October 31, 2011

Special Feature: New Exhibitors at Sold-Out Kosherfest Showcase Upscale Foods

Special Feature: New Exhibitors at Sold-Out Kosherfest Showcase Upscale Foods

Secaucus, NJ…Many of the more than 7,000 trade buyers expected at Kosherfest 2011 (November 8-9) will no doubt focus on some of the new exhibitors at the kosher food trade show, now in its 23rd year. It is part of a visitor’s interest in What’s New and this year will offer an interesting array of such exhibitors. Rogue Confections will showcase handmade, pure Belgian chocolates adorned with colorful images inspired by vintage textiles, wallpapers, and greeting cards, or customized with a logo, photo or image. In addition to their signature chocolate disks, Rogue Confections also offers chocolate postcards, lollipops, and MiniPops. Founder Sherri Adler has always had a passion for color and pattern – and chocolate. Rogue Confections began as a labor of love in her New York City kitchen in the summer of 2009. Adler had been the set designer for NBC’s Late Night With Conan O’Brien, but when the show moved from its Rockefeller Center home to Los Angeles, she chose to remain in New York. So, after two decades of life as a designer, she decided the time was right for a change. She founded Rogue Confections in the summer of 2009, drawing inspiration from the vast collection of vintage ephemera she had amassed in her career as a designer for television, theater, film, and private clients (www.sherriadler.com). Amanda Springer, Director of Sales and Marketing explained that they have chosen to attend Kosherfest this year because they have a lot of products that appeal to the kosher market. They have patterns for different special events such as weddings, birthdays and cultural heritage patterns for Chanukah. The chocolates are certified kosher under the Star K and Dairy.

Another new exhibitor will be Al Arz Tahini who is making Tahini at home accessible to any kosher home. The product has a shelf life for an entire year without refrigeration. Rather than buying readymade refrigerated Tahini, the customer can keep a jar of Al Arz in the pantry, making the desired amount by adding water, lemon juice, and herbs or spices according to individual  taste buds. Al Arz Tahini was founded in 1992 as a small family business in Nazareth, Israel. Assad Zaher, an engineer by training, designed a special production method that created a tahina “unequaled by any other in its fresh, natural flavor.” Under the leadership of Julia Zaher, the company has expanded its market base in Israel as well as abroad, achieving a 30% sales growth in the last three years. According to Lana Zaher, the company’s export manager, Kosherfest “has the right people that we are trying to reach.” At the show they will feature some of their new products which are their Whole Sesame Tahini, The Organic Tahini and their new flavors of pistachio and cashew Halva.

Then there is Good Eats Foods. Produced and sold out of Maryland, Good Eats Foods is showing off its Bubby Jean’s Brisket Sauce as a “one stop shop” for a great dinner. You simply open the jar and pour it on the meat of your choice for a remarkably enhanced taste. Whether used on brisket in a crock-pot, or on ribs, chicken, lamb and vegetables, Bubbie Jeanne’s (the name of the brand) is 100% all natural, wheat  and fat free. The sauce is kosher pareve and certified under the OU. A few years ago Patricia Lobel and Lee Cohen took over selling the sauce and are now trying to reach a larger market. According to Mr. Cohen, “They feel that it was important to attend Kosherfest in order to bring this product to a larger kosher food market. It belongs up North in NY.” At Kosherfest they will be serving the sauce on vegan meatballs so as to not cause any kashrus  problems. 

Kosher gelato will be the focus of the Gelato Shoppe Petrini, gourmet desserts using the same traditional artisan techniques and recipes that are still used today by the greatest Italian gelato masters. The gelato and sorbets are prepared in-house daily in The Gelato Shoppe Petrini's creamery using fresh and natural ingredients, which include seasonal fruits, nut butters and the finest European chocolate. The Gelato Shoppe Petrini is a dream come true for Mauro Petrini and Dawn Wolstein-Petrini. The Petrinis left their home in Milan to carry on a long family tradition in the culinary arts. The Shoppe is located in West Boca Raton. The Gelato Shoppe Petrini is under the close supervision of the Orthodox Rabbinic Board (ORB) of Hollywood. Dawn Wolstein-Petrini, Owner and Partner of  The Gelato Shoppe stated that “the South Florida kosher market has been good to us and we would like to extend our sales to other kosher communities. We believe through the Kosherfest venue, we will meet those individuals that can help us take our company to the next level. This includes distributors, wholesalers, caterers, restaurants, etc. We have a large kosher clientele who constantly ask why we are not a national brand.” 

And then there is Banah International Group with its remarkable story. In the 1940’s, in the province of Camaguey, Cuba, lived two men who shared one great vision.  Ramon Dominguez and Emiliano Perez dedicated their lives to cultivating sugar cane; their mission was to educate their families and future generations. They passed on their knowledge and love for the land to Alexander Perez, descendent of this generation of sugar cane growers.  Admiring the land that his ancestors cultivated, he decided to carry on his grandfathers’ legacy, determined to discover the most fertile sugar fields and the finest mills and refineries. Mr. Perez made this dream a reality by creating a sugar consortium named Banah International Group, of which he is founder and owner. Today, Banah International Group, a privately held corporation with headquarters in Miami, has partnerships or financial interest in various plants and refineries worldwide and an excellent team, who with their knowledge, have paved the way for this company being regarded as one of the leaders in the sugar industry. The Banah Group will be showcasing their 12 and 18 ounce liquid sugar at Kosherfest this year. This sweet amber-colored liquid is composed of a sucrose solution from dissolved cane sugar by means of a proprietary technological process. The benefits of liquid sugar are many: it is made from pure cane sugar, it has a lower glycemic index, gluten free, free of impurities, free of high fructose corn syrup and the most exciting aspect is that it dissolves instantly in hot and cold drinks and food.  The packaging is hygienic and done in the USA. The liquid sugar is 17 calories per serving. Liquid sugar comes in four flavors which are the following: original, maple, hazelnut and vanilla. Their products are certified kosher under the OK Kosher Certification. According to Eduardo Cancela, VP Global Sales Director at Banah International, the company has chosen to exhibit at Kosherfest “ to showcase our product amongst the people that would benefit and use it.