Our Hunt for the Best Gourmet Food at Trade Shows

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Trade Show season is in full force and Trudy Abood took some of our team members to the Associated Buyers Annual Show and the Chicago Sweets & Snacks Expo. Trudy and our team had a great time at the shows and here is what they had to say about them.

Tom Knibbs, Owner of Urban Accents, greeted us with a warm smile, friendly attitude, and the MOST delicious grilled chicken skewers, at the Associated Buyers show in Portsmouth, NH. We highly recommend trying Urban Accents new line of gourmet grilling rubs, salts, and glazes – to be featured in our fresh line of Grilling & Marinating Gift Baskets!

Francie and David Caccavo, Olivia's Croutons.JPG

It’s official – we have found the world’s best crouton! Salty, spicy, cheesy, all in one crunchy bite. Olivia’s croutons are a MUST HAVE for any salad or soup. We met the owner, Francie Williams Caccavo, at the Associated Buyers Food Show, where we got to sample all the flavors she and her husband, David, have to offer us gourmands! We were able to meet with Francie and David Caccavo at the recent Associated Buyers Food Show in Portsmouth, NH. We’ve known the husband and wife team for a couple years now, since we’ve been carrying their sinfully delicious croutons! If you enjoy buttery, salty, cheesy homemade croutons, you have to try Olivia’s Croutons… any flavor, they’re all awesome!

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Of all the salsa, from all the companies Nationwide that we’ve sampled, we love Gringo Jack’s salsa the best! And trust me, we’ve tasted A LOT! We’ve known Jack for a couple years now, and it is always a pleasure seeing him at Food Shows, like we did at the recent Associated Buyers Food Show in Portsmouth, NH. Jack owns the popular Southwestern restaurant, Candeleros, located in Manchester, VT, where he has perfected the art of salsa making. You’ve got to try his salsas; they’re all natural, free of high fructose corn syrup, and best of all – DELICIOUS!


When you think of Pepperoni, you probably think of the pre-sliced options you can find at the grocery store. Well, you are going to be blown away when you try Vermont Smoke and Cure’s Pepperoni – it’s delicious! We loved visiting their booth at the recent Associated Buyers Food Show, because they’re fun to visit with, and we get to sample all their products! If you like pizza, cheese & crackers, or anything salty and savory, you have got to try Vermont Smoke and Cures Pepperoni!

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Holly, Owner of Holly’s Au Natural Oatmeal, was so much fun to meet at the recent Associated Buyers Food Show! She’s like the best friend you never knew you had. We had the opportunity to sample her Cranberry Almond Oatmeal, with warm maple syrup – YUM – as well as get her secret Oatmeal Cookie recipe. We look forward to chatting with her again at the New York Fancy Food Show this June.

Who doesn’t love to pick the crispy cheese that melts onto your sheet pan while in the oven? No one, that’s who! Well, Kitchen Table Bakers has perfected the art of crispy cheese, in their absolutely delicious Parmesan wafer crisps! We’ve been carrying their products for a couple years, and we love them! Not only are they delicious, but they’re low carb, and gluten free. We were able to visit their booth at the recent Associated Buyers Food Show, which is always a pleasure since we get to taste the parmesan crisps – YUM! Healthy indulgence that is rich in calcium and protein. Plus they are wheat, gluten, sugar and trans fat free.

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Jill Comeau and I got up at the unreal time of 3 am so we could catch our plane and be at the Chicago Sweets & Snacks Expo when the doors opened at 10 am. This is what I call THE CANDY SHOW of the year!

World's Largest Lollipops.JPG

While visiting several booths, we were transformed back in time to old fashioned candy shops with lollipops, taffy, ribbon candy, mints and chocolates everywhere! Then we saw the world’s largest lollipops we had ever seen! I cannot even guess how many hours it would take to like those down to the stick!

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Then we saw the latest Halloween fads such as cotton candy taking shape as pumpkins, vampire hair or werewolf fur – who knew cotton candy had that many faces? Then on the flip side we got to taste all sorts of new all natural organic goodies.

Our biggest feat was getting our hands on a sample bag of Mar’s M&M’s Pretzel Chocolate Candies – we tasted and they are just what you would be expecting – that savor of salty sweetness! Yummm……

Our next trip is to the New York International Fancy Food Show at the end of June.

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