One of the most exciting and rewarding moments here at the Creamery is learning that one of our products has won a major award. This week we are jumping for joy and high-fiving each other all over the place because our Cultured Butter with Sea Salt won a sofi Award at the Fancy Food Show in New York. Wahoo!
But…what the heck is a “sofi” anyway? Why does it matter to us? And, more importantly, why should it matter to you?
Technically speaking, “sofi” stands for “specialty outstanding food innovation.” Awarded by the Specialty Food Association, a sofi is the food industry’s most coveted honor awarded across various categories such as cheese, chocolate, oil, salsa, cracker, and classic…which is where our butter took first place. This year, there were 2,715 entries from which 33 sofi winners were chosen. So, for starters, the competition is stiff.
The judging process is rigorous and involves a panel of foodies made up of supermarket buyers, chefs, journalists, and specialty food retailers. Receiving a sofi—and really even being chosen as a finalist—by this group of discriminating industry peers is such an incredible honor. We work hard day in and day out to make the absolute best goat cheese and butter on the market—we are passionate about our products and truly believe we are making something exceptional for you, our customers (and, okay, for ourselves too!). So, to receive recognition from a third party in the form of an award provides validation and cause to celebrate!
But, let’s get right down to it, why does it matter to YOU if our butter wins a sofi? Well, for starters, you can feel confident that any product that has won a sofi has been well vetted by the top professionals of the specialty food industry. Every sofi winner is judged on quality, innovation, ingredient profile, packaging, and pricing—it’s a pretty comprehensive evaluation. What’s more, a sofi award can help smaller producers boost their distribution, which means more and better specialty foods on the shelves of your local market.
So, back to those high-fives and congratulations! We are honored to have our Cultured Butter with Sea Salt among the winners this year and want to give a shout out to a few of our fellow Vermont sofi winners Big Picture Farms, who won a sofi for their Goat Milk Chai Caramels AND their Raspberry Rhubarb Caramels; Fat Toad Farm, whose entire line of goat milk caramels won this year; and Wozz! Kitchen Creations who earned a sofi for their Kiwi Lime Salsa Verde. Congrats to all! And, since we’ve heard there are some pretty awesome foods made outside of Vermont too, here’s the full list of sofi winners for 2015.