Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

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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12 under 35 Alexander Harik, co-founder, Zesty Z Age: 32 A lexander Harik learned from an early age that food is love. Growing up in a Lebanese household with his mother and company co-founder, Lorraine, aka Zesty Mom, at the helm of the kitchen, f lavors of Lebanese cuisine were never out of reach. Za'atar, a Lebanese condiment, was used in virtually every dish from breakfast to dinner. During a trip home to visit his parents, Harik found himself looking into a bowl of za'atar thinking of its potential appeal to adventurous palates. "Americans have embraced food staples from the Mediterranean region like hum- mus and strained yogurt over the past 20 years, so there is a chance they'll embrace za'atar too," thought Harik. From there, Zesty Z, was born. Zesty Z is based on a family recipe combining a proprietary herb mix and extra virgin olive oil for a bold Mediterranean f lavor. As a mover and leading za'atar brand for retail and foodservice, Zesty Z is making waves. With a pipeline of products and strategic partnerships in development for 2018, Harik and the Zesty Z team are attracting people via social media with unique recipes. "Our goal is to introduce America to za'atar, to have Zesty Z be in kitchens of homes and offices, on the menu in restaurants, and on the shelves of grocery stores across the country," says Harik. "I want to share with everybody the f lavors that brought me back to my mother's table time and again."—S.K. Ann Yang and Phil Wong, co-founders and co-CEOs, Misfit Juicery, Washington, D.C. Ages: 24 T hese 24-year-old friends were studying at Georgetown University when, in 2015, they launched Misfit Juicery as a way of tackling food waste. "Ann and I started the company in my college kitchen with four crates of ugly peaches, a borrowed blender, and this belief that we could create delicious cold pressed juice from food that is yummy and nutritious but that would be wasted otherwise," explains Phil Wong. Today, the Washington, D.C. company's juices are available in more than 80 outlets. "Baldor Specialty Foods, one of the Northeast's leading produce distributors, helps us on the sourcing side as we take some of their fresh-cut production food scraps. They are also distributing our product. We also have some wonderful culinary and distribution partners like Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Eataly, Glen's Garden Market, and Whole Foods," says Wong. The friends view the company as a community endeavor. "We like to say that Misfit has been the product of a 1,000 favors," says Ann Yang. And they want to contin- ue to build on all that early support. "Now that we have some distribution momentum, we are trying to double down on what we're doing. We want to perfect the product and make sure we are serving our customers and creating meaningful and lasting relation- ships with them. And from there, certainly our ambition is to become Misfit Foods. We want to make products—both juice and not—from food waste up and down the entire value chain."—S.S. 50 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Sara Kay and Susan Segrest are content associate and contributing editor, respectively, of Specialty Food Magazine.

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