In this edition of MRM News Bites, we feature Aramark, Newk’s Cares, Grisini® Hospitality Group, Budd Dairy Food Hall, Choice Market, Ordermark, Compeat, Suggestic Lens, Sabra, Just Salad, SousZen,  Belle Chevre and BBVA Chef Experience.

Swipe Out Hunger on Campus

Aramark, the food and facilities partner of more than 400 colleges and universities across the U.S., is taking the lead in addressing food insecurity in the higher education space through a multiyear commitment to support Swipe Out Hunger, a national nonprofit who partners with colleges and universities to provide financially and logistically efficient anti-hunger programs.

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Aramark is partnering with Swipe Out Hunger as a founding funder of its Research and Development (R&D) Lab, which seeks to surface and promote high impact, innovative solutions to address campus hunger. Aramark’s support of the R&D Lab enables Swipe Out Hunger to create change across campus systems. This will include piloting cutting-edge projects on campuses, leveraging data and research and developing advocacy strategies to catalyze public funding for higher education basic needs programs.

“Swipe Out Hunger has been developing its meal swipe donation program since 2010 and now we’re looking to provide support to campuses that complement and go beyond meal swipes,” said Rachel Sumekh, CEO and founder of Swipe Out Hunger. “Seventy two percent of students can eat more regularly after receiving swipes, so Aramark’s support allows us to go beyond that, and now provide resources and practices for building a campus where all students feel they are nourished for success.”

“We are excited to announce our partnership with Swipe Out Hunger,” said Jeff Gilliam, president of Aramark’s Higher Education business. “We have been working with our college and university partners to address this growing issue, and welcome Swipe Out Hunger’s collaboration and expertise to develop meaningful plans that better serve the needs of students on campus.”

In addition to its partnership with Swipe Out Hunger, Aramark supports the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, based in Philadelphia, to drive innovative practice, evidence-based policymaking, and effective communications. The Hope Center conducted the most prominent and expansive research study dedicated to food insecurity on college campuses. Their research showed that one in three students are facing food insecurity nationally, and paved the way for students, university administrators, nonprofit partners and other stakeholders to engage in meaningful dialogue around the issue.

Newk’s Cares Fights Ovarian Cancer

Newk’s Cares, the ovarian cancer awareness movement founded by fast-casual restaurant Newk’s Eatery, celebrates its sixth year and honors co-founder Lori Newcomb with the achievement of exceeding $1.4M in fundraising efforts. Newk’s strives to make a difference for research of the disease, with a goal to improve the rate of early detection and symptom awareness. Alongside Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance (OCRA), the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families, Newk’s has raised more than $400,000 this year.

Chris Newcomb, Newk’s Eatery CEO and Newk’s Cares co-founder, and Madison Newcomb, Newk’s Cares co-chair, present a check to Audra Moran, OCRA president, in Jackson, Miss. (PRNewsfoto/Newk’s Eatery)

“I want to express my gratitude to our Newk’s communities, which have allowed us to achieve this incredible fundraising milestone,” said Chris Newcomb, Newk’s Eatery CEO and Newk’s Cares co-founder. “Raising one million dollars was a dream for my wife, Lori, and we are so proud to carry on her legacy with a breakthrough year of giving for ovarian cancer research.”

During the month of September, and across more than 120 U.S. locations, Newk’s Eatery offered guests the opportunity to make a donation in support of ovarian cancer research to OCRA, both in store and through online ordering.

In Newk’s home market of Jackson, Miss., the annual Ovarian Cycle® Jackson spin event hosted a sold-out crowd to spin to end ovarian cancer during September’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In August, Newk’s Cares and St. Dominic Hospital hosted a Lunch & Learn featuring expert panelists who shared statistics and symptoms, along with critical research developments to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Newk’s restaurants are also featuring the seasonal cancer-fighting Thai Chicken Soup through March 2020, which contains antioxidants that can help reduce the risks of cancer, and Shrimp & Avocado Salad, inspired by Lori Newcomb.

To provide year-round education on the disease, Newk’s has permanently turned its straws teal, the color of ovarian cancer awareness, and donates ten cents from every Newk’s Cares water bottle sold to OCRA. Lori Newcomb’s story is also featured in each restaurant to promote the success rate of early diagnosis.

Newk’s Eatery recently celebrated 15 years since its first store opened in Oxford, Miss., and announced a new store prototype with a renewed mission, “Project Strive.” The new design will further implement the color teal in every restaurant with a new mosaic tile wall.

“Our fight is far from over, but we are as committed as ever to continue living Lori’s mission for this cause,” said Chris Newcomb. “We will continue to prioritize educating and encouraging women to take action when listening to their bodies to improve the success rate of early diagnosis, and look forward to exceeding more goals in the years to come.”

American Dream Food Vendors

New York-based hospitality and entertainment company Grisini® Hospitality Group (GHG), which incorporates Grisini Coffee shop, Food Hall and Market concepts added Levent Veziroglu, founder and former CEO of restaurant management group d.ream, as Executive Board Member and Managing Partner. Also joining the project is Food Network judge and celebrity Chef, Marc Murphy, who will be leading the culinary experiences. The group will be opening its first stores, two coffee shops and a European-style food hall, which will be the first of its kind to open in the long awaited American Dream Meadowlands mega-mall.

Best known for his previous Manhattan-based restaurants, Landmarc and Ditch Plains, and seen as a judge on some of Food Network’s highest rated programs “CHOPPED,” and “CHOPPED JUNIOR,” Marc Murphy entered the restaurant industry at an early age, accepting an inaugural position at the age of 22 as a line cook at Terrance Brennan’s Prix Fixe in New York City. Eager to return to Europe, where he was born  and spent most of his childhood, Murphy left the states to cook in a number of fine dining establishments throughout the continent, providing him with exposure to several different European cuisines and cooking techniques. That experience will be showcased through the 24 original concepts Murphy is creating for Grisini by Chef Marc Murphy, including a pizza counter, bakery, creperie, pasta station and raw bar.

Also joining Grisini is Levent Veziroglu, founder and former CEO of d.ream, the management group behind acclaimed international restaurants including Nusr-Et Steakhouse aka Saltbae, Zuma and Roka. Receiving his post-graduate education in Economics at the American University in Washington D.C., Veziroglu has assumed various positions in public and international institutions, including executive board member of the IMF, before joining Dogus Holding in 2008. During his tenure at Dogus Holding’s d.ream, Veziroglu orchestrated the operations of more than 170 restaurants in 12 countries, including La Petite Maison and Boston-based Nahita. Veziroglu will assume the role as Executive Board Member and Managing Partner for GHG. The company plans the expansion of its concepts in Manhattan immediately after the operations at the American Dream Meadowlands.

“Marc Murphy is one of the nation’s most celebrated and innovative chefs. We have no doubt that Grisini by Chef Marc Murphy will be an incredible experience,” said Levent Veziroglu. “We’re thrilled to provide our customers with an unparalleled culinary dining and shopping experience at Grisini Food Hall and Grisini Coffee Shops at American Dream Meadowlands, and look forward to opening our doors.”

Grisini by Chef Marc Murphy is expected to open in 2020 for lunch and dinner. In addition to the food hall, Grisini will also feature an artisanal coffee shop, and a marketplace providing retail products and packaged, prepared food for meals on-the-go. 

Chef Partners for Budd Dairy Food Hall

Budd Dairy Food Hall announced final five chef partners – Boni: Filipino Street Food, Cousins Maine Lobster, Pokebap, Stauf’s Coffee Roasters and Tacos Rudos. The budding concepts will join other previously announced chef partners, Alphabetical Comfort Kitchen, Borgata, Darista and Modern Southern Table early next year when the highly anticipated food entrepreneurial launchpad opens.

Budd Dairy Food Hall is the first chef-driven food incubator in Columbus and is currently under construction in Columbus’ g Italian Village neighborhood. The dining and entertainment venue will give the city’s top up-and-coming chefs the opportunity to grow as entrepreneurs and to serve their community in a unique gathering space.  

“These chef partners are going to bring an amazing diversity of food to Budd Dairy Food Hall,” said Steve Weis, Cameron Mitchell Restaurant’s vice president of development. “This effort is an exciting marriage between two of Columbus’ strengths: food and entrepreneurship.”

Boni: Filipino Street Food 

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This collaborative team will bring contemporary, authentic Filipino street food to Budd Dairy Food Hall with three main offerings including rice bowls topped with delicious, sautéed meats and veggies, fried spring rolls filled with traditional Filipino flavors and sweet and tangy grilled skewers. Inspired by stories of Filipino immigrants, Krizzia Yanga wanted to bring an authentic Filipino dining experience to Columbus. Yanga and her team take pride in their teamwork and are excited to be part of a tight knit community of dedicated chefs. The food hall will be the second Boni: Filipino Street Food location in Columbus.

Krizzia Yanga
Cousins Maine Lobster

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Cousins Maine Lobster brings customers the most authentic Maine seafood experience and proudly serves 100 percent premium, wild-caught, sustainably harvested lobster from Maine. After watching the brand owners on the popular show, Shark Tank, Kathryn Nuss opened the Columbus food truck in 2018 and quickly grew a strong following across the city. She is ready to move to her first brick and mortar location at Budd Dairy Food Hall to continue to share delicious Maine lobster. 

Kathryn Nuss
Pokebap

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Pokebap will offer fast-casual, create-your-own fresh poke bowls that can accommodate every palate and dietary need. Seas Kim, owner of Pokebap, has always enjoyed traveling to different places and immersing himself within the local cultures and food. His culinary experiences from Hawaii, along with his Korean-American background, inspired him to bring the Hawaiian staple to Ohio. Kim is looking forward to his second location inside Budd Dairy Food Hall.  

Seas Kim
Stauf’s Coffee Roasters

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Also joining Budd Dairy Food Hall is Stauf’s Coffee Roasters. Stauf’s president Mark Swanson already has a variety of locations around Columbus, serving specialty coffee, pastries and teas. As Columbus’ first micro roaster, Stauf’s is determined to provide the finest cup of coffee to every guest. Swanson and his team are excited for the unique opportunity to work with a diverse group of restaurateurs at Budd Dairy Food Hall. 

Tacos Rudos

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Rounding out Budd Dairy Food Hall’s roster is Tacos Rudos. Team leader Ana Cruz understands what gives Mexican street food its authenticity and is excited to bring her favorite flavors to Columbus through Tacos Rudos’ first location. Along with great customer service and consistently delicious dishes, Cruz incorporates her family’s passion for Lucha Libra (Mexican wrestling) into the company.

Ana Cruz

The food hall’s lineup includes nine chef-driven restaurant concepts and an ever-changing pop-up space. Budd Dairy Food Hall will bring the fares together under one roof with community seating, a top-notch beverage program and live music and entertainment. The one-of-a-kind gathering spot also will feature a rooftop deck, event space and more.

The concept is a partnership between Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and local developer, Kevin Lykens. CMR will provide management of the overall concept and will provide all services related to Budd Dairy’s culinary, beverage and entertainment programs. For more information, visit www.BuddDairyFoodHall.com.   

Choice Market has Arrived

Denver-based Choice Market is now open and offering the Mariposa neighborhood and surrounding areas something that no one else does – convenience, efficiency and access to locally-sourced,  food. Located in the new Denver Housing Authority headquarters at 1015 Osage St., Choice is a convenience store that strives to make great food accessible to all by combining fast and friendly service, local high quality fresh foods and grocery necessities.

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Choice Market

“The communities we serve are our top priority, which is why we couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the Denver Housing Authority and Youth Employment Academy for this Choice Market,” said Choice Market Founder & CEO Mike Fogarty. “This location will provide grocery staples, fresh meals, and home and health options that are priced to meet the needs of the Mariposa community.”

A full service, fully-scratch kitchen truly sets Choice apart. Choice’s classically trained and experienced chefs work to develop seasonal menus and offer elevated food “on the go.” Customers can rely on Choice to deliver fresh, local, environmentally friendly products. Choice uses ingredients that are better for you, better for the community, and that taste better too. Embracing its Colorado pride, Choice works with local farmers to source a majority of its ingredients and products, including organic produce and antibiotic-free and nitrate-free proteins.

Ordermark’s New Home

Ordermark has expanded its Southern California office headquarters and moved into a 30,000 square foot facility at The Campus at 12045 Waterfront Drive in Playa Vista. Ordermark has the capacity to triple in size in the new Playa Vista headquarters. 

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Before recently moving to Silicon Beach and the new Playa Vista corporate headquarters, since October 2018 Ordermark was previously at a 8,000 square foot office in Culver City. Prior to that, Ordermark was founded in 2017 and since February 2018 had its first offices in Santa Monica. 

As previously announced, Ordermark recently completed a successful $18M Series B funding round led by Boulder-based Foundry Group, as well as all of its Series A investors including TenOneTen Ventures, Vertical Venture Partners, Mucker Capital, Act One Ventures, and Nosara Capital. 

“We’re growing Ordermark’s capacity to meet the explosive demand for online ordering and our restaurant technology services,” said Alex Canter, Chief Executive Officer of Ordermark. “The beautiful new Ordermark headquarters in Playa Vista is a bold bet on our hometown L.A. market, the talent here, and the strategic proximity offered to a host of Ordermark’s partners in the Bay Area.” 

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About Ordermark: Ordermark (ordermark.com) is the leading and one of the fastest-growing restaurant technology service providers in the mobile technology space. Ordermark helps restaurants increase efficiency and grow profits by aggregating mobile orders across all of the major online ordering service providers into a single dashboard and printer. 

Born in the kitchen of the world-famous Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles by a fourth-generation restaurateur, Ordermark was built, tested, and refined from the perspective of a restaurant operator. Ordermark’s thousands of customers include small, single-location restaurants and many of the world’s top restaurant chains including Buffalo Wild Wings, Cold Stone Creamery, Little Caesars, Papa John’s, Sonic, Which Wich, and Yogurtland. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Denver. 

Compeat Partners with Paylocity 

Compeat is partnering with Paylocity. Compeat customers will gain the ability to make strategic decisions, cultivate a modern workplace, and enhance employee engagement on Paylocity’s platform. Like Compeat, Paylocity understands the compliance requirements that restaurants face and have created a solution that is tailored to address those needs. Operators and managers can confidently engage employees with secure, mobile, 24/7 access to payroll and HR information from any device at any time.

“We are excited to partner with Paylocity,” states Kristi Turner, CMO of Compeat. “We spent quite some time reviewing the market and were very impressed with Paylocity’s modern platform. Compeat is all about making life easier for restaurant employees and Paylocity’s mobile app for on-demand access to paychecks, time clocks, and human resources information supports those efforts.”

“Paylocity’s user-friendly, human capital management and payroll software is an ideal fit with hospitality businesses who want to provide modern tools to their employees,” Chris Westfall, Paylocity Vice President, Channels and Alliances.  “Our platform supports quality work experiences for employees, which helps employers attract, develop and retain talent.”

AR Menu Suggestions

Suggestic Inc added an augmented reality feature to its precision eating app on the iOS app store. The feature called Suggestic Lens leverages the power of AR to handpick the healthiest meals on a restaurant menu in real-time.  The feature, available within the Suggestic iOS app, enables the user to point his or her phone at a restaurant menu and show meals that best suit his or her ongoing diet plan. 

Suggestic Lens leverages Apple’s CoreML 2 machine learning technology and Apple’s ARKit 3 to overlay and display content on top of the restaurant menu. Combining Apple’s new-age technologies with Suggestic’s proprietary deep learning algorithms, the Suggestic Lens shows the nutritional scores for each meal along with the healthiest options as an overlay on top of the menu. Users simply have to point the Lens at the menu, and the Suggestic Lens will handpick the best meals that cater to the individual’s dietary requirements. 

Suggestic Lens comes with filters for Paleo, Vegan, Keto, and even a Balanced diet. Users can further personalize this filter with more customizations. The Lens will also show the nutritional information for each meal on the menu, including a complete list of ingredients. Further, Suggestic Lens is supported at over 500,000 restaurants in the US, and the list is growing every day. 

“Suggestic is already changing the way we chose our food, particularly at restaurants. No matter the purpose, if you are trying to eat healthily, you know that eating at restaurants is quite challenging,” said Shai Rosen, CMO & Co-founder of Suggestic. “With Suggestic Lens -our augmented reality feature- we are taking it to the next level by creating a “magical” and fun experience for our users.”

Health Tribes

Just Salad is partnering with Grubhub to launch a new virtual restaurant, Health Tribes™. The digital-only concept features a variety of diet-specific recipes that is now available exclusively on Grubhub and orderjustsalad.com.

Just Salad “Health Tribes” salads & bowls

Supporting Just Salad’s “Healthy for Everyone” mission, Health Tribes customers can find nutritionist-verified recipes based on their individual dietary preferences. Just Salad developed the Health Tribes virtual restaurant to provide curated recipes for those following Keto, Vegan, Gluten-Free, and Paleo diets.

“Just Salad has always been dedicated to making healthy food accessible to everyone, and the Health Tribes brand is a continuation of that mission,” said Stephen Swartz, VP of Marketing at Just Salad. “As the dietary needs and preferences of our guests evolve, we’re taking this step with Grubhub to evolve right alongside them.”

“Whether it’s picking up on the go or ordering lunch to the office, Just Salad has recognized the changing tastes of consumers, and we’re excited to partner with them on this new concept. We want to empower our diners to find what they want – and need – for their own lifestyle, and the new Health Tribes menu is making that possible,” said Raleigh McClayton, VP & GM, Business Development/Enterprise at Grubhub. “By leveraging our data and insights across the platform, we were able to work with Just Salad to help strategically inform new concepts and menus, and we see this as the first phase of innovation around their virtual restaurant concepts.”

Whirled Peas Pop Up

Sabra’s Whirled Peas will be a limited-time pop-up experience reimagining the versatile Mediterranean dish as inspired by global culture and cuisine. Five chefs, each celebrated for sharing their heritage flavorfully through food, will collaborate with chef, cookbook author, and restauranteur Einat Admony to introduce a collection of original dishes featuring the plant-based favorite, reinterpreted. Presented by Sabra®, ‘Whirled Peas’ will be open to the public October 11 -November 24 with reservations available through the Resy app and Resy.com.

Rice Cake Gnocchi

“We are so excited to open the doors at Sabra’s first pop up in NYC. Hummus is a simple and delicious, plant-based food… a bowl of whirled chickpeas with tahini (ground sesame seeds,) aromatic herbs and rich oils,” said Jason Levine, Sabra CMO. “Hummus is Mediterranean in origin, yet we believe food has a transcending ability to connect us, which is the idea behind this pop-up experience. We are partnering with a group of brilliant chefs, with diverse culinary and cultural experiences, to reinterpret hummus and showcase the unexpected versatility and relatability of this nourishing and flavorful food. From hummus with tacos to tahini and Thai Pho, delicious things can happen when we connect in the kitchen. We think you’ll want to try this at home.”

A recent study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Sabra examined how Americans look at culture and food, revealing Americans feel food is a true unifier. Among respondents, 84% percent indicate food is a welcoming and approachable way to share cultures with others and 88 percent cite food and recipes as preferred ways to first experience new cultures.

To create the unique pop-up experience, Sabra takes over and transforms Kish-Kash, a West Village based restaurant owned by Chef Admony whose new book “Shuk” was released last month. 

Whirled Peas Chefs:

  • Einat Admony- (NYC) Chef at Kish-Kash, Taim, and Balaboosta and author of Shuk: From Market to Table, the Heart of Israeli Home Cooking.
  • Wes Avila- (LA) James Beard Semi-Finalist for Best Chef, cookbook author and owner of Guerilla Tacos , Avila was awarded the Bib Gourmand in the Michelin Guide to California in 2019.
  • Esther Choi – (NYC) Hailed as New Rising Chef by Food Republic and named a Zagat 30 under 30 NYC Culinary Rockstar, Esther owns Mŏkbar and Ms. Yoo in NYC. 
  • Kwame Onwuachi – (DC) James Beard Award-winning executive chef at Kith/Kin and author of Notes from a Young Black Chef, the former Top Chef contestant was named one of Food & Wines Best New Chefs and a 30 Under 30 honoree by both Zagat and Forbes. 
  • Jet Tila – (LA) Chef, cookbook author (101 Epic Dishes) and TV personality, Chef Tila is the official Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine. He has appeared on Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain, Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, The Today Show, Beat Bobby Flay and stars in a new Food Network digital series Ready Jet Cook!
  • Deborah VanTrece– (GA) Owner of Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours and noted caterer for the Centennial Olympics, has been seen on Food Network and was named one of Zagat’s Most Badass Female Chefs.

“I’ve always got hummus stocked in the fridge and I am thrilled to partner with Sabra on this project,” said Chef Wes Avila. “When we share a meal, or even better, a kitchen with others, we can cook our way through pre-conceived culinary notions to bring something incredible to the table. Hummus is central to the cuisine of an entire region, yet it is rich enough to lend itself to creativity much like salsa and guacamole, making it a perfect food to infuse with unexpected textures and flavors.”

“There is no food quite like hummus,” said Chef Admony. “As a dip, of course it is delicious but if you stop there, you are really missing out. I am so proud to collaborate with Sabra and this special group of chefs, each of whom, like me understands the power of sharing of ourselves through food. My parents are from Iran and Yemen, I grew up in Israel, my husband is French, and my children are born in America. I know for a fact that opening palates leads to opening minds and arms. Cooking for others is both vulnerable and brave. That is what we have on the menu here at Whirled Peas and I am so thrilled to be part of it and to welcome these incredible chefs into the kitchen to cook with me.”

SousZen Digital Kitchen

Restaurant and food service operators can now take the guesswork out of running a kitchen with SousZen, the digital platform that informs decision making across the entire operation by connecting food preparation, inventory management and trends to create actionable insight. Never-before-collected kitchen data from the Back of House (BOH) will enable foresight into new ingredients and flavor trends for whole restaurant chains and individual food cart operators along a connected food platform.  

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SousZen bridges that technological deficit with a fully integrated platform that digitizes every aspect of food prep to help restaurant operators ensure quality, reduce costs and make informed business decisions. SousZen is led by  technologist and restaurateur Stephen King, and advised by chef, Mark Miller. 

“The front-of-house focus has been on counting beans, not making them!” said Stephen King, CEO of SousZen. “No one is focusing on Back of House, which is the central nervous system of the restaurant business and the heart of the dining experience. We are.”

Aside from the cuisine itself, loads of incredibly useful information flows through the kitchen. 

“But that data is largely untapped, overlooked in favor of Front-of-House systems on Point-of-Service, Ordering, Delivery, Reservations, and more,” said King. “That’s all important but BOH has been begging for innovation. By digitizing and connecting kitchens across a network, we’ll create insights that will identify new flavors and ingredients to make amazing food that’s healthier, safer, cheaper, local, consistent and better for the planet.”

“The key will be the growth of the network of restaurants and food service outlets that join,” said David Kraft, Global Head of Innovation Services at Xinova. “We’ll know what people are eating and what modifications are being made and so get access to an amazing store of data that will be anonymous but hugely valuable across regions, enabling powerful new insights that globalize and anticipate local trends. Ultimately, everyone wins. Diners will have local access to tastier options on dynamic menus that keep up with shifting food trends. Restaurants streamline their kitchen operations and reduce labor costs to improve their bottom line. The platform is a rising tide that lifts all kitchens.”

The SousZen SaaS network grants subscribing operators, customers and other chefs access to recipes and reports generated from network data, which includes demographic, psychographic and purchasing profiles. These reports also pinpoint seasonal preferences and emerging trends, giving retailers more tools to plan the growth and development of their menus and businesses. The SousZen system facilitates easier paths to business growth by reducing startup costs and staff needs, while mitigating food safety and quality risks and improving the odds of successfully introducing locally-targeted menus. Analyzing data from pilot programs in specific leading markets, retailers can determine the most likely successful choices of new menu items. The design of SousZen improves food and worker safety while minimizing food waste. According to the World Health Organization, each year over 600 million people get sick and 420,000 die from more than 200 different foodborne diseases caused by unsafe food. Digitized cooking processes in both restaurants and street carts can ensure food is consistently prepared safe-to-eat, and SousZen’s induction cooktops offer a non-hazardous and more hygienic working environment. Auto-ordering from local vendors ensures ingredients are more fresh, organic and local, while supply chain management is more efficient via hard data on what’s on the shelf, reducing wasteful over-ordering. 

Single-Serve Cream Cheese

Belle Chevre has added a convenient, 1.5-oz. single-serve package to its roster of chevre cream cheese products for foodservice operators. Two of the brand’s favorite cream cheese flavors at retail, Original and Fig, will be available in this smaller format for shipment beginning October 15.

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Belle Chevre’s 1.5-oz. portion cup will maximize convenience and eliminate waste for bakeries which provide cream cheese with their freshly-baked bagels, while hotels with breakfast bars which will be delighted to distinguish themselves by offering their patrons a hip and healthy alternative to regular cream cheese and butter.

The fresh tang of Belle Chevre’s Original cream cheese and the brand’s Fig flavor made with real fig puree, combined with the products’ ultra-creamy texture, make them perfect for spreading on bagels, toast, muffins, or even on pancakes.

“With the tremendous popularity of cream cheese for bagels and other classic breakfast items, it made sense to offer our ‘better cream cheese’ in a portion size for those vendors seeking a healthier and tastier alternative for their customers,” says Tasia Malakasis, Belle Chevre CEO and Chief Cheese.

Belle Chevre’s full line of all-natural cream cheeses for foodservice professionals also includes 4-lb. and 8-lb. tubs of its Original product. As with all Belle Chevre cream cheeses, these products have 2.5 times more protein, less fat, less cholesterol, and are easier to digest than regular cheese.

BBVA Student Chef

Javier Trejos has been named the BBVA Chef Experience student contest winner, part of the bank’s Lexus All-Star Chef Classic involvement. With the win, Philadelphia-based Trejos will jet to Girona, Spain, where he will enjoy an all-expenses-paid, once-in-a-lifetime trip and meal from one of the world’s best restaurants, El Celler de Can Roca. Trejos also attended the BBVA Spanish Masters Dinner at the Lexus All-Star Chef Classic in Los Angeles on Oct. 3. 

Trejos, a food hobbyist, won the award by submitting an original photo of a self-made paella and describing a life moment involving the dish, as per the contest’s criteria.

“BBVA’s brand promise of creating opportunities extends beyond banking, including the culinary arts,” said BBVA USA California CEO Everett Orrick. “When we sponsor a major event, we always make an effort to put forth a community component to that sponsorship. I want to congratulate Javier on his win and his beautiful ability to describe how his life has been impacted by the food that brings his family together.”

Trejos, the owner of Eagles Industrial Services, an industrial insulation, paint and scaffolding business, is an avid food lover. In his winning submission, he described how making paella with his family is an inclusive experience in which the whole family can participate.

“Paella is our favorite dish to make together,” Trejos stated. “There’s always a step that someone can be included in no matter their age.”

BBVA and AEG teamed up to develop the Chef Experience contest, a component of the bank’s Spanish Masters Dinner sponsorship, to promote a world-class event partnership that extended beyond the bank’s footprint. All contestants were judged by representatives from AEG, BBVA and the famous Roca brothers from El Celler de Can Roca. 

The Roca brothers have been BBVA brand ambassadors for the past six years, and during that time have traveled across the globe with the bank to bring clients the atmosphere and innovation that has made their restaurant a culinary gold standard. El Celler de Can Roca, usually booked months in advance, was named the world’s best restaurant in 2015, and has been in the top 3 for six of the past seven years by Restaurant magazine.

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