Two third-generation candymakers from Vermont have taken home the 2015 Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award.
Brothers Bill and Jeff Birnn, of Birnn Chocolates of Vermont, were presented with the award during the Retail Confectioners Int’l’s 95th Annual Convention. Their grandfather, Charles "Pop" Birnn, began creating chocolate confections in 1915.
"We were totally surprised, very honored and extremely humbled by this award. We never saw it coming," says Jeff Birnn. "It really is a privilege to be part of such a great industry. We are so grateful to our confection 'family.' Thank you."
Bill and Jeff started with ten truffle varieties and expanded their customer base through trade shows and industry organizations. With their background in retail, Bill and Jeff understood what people look for in a reliable supplier.
With the goal to provide high-quality product at a fair price, they created a manufacturing process that was both nimble enough to adapt to varying orders and highly efficient to keep costs down.
Today, the company offers same-day shipping for more than 150 varieties of truffles in five different sizes, nationwide.
Their dedication to the industry has been evident over the years of service to Retail Confectioners International (RCI) as event hosts, contributing authors to Kettle Talk magazine and service on RCI's board of directors and various board committees.
"It is an honor to present the Henry J. Bornhofft award to both Bill and Jeff Birnn of Birnn Chocolates of Vermont,” says Virginia Whetstone Maguire, Whetstone Chocolates and 2014-2015 RCI president of the board. “They have been active contributing members of RCI since 1995... Because of their dedication to the industry and RCI's goals, the Board of Directors felt they were the perfect choice for this honor.”
Each year, the RCI board of directors selects a supplier member of the confectionery industry to receive the Henry J. Bornhofft Memorial Award at the annual convention in June. The recipient is a stand-out person, who has exhibited many years of outstanding leadership, loyalty, friendship and has made numerous contributions to the confectionery industry.