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Thursday, September 18, 2014

43rd ANNUAL FLORIDA RESTAURANT & LODGING SHOW OFFERS NEW PRODUCTS, NEW CONCEPTS AND NEW IDEAS TO THOUSANDS OF INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS

Thousands of restaurant and foodservice industry professionals enjoyed three days of tasting new products, meeting with new vendors and attending educational programs offering new concepts at the 43rd annual Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show which was held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando September 7-9, 2014. The event was sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, a partner of the National Restaurant Association. 

"The energy and excitement on the show floor was fantastic, highlighted by a standing room only crowd to see Emeril Lagasse in our Culinary Theater," said Ron Mathews, Industry Vice President for the Foodservice Events."We thank our exhibitors, attendees, the speakers and chefs and the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in making this a hugely successful event."

Exhibitors had this to say about the recent Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show. "This is year number 16 so I've been a big part of the Florida Show and always got a huge amount of return and a great big success from the show," said Darren Dennington, Service with Style Hospitality Group. "This year in particular the traffic has been absolutely amazing! I understand that they completely sold out on booths. The educational seminars are jam packed. The buzz is here and everybody working on the show has really put a major effort into it. And you can see it, you can feel it! You can hear it! You can taste it and smell it! It's been just a great, great show."

"This was our first visit to the Florida Restaurant Show and our impression was a job well done. We had great traffic and with some of the connections we have made will be well worth our investment," said Steve Archibald, Sales Rep, Original Bills Steakstrip's/Benny's Bloody Mary Straws.



Highlights of the event, included:
Celebrity Chefs: Emeril Lagasse and Ryan Vargas of Tchoup Chop headlined the Food Trends Experience Culinary & Tasting Theater when they prepared Sesame Ahi Tuna to a standing room only crowd. Additional chefs included Peter Vossenberg of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Master Chef Francis Biondi, Keith Esbin, Bar Harbor Seafood Corporation and others.
The award for Top Trend in the Food Trends Experience was presented toCarousel Cakes - Pumpkin Pie/Cheesecake. Thousands of restaurant and foodservice professionals had the opportunity to see, taste, discover and learn about the new culinary innovations from 56 companies that inspired creative and fresh menu ideas.
The Winners of the People's Choice Awards for the Innovative New Product Gallery were announced during the Show. Thousands of attendees voted for their favorite products. The overall winner was Mr. Bey Foods - Chocolate Petit Gateau. The 1stplace runner up was Chef Innovations - Get a Grip, Chef's Grip; and the 2nd place runner up was Wikki Stix Co - with a brand new Self Stick No Glue product for kids.
The top restaurant menu trend is focused on local sourcing and The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services sponsored the new Fresh from Florida Pavilion, which offered tantalizing organic, sustainable, artisanal, gluten-free and ethnic ingredients giving restaurant and foodservice operators the opportunity to source local, Florida offerings.
Thousands of attendees received free education during more than 30+ sessions atThe Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum. Several of the sessions attracted large audiences including The Future of Fine Dining featuring Jerome Bocuse, Chefs de France and executives from The Ravenous Pig, Cress, and K Restaurant and Wine Bar and a session on Big Brand Discuss Current and Future Menu Trends with speakers from Another Broken Egg of America, Hard Rock Café, Talk of the Town Restaurant Group, and Nestle Corporate.
$35K Give Away - During the Expo more than 30 attendees were awarded a $500 or $1,000 product voucher to cash in for new products or menu staples from our 2014 Distributor Partners. The program offered $35,000 in redeemable product vouchers and were awarded to representatives from: Wally's BBQ; Bansai Burger; Roy's Restaurant & Lighthouse Restaurant; Gaylord Palms; M1Moose Lodge; Tijuana Flats Casselberry; SMA Behavioral Healthcare; Kobe Japanese Steakhouse; 1933 Pub & Grill; Collins Catering; Stonewood Tavern & Grill; Celebration Town Tavern; Sabor Aruba; Windsor of Bradenton; Stuart Corinthian Yacht Club, Po Folk, Johnson's BBQ, Mutts On 13th; Bio Brazil Churrascaria; Mel's Diner; Hideway Beach Club; JC's BBQ; Dolphin View; Snook Haven; Mo-Bay Grill; and Chesterfield Hotel to name a few.
The 2014 American Culinary Federation Culinary Arts Competition presented medals in several categories:
R.L Schreiber Apprentice/Jr Member Florida State Champion Team Skills:
Gold: Le Cordon Bleu, Miami, Florida
Silver: Universal Orlando, Orlando, Florida
Bronze: First Coast Technical College, St. Augustine, Florida; Florida Technical College, Kissimmee, Florida
Taste of Elegance Signature Pork Recipe Competition:
Gold: Raul Gonzalez, The Bear's Club
Silver: Brian Moll, The Club of Mediterra
Bronze: Karen Robinson, Citrus Park Christian School
USA Culinary Cup Competition:
Gold: Team Charlotte
Silver: Oregon Coast Culinary Institute
Bronze: Universal Orlando II
Florida Pastry Challenge:
Gold: Denise Elliott, Norman Love Confections, Ft. Meyer, Florida
Silver: Nely Santiago, Florida Technical College, Kissimmee, Florida
Bronze: Tim Blouin, Grand Harbor, Vero Beach, Florida
Florida Department of Agriculture Shrimp Signature Recipe:
Gold: Michael Priola CEC AAC, Seminole HardRock Hotel and Casino Tampa, Brandon, Florida
Silver: Tyler Field, The Mediterra Club, Naples, Florida
Bronze: Robert Christian, Isleworth Golf and Country Club, Orlando, Florida
At the close of the Show, the exhibitors of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show donated thousands of pounds of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated food to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies in six Central Florida counties



About The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

The 2015 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show will be held Tuesday, October 6 - Thursday, October 8, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The Show is produced and managed by Urban Expositions, and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. Urban Expositions produces several other foodservice events including the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York to be held Sunday, March 8 - Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York and The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held Sunday, August 23 through Tuesday, August 25, 2015 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. For more information on exhibiting or attending future events visit the official Show website at www.thefoodshows.com.



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LAFAZA Pure Ground Vanilla Powder Highly Recommended by Whom You Know

Start your morning off with this delicious addition to your favorite beverage. LAFAZA Pure Ground Vanilla gives you the true unique flavor of all-natural Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans, without any preservatives or additives. One whiff of this delicious flavor and I became a fan. The flavor is so robust that for most recipes, one tablespoon of LAFAZA’s Pure Ground Vanilla is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of Pure Vanilla Extract. Pure Ground Vanilla is different from vanilla powder. Vanilla powder often contains a base ingredient such as silicon dioxide or maltodextrin, and many vanilla powders are made using synthetic vanilla flavoring. Lafaza starts with premium aromatic LAFAZA vanilla that has been sun-cured and dried to remove nearly all of the moisture in the pod. The beans are then ground to a fine powder and sealed for freshness. Lafaza was born from the efforts of Peace Corps volunteers assisting vanilla farmers in Madagascar. Good deeds make for good foods and gustatory history.
Vanilla Powder has long been one of my meta searches in any market, health food store or greengrocer around the world. Unusual, in that it’s the essence of vanilla in a pure form, ground and dried, and so is able to be used in any recipe whatever for a delightfully different edge. So exotic, and not so unlike its extract cousin, vanilla powder is now available from the farmers in Madagascar, via LaFaza. Oh, the joy! On their website, there are suggestions for baby food recipes. Well, this baby likes it on everything, not just in recipes. Sprinkle some onto fruit in the morning for a non-sugar treat, with or without yogurt. Use it in your shakes, smoothies, and need I mention…baking! Oh, the delights. Ground Vanilla Powder binds you to the earth from which the plant is grown, in a way that elevates vanilla to the heavens of spice. 
I have never tried ground vanilla powder and was not sure what to expect. I am so glad I got to experience Lafaza Pure Ground Vanilla Powder. This is fabulous for baking, shakes, teas, rubs, really anything you can think of making. This powder is made from ground sundried vanilla beans. Packing a powerful vanilla punch you can use this powder in any recipe that calls for vanilla extract. I used it in my strawberry vanilla cupcakes and it really made a delicious difference. 

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LAFAZA pure ground vanilla powder contains only hand-selected Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans from the company’s innovative direct sourcing projects. The process starts with top-quality vanilla beans that are sun-cured and dried to remove nearly all of the moisture in the pod. The beans are then ground into a powder that provides convenience and intense flavor – a delicious, all-natural addition to food and drinks. Unlike most ground powders on the market, LAFAZA’s product begins with only excellent quality vanilla beans, the sole ingredient, and never contains any other additives or previously extracted vanilla. Using this product is a breeze – just substitute for vanilla extract in any recipe, but use half the amount (it has highly potent flavor). Try sprinkling pure ground vanilla into oatmeal, yogurt, fruit salads, hot cocoa, or put a teaspoon of it into your coffee grounds before brewing morning coffee for a pure and natural vanilla brew.

The LAFAZA Story 

It started innocently enough about 8 years ago when two company co-founders, Nathaniel Delafield and Sarah Osterhoudt, joined the Peace Corps after completing grad school and spending several years in the U.S. workforce. At the time, they were looking for a new direction. They offered up a simple proposition to the world: “World, put us where you will. We are ready to get to work!” They had no idea where they would end up or what was in store for them. A leap of faith is just that, so they leapt. 

As it turns out, almost halfway around the world a small group of vanilla and clove growers in Madagascar were making a similar leap of faith about a much more serious matter. Their rural farming communities were suffering from a lack of basic resources such as medicine, educational materials, and market access for their products. With the help of a local non-profit organization, the farmers contacted Peace Corps to request volunteer assistance. They did not know what to expect and had no idea who, if anyone, would show up. There wasn’t even phone service within 200 miles. But a leap of faith is just that, so they leapt. 

The vanilla market had recently crashed, and prices were down over 90 percent from previous years. Farmers in the region were unable to connect with international markets, and even Madagascar export markets had to be accessed through multiple intermediaries offering below-market prices. The local cultivation and curing skills were exceptional, the agroforestry systems used by farmers in the region almost unbelievably lush and complex. The vanilla beans were intoxicating in their flavor and aroma. How could local growers be receiving such low prices? There had to be a better model, but surprisingly, there wasn’t. Yet. 

fter many long conversations with farmers, a business concept was formed to create a direct-trade model based on fair trade principles that would bridge between local cooperatives in Madagascar and gourmet markets in the U.S. A small vanilla bean sample made its way to Oakland, California to LAFAZA co-founder James Delafield, who had been working for years in the specialty food industry. He entered it into a blind test by a major Bay Area chocolate maker that had formed a panel of experts to review ingredients. The sample was selected as their top choice among vanillas from around the world, and they asked how to get more. LAFAZA was born. 

Our company has grown from its original village-level roots, but we remain grounded in three founding principles: to create sustainable, direct supply chains that protect the environment; to follow fair trade practices that support farmer livelihoods; and to only offer the highest-quality natural products to our customers. We call it our “Triple-F” bottom line – to support Forests, Farmers, and of course, deliver great Flavors! LAFAZA’s team is proud of its work on both continents as a leader and innovator in this field, and we have many more delicious projects in store for the future.


Nathaniel Delafield, CEO and Co-Founder 
Nathaniel has extensive experience in nonprofit and business organizational development and management. He has been working as CEO of LAFAZA since helping to found it in 2005 while serving as a Peace Corp Environment Volunteer living with vanilla and clove growers. Nathaniel has a passion for gourmet food and food systems, and for the rural culture of Northeastern Madagascar. He spends his time in Oakland, CA, Madagascar, New Haven, CT, and rural Madagascar. He speaks the northeastern Malagasy dialect, and helped to organize a large farmers’ cooperative for rural growers in the Mananara region. Nathaniel holds two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Macro-Social Work and Urban and Regional Planning. He has a BA degree in Sociology from Wesleyan University. 


James Delafield, President and Co-Founder 
A certified food manager, James has over twelve years experience working in the gourmet food industry. After studying Resource Ecology at the University of Vermont, he relocated to the Bay Area of California – a center of food culture. Focusing on vanilla for the past eight years, James now oversees product development, warehousing, and operations for LAFAZA from Oakland. After extended trips to Madagascar for project research, purchasing, and export, James has developed a passion for the island’s rich offering of tastes and smells, as well as a keen concern for its unique flora and fauna. 

Danny Hervol, CFO and Madagascar Director 
Danny fell in love with Madagascar after first arriving in 2005 as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Community Health. After his Peace Corps service, Danny served as Project Director for a 435,000€ landscaping contract and also manages the consulting company, MAD Consulting. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound and his MBA degree from The University of Phoenix. Danny has directed LAFAZA’s Madagascar operations since 2010, and is an expert in Malagasy exporting and rural agricultural project management. Danny is fluent in Malagasy and lives in the port city of Toamasina, Madagascar where he can sometimes be found hanging upside-down with lemurs at local parks.

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PEARLS BASK IN THE LIMELIGHT AT BONHAMS FINE JEWELLERY SALE Our Coverage Sponsored by Pacicco & Pacicco

Prices for natural pearls escalate to 10 times estimates


Pacicco & Pacicco began in 1945 by Alfred M. Pacicco on Canal Street in Manhattan, the Diamond District of the era. From its inception, Pacicco & Pacicco has been a specialist in fine quality diamonds dedicated to a philosophy of honesty and integrity. In 1948 Pacicco & Pacicco relocated to the Diamond District of today at 29 West 47th Street and is owned and operated by Alfred's son, jeweler Michael Pacicco. Michael brings an unparalleled expertise having benefited from the immersion in this trade of precision from two generations prior. With an illustrious family-run history, Pacicco & Pacicco today uses cutting edge computer-generated technology combined with decades of personal experience to help you make your diamond dreams a reality. Pacicco & Pacicco utilizes incomparable craftsmanship in creating and customizing your bespoke perfect diamond engagement ring. Even before Whom You Know existed, we worked with Michael and we highly recommend celebrating the best moments of your life-you don't have to be engaged to enjoy their diamonds!- with Manhattan's premiere jeweler to be trusted with your dreams: Pacicco & Pacicco. 

Pacicco & Pacicco 

-by appointment only- 

29 West 47th Street 

Mezzanine Five 


Contact Michael Pacicco via email to make your appointment: mapacicco@verizon.net

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A wealth of bidding on Bond Street turned Bonhams Fine Jewellery sale into a marathon event, running late into the evening of 17th September. The sale made a total of £4.2million.

Natural pearls continued to bask in particularly impressive prices:

Bonhams says that prices of natural pearls are now hitting record prices because of their increasing rarity – overfishing and pollution mean the supply of new natural pearls is ever waning.

Seventy-five pearls, fastened with a diamond clasp, made up the most valuable lot in the sale - a single-strand natural saltwater pearl necklace dating from circa 1910. The necklace sold to a buyer on the telephone for £194,500.

Two more pearl necklaces shone among the top five prices. A single row pearl necklace composed of 70 pearls captured the heart of one determined telephone bidder who secured the necklace for a staggering £110,500 – more than ten times its £7,000-9,000 pre-sale estimate. A three row necklace of natural saltwater pearls quadrupled estimates to sell for £92,500.

A natural pearl and diamond ring near tripled its £15,000-20,000 estimates as it sold for £47,500. The single natural saltwater pearl on an intricately engraved band, is delicately set throughout with diamonds.

Diamonds also doubled their estimates. The second highest price in the auction was achieved by a 12.63 carat, fancy yellow diamond ring which sold for a dazzling £146,500.

Statement jewels and signed pieces achieved outstanding results. Lots exceeded estimates as buyers competed to secure the unique pieces:

A sapphire and diamond 'pelouse' - or 'lawn' - suite by Van Cleef and Arpels which sold for £146,500. The choker and bracelet are fashioned as a 'lawn' of circular-cut sapphires, interspersed with diagonal rows of diamonds. A ring and earclips complete the set in a matching sapphire and diamond bombé design.

An adorable rare coral and diamond snail brooch by Cartier Paris, dating from the 1930s, achieved £27,500 against an estimate of £4,000-6,000. The snail’s carved coral shell sits on a diamond-set body with onyx belly and eyes made of ruby.

A Cartier turquoise and diamond cocktail ring of bombé design, dating from the 1960s sold for £17,500. The ring, set with turquoise stones on one side and brilliant-cut diamonds on the other, near quadrupled its pre-sale estimates.

Bonhams sells more jewellery lots each year than any other international auction house and has more dedicated jewellery auctions worldwide.

Jean Ghika, Director of Jewellery at Bonhams, commented on the sale: “The market for natural pearls continues to escalate with good quality specimens attracting a discerning international clientele. Signed period jewels also made astonishing prices, underlining how quality statement jewels are highly sought after by ladies who require a unique look.”



Bonhams, founded in 1793, is the world’s third largest auctioneer of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com.

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JOSTENS AND THE GRAMMY FOUNDATION® ANNOUNCE ROCK YOUR SCHOOL SONG CONTEST High Schools Will Compete to Win Cash for Their School’s Music Department Our Coverage Sponsored by Maine Woolens

Maine Woolens is a weaver of blanket and throws located in Brunswick, Maine. We work primarily with natural fibers, like cottons and worsted wools and are committed to using renewable natural fibers from American growers whenever possible. We do piece dyeing and package dyeing in house and the combined experience of our excellent employees exceeds 300 years. Our wool and cotton blankets and throws are 100 percent machine washable, soft and luxurious to the touch, cozy warm and comfortably light. We have many styles to choose from. Our clients are very positive about our products and happy to support a Made in Maine, USA company. Jo Miller is a Mover and Shaker:

Visit our website at www.mainewoolens.com


We have been highly recommended by Whom You Know: 

Maine Woolens, affordable luxury and tradition. 

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Jostens, the leading producer of yearbooks and student-created content, together with the GRAMMY Foundation® have announced a school song contest to support music education in schools. The Rock Your School Song Contest invites high schools to show off their musical talents and school sprit by creating a video performing their school song. Three winning high schools will receive a $2,500 GRAMMY® Signature Schools Community Award for their school’s music department.

High schools can submit their best performance of their school song on Jostens’ Facebook page any time before December 31, 2014. All submitted videos will be open to voting by Facebook users from January 1, 2015 to February 8, 2015, the night of the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. The 20 videos with the most votes will be judged by the GRAMMY Foundation. Three schools will be selected as winners of a $2,500 GRAMMY Signature Schools Community Award by March 31, 2015. 

“A school’s song is an important tradition and a celebration of the high school experience. Jostens invites students to be creative and record their best performance of their school song,” said Chuck Mooty, president and CEO, Jostens. “By working with students on the Rock Your School Song Contest, our goal is to help the GRAMMY Foundation bring national attention to the value and impact of music education in schools.”

“The GRAMMY Foundation is delighted to partner with Jostens to create an opportunity for students using music and performance arts to share their school songs with the community,” said Scott Goldman, vice president, GRAMMY Foundation. “Through this contest students will have the opportunity to showcase their music education and school pride through their school song.”

Additional information about the Rock Your School Song Contest and official contest rules is available at www.jostens.com/GRAMMYFoundation.
About Jostens

Minneapolis-based Jostens provides products, programs and services that help its customers celebrate moments that matter. The company's products include publications, jewelry and consumer goods that serve the K-12 educational, college and professional sports segments. Jostens serves markets in North America, Europe and Asia. Jostens is a subsidiary of Visant Corporation, a marketing and publishing services enterprise servicing the school affinity, direct marketing, fragrance and cosmetics and personal care sampling and packaging, and educational and trade publishing segments.

About GRAMMY Foundation 

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1988 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. In recognition of the significant role of teachers in shaping their students' musical experiences, The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation partnered to present the Music Educator Award™. Open to current U.S. music teachers in K through college, the Music Educator Award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards ceremony during GRAMMY Week 2015. For more information about the Music Educator Award, please visit GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com. For more information about the Foundation, please visit www.grammyfoundation.org. For breaking news and exclusive content, please like "GRAMMY in the Schools®" on Facebook, follow the GRAMMY Foundation on Twitter (@GRAMMYFdn) and join us on Instagram(@GRAMMYFdn).

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Bad Day Coconut Cup by Coconut Greetings Reminds You That One More Day Brings FRIDAY!

With the week I’ve had, this cup has been just the solution. I don’t have my bar fully stocked yet, so had to make do with some vodka and mixers, but served in this unique cup, it cheered me up immediately! I am dreaming of a pina colada or mai tai in it next time, but will need to do a little more prep for that. The cups are hand-painted in Hawaii, and bring relaxing vibes even before you take your first sip. Send these to friends who are having a rough time or co-workers that have been working extra hard… and keep one for yourself, too. Everyone appreciates a little drink after a bad day, but this cup adds the bonus of taking you on a trip to the islands too!

Had a bad day? Need a drink? Coconut Greetings makes a beautifully painted "Bad Day" cup, crafted from a real coconut to ease your stress. This humorous and fun cup, has various levels to fill your cup up to, according to the roughness of your day. This would make an awesome birthday gift. The soft island colors of this pretty cup would look great displayed on your bar, or better yet, in your hand as you drink away your bad day!

Is it Friday yet? On the islands, vacations begin on thursdays, and with your little hand painted coconut cup from Coconut Greetings, you’re more than ready. These are real coconuts, hand painted with slick sayings in vibrant colors. As a product, the cup is something we all want to bring back from an island vacation as a souvenir or gift, but can’t fit in the suitcase. Solution? Have Coconut Greetings mail out that sunny souvenir to all of your friends. This one is labeled so you know just how much to pour, according to how the week has gone ( the line marked “don’t ask” is the best). Reminiscent of the caricature barware of the Mid-Century, these coconuts will cheer even the dourest worker up. 

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Bad Day Coconut Cup has a sunset design with silhouetted beach scene painted on a genuine coconut cup. 
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THE STORY OF COCONUT GREETINGS

I lived in Hawaii for eight years. One day I made small talk with the postal clerk. I asked what was the most unique item that the clerk had ever shipped? The clerk replied, "Live bees [holy cow!] and painted coconuts". I couldn't believe you could send a coconut without a box through the mail. So I sent the first batch home to my family for Christmas holiday cards. They shipped to northeast Ohio [very cold]. I painted them with palm trees decorated with holiday ornaments and the text ‘Wind Chill 85 degrees’. 

My parents were mad. My other relatives received theirs first. My mom asked her carrier, did we happen to get a coconut? He admitted they still had it up on the desk at the local post office. 

It was such a hit, that I decided to take it "global". 

Since 1996, we have been sending coconuts worldwide. We operate from Kirtland, Ohio, USA. The art staff has grown to 18 painters, so we can offer fast turnaround on large or small orders. In that time we've strived to become as environmentally conscious as we can. All of our products are green, with the exception of our paints. We searched and searched for eco-friendly paints that would work on our products, to no avail. For that reason we use acrylic based paints.

All in all, sending coconuts is a great way to be green: recycling coconuts! Flowers, gift baskets, wedding favors and traditional marketing promotions get discarded and forgotten. Who would throw away a coconut? 

Our products have been used for gifts, favors, love notes, decorations, promotional items, invitations and announcements, marriage proposal messages, and even quitting jobs! 




OUR PRODUCTS

We offer whole size coconuts, hollow coconuts, coconut cups and coconut shells. Our whole coconuts come from Molokai, an island in the Hawaiian chain. We only use Molokai coconuts, because they have the smoothest skins and last the longest. We've tried to use coconuts from Florida and other tropical areas for our whole size gifts, but they crack and the skins fray as they age.

Our other products are purchased from companies based in Florida and Colorado. The other products we offer are the hollow coconuts, polished coconut cups, and polished coconut half shells.





OUR SERVICES

Coconut Greetings hand paints coconut products for one-of-a-kind gifts, trophies, mailers and invitations. Our product line is constantly evolving because our clients dream up the designs. All products are also available blank, ready to be printed, engraved or painted. 

In addition to hand painted designs, we also can apply pre-printed labels to our products. In the past we have painted on media provided by the client [footballs, beach balls, etc.] 

We offer discounts on large production runs. The largest hand-painted order we have done to date was just over 5,000 pieces, so large orders are not a problem. Drop ship service to your recipient list is available. Clients often send additional materials to be packed in the boxes [leis, maps, sales materials, etc]. Just send us the mailing list and we take it from there.


Our most memorable order was 840 whole size coconuts sent to disc jockeys across the U.S. for our client, Country Music Television [CMT]. The coconuts, painted with a beautiful tropical sunset and one lone horse, promoted the upcoming show called Cowboy U. We added hand painted ad copy about the show supplied by CMT, address information, threw on some stamps and presto: CMT’s coolest promotion of the year.

I have to mention my second favorite use for the coconuts: Brad wanted to quit his job at a large company in NYC. He had us send a coconut to his boss, of course, without a box. The coconut had his “I QUIT” with a short paragraph on why he was quitting. This was hand painted on the natural background of the coconut. I could picture the company messenger pushing the delivery cart through all of the cubicles with our huge coconut front and center. You have to laugh!


A Few of our Clients:
Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Disney, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Country Music Television, Canes Film Festival, Gateway CDI, Pepsi, Geiger, Hilton, Jimmy Johnson, Yahoo.com, Dun and Bradstreet, Neiman Marcus, Outrigger Resorts, Hyatt, Wendy's, Edmentum, Beckman Coulter, ADN Communications, ESI International, HH Brown shoes, eSecLending, RMI Resorts, King & Prince Seafood, FedEx, Nuflow, MFX, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Takeda, Aggreko, Sobe Drinks, Life Vantage, VitaCoco, ACN, Archipelago Learning, Norix. 


ABOUT LISA

As a kid, I would take old tropical beach calendar pictures and cover my walls. I was destined to be in the tropics! I obtained a court reporting degree in Cleveland. Upon graduation I secured a job in Honolulu’s Bankruptcy Court. After being there for a short time, I had the conversation with the postal clerk. I taught myself web design [there weren’t classes for that in 1996] and subsequently started the business on the side. I also attended the University of Hawaii for a business degree. 

I have since relocated back home to northeast Ohio to be with my husband, to have children and be close to the rest of my family. I do miss Hawaii, especially during Ohio’s not-so-tropical February weather, but ultimately I am glad to be back. Painting coconuts keep me connected to the islands.

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Day 5 at London Fashion Week Our Coverage Sponsored by ECO SWIM BY AQUA GREEN


ECO SWIM BY AQUA GREEN is a sustainable-minded collection of eco bathingsuits that is committed to making a difference through fashion. ECO SWIM BY AQUA GREEN's focus is to promote ocean awareness and responsibility for our planet while providing an alternative that compliments a discerning mindset for leadership in style and fashion. 

ECO SWIM AQUA GREEN swimwear is made in America with every effort to reduce your carbon footprint in the sand™. ECO SWIM BY AQUA GREEN is about feeling good about your purchases and conscious actions today that create a better world for tomorrow. 









Watch highlights from day 4 of London Fashion Week where shows included Erdem, Christopher Kane, Burberry Prorsum, Roksanda & the 2014 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner, Peter Pilotto.

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Browse the looks from the SS15 collections shown on day 4 of London Fashion Week, and watch highlights from each catwalk show.




Today we'll be live streaming 8 of the shows hereincluding Simone Rocha & Fashion East.



Events on day 5 include the Vogue Cocktails, Harrods Shoe Heaven launch & the #LFW Digital Talk panel discussion. 


The Designer Showrooms feature collections from over 170 designers. Today the NEWGEN pop-up showroom will feature Danielle Romeril from 10-3pm, Marques'Almeida from 1-4pm & Ryan Lo from 4-6pm. 





Join the conversation #LFW and mention us @LondonFashionWk


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On Genius, by George Bernard Shaw

"Common sense is instinct. Enough of it is genius."
~George Bernard Shaw

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LAFAZA Pure Vanilla Extract Highly Recommended by Whom You Know

Are you looking for the perfect burst of vanilla flavor from your vanilla extract? Look no further, Whom You Know is in the know once again for your culinary needs with the Lafaza brand of Madagascar Vanilla products. Pure flavor arises from pure products and we are pleased to report we have found a fabulous source from far away, now available in the United States. The reason this product is the most flavorful vanilla extract is both the use of a two week, cold extraction process that uses the finest Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans. These beans are organically grown and are non-GMO, gluten free, and all natural. The Vanilla Extract is available in two strengths so you can customize your recipes.
If you’re used to what’s on the supermarket shelf in the spice department, think again. LaFaza brings us the 3 F’s: they support Forest, Farmers, and Flavor. Yes, the flavor is tantamount, and you will find this company fulfills all promises as to the flavor. But at the same time, while you’re shopping, why not help out a grass roots group who is supporting a farming community in the far away land of Madagascar? With their incredible, lush surrounds, the farmers of LaFaza are able to produce the world’s most intoxicating vanillas. Open a bottle, and you’ll immediately be struck by the parfum, the clear beauty, of the vanilla inside. In your favorite recipes, this vanilla will add a flavor that will surprise, and delight. The vanilla extract is just one of many vanilla variations that LaFaza offers, so visit their website for a most enjoyable time in the field. And, this summer, try a vanilla soda, with a splash of vanilla extract, and some agave in your favorite seltzer, for a refreshing spritzer au natural.
Quality ingredients are so important when you are creating a culinary treat. That is why I was happy to try Lafaza Pure Vanilla extract. I know what you are thinking, all vanilla extract is the same but you are wrong. Lafaza's extract is made using premium organic vanilla beans from Madagascar and using a slow cold extraction process to bring the fullest and purest vanilla flavors out. I used the extract in my chocolate banana coating and couldn't believe the difference I tasted. Fresh, sweet, and flavorful hints of vanilla came through perfectly. The great thing is Lafaza Pure Vanilla extract can be used in so many of your favorite dishes.

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LAFAZA’s pure vanilla extract is produced from a signature blend of all-natural Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans sourced directly by the company from smallholder farmers. This extract is made using a patient, cold-extraction process that highlights the rich flavors of forest-grown vanilla. LAFAZA’s house recipe contains water, alcohol, vanilla extractives, and small amounts of sugar and glycerin. The sugar is not used to sweeten the extract. Instead, a small amount of sugar provides a similar effect to aging the alcohol and mellowing its flavor. This process would otherwise take up to 2 years and is necessary to produce a high-quality flavor. The glycerin is a natural vegetable product that is added in small amounts to more completely extract the vanilla essence during the extraction process. 


The LAFAZA Story 

It started innocently enough about 8 years ago when two company co-founders, Nathaniel Delafield and Sarah Osterhoudt, joined the Peace Corps after completing grad school and spending several years in the U.S. workforce. At the time, they were looking for a new direction. They offered up a simple proposition to the world: “World, put us where you will. We are ready to get to work!” They had no idea where they would end up or what was in store for them. A leap of faith is just that, so they leapt. 

As it turns out, almost halfway around the world a small group of vanilla and clove growers in Madagascar were making a similar leap of faith about a much more serious matter. Their rural farming communities were suffering from a lack of basic resources such as medicine, educational materials, and market access for their products. With the help of a local non-profit organization, the farmers contacted Peace Corps to request volunteer assistance. They did not know what to expect and had no idea who, if anyone, would show up. There wasn’t even phone service within 200 miles. But a leap of faith is just that, so they leapt. 


The vanilla market had recently crashed, and prices were down over 90 percent from previous years. Farmers in the region were unable to connect with international markets, and even Madagascar export markets had to be accessed through multiple intermediaries offering below-market prices. The local cultivation and curing skills were exceptional, the agroforestry systems used by farmers in the region almost unbelievably lush and complex. The vanilla beans were intoxicating in their flavor and aroma. How could local growers be receiving such low prices? There had to be a better model, but surprisingly, there wasn’t. Yet. 

After many long conversations with farmers, a business concept was formed to create a direct-trade model based on fair trade principles that would bridge between local cooperatives in Madagascar and gourmet markets in the U.S. A small vanilla bean sample made its way to Oakland, California to LAFAZA co-founder James Delafield, who had been working for years in the specialty food industry. He entered it into a blind test by a major Bay Area chocolate maker that had formed a panel of experts to review ingredients. The sample was selected as their top choice among vanillas from around the world, and they asked how to get more. LAFAZA was born. 

Our company has grown from its original village-level roots, but we remain grounded in three founding principles: to create sustainable, direct supply chains that protect the environment; to follow fair trade practices that support farmer livelihoods; and to only offer the highest-quality natural products to our customers. We call it our “Triple-F” bottom line – to support Forests, Farmers, and of course, deliver great Flavors! LAFAZA’s team is proud of its work on both continents as a leader and innovator in this field, and we have many more delicious projects in store for the future.




Nathaniel Delafield, CEO and Co-Founder 
Nathaniel has extensive experience in nonprofit and business organizational development and management. He has been working as CEO of LAFAZA since helping to found it in 2005 while serving as a Peace Corp Environment Volunteer living with vanilla and clove growers. Nathaniel has a passion for gourmet food and food systems, and for the rural culture of Northeastern Madagascar. He spends his time in Oakland, CA, Madagascar, New Haven, CT, and rural Madagascar. He speaks the northeastern Malagasy dialect, and helped to organize a large farmers’ cooperative for rural growers in the Mananara region. Nathaniel holds two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Macro-Social Work and Urban and Regional Planning. He has a BA degree in Sociology from Wesleyan University. 


James Delafield, President and Co-Founder 
A certified food manager, James has over twelve years experience working in the gourmet food industry. After studying Resource Ecology at the University of Vermont, he relocated to the Bay Area of California – a center of food culture. Focusing on vanilla for the past eight years, James now oversees product development, warehousing, and operations for LAFAZA from Oakland. After extended trips to Madagascar for project research, purchasing, and export, James has developed a passion for the island’s rich offering of tastes and smells, as well as a keen concern for its unique flora and fauna. 



Danny Hervol, CFO and Madagascar Director 
Danny fell in love with Madagascar after first arriving in 2005 as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Community Health. After his Peace Corps service, Danny served as Project Director for a 435,000€ landscaping contract and also manages the consulting company, MAD Consulting. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound and his MBA degree from The University of Phoenix. Danny has directed LAFAZA’s Madagascar operations since 2010, and is an expert in Malagasy exporting and rural agricultural project management. Danny is fluent in Malagasy and lives in the port city of Toamasina, Madagascar where he can sometimes be found hanging upside-down with lemurs at local parks.

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PRINCE ROYCE TO LAUNCH LATIN GRAMMY® ACOUSTIC SESSIONS IN LOS ANGELES The Exclusive and Intimate Concert Series is Presented by 7UP®, With Official Sponsors McDonald’s®, Avianca®, and Partner Sponsor Vive Mejor® in Select Markets Our Coverage Sponsored by Solera Restaurant

If you want to experience premium Spanish cuisine in Manhattan, there is only one place to go and that is Solera. Solera Restaurant and Tapas bar has been dominating Spanish cuisine in Manhattan for the last twenty-one years. Housed in a comfortable midtown brownstone, Solera occupies two floors at 216 East 53rd Street, with a capacity for 115 people. Each dining room evokes a warm, intimate feeling and reflects the colors and images of Spain. Solera restaurant offers contemporary interpretations of regional Spanish cuisine that will delight you. The Wine Selection is exclusively Spanish, offering New York's most extensive collection of Spain's D.O.'s, as well as, a fine selection of Sherries and Gran Solera Brandies de Jerez. Do tell Rufino that Peachy sent you! He is famous for bringing the paella pan to New York, among his many accomplishments. Solera is highly recommended by Whom You Know:


Rufino Lopez is a Culinary King:

and is a Mover and Shaker:

212-644-1166




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WHO: 
American recording artist Prince Royce will launch the 2014 Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions and key members of the music industry and cultural community will be in attendance.

WHAT: 
The Latin GRAMMY Acoustic Sessions is nationally recognized as the only Latin music concert series that gives guests an up-close and personal experience with today's most talented Latin musicians. The by-invitation-only events will take place in five of the top U.S. Hispanic markets with various artists. 

WHEN: 
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
7:00 p.m. PST Media Check-In
9:30 p.m. PST Concert

WHERE: 
The Fonda Theater 
6126 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90028

INFO: 
Possibly the hottest Latin music artist in the industry today, Prince Royce is a bachata singer from New York with an urban style who broke into the Latin pop mainstream in 2010 with a bilingual version of Stand by Me. Born Geoffrey Royce Rojas in the Bronx, Royce returned in 2012 with his sophomore album, Phase II, which included the singles Las Cosas Pequeñas, Incondicional and Te Me Vas. The album reached platinum status, peaking at number 16 on the Billboard 200 with over 100,000 copies sold. In 2013, Royce released his third album, Soy el Mismo, featuring the singles Darte un Beso and Te Robaré. http://tour.princeroyce.com/

The 15th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will be broadcast live from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday, Nov. 20, from 8 – 11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m.Central) on Univision. For more information, please visit www.latingrammy.com.

The Latin Recording Academy is an international, membership-based organization comprised of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking recording artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and other creative and technical recording professionals. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Latin music and its makers. In addition to producing the Latin GRAMMY Awards to honor excellence in the recorded arts and sciences, The Latin Recording Academy provides educational and outreach programs for the Latin music community. For more information about The Latin Recording Academy, please visit LatinGRAMMY.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @LatinGRAMMYs on Twitter, like "Latin GRAMMYs" on Facebook, and join the Latin GRAMMYs' social communities on Foursquare, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, andYouTube.

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Day 4 at London Fashion Week Our Coverage Sponsored by Paul Mayer Attitudes


Paul Mayer's luxuriously, comfortable designs keep women coming back for multiple -- even dozens -- of pairs. Classic, yet contemporary and always comfortable, his shoes are an addiction that we highly recommend.   A staple of the Paul Mayer collection is the simple ballet-flat, with true ballerina construction for a perfect fit that comes in a variety of colors and materials. A cult favorite is the cozy, a flat with lavender-scent infused soles adding style and fragrance to collector's closets as Paul's designs emerge in sophisticated design incarnations season after season in the most incredible hues, textures and modern innovations in luxury footwear because we know firsthand how incredibly brilliant he is.  Mayer founded the brand in 2004 with partner, Jeff Levy. All shoes in the line are manufactured in Spain’s Valencia region, along the Mediterranean coast by a skilled staff of 12 artisans. They craft each pair of shoes with an old-world attention to detail that includes in-house embroidery, quilting and stitching as well as custom tanned leather. This allows the brand to cater to each retailer’s specific demands in with timely and consistent alacrity, with orders completed in an unheard-of 3 to 5 weeks.  When not in New York, Paul can be found traveling to his myriad of stores across the country meeting his loyal clientele or vacationing in his favorite spot, the Royal Hawaiian on Waikiki Beach.


Watch highlights from day 3 at London Fashion Week with shows including Topshop Unique, Matthew Williamson and Mary Katrantzou and interviews with Alexa Chung, Pixie Lott and Poppy Delevingne.



Browse the looks from the SS15 collections shown on day 3 of London Fashion Week, and watch highlights from each catwalk show.




Today we'll be live streaming 7 of the shows hereincluding Roksanda, Burberry Prorsum, Peter Pilotto & Tom Ford.



Events on day 4 include the Fashion Film launch, the "LFWInstaInspiration" session & the #LFW Digital Talk panel discussion. 


Today the NEWGEN pop-up showroom will feature Claire Barrow from 10-2pm & Ashley Williams from 3-7pm. Drapers will host the Accessories Open House as well as the Ready-to-Wear, Lingerie & Swimwear Open House from 5-7pm. 




Join the conversation #LFW and mention us @LondonFashionWk


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Virtual Vacation by Coconut Greetings Provides a Fun Escape!


Just in time to extend summer, here’s a Virtual Vacation to get you started! Coconut Greetings takes real Hawaiian coconuts and paints 5 simple instructions on them to take yourself on a virtual vacation. Each coconut is painted by hand, and will transport you straight to the islands! The designs are gorgeous, with palm trees and sunsets painted with vibrant colors. Whether you’ve been to the islands or not, this Virtual Vacation will get you in the right frame of mind. When you can’t take the real trip, this is the next best thing!

Who doesn't need a vacation? Well, we can't all get away from our desks, but we can all take a virtual vacation. That's right, I have a virtual vacation coconut on my desk. This adorable and funny painted coconut from Coconut Greetings allows you to forget your troubles, if only for a few minutes. Beautifully crafted and painted on a real coconut, this conversation starter is perfect for everyone's office.

A conversation starter can be defined as a witty remark, an amusing accessory, or a painted coconut arriving in the mail. In the mail! With no need for a box, Coconut Greetings can hand paint and mail a real coconut with your greeting on it via Mr. Postman. Hand-painted as a “Virtual Vacation” it lets you sit by the window, close your eyes, and escape, if only for a few minutes. The power of suggestion comes to roost on any surface you provide, and with a coconut around to remind you, there will always be sunnier days ahead. This is a brilliant gift, and believe me, getting a coconut in the mail is a hoot!

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Whole size Virtual Vacation Coconut a sunset design with silhouetted beach scene and fun text. Our whole size coconuts are from Molokai, an island in the Hawaiian chain.

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THE STORY OF COCONUT GREETINGS

I lived in Hawaii for eight years. One day I made small talk with the postal clerk. I asked what was the most unique item that the clerk had ever shipped? The clerk replied, "Live bees [holy cow!] and painted coconuts". I couldn't believe you could send a coconut without a box through the mail. So I sent the first batch home to my family for Christmas holiday cards. They shipped to northeast Ohio [very cold]. I painted them with palm trees decorated with holiday ornaments and the text ‘Wind Chill 85 degrees’. 

My parents were mad. My other relatives received theirs first. My mom asked her carrier, did we happen to get a coconut? He admitted they still had it up on the desk at the local post office. 

It was such a hit, that I decided to take it "global". 

Since 1996, we have been sending coconuts worldwide. We operate from Kirtland, Ohio, USA. The art staff has grown to 18 painters, so we can offer fast turnaround on large or small orders. In that time we've strived to become as environmentally conscious as we can. All of our products are green, with the exception of our paints. We searched and searched for eco-friendly paints that would work on our products, to no avail. For that reason we use acrylic based paints.

All in all, sending coconuts is a great way to be green: recycling coconuts! Flowers, gift baskets, wedding favors and traditional marketing promotions get discarded and forgotten. Who would throw away a coconut? 

Our products have been used for gifts, favors, love notes, decorations, promotional items, invitations and announcements, marriage proposal messages, and even quitting jobs! 




OUR PRODUCTS

We offer whole size coconuts, hollow coconuts, coconut cups and coconut shells. Our whole coconuts come from Molokai, an island in the Hawaiian chain. We only use Molokai coconuts, because they have the smoothest skins and last the longest. We've tried to use coconuts from Florida and other tropical areas for our whole size gifts, but they crack and the skins fray as they age.

Our other products are purchased from companies based in Florida and Colorado. The other products we offer are the hollow coconuts, polished coconut cups, and polished coconut half shells.





OUR SERVICES

Coconut Greetings hand paints coconut products for one-of-a-kind gifts, trophies, mailers and invitations. Our product line is constantly evolving because our clients dream up the designs. All products are also available blank, ready to be printed, engraved or painted. 

In addition to hand painted designs, we also can apply pre-printed labels to our products. In the past we have painted on media provided by the client [footballs, beach balls, etc.] 

We offer discounts on large production runs. The largest hand-painted order we have done to date was just over 5,000 pieces, so large orders are not a problem. Drop ship service to your recipient list is available. Clients often send additional materials to be packed in the boxes [leis, maps, sales materials, etc]. Just send us the mailing list and we take it from there.


Our most memorable order was 840 whole size coconuts sent to disc jockeys across the U.S. for our client, Country Music Television [CMT]. The coconuts, painted with a beautiful tropical sunset and one lone horse, promoted the upcoming show called Cowboy U. We added hand painted ad copy about the show supplied by CMT, address information, threw on some stamps and presto: CMT’s coolest promotion of the year.

I have to mention my second favorite use for the coconuts: Brad wanted to quit his job at a large company in NYC. He had us send a coconut to his boss, of course, without a box. The coconut had his “I QUIT” with a short paragraph on why he was quitting. This was hand painted on the natural background of the coconut. I could picture the company messenger pushing the delivery cart through all of the cubicles with our huge coconut front and center. You have to laugh!


A Few of our Clients:
Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Disney, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Country Music Television, Canes Film Festival, Gateway CDI, Pepsi, Geiger, Hilton, Jimmy Johnson, Yahoo.com, Dun and Bradstreet, Neiman Marcus, Outrigger Resorts, Hyatt, Wendy's, Edmentum, Beckman Coulter, ADN Communications, ESI International, HH Brown shoes, eSecLending, RMI Resorts, King & Prince Seafood, FedEx, Nuflow, MFX, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Takeda, Aggreko, Sobe Drinks, Life Vantage, VitaCoco, ACN, Archipelago Learning, Norix. 


ABOUT LISA

As a kid, I would take old tropical beach calendar pictures and cover my walls. I was destined to be in the tropics! I obtained a court reporting degree in Cleveland. Upon graduation I secured a job in Honolulu’s Bankruptcy Court. After being there for a short time, I had the conversation with the postal clerk. I taught myself web design [there weren’t classes for that in 1996] and subsequently started the business on the side. I also attended the University of Hawaii for a business degree. 

I have since relocated back home to northeast Ohio to be with my husband, to have children and be close to the rest of my family. I do miss Hawaii, especially during Ohio’s not-so-tropical February weather, but ultimately I am glad to be back. Painting coconuts keep me connected to the islands.


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