Chasing the Dream at the Fancy Food Show

Chasing the Dream at the Fancy Food Show

Chefs & Experts

Chasing the Dream at the Fancy Food Show


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It’s the American dream.

You know the dream. It’s the one where you have an idea and are able to bring that idea to life through hard work, perseverance, and perhaps a little luck. In the case of the Fancy Food Show, sponsored by the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT), there are a lot of dreamers who have dreamed about food.

This is the trade show that allows them the opportunity to share their dream and perhaps take it to the next level—fulfilling their dreams of taking a product to market, getting it in retail stores, for sale online, and—again, with luck and a good product—the name recognition that allows their product to be a success.

In other words, the American Dream is alive and well, and being showcased this week in San Francisco.

  • Lawrence Hester is building a business, Emmiez, based on baking flavor right into the bread for croutons. He said, “I was working on Wall Street and am one of the few people to leave on my own,” because he had an idea and decided to run with it
  • Karen Felps, who owns In a Pickle Foods with husband James, told us, “I’m not from this industry. I just had a passion for food.” Their new pickle product has spiced up the pickle with hot picante chiles, and is getting talked about at the Show.
  • Chelle Webb, owner of Bouncing Berry Farms in Oregon, started her business out of necessity when the cranberry market collapsed and they lost their price point. “It’s American ingenuity and creativity in making new products,” she said. “They say, ‘Do what you are passionate about and what you know.’ That’s what I did.”
  • Sherry Dang, owner of a company that is introducing a product called “Veggie Thins,” came to America as one of the “boat people” from Vietnam. She lived in a homeless shelter until she married, opened a convenience store, and found her entrepreneurial spirit. “I love the land of opportunity,” she said. “Anyone can make anything if you dare to dream.”
  • Shona Jutronich, founder/owner of Safari Gourmet Foods, came from South Africa and became a U.S. citizen only a month ago. “I started making sauce at home and gave it away to friends. In 2010 I decided to bottle it and went to a designer. Suddenly, the sauce I’d been making for ten years had a name and a personality.”

Arturo Garcia, the owner of Maderas Steak & Ribs in Los Alamitos, Calif., came to the Show to check out the latest products and newest ideas. He shook his head in wonder and said, “There is no place like this. It’s the American dream, having a chance to make and showcase your product.”

So, for all of you out there who are dreaming about food . . . who are mixing up a batch of a special recipe, asking your mom how she made something, or giving away your 100th jar of your special product to a friend . . . maybe it’s time to take the next step.

After all, if this week’s show is any indication, pursuing the American dream is leaving a good taste in everyone’s mouth!

For more on what’s happening at the Show, check out the links below.


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