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2015 Hall of Fame Recipients

Specialty Food Association has created a Hall of Fame for the specialty food industry. The Hall’s Mission is to “honor individuals whose accomplishments, impact, contributions, innovations, and successes within the specialty food industry deserve praise and recognition.”

The Inaugural Class of the Hall of Fame includes 114 individuals who have pioneered and built the specialty food industry. Specialty Food Association congratulates the following 2015 inductees:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Manfred Adler, Atalanta Foods

Atalanta Foods

Harold Alexander, Koppers Chocolate

Harold Alexander, a founder of the Specialty Food Association, literally invented most of the panned chocolates enjoyed around the world today, including Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans over 50 years ago. His family continues his passion for innovation, quality and simply having fun creating the finest gourmet confections.

David H. Anderson, Haddon House

David Anderson, like his father Harold, is a visionary with remarkable insight. Under his leadership, Haddon House once again was a pioneer in the specialty food industry, expanding the distribution of high-end specialties to independent retailers and major chain accounts worldwide to include not only dry grocery but also frozen and refrigerated specialty, natural, organic, ethnic and kosher foods distribution.

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Harold T. Anderson, Haddon House

Harold T. Anderson demonstrated his passion for specialty foods when he founded Haddon House Food Products in 1960. From a small rural 10,000-square-foot facility, this visionary become one of the original pioneers of the specialty food industry and was among the first to broaden the scope of specialty foods to include the high-end specialties of nationally recognized brands.

Reny Antonlini, G. B. Raffetto

Reny Antolini, one of the founders of the Fancy Food Show in the 1950's, was well situated to do so. His father was an importer of fine foods from Europe, and he was associated with DiGiorgio Fruit Co. before joining the family business, G.B.Raffetto after the war. Reny died 1995 at the age of 85.

Andy Balducci, Balducci’s

Andrew Balducci started out in the produce business with his father Louis. In 1972, Balducci’s moved to a corner on 6th Ave on 9th Street, expanding into salumi, charcuterie, fresh cheeses, cooked foods, breads, pastries and gourmet groceries. Balducci was one of the first direct importers of Prosciutto di Parma, and offered warm and milky mozzarella made fresh every few hours.

Leo Barth, Liberty Import Corp.

Specialty Food Association Past Chair
1968-1970

Louis Barth, Liberty Import Corp.

Liberty Import Corp.

John Beers, World Finer Foods

While CEO of World Finer Foods (formerly “Reese”), Beers built the company into one of the largest specialty food importing and marketing firms in the U.S. Prior to that, he founded a diabetic food company named Fifty 50, which donates half its profits ($13 million YTD) to diabetes research. Beers served as Chair of the NASFT/SFA.

Kenneth Berger, Europa Foods

Kenneth Berger created Europa Foods with Leon Wechsler in the early 1960s. He was a classic entrepreneur--hard-working, smart, principled, tough, oftentimes visionary. Europa Foods introduced Walkers Shortbread to the American market in the 1970s and built its national presence during a period of almost 20 years. Walkers Shortbread remains among the best-selling specialty cookies in the U.S. today.

Eunice and David Bigelow, Bigelow Tea

While the company attributes its beginnings to Ruth Bigelow and the advent of Constant Comment Tea in 1945, David and Eunice pioneered the explosion of the U.S. specialty tea market. Today, they serve as co-chairmen of the family-run company. Visionaries that they are, they made a considerable investment to restore South Carolina’s 120-acre Charleston Tea Plantation.

Seymour Binstein, European Imports

Seymour Binstein was instrumental in introducing cheese and specialty foods to the Midwest markets. He was able to parlay his tremendous success at the retail level into the gourmet distribution business. His love of new and unique foods permeated the whole specialty food industry. Customers, suppliers and employees were all treated as family with those loyalties still existing 35 years later.

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Ann Brody Cove, Sutton Place Gourmet

Ann Brody Cove created and led innovative upscale markets in the 1980s and 1990s, including Giant's Someplace Special, Vincent's and Sutton Place Gourmet. She also consulted to supermarkets developing prepared food lines, advised specialty food start-ups, and helped Whole Foods enter the DC market. Brody Cove also taught “The Business of Specialty Food Retailing” at the Fancy Food Shows.

Frank R. Cardullo, Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe

Frank R. Cardullo was the 2nd generation owner of Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA and established on April 1, 1950. He brought the shoppe into the 20th century, computerizing the inventory and POS stations. Cardullo was best known for having a keen sense of trending products and treating every patron as family.

Daniel J. Carter, DCI

In 1975, Carter and his wife Jane co-founded Dan Carter, Inc., to help small producers market their cheese and he served as CEO until retirement in 2003. In 2004, Carter helped to establish the Dairy Business Innovation Center in Wisconsin. He has received many awards, including the International Dairy Deli Bakery’s “President’s Award”, and served as Chair of the NASFT/SFA.

Jack Ceglic, Dean & DeLuca

Co-founder Jack Ceglic redefined specialty food by creating the look and feel for Dean & DeLuca. With an industrial design complemented by the best foods in the world, the store inspired thousands of specialty food retailers and gave birth to a food brand that encompasses the globe.

Peter Coe, Taste Unlimited

Peter Coe founded Taste Unlimited in 1973 and quickly expanded from Virginia Beach to Norfolk (6 locations) bringing the best foods and wines from around the world to Tidewater, VA. His leadership was recognized in Bon Appetit Magazine and by serving as the retail representative on the Board of the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (now SFA).

Wm. Dan Cohen, Clearbrook Farms

Dan Cohen of Clearbrook Farms added a line of uniquely packaged high quality preserves in consumer sizes to his family’s foodservice-focused company. As exhibiting at the Fancy Food Shows drove the business, Cohen served on Association Committees, later as a Board member and finally Board Chair. Cohen championed the Association’s educational programs, Board member training, and food safety initiatives.

Bob Cooper, Chocolate Tobler American Corp.

Bob Cooper was the president of R. R. Cooper Co., Ltd, the exclusive importer of Twinings Tea for many years.

Julian Cowan, Cowan & Fransman

Julian Cowan was a pioneer in the gourmet food industry. He established Cowan and Fransman in 1955 with his partner, Albert Fransman. After decades of running his own business, he merged with Jaret International and was associated with them until retirement. Julian was the first Board Chair of the NASFT/SFA.

Benny Curl, Byrd Cookie Company

Benny Curl has enjoyed success in a variety of leadership positions, including the military, owning his own public accounting firm, chairman of First Chatham Bank, owner and CEO of Byrd Cookie Company, president of the Georgia Specialty Food & Wine Association, Board Chair of Specialty Food Association, and leadership positions in his church, civic organizations, and charitable organizations.

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Joel Dean, Dean & DeLuca

Co-founder Joel Dean redefined specialty food in the 1970s and 1980s through his Soho institution, Dean & DeLuca. Known as the business person behind the store and products, Dean built a world-renowned brand, which expanded into other destinations, including St. Helena, CA, and Tokyo.

Giorgio DeLuca, Dean & DeLuca

Co-founder Giorgio DeLuca started a cheese shop in Soho in the 1970s. After teaming with Joel Dean and Jack Ceglic, his store inspired thousands of specialty food retailers and gave birth to a food brand that encompasses the globe. As the food adventurer, DeLuca introduced goat cheese, balsamic vinegar and baby vegetables to the U.S. market.

Dennis Deshaine, Al Dente Pasta Company

As co-founder of Al Dente Pasta Company with his wife Monique in 1981, Dennis Deschaine has used his many skills to achieve national prominence for this specialty pasta manufacturer. A member of SFA since 1983, Dennis served on the Board for 16 years and helped launch the rebranding from NASFT to SFA as Board Chair. Currently, he is honored to serve on the Board of the Specialty Food Foundation.

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Vincent Dole, Dolefam Corporation

At a time when supermarkets were reluctantly beginning to carry specialty foods, Dolefam Corporation was one of the first to aggressively sell them when most others were hesitant due to the specialty food stores that had been the foundation of the trade. The success of Dolefam’s brands in broader distribution helped convince supermarkets that specialty foods were here to stay.

Jerry Dorf, Milwaukee Biscuit Co., Inc.

For 41 years in the specialty food industry, Jerry Dorf, while leading the family business, was active locally and nationally, as President of the Biscuit &Cracker Distributors Association (BCDA), the National Food Distributors Association (NFDA) and the Kosher Food Distributors Association (KFDA), guiding them through changes in the 1970s & 1980s.

Edward J. Edelman, Ideal Cheese Shop

Ideal Cheese Shop thrived under Ed Edelman’s leadership. Zagat rated it the “Best Cheese Shop” for four consecutive years. In 1987, the Ideal Cheese Book was published. Edelman has presented seminars at the Fancy Food Shows and New School, and also appeared on the Food Network and other television shows. Edelman served as Chair of the NASFT/SFA Retailer Network.

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Stephen Fass, Macy’s/
Bloomingdale’s

Stephen Fass has designed, built and directed food halls for major stores including Macy's, Bloomingdale's and ABC Carpet & Home. He was also president of William Greenberg Jr. Desserts & Cafes and serves on the Board of Crumbs Bakery and Ciao Imports. Fass is presently CEO of Seth Greenberg’s Authentic N.Y. Brownie Crunch.

Herb Feuerstein, FIG/Source Atlantique

Feuerstein started in the food importing business in 1948, later merging his firm with Universal Foods Corporation, a 100-year-old company. Soon after joining Universal Foods, Feuerstein was put in charge of Liberty Imports, Fancy Food Imports and Passport stores. Source Atlantique was established in 1985; it has been successful and has acquired several companies in the specialty food business.

Mario Foah, Foah International LLC

Mario L. Foah pioneered the introduction of Italian specialty foods into the U.S., beginning in 1952. The popularity of balsamic vinegar, sundried tomatoes, and even espresso machines are the result of Mario’s commitment to Italian tradition and his understanding that these traditions had a place in the U.S. Foah also served as Board Chair for the Specialty Food Association/NASFT.

Jean Frame, Specialty Food Association/
NASFT

After working at the Helen Worth Cooking School, Frame started at NASFT and became Executive Director upon Ed Sajou's passing in 1973. She retired as Executive Director in 1985 but kept her hand in by editing the Product Listings for the Association magazine, retiring for a second time on her 80th birthday.

Edith Friedland, EFCO Imports

Edith Friedland had the honor of becoming the first woman Board Chair of the NASFT/SFA. Edith and Martin Friedland began importing beer from Europe in the 1960s, expanding to sparkling waters, health foods, hearts of palm, and Cachasa. Edith's service to the NASFT/SFA was a rewarding professional and personal experience.

Rowena Fullinwider, Rowena’s

Rowena's, known for its Wonderful Pound Cakes, curds, jams, and sauces, combined manufacturing, wholesale and retail sales, a tea room, gift store, catalogs, a website and internet marketing. As Virginia's representative to the White House Conference on Small Business (1995), she co-chaired the National Regulations and Paperwork Reduction Committee. Separately, her leadership helped gain a Congressional Exemption from the Nutritional Labeling Act.

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Bill Greca, William A. Greca Company

Bill Greca was a leading sales agent for many specialty confection companies, including Perugina. Greca also worked to promote Jelly Belly during the Reagan years and with Horace Guittard and his son Gary to produce "Smooth & Melty Mints." Called the "Candy Godfather," Greca was a long time exhibitor at the Fancy Food Shows and the Philadelphia Candy Show.

Bernard Hamstra, H. Hamstra & Co.

Bernard Hamstra worked for H. Hamstra & Co. for 50 years, retiring as president in 1973. H. Hamstra & Co., founded by Bernard’s father Herman in 1902, developed Droste’s Cocoa into a nationally-known specialty food item. Bernard was a founder of the NASFT (now SFA) and later served as Chairperson.

John H. Hamstra, H. Hamstra & Co.

John H. Hamstra was the third generation president of H. Hamstra & Co, an importer and marketer of specialty foods. Hamstra worked for many years on behalf of the NASFT (now SFA), culminating in his service as Chairperson from 1984-1986. He was responsible for establishing the NASFT Research and Scholarship Committee.

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John Harney, Harney & Sons Teas

John Harney’s specialty food journey started at the White Hart Inn in Salisbury, CT. Harney & Sons Teas, founded in 1983 with John's sons Michael and Paul, became the passion of his life. Offering over 300 unique tea blends, Harney is credited with creating the world of specialty tea and with helping to quadruple tea consumption in the U.S.

Martin Isaak, A&A Foods

A&A Foods

Bob Jaret, Jaret International

Bob Jaret was a partner in Jaret International for over 35 years. He ushered Lindt Chocolate, Swedish Fish, Sour Patch Kids, Grillé Toast and many other specialty foods into the American market. His integrity and kindness as a business owner endeared him to his loyal employees and those with whom he did business.

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Steven Jenkins, Fairway Markets

Steven Jenkins’ tireless efforts at Fairway’s 15 locations in the New York tristate area garnered him numerous awards and recognition. He is primarily known as the “master cheesemonger” and olive and olive oil expert, but it is his pioneering and exclusive importation of foods from hundreds of European and global companies that have earned Fairway the devotion of millions of customers.

George and Hannah Kalajian, Near East

George and Hannah Kalajian escaped the Armenian Genocide and found each other in America. Together, they opened a luncheonette and then founded Near East Rice Pilaf. As a 50-year-old female entrepreneur in the 1960's, Hannah overcame tremendous odds to change the way America consumed rice.

Larry Kaufman, Novalia

In the 1960s, Paula and Larry Kaufman sourced authentic Asian ingredients from sauces to noodles, developing packaging and recipes to please American consumers. Early placement in department stores came first, then the establishment of products in supermarkets and assisting in the development of other brands. Now being run by the third generation, Novalia “has had an impact on the way America eats.”

Jerry Kehe, KeHE Foods

As President and Chairperson of KeHE Foods, Jerry Kehe has grown the company from 40 employees in 1968 to more than 3,000 today. In 1970, Kehe adopted a policy of giving 10% of pretax company profits to those less fortunate. In 2001, KeHE became an employee-owned company. Kehe served on the Board of the National Food Distributors Association.

Jonathan King, Stonewall Kitchen

Starting at a farmers’ market in 1991, Jonathan King and Jim Stott combined their food knowledge and skills to create a deliciously distinctive line of high quality specialty foods. Through their vision and perseverance, their company, Stonewall Kitchen, is one of the most awarded specialty food companies in the country.

George Kinzler, Macy’s

In 1952, George Kinzler agreed to become the food buyer for Macy’s on one condition – that he be allowed to convert it to gourmet foods. The department was so successful it became the Cellar Marketplace in 1976, a must-see and shop destination, and a model for others nationwide.

Walter Koppel, Jaret International

Walter Koppel has been credited with discovering and developing many successful specialty foods for the U.S. market. Jaret International brought many European confections to the U.S., including Swedish fish and licorice.

Ted Koryn, Liberty Imports

A specialty food pioneer, Ted Koryn’s European background, irreverent wit and marketing savvy made him an unforgettable character. Launching many iconic brands in the 1950’s, including Lu Biscuits and Evian water, Koryn was among the first exhibitors at the inaugural Fancy Food Show and a co-founder of Liberty Imports, still in business today.

Morris Kushner, Reese Finer Foods

Morris Kushner was instrumental in building sales of specialty foods in supermarkets on the West Coast. As NASFT/SFA Board Chair and member, he focused the Board’s attention to the concerns and obstacles facing smaller member companies – using the phrase “two-dollar bettor.” He was a columnist for NASFT Showcas/Specialty Food Magazine) and authored a book, Morris Kushner on Specialty Foods.

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Frank Landrey, Andre Prost, Inc.

Frank Landrey met Andre Prost, a food importer and distributor of specialty confections, in 1957. Landrey joined his small firm and became part of the exciting birth of the specialty food industry. Landrey says that he has had the good fortune to have known and worked with remarkable people who made it all happen and is most grateful.

Kurt Lehman, Liberty Imports

Kurt Lehman was one of the pioneers of the fancy food business. Coming from the jewelry business, he joined partners Leo and Louis Barth at Liberty Import Group. Not knowing the difference between a pate and a truffle, he had extraordinary selling ability and an encyclopedic knowledge of product and trade is legendary.

Alfred Lepore, Ferrara Foods

Born in Little Italy in 1938 upstairs from the Ferrara Café opened in 1892, Alfred Lepore became one of the most important ambassadors of fancy food to Americans. As president of Ferrara, Lepore broke new ground by introducing Italian brands at a time when American culinary tastes were just opening to discovery. Lepore served as NASFT/SFA Board Chair from 1980 – 1982.

Harry Lesser, Cresca Co., Inc.

Specialty Food Association 1st Chair
1955-1956

Bill Levine, Sarabeth’s Kitchen

Bill Levine is the founder, along with his wife Sarabeth, of Sarabeth's Kitchen, a manufacturer of specialty foods, including Sarabeth's Legendary Spreadable Fruit. He presently oversees the production, marketing and sales of its specialty food business. He and Sarabeth are also partners in Sarabeth's Holdings, Inc. which licenses restaurants under the Sarabeth banner.

Sarabeth Levine, Sarabeth’s Kitchen

Sarabeth Levine, along with her husband Bill, founded Sarabeth's Kitchen in 1981 when she began making her Legendary Orange Apricot Marmalade in their apartment in New York City. Sarabeth was awarded the Outstanding Pastry Chef award from the James Beard Foundation. In 2014, Sarabeth received an honorary doctorate degree from Long Island University - Post for her contribution to the culinary world.

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Anthony R. “Tony” Matthews OBE, Food from Britain (North America)

Tony Matthews built the presence of British food throughout North America through the creation of endurable partnerships between British manufacturers and North American retailers and distributors. Her Majesty the Queen promoted him to be an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) having previously appointed him a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his military service.

Jim McCaffrey, Iroquois Brands

Jim McCaffrey spent his entire career in specialty food, including President and Chairman of Louis Sherry, Senior Vice President of Norin Corporation, Founder and President of Iroquois Grocery Products, President of Iroquois Brands, where he made the acquisition of Romanoff Caviar from Colgate Palmolive. He served on the Board of the NASFT/SFA for 10 years and was Chair in 2001-2002.

F. James McGilloway, The Gilway Company

Jim McGilloway’s early career was in supermarket management. He joined the specialty food industry in 1971 and ten years later founded The Gilway Company. He developed American sales of many International brands, including Tiptree Preserves. As Chair of the NASFT (now SFA) from 1986 - 1988, McGilloway made a major contribution to the reshaping and direction of the Association.

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Tim Metzger, Tillen Farms

A 14-year SFA Board member and past Chair, Tim has played an active industry role as a producer, importer, agent and brand owner. Exhibiting at every Fancy Food Show since 1981 (81 shows and counting), Metzger enjoys teaching at the “Basics” boot camp course. Since 2002, Tim has marketed Tillen Farms’ Northwest-grown vegetables and cherries to the specialty trade.

Klaus Mortimer, Gourmet Specialties

Gourmet Specialties

Hank Norton, H.G. Norton

H.G. Norton

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Arnold Nussdorf, A&A Foods

Arnold Rosenstock and Arnold Nussdorf started a specialty food company in The Bronx in the 1940s. Rosenstock’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law had started a similar company in Baltimore. A&A Foods and its Castle Village brand became a leader of specialty foods, bringing many European products to market as well as American-produced ethnic specialties.

Mona Onstead, Judyth's Mountain

In 1978, Mona Palmer Onstead founded Judyth's Mountain Specialty Foods with a friend, and won the NASFT/SFA Best New Specialty Food Award in 1979 with Hot Pepper Jelly. Onstead served on the NASFT Board for many years and was the second woman Chair. Onstead attended Stanford, married Sheldon Onstead, and is the mother of two boys and a girl.

Gene Orsenigo, Bonvego16 Ltd.

Gene Orsenigo’s company included Waters of France/Perrier Group, Contrexeville, Vichy Celestin and others lines including Ridgeway Teas, Cooper’s Jams, Escoffier Sauces, Maille Mustards and Vinegars. In the early 70’s, his firm merged with House of Lawrence, which included KA-ME.

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Marvin Pearlman, A-1 International Foods

In 1972, after a distinguished career in the pasta industry, Pearlman founded A-1 International Foods based in Los Angeles. Under his leadership, A-1 became one of the largest and most respected specialty food distributors in America. Pearlman sold the company to Tree of Life in 2000 and retired shortly there after.

Christo Poulos, Christo Poulos & Co., Inc.

Christo Poulos & Co., Inc.

John Profaci, Colavita

John J. Profaci of Colavita is credited with making genuine Italian extra virgin olive oil available to millions of consumers throughout North America. Through his pioneering efforts, hard work and dedication, Profaci continues to bring his strong passion for family and food to Colavita every day.

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Chef Paul Prudhomme, Magic Seasoning Blends

Chef Paul Prudhomme has propelled the distinctive cuisine of his native Louisiana into the international spotlight. In 1979, K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen® opened in New Orleans. In 1983, Prudhomme created his own line of all natural herbs and spices, and smoked meats, Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends® and Chef Paul Prudhomme's Smoked Meats®.

Steve Reich, Charlotte Charles

Steve Reich worked for his uncle, Max Ries, at what would become Reese Finer Foods. In 1964, Reich purchased Charlotte Charles, a Chicago-based manufacturer of fruit cakes, confections, jellies and preserves. He added gift packing, importing and specialty foods distribution, building Charlotte Charles into one of the larger U.S. specialty food companies.

Kurt Richter, Richter Brothers/World Finer Foods

Kurt Richter joined Richter Brothers Inc., in 1958 and remained as President until 1987. After purchasing A&A Cresca and Gourmet Specialties S.F., the combined company was sold to Guinness, UK in 1982. Richter then joined World Finer Foods. He served as Chairman of the NASFT (now SFA) from 1999-2000.

Max Ries, Reese Finer Foods

Max Ries was a food industry disrupter. Innovative in the way he thought about and marketed food, he started a business that grew from a European cheese importer to a global brand. He created and manufactured foods that became American staples, exposing palates to imported delicacies and exotic flavors from all over the world.

John P. Roberts, NASFT/SFA

With more than 30 years of food industry experience in sales, marketing, and general management with both mass market and specialty brands, Roberts was well prepared to lead the specialty food association from 1988 - 2006. Under his member-focused leadership, the Association enjoyed substantial growth and became the industry’s essential catalyst.

Kurt Rosenberg, Arbee Fine Foods

Kurt Rosenberg, Arbee Fine Foods, was an organizer and exhibitor at the 1st Fancy Food Show at the Astor Hotel in 1955. Rosenberg imported candy after traveling to Europe in 1952, obtaining rights for renowned brands, including Godiva, Sarotti and Baronie Chocolates, Toggi Wafers, Zentis Preserves and Wernli Cookies. He exhibited at over 40 consecutive Fancy Food Shows.

Arnold Rosenstock, A&A Foods

Arnold Rosenstock and Arnold Nussdorf started a specialty food company in The Bronx in the 1940s. Rosenstock’s mother-in-law and brother-in-law had started a similar company in Baltimore. A&A Foods and its Castle Village brand became a leader of specialty foods, bringing many European products to market as well as American-produced ethnic specialties.

Julee Rosso, The Silver Palate

In 1977, Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins co-founded The Silver Palate gourmet shop on the Upper West Side of New York, bringing prepared food to busy New Yorkers. The Silver Palate began producing an American line of 150 products in 1979. Rosso and Lukins also co-authored three cookbooks which to date have over 7 million copies in print.

Harold Roth, Roth & Liebman, Inc.

Specialty Food Association 2nd Chair
1956-1958

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Herman Goelitz Rowland, Sr., Jelly Belly Candy Company

Herman G. Rowland is Chair of Jelly Belly Candy Company in Fairfield, Calif. The firm manufactures Jelly Belly® jelly beans and 70 Confections by Jelly Belly gourmet candies. Rowland is a fourth generation candy man and the descendent of Gustav Goelitz, a German immigrant who launched the family’s candy making tradition in this country.

Joan and Paul Rubschlager, Rubschlager Baking

Paul Rubschlager worked at the family bakery founded in 1913 from the time he could reach the bread rack shelves, and Joan joined in 1977. Paul developed the Cocktail Rye Bread loaf and it remains their best-selling item. Rubschlager exhibited in all Summer, Winter, and some Spring Fancy Food Shows between1977 and 2014.

Myra Sable, Sable & Rosenthal

What began as a love for cooking has grown into one of Canada's most successful, privately owned gourmet food companies. In 1970, Sable & Rosenfeld was co-founded by President Myra Sable and her friend and former partner, Carol Rosenfeld. For 44 years, Sable has been servicing the needs of more than 3,000 gourmet retail enthusiasts across North America and beyond.

Paul Saginaw, Zingerman’s

Paul co-founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen in1982. It opened as 1,300 square feet of combined restaurant and specialty food retail space, run solely by Paul, his partner Ari Weinzweig and two employees. The Zingerman’s Community of Businesses now has 23 partners, employs over 750 people and generates over $56 million in annual sales from eight separate businesses.

Charlie Sahadi, Sahadi Importing Co.

Charlie Sahadi has been at the helm of Sahadi Importing Co. since 1965. Sahadi oversaw the successful transition from a pure ethnic store to a specialty food retailer specializing in Middle Eastern foods, many imported directly from manufacturers or farmers worldwide. Sahadi can still often be found in the store, making sure all “his” customers are satisfied.

Jerry Santucci, Santucci Associates

Jerry Santucci and his brother Anthony formed Santucci Associates in 1964, selling to department stores, German delis, cheese shops and upscale grocers. The Santuccis helped introduce extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, specialty teas and imported chocolates to the U.S. Santucci is a two-term past president of the National Specialty Food Brokers.

Bruno Scheidt, Roland Foods

Bruno Scheidt (1900-1966) was a creative visionary and successful leader. He founded Bruno Scheidt Inc./American Roland Foods shortly after arriving in the U.S. in 1939 and developed the Roland brand. He was the first to import and market countless specialty foods from Europe and Asia, products which continue to be enjoyed in homes and restaurants throughout the U.S.

Bluma Schlossberg, Castle Foods

Bluma Schlossberg escaped Germany in 1940 and began locally selling confections. From the name "Schlossberg" meaning "Castle Mountain" in German, Castle Food" Products Company and the "Castle Village" brand was created. With a 46-year history of family ownership, Castle Foods became the leading specialty food wholesaler in the Mid-Atlantic States.

Fred A. Schlossberg, Castle Foods

Fred Schlossberg arrived in America in 1938. Working with his mother Bluma, Schlossberg began purchasing both unique candies and specialty foods. From the name "Schlossberg" meaning Castle Mountain, the Castle Food Products Company and Castle Village brand was created. In 46 years, the company grew to over 60 employees, and a fleet of 11 trucks serving the Mid-Atlantic region.

Joel Schuman, Source Atlantique

After a distinguished career at Cosmo Food USA and Liberty Richter, Schuman became the founding and managing partner and president of Source Atlantique, the largest independent importer/master distributor in the specialty food business, representing such major lines as Maille, La Baleine, Modenaceti, and Tiptree. Source also owns a number of brands, including If You Care and Peloponnese.

David Shaffer, Shaffer Clarke

David Shaffer lived the “American Dream.” Born of immigrant parents and completing only a partial high school education, he became a successful entrepreneur in the specialty food industry. He was the founder of the world-known company of Shaffer-Clarke, best known for introducing Carrs Water Crackers to the U.S. He remained close to family, especially his sister Edna, throughout his life.

Joe Shannon, KeHE Foods

As Vice President of Sales and Marketing for KeHE Foods, Joe Shannon developed category management systems for retailers and manufacturers marketing specialty and ethnic foods into mainstream distribution. At KeHE for 37 years, he also helped develop the first on-line specialty food program for manufacturers and retailers. Shannon served on the Board of the National Food Distributors Association when it merged with NASFT/SFA.

Mo Siegel, Celestial Seasonings, Inc.

Mo Siegel was the founder, chairman and president of Celestial Seasonings, the largest manufacturer and marketer of specialty teas in North America. After Celestial merged with the The Hain Food Group, he served as vice chairman of The Hain Celestial Group. Siegel is currently the owner of Capital Peaks Investments, serves on various Boards and does non-profit work.

Alain Sinturel, Les Trois Petits Cochons

Alain Sinturel is the owner and co-founder of Les Trois Petits Cochons, purveyor of artisanal and handcrafted pâté and charcuterie. His small Greenwich Village charcuterie was an overnight sensation. Glowing reviews catapulted the business onto the New York food scene and quickly led to Les Trois Petits Cochons being the first nationally distributed pâté and charcuterie company in the U.S.

BILL SKURA

Bill Skura has managed specialty food brands at every stage of their life cycles: launching brands (Pirouline, Mazzetti), guiding brands during early stages (Annie’s Homegrown, Bonne Maman) and expanding the distribution of mature brands (Wasa, Vitalicious). Skura served as Board Chair of the SFA and has presented seminars at Fancy Food Shows.

Steven Smith, Steven Smith Teamakers/
Tazo/Stash Tea

Steven Smith helped create the category of premium tea, beginning with Stash Tea in 1972. Following the purchase of Stash, he developed Tazo Tea, including 60 proprietary blends. Tazo was purchased by Starbucks in 1999, but Smith and his team led the brand until 2006. In 2010, he launched Steven Smith Teamaker in Northwest Portland.

George R. Steiner

Born and raised in New York City, George Steiner was graduated from Pace University. He led Steiner Foods, a regional importer and distributor, from 1975 to 2008, as its president. Steiner served on the Budget and Audit Committee of SFA/NASFT and as Director.

Art Stone, Gourmet Awards

Born in 1927, Art Stone and his wife Margaret started Gourmet Awards in their garage in 1960 using $5,000 in seed money. From a small Minnesota town, their success exceeded their wildest dreams when, by 1990, they had traveled the world with two sons in the business that serviced specialty retailers in more than 20 states.

Jim Stott, Stonewall Kitchen

Starting at a farmers’ market in 1991, Jonathan King and Jim Stott combined their food knowledge and skills to create a deliciously distinctive line of high quality specialty foods. Through their vision and perseverance, their company, Stonewall Kitchen, is one of the most awarded specialty food companies in the country.

Ron Straci, Rao's

For over 120 years, the Rao’s restaurant has been in Ron Straci’s family. As co-owner and corporate attorney, Ron provides legal services to Rao’s Specialty Foods and currently manages Rao’s restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, and Hollywood, CA. Staci served as an SFA/NASFT Director for eight years.

Sharon Straci, Rao's

For over 20 years, Sharon Straci has been responsible for defining the criteria for Rao’s Specialty Foods’ products and business development. Under her executive leadership, the Rao’s brand has grown from an idea into a well-known and reputable international food business known for its high quality pasta sauces and other Italian-inspired products.

Jack W. “Trip” Straub, III, Straub’s Markets

Trip Straub began his retail career at the age of 12, sweeping floors. Straub has worked in all facets of operations at all four Straub’s stores, looking for ways to differentiate from the chain competition. Today, Straub is proud to represent the fourth generation in the family grocery business as they celebrate 114 years in business.

Bud Suarez, Specialty Food Distributors

Bud Suarez started in the specialty food business with his father in the 1940’s. In 1965, Suarez started his own distribution company, guided by an innovative vision of where he believed the distribution industry was heading. Through his leadership and hard work, Specialty Food Distributors grew into the largest food distributor in the Southeast.

Lynne Symons, Symons General Store

Lynne Symons took over the daily operations of Symons General Store in 1979 and is responsible for expanding the store’s offerings to include fresh baked delicacies in addition to the specialty food products. A Bowling Green State University alumni with a degree in Education, Symon’s passions include fly fishing, jazz music, fine wine, her grandsons and her dogs.

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Russ Vernon, West Point Market

Russ Vernon demonstrated that specialty foods were in demand beyond the East Coast. From 1960 on, the storied West Point Market in Akron, OH, was regarded as one of the outstanding specialty food retailers in the U.S. led by Russ’s passion for customer service and the best the world has to offer in all things specialty.

Henry Wainer, Sid Wainer & Son

Dr. Henry Wainer is at the forefront of innovation in the produce and specialty food industry, winning a host of awards for his efforts. Sourcing both locally and internationally for his distribution company, his goal and passion is to bring unique, innovative, and the highest quality products to the world's finest establishments.

James N. Walker CBE, Walker’s Shortbread

Jim Walker is the grandson of Joseph Walker, who founded Walkers Shortbread in 1898. Along with his brother Joe and sister Marjorie, he helped to develop the company to an international company represented in 90 markets. Walkers Shortbread has now become a flagship of Scottish foods employing over 1,600 people.

Leon Wechsler, Europa Foods

Leon Wechsler was born in 1926 in New York, and co-founded Europa Foods Ltd. in 1960. Among other products, Europa brought Walker’s Shortbread to the U.S. Wechsler was active in SFA/NASFT, serving as Board Chair. Europa was a leader in the movement of specialty foods from boutique shops to supermarket shelves, from imported to fine domestically produced products.

Ari Weinzweig, Zingerman's

Ari Weinzweig is CEO and co-founding partner of Zingerman's Community of Businesses, which started with Zingerman's Delicatessen. Zingerman’s produces and sells full-flavored, traditional foods in its home of Ann Arbor, MI, with $55 million in annual sales. Weinzweig was recognized as a “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the James Beard Foundation in 2006.

Chuck Williams, Williams-Sonoma

Chuck Williams turned a Sonoma, CA, hardware store into a kitchen empire. His $3-billion corporation grew to include more than 250 stores along with Pottery Barn and West Elm. Williams remained the “emeritus Director” until his death in 2015. He was such a major influence that design editors came to the store to keep up with new merchandise and trends. Williams-Sonoma was also a leader in the catalog business.

Sara Wilson, Market Hall Foods and The Pasta Shop

Sara Wilson has been producing, sourcing and importing specialty foods since 1987. Specialty Food Association has twice selected The Pasta Shop of Oakland, CA, as an Outstanding Retailer. In 2014, the California Olive Oil Council honored Wilson with its Pioneer Award. Sara is a current Trustee at Cal Performances at UC

Sara and Warren Wilson, Snack Factory,LLC

The Wilsons, founders of the Snack Factory, began selling Funnel Cakes in the 1970's. They started the New York Style Bagel Chip Co. and landed at No. 50 on Inc. 500, selling to RJR Nabisco in 1992. The Wilsons also created Pretzel Crisps TM (No. 3 on Inc. 500) and sold to Snyder's-Lance in 2012.

Henry Witte, Bahlsen USA

Originally from Hamburg, Germany, Witte’s 60-year career is marked by sales prowess, trust and peer respect. In the food business since 1957, Witte joined Bahlsen , a leading German cookie-maker, in 1968 and built its American presence until 1989. Following Bahlsen, Witte formed Carl Brandt, Inc., a key U.S. importer of premium European specialty foods.

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Eli Zabar, Eli Zabar

Eli Zabar's name has become synonymous with delicious food over the past five decades. Zabar is known for his fresh, high-quality ingredients and incredible breads. His businesses dot Manhattan's Upper East Side, including Eli’s Manhattan and Eli’s Market at the Vinegar Factory; Eli's Table; Eli's Essentials Wine Bar; E.A.T. Café and E.A.T. Gifts; and Eli’s List wine shop.

Saul & Stanley
Zabar, Zabar’s

Saul and Stanley Zabar took over the market that had been established by their father Louis at 80th and Broadway on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. With Stanly focusing on the business and Saul on the food, the famous market has been selling the best foods of the world at competitive prices for more than 80 years.