2016 has begun with high energy, hearts full with gratitude and more inspired than ever!
We recently returned home from San Francisco, the Good Food Awards and our annual Tangelo Harvest. The Good Food Awards festivities were completely inspiring. Carlo Petrini, the founder of the Slow Food Movement joined us from Italy as the keynote speaker. He passionately spoke to us with the music of his language about the importance of what it is we are all doing. Alice Waters, one of our heroines and key sources for inspiration, introduced him eloquently with gratitude for what he’s doing and reminded us of the opportunities ahead. Nell Newman (Newman's Own) anchored the group with her poise and commitment to this food movement and the three of them, shook hands, presented each award and hugged the awardee with authentic enthusiasm. In our case, that was the fabulous John Francis! Yes friends, Amour Spreads' Black Currant Blackberry Jam is a 2016 Good Food Award winner!!
Sarah Weiner is without a doubt, a beautiful, articulate, passionate woman leading the Good Food Awards and its mission to great heights helping to educate and inspire along the way. It's clear that our country's citizens are demanding change. Leading up to the awards, General Mills announced they will be transparent with their labeling stating, “we support nationally standardized labeling of non-GMO products in the U.S., where there has generally been no requirement for special labeling.” Additionally, Campbell’s has also chosen to support mandatory national GMO labeling. “We are unleashing the power of our Purpose, Real food that matters for life’s moments. Our Purpose calls for us to acknowledge that consumers appreciate what goes into our food, and why—so they can feel good about the choices they make, for themselves and their loved ones.” Read more about Campbell’s position here.
It is a tremendous honor to be part of a growing community of our country's finest food producers who are committed to using the very best quality ingredients, sourced with a desire for seasonality and sustainability, changing the landscape and reclaiming our food! What’s more…we got the chance to taste all of these delicious products at an amazing feast after the awards ceremony that night. If you have the chance, we highly recommend checking out all of the 2016 winners, what they've produced and supporting their efforts.
A beautiful portrait gallery of the Good Food Awards was created by the lovely and talented Roman Cho. He was kind enough to include a great photo of Casee! Click here to check it out.
We are more inspired than ever to maintain our commitment to artisan, hand-crafted preserves and continuing to work with and deepen our relationships with Utah's farmers to expand their knowledge and commitment to sustainable growing practices. We'd like to take a moment to thank Jarrod Weeks and his brothers of Weeks Berries for their hard work, sustainable growing practices and for growing the delicious berries and currants in this jam! These black currants and blackberries are grown in Paradise, Utah. It is an honor and a pleasure to be supporting and working with Utah's farmers from Mt. Pleasant to Bear Lake. We are truly grateful and appreciative of what they do, each and every day.
As we traveled through the Bay Area enjoying the wonderful rains and green hills, feeling the once parched earth relaxing into the generous precipitation that has been falling, our journey took us to our dear friends home and their urban orchard. We enjoyed a delicious candle-light supper with our beloved friends, caught up on the last year, and celebrated all the goodness in our lives. The rain stopped, and the sun-shined through just long enough for us to pick this years beautiful Tangelos. These gems are full of California sunshine and more delicious than ever! We’re excited to be turning them into marmalade as well as to have some to share at the Winter Farmers Market. Thank you Captain Bill and Maria for your love and support and for your wonderful stewardship of the soil and these trees!
With all of that said, there are exciting happenings unfolding for us and we’re so excited for what’s around the corner. There is loads more goodness coming in 2016 and we encourage you to join our social media outlets - if you haven't already (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest) -- to continue to stay connected to the news that will be coming shortly.
Thank you -- for your support, belief in our vision and appreciation for our craft. We wouldn’t be where we are, dreaming into what’s next, if it weren’t for YOU. CHEERS!
Over the last few weeks we have been the recipients of some incredible acknowledgement that has just made our hearts sing, lift our spirits higher and have the desire to pour even more love into what we do.
We recently received an email from the Good Food Awards letting us know that two of our jam submissions had qualified as finalists in the 2016 awards!
What are the Good Food Awards?
It’s probably easiest conveyed in their words: “For a long time, certifications for responsible food production and awards for superior taste have remained distinct—one honors social and environmental responsibility, while the other celebrates flavor. The Good Food Awards recognize that truly good food—the kind that brings people together and builds strong, healthy communities—contains all of these ingredients. We take a comprehensive view, honoring people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.”
The Good Food Awards began six years ago. Awards are given to producers and their food communities from each of the five regions in the U.S. in 13 categories: beer, cider, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil and pantry.
There were 1,937 entries submitted this year from across the country! 263 have become the finalists of 2016, “representing the best from America’s growing movement of talented and socially responsible food crafters.”
There are two companies from Utah whose submissions have made it as finalists. Amour Spreads’ Black Currant/Blackberry and Tayberry jams were included for the preserves category and Ritual Chocolate’s Mid Mountain Blend & Belize 75% bars were chosen for the chocolate category.
Whether we win or not, we are grateful to have made it this far and to be in such incredible company with some of the nation's most sensational artisan producers!
Additionally, on October 18th, Slow Food Utah held the 11th Annual "Feast of Five Senses" dinner here in Salt Lake City where the theme was "The Family Table”. Everything about the evening felt like family: it was filled with many of our favorite people, big hugs and smiles, truly scrumptious courses that echoed the warmth, comfort and tradition of family meals and recipes, as well as fabulous conversations celebrating the vibrancy of this remarkable community.
This event is the annual fund raiser for Slow Food Utah, where proceeds from the Feast of Five Senses go toward their micro-grant program (we’re honored to have been a recipient when we first started out), supporting small farmers, school and community gardens, and food artisans, helping to build a strong and vibrant local food community that sustains and enriches us all.
Additionally, it is also when Slow Food Utah presents their Snail Awards. “The Slow Food Utah Snail Awards were launched in 2012 as a way of recognizing those people who are ardent supporters and believers in the Slow Food mission.”
There are three awards given, one to a farmer/producer, a restaurant or chef, and finally to a community leader or local business. The first award was presented to a dear friend, Adam Kreisel for his significant contribution as a chef, the second award was given to Pete Rasmussen of Sandhill Farms for his extraordinary work as a farmer, and finally the third award went to Amour Spreads!
Needless to say, all three of us were surprised to receive this wonderful acknowledgment from Slow Food Utah and to be seen in this community for what we do in this very special way.