as a West Village resi- dent, a frequent pa- tron of the Christopher Street store. Cirone had al- ways dreamed of owning his own business, so when his interest in cor- porate life waned, he began look- ing for a company he believed in enough to purchase. At wit's end after five years of searching, he decided to write his favorite chocolate company a letter in- quiring if it was for sale. He re- ceived no answer, and it would be another two and a half years be- fore he made any progress, but in 2011 he finally purchased Li-Lac with the mission of making it an iconic New York brand. His con- tributions have been dramatic, from refreshing the branding to opening three new locations with plans for additional New York City expansion. When Cirone arrived, he found Premium Brands Catering to C-Stores Food Producers Contribute to Their Communities to Change the World for All Foundation. The wildfires have caused at least $3 billion in in- sured losses, according to the Los Angeles Times, which quoted state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, who noted that the loss tally was likely to grow as more claims were reported by insurers. More than 40 people died in the fires, and about 15,000 homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed by the most de- structive wildfire in California's history. The Bellwether Farms Founda- tion's offer was a $25,000 dollar- for-dollar matching grant to provide a total of up to $50,000 to organizations providing direct as- sistance to northern California communities through food dona- tions and support for recovery. Organizations receiving funds from the grant include the Red- wood Empire Food Bank. Bellwether Farms Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity, is in its first year of operations, set up by the Callahan family, owners of BY LORRIE BAUMANN Lucini Italia, a subsidiary of California Olive Ranch, has launched a new Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Argentina under its Lucini brand. Lucini Italia's Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Organic Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil will continue to be produced on partner estates in Italy, and the Lucini oil coming from Argentina is packaged in bottles clearly labeled with the Continued on PAGE 13 oil's origin. Argentina has been known over the past several years for making really great award-winning olive oils, but they hadn't found fans yet in the U.S. A result, much of that oil that came into the U.S. market was coming as a component in a blended oil, with its Argentinian origin obscured by its label men- tion in a country code on the back of the bottle, according to Mike BY LORRIE BAUMANN This year's NACS Show offered some real surprises: among them, insight into the extent to which convenience stores are going after a share of consumers' grocery shopping dollars, with some sur- prising brands eager to help them do it. The NACS Show is the an- nual trade show for the Associa- tion for Convenience Retailing, and it was held October 17-20 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illi- nois. This year's show featured dozens of first-year exhibitors, and among them were a host of brands that we're more used to seeing at events like the Fancy Food Shows or the Natural Prod- ucts Expos. Rhythm Superfoods, for in- stance, makes Kale Chips and Beet Chips, and the Austin, Texas-based company was at the NACS Show to showcase its new Grab & Go Beet Chips and Kale Chips as well as a R o a s t e d Kale Snack. In January, the com- pany closed a $6 million financ- ing round with a lead investment from 301 INC., the venturing unit VOLUME 82, NUMBER 12 DECEMBER 2017 n $7.00 NEWS & NOTES n Global Natural Food and Drinks Market Grows PAGE 6 RETAILER NEWS n Making Customer Service a Cottage Industry PAGE 10 SUPPLIER NEWS n Superfood Credentials Butter Up Chocolate Introductions PAGE 12 NATURALLY HEALTHY n One Degree of Organics: Fostering Relationships Between Farmers and Consumers PAGE 15 YEAR IN REVIEW n A Last Look Back at 2017 PAGE 18 News ..............................................6 Ad Index .......................................23 Calendar.......................................23 www.gourmetnews.com SPECIAL: Year in Review SEE PAGE 18 RING IN THE NEW YEAR: 2018 Buyers Guide SEE INSERT PUBLISHER'S PICKS: Stonewall Kitchen SEE PAGE 17 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 ® Argentinian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Launches into American Market

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