Oklahoma food company wins gold award at Dallas Gourmet Market
An Oklahoma business and client of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center took home the coveted Gourmet Gold Award during The Gourmet Market in Dallas, Texas.
By Kylee Willard
FAPC Communications Services Graduate Assistant
(Stillwater, Okla. – March 4, 2011) An Oklahoma business and client of Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center took home the coveted Gourmet Gold Award during The Gourmet Market in Dallas, Texas.
Suan Grant, owner of Suan’s Foods, surpassed the competition in the Best Condiment: Jelly/Jams/Preserves category with her scotch bonnet pepper jelly in the areas of taste, originality and packaging during the January gourmet food exhibition.
“I was absolutely thrilled to be acknowledged and awarded for my product at The Gourmet Market,” Grant said. “I cannot express how honored I feel to have my product liked and endorsed in this way.”
Grant became fond of cooking with scotch bonnet pepper jelly while living in Jamaica.
“Scotch bonnet pepper jelly is used in almost every kitchen on the island and throughout the Caribbean,” Grant said. “The unique and unforgettable flavor is a must have in every pantry.”
The Oklahoma City company has produced the prized condiment since 2009.
“For many years, I have been making the jelly for family and friends, but it was not until 2009 that I decided to bottle and sell it,” Grant said.
In search of assistance with her new venture, Grant contacted her local extension office, which referred her to the FAPC Basic Training workshop for food business entrepreneurs.
“The best thing I could have done was participate in the FAPC seminar,” Grant said. “I attribute Suan’s success today to taking that course and the support of the FAPC.”
The FAPC has assisted Grant with scale-up, sensory testing, cost evaluations, shelf-life studies, product placement, and media and promotion of her product.
Suan’s Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly is retailed at more than15 locations throughout Oklahoma and sold nationally through Internet sales.
Grant featured her products in the Oklahoma Gourmet booth along with other FAPC clients The Twisted Chile of Tulsa, Okla., and Ziegelmeier Toasted Pecan Butter of Ada, Okla.
Oklahoma Gourmet, the newly formed group representing the FAPC and Made in Oklahoma program, purchased one year of booth space at the Dallas market with a generous donation by David Howard of Unitherm Food Systems Inc. and further supported by the Made in Oklahoma program.
“This opportunity to display products helps FAPC clients receive exposure from small boutiques to large retailers such as Bass Pro Shops, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus,” said Andrea Graves, FAPC business and marketing specialist and leader of implementation of the Oklahoma Gourmet project. “The FAPC is excited to assist clients in the process of creating brand recognition and increased revenue.”
On behalf of Suan’s, Grant provided samples to shoppers at the first of three gourmet food shows.
“The presence at the Dallas Gourmet Market is certainly important in the growth of my company,” Grant said. “The first show was a success and I look forward to the others in the future.”
The Gourmet Market is just one of the many categories of the Dallas Market Center. The Dallas Market Center holds 50-plus markets each year attended by more than 200,000 buyers from across the globe.
“The Gourmet Market has the reputation for being the world’s most complete wholesale marketplace,” Graves said. “It is quite an honor as a first time exhibitor to be recognized with such an award.”
As a result of her exposure at The Gourmet Market, Suan’s Foods also received national recognition as Editor’s Choice in the prestigious Fancy Food & Culinary Products magazine.
“This is just one example of a ripple effect for these start-up companies,” Graves said. “Oklahoma Gourmet is a stepping stone for Oklahoma food entrepreneurs to take that leap into becoming more than just a small business.”
For more information about Suan’s Scotch Bonnet Pepper Jelly, Oklahoma Gourmet or services offered at the FAPC, visit www.fapc.biz, call the center at 405-744-6071 or e-mail email@example.com.
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Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant system that cuts across disciplines to better prepare students for a new world. Oklahoma’s only university with a statewide presence, OSU improves the lives of people in Oklahoma, the nation, and the world through integrated, high-quality teaching, research and outreach. OSU has more than 32,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 19,000 on its Stillwater campus; with students from all 50 states and about 110 nations. Established in 1890, OSU has graduated more than 200,000 students who have made a lasting impact on Oklahoma and the world. CREATE - INNOVATE - EDUCATE - GO STATE!