Specialty Food Magazine

SUMMER 2015

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Cel. +52 1 612 348 38 52 info@tasteofthebaja.com www.tasteofthebaja.com Taste Of The Baja WOW! Mexican hot 1 - 5. Pick yours! Easy to be creative and gourmet. High Quality Mexican Gourmet Preserves Unique favor combinations! 100% natural. 100% Mexican. Guaranteed to turn an ordinary meal to gourmet everytime. Hand-crafted in small batches to world-class quality standards. Visit Us! Mexican Pavilion Block 2400 New York 2015 We are Exhibiting! M oving far beyond the typical two-hour cooking class or quick facility tour, many producers are creating elaborate education programs and destination food centers. Media attention and additional revenue aside, these producers see education centers as an opportunity to build brand awareness, appreciation, and loyalty. Some have larger goals and see the potential to influence broader views of the specialty food industry, to create a solid business foundation for future generations, and, at their most impactful, drive progress in the food policy landscape. Education as a Tool for the Trade For producers of specialty foods, connecting with the trade, whether retail buyers, chefs, or distributors, is essential for business success. "They're the ones on the front line," says Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co.'s Jill Basch, who oversees The Fork, the Northern California cheese company's education and culinary center. That connection, however, can serve different purposes. Established in 2010, The Fork helped Point Reyes formalize its trade education experience. "We knew the importance of bringing our customers to the farm to get close to our farming practices, to see how we made our cheese, how we raised our animals, our com- mitment to land stewardship, as well as to taste the cheese and get to know us personally," Basch says. Previously, a farm tour would end in owners' Bob and Dean Giacomini's home kitchen for tastings. Today, with its dedicated facility, the company has been able to add tailored classes and meals to deliver a complete narrative about the product. "That's where we're hoping to connect the dots for these customers," Basch notes. In some cases, education is an even more fundamental function of a business. Counter Culture Coffee offers a variety of in-depth classes and certifications through its professional development program, called Counter Intelligence, at regional training centers around the country. The wholesale-only operation sees its success hinging on the knowledge and expertise of the baristas and other staff that brew and serve its product. "Oftentimes it's their first time ever talking about [coffee], 72 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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