Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

July 01, 2015

State Agriculture Commissioner Announces Nine New York State Companies Receive Prestigious sofi Award at this Year's Summer Fancy Food Show

Top honors for outstanding new products recognize the very best specialty food and beverage producers across North America

New York winners are from the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City regions

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that nine New York State specialty food and beverage producers are winners of the prestigious 2015 sofi Awards at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show.  “sofi” stands for specialty outstanding food innovation and recognizes the very best specialty food and beverages across the Northeast. The winning companies, located in the Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City regions, were selected from more than 2,700 submissions across 32 award categories. Four of the nine companies participate in the Taste NY initiative and took part in the Taste NY Pavilion at the Summer Fancy Food Show.

Commissioner Ball said, “Congratulations to all of the 2015 sofi winners, but especially to our own nine New York State companies who are going home with an award. I couldn't be prouder as each company truly represents New York and everything we have to offer.  Governor Cuomo’s leadership in growing our food and beverage industry through initiatives such as Taste NY is helping to bring worldwide attention to these great, locally-made products.”

The 2015 sofi award winners from New York are:

Hudson Valley

Long Island

  • Authentic Moroccan Seasoning,  cHarissa (Cooking, Dipping or Finishing Sauces category) Cutchogue
  • Gluten Free Ginger Zinger Cake,  Tate's Bake Shop (Vegan and Gluten Free Product) category Southampton

New York City

  • Dangerously Delicious Black Licorice Chocolate Toffee,  Laurie & Sons (Chocolate Bars category) Manhattan
  • White & Vine,  Owl's Brew (Cold Beverages category) Manhattan
  • Special Sauce, Sir Kensington's (Condiment category) Manhattan
  • Speculoos Cookie Butter, Steve's Ice Cream, Craft Collective (Ice Cream category) Brooklyn
  • Kettle Pipcorn, Pipsnacks, LLC (Sweet Snack category) Manhattan 
“We were so proud to win the sofi,” said cHarissa Executive Vice President Jeri Woodhouse. “We owe so much to Commissioner Ball and his staff for being there for us right from the beginning when Executive Chef Matt Gibson from Legends/ NY Yankees first tasted cHarissa on a meatball at a Taste of NY event and said he "had to have it." With the state behind us, we hit a home run.”

Now in their 43rd year, sofi Awards are considered the top accolade in the $109-billion specialty food industry. Award submissions were open to all members of the Specialty Food Association. More than 200 retailers and foodservice buyers attending the Summer Fancy Food Show judged the products, voting on them based on quality, innovation, ingredient profile, packaging, and pricing.

The judges are top professionals in the specialty food industry and include specialty food retailers, supermarket buyers, natural food merchants, mass marketers, chefs, caterers, journalists and culinary educators.

New York State had finalists in 14 of the 32 categories, such as chocolate bars, crackers, hot beverages and more.

Summer Fancy Food Show/Taste NY Pavilion

More than 50 New York State food and beverage companies had exhibits in the Taste NY Pavilion at the Summer Fancy Food Show, while more than 250 New York State companies competed in this year’s overall show.

The Summer Fancy Food Show is the largest specialty food trade event in North America and the leading showcase of industry innovation, bringing specialty food's top manufacturers, buyers, and thought leaders together under one roof for three days of delectable discovery. The three day show featured more than 180,000 products, 25,000 buyers, and 2,500 exhibitors.

For more information about the Summer Fancy Food Show, please visit

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2015 Press Releases