The Specialty Food Association has been presenting sofi™ Awards to the best and most innovative specialty food products for 47 years. Fifty-eight judges from the food industry, including chefs, culinary instructors, recipe developers, food journalists and buyers conduct blind tasting tests over the course of two months to select the winners. Awards are given only to the best of the best in the industry, and with the explosion of the specialty foods market in recent years, the competition is white-hot. Let’s just say winning a sofi award is a big deal. And it earns not just local, but global recognition.
EIGHT Vermont producers were announced winners for 2019:
- Vermont Creamery, of Waitsfield, won GOLD for its Coupole.
- Vermont Creamery won GOLD AGAIN for its Sea Salt Cultured Butter. Are we surprised? No, we are not.
- Douglas Sweets, of Shelburne, won GOLD for its Wee Savory Bites. Brilliant little name.
- Sugar Bob’s Finest Kind Smoked Maple Sriracha Sauce (Londonderry) won SILVER. I had the chance to taste Sugar Bob’s Srirachas at the Slow Living Summit last this month, and I couldn’t leave without buying a bottle. Sugar Bob is clearly killing it. He won a sofi last year and in 2016.
- Vermont Creamery won AGAIN, this time a BRONZE for its Bijou.
- Cabot Creamery was also a big winner, taking the prize in the NEW PRODUCT category for its Centennial 5-year Aged Cheddar. Cabot showcased the Centennial 5-year Aged Cheddar at the Slow Living Summit and I can attest that it’s wonderful.
- Runamok Maple, of Cambridge, also won a NEW PRODUCT award for its Organic Vermont Maple Cream, and
- Blake Hill Preserves, of Windsor, won NEW PRODUCT award for its Wild Rose and Strawberry Jam. I haven’t tried this jam yet, but I clearly MUST. Blake Hill Preserves is no stranger to the sofi, having won gold last year for its Cardamom-infused Meyer Lemon Marmalade.
We still don’t know who will take home the sofi “Product of the Year,” which will be announced at the Specialty Food Association’s Summer Fancy Food Show this weekend, Sunday June 23, 2019 through Tuesday, June 25. The industry-only show is wild, featuring almost 2500 exhibitors and over 200,000 specialty food products from around the world.
Follow me on Instagram @eatdrinkvermont for updates on the 2019 Specialty Food Association Summer Fancy Food Show and all delicious things made in Vermont.