Specialty Food Magazine

SPRING 2014

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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A rial Fliman and Brian Ballan, the "A" and "B" of A&B American Style, grew up together in New Jersey. Fliman became a lawyer, and Ballan a banker, but both were increasingly drawn to the world of food. In 2010, Fliman began experimenting with creating condiments inspired by his trav- els through Asia and South America. Around the same time, Ballan left his corporate job to become a line cook at Buddakan in New York. When Ballan tried Fliman's homemade creations he was "blown away by the f lavor," says Ballan. "I'd never found a spicy condiment that brought out the natural f lavors of chiles in this way." They created A&B American Style that same year and launched their Pepper Sauce in 2012, selling the first bottles to the public at New Amsterdam Market in New York City. The pair quickly attracted media attention as food blog Serious Eats named A&B Amercian Style among its Best Food Artisans of 2012. The ingredients of the pepper sauce are deliberately simple—white vinegar, red Fresno chile pepper, carrot, red onion, habanero pepper, and salt. The partners' goal is to reduce Americans' intake of added and refined sugars by making all-natural condiments without any additives or artificial preservatives while delivering great f lavor. "Our products are not meant to simply set your mouth on fire and overwhelm the foods you like to eat. The idea is to add a manageable level of heat, giving you the option of using a little or a lot," says Ballan. Today the product is available at 50 retailers and restaurants around the country; Charlie Palmer includes A&B American Style at Aureole's annual Oyster Social. The company offers its products in 8-ounce glass bottles and 1-gallon plastic containers (with expansion of a 4-ounce size planned at presstime). To cater to those who crave more spice, the New York City –based company will soon be introducing More Heat Pepper Sauce as well as a Garlic Pepper Sauce. While they are pleased with how their product is being picked up at retail, the founders are keen to pursue the foodservice business. Here Fliman and Ballan ask four questions to a panel of veteran specialty food experts. A&B American Style How Can We Break Into Foodservice? BY DENISE PURCELL AND SUSAN SEGREST THE STARTUP A&B American Style abamerican.com Owners: Brian Ballan and Arial Fliman Products: Pepper Sauce with more varieties to come Founded: 2010; first product sold in 2012 Location: New York, NY No. of employees: 2 THE PANEL Susan Eriksen Char Crust Jon Vaughn Dufour Pastry Kitchens Nancy Wekselbaum The Gracious Gourmet PHOTO: A&B AMERICAN STYLE PHOTOS: COURTESY OF INDIVIDUAL PRODUCERS Cal Hancock Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. 84 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com startup spotlight startupSpotlight_SPRING14.indd 84 3/18/14 8:20 AM

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