Seedling Projects has announced the 2014 Good Food Awards Finalists, and the companiesrepresent the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially conscious food entrepreneurs.
From Nebraskan Juniper Salami to West Virginian Barrel Aged Gin to Ethiopian Nigusse Lemme coffee roasted in Oklahoma; tasty, authentic and responsible food is taking the nation by storm.
Chosen from amongst the Finalists, 100 Good Food Award Winners will be announced Jan. 16, 2014, at a gala in San Francisco.
Dr. Zeke Emanuel will be master of ceremonies; Nell Newman, founder of Newman’s Own Organics, will give the keynote address; and the awards will be presented by renowned chef and Seedling Projects board member Alice Waters.
This year’s 1,450 entries—double the number since the awards launched in 2009 — came from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The growth reflects the vitality of the country’s food crafters committed to the values of the Good Food Movement, using sustainable ingredients and supporting their local economies.
“The 200 Good Food Awards Finalists are leading a cultural shift away from business as usual,” says Sarah Weiner, co-founder and executive director of Seedling Projects, which organizes the awards. “They bring the dedication and integrity of true craftsmen to all they do. Their ever stronger presence around the country proves that it can be done — there is a different way to feed our communities.”
The Finalists emerged from a one-day marathon judging session Sept. 15 in San Francisco at the HUB SoMa, where 225 experts sampled entries in the 10 categories of beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, oils, preserves, pickles and spirits. The top scorers were further vetted to confirm sound sourcing practices, good animal husbandry and transparency in all stages of the supply chain.
“These 200 businesses are a vital link in a healthy food system,” Weiner says. “When responsible cheese makers thrive, so do sustainable dairy farms. It was not easy to make it onto this list. Taste scores were higher than ever before, and nearly 10 percent of the top scorers didn't fully meet the sustainability criteria to become Finalists. But over a dozen of them decided to make sourcing changes when they realized this, and it is very exciting to see more and more of the country's most talented producers become the country's most sustainable."
The Awards themselves consistently bring recognition and sales to the winners.
“Good Food Award Winners report growing their businesses 15 percent to 400 percent, increasing purchasing from local and responsible orchards, farms and ranches accordingly.” Weiner says.
The finalists in the Chocolate category include:
- Amano Artisan Chocolate,Cuyagua 70% Dark Chocolate, Utah
- Askinosie Chocolate,62% Dark Milk Chocolate, Fleur de Sel & 70% Ecuador,Missouri
- Blue Bandana Chocolate Maker, Madagascar Wild Pepper 70% Dark & Madagascar 70% Dark, Vermont
- Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, 72% Belize, Toledo, California
- Fresco Chocolate, Peru, 70% Light Roast, Washington
- Fruition Chocolate, Dominican 70%, New York
- Guittard Chocolate Company, Collection Etienne Eureka Works Meritage Blend #27 | 100%, California
- Madre Chocolate, Triple Cacao,Hawaii
- Patric Chocolate, Signature 70% Blend & Mocha OMG,Missouri
- Potomac Chocolate,Upala 70% with Salt, Virginia
- Rogue Chocolatier, Porcelana, Jamaica & Sambirano, Massachusetts
- Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, San Juan de Cheni, 78%, California
- Videri Chocolate Factory, 90% Dark Chocolate Ecuador Camino Verde, North Carolina
The finalists in the Confections category include:
- Alma Chocolate, Sea Salt Hazelnut Crunch Bar, Oregon
- Becky’s Blissful Bakery, Salted Beer & Pretzel Caramel, Wisconsin
- Bixby & Co., To the Nines Chocolate Bar, Maine
- Cacao Art Chocolates, Tupelo Honey and Cardamom, Florida
- Chocolats Latour LLC, Rosemary Almond Brittle, Ohio
- Christophe Artisan Chocolatier, Dark Chocolate Espresso, South Carolina
- Coco Delice, Beer Bon Bon, California
- Feve Artisan Chocolatier, Hazelnut Crunch Bar, California
- Fiore di Capra Inc., Pumpkin Pepita Chevre Caramels, State
- French Broad Chocolates, Indian Kulfi Truffle, North Carolina
- Fruition Chocolate, Brown Butter Bourbon Caramels & Toasted White Chocolate,New York
- Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, Preserved Meyer Caramel Sauce,Washington
- Kakao Chocolate, Lavender Truffle, Missouri
- Nosh This, Almond Toffee & Honey Walnut Fleur de Sel Salted Caramel,California
- Nutty Steph’s, Inc, Salted Caramel Bar, Vermont
- Patric Chocolate, Mint CRUNCH Chocolate Bar & PBJ OMG, Missouri
- Sapore della Vita, Caramel Sauce, Florida
- sea + cane sweets, Cabernet Sauvignon Sea Salt Caramels, Illinois
- Serendipity Confections, Chocolate Covered Butter Caramels with Fleur de Sel,Colorado
- Sweetdragon Baking Company, Pistachio Vanilla Brittle, California
- The Simple Farm, Salted Goat Milk Caramels, Arizona
- Theo Chocolate, Mint Ganache, Washington
- Trini Treats, LLC, Coconut Fudge, New York
- WR Chocolatier, Mocha, North Carolina
- Xocolatl de David, Raleigh Bar & Brown Butter Bar, Oregon
- Zoe’s Chocolate Co., Dark Chocolate Orange Neroli, Pennsylvania
For a full list of the finalists in all the categories, click here.
Good Food Award Winners will be announced on Jan. 16, 2014 in San Francisco. On Jan. 18, 2014, Good Food Award-winning products will be showcased at a 30,000-person public marketplace in collaboration with the San Francisco Ferry Building and the CUESA farmers market.
The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good.
Seedling Projects, a California public benefit corporation, organizes the Awards in collaboration with a broad community of food producers, chefs, food writers and passionate food-lovers.
It is led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips, who have united their diverse skills to support the Good Food Movement. Through focused events and strategic models, it engages the public in finding better ways to feed our communities.