Where does the time go?! It’s hard to believe a month has flown by and we’re still thinking about how about great it was to be a part of the Winter Fancy Food Show, in San Francisco. The trade-only event showcased over 80,000 specialty foods and beverages and welcomed over 44,000 attendees. It was awesome to observe, learn and share Nolechek’s product with people from all over the world! This event was like none other we’ve ever attended, with over eight football fields of space devoted to specialty food and beverage producers and buyers, there was nothing left to the imagination. Anything you could dream of was available to sample and learn about and it really is an amazing testament to the endless possibilities and choices that exist for consumers.
I arrived ready to go on Saturday to find our space and set up for the show, with Laurie and Jim from Marieke Gouda. At that point the convention center was organized chaos and it took a bit of imagination to see how it was all going to come together in less than 24 hours. People were busy setting up their displays, as forklifts zoomed around delivering freight and packages to exhibitor booths.
After getting the booth organized with Laurie and Jim, I set out on my own for a few hours of sightseeing and headed down to the Fisherman’s Wharf to take in the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz in the distance and visit the world-famous Boudin sourdough and Ghirardelli complex. And yes, because the Packers were in town to play the 49ers, I even met a few Cheeseheads.
On Saturday we were ready to start the show and get to work. It was jaw-dropping to see the Moscone Center come together and how everything was so well organized; and the energy of the exhibitors and attendees was awesome. The Marieke Gouda booth was in the Wisconsin cheese area, so we were in good company. Needless to say, the combination of Marieke Gouda, Nolechek’s Meats, and New Glarus Spotted Cow and Moon Man contributed to our booth being one of the most well-rounded stops at the show! We like to think we represented Wisconsin well.
The Winter Fancy Food Show was a memorable opportunity to meet some great people, who truly have an appreciation for very small processors like Nolechek’s that craft quality product and have story behind what we do. It is humbling to hear people in the specialty food industry complement your product and congratulate you on a job well done. To share Nolechek’s story and product and represent 68 years of family and tradition meant so much and the experience will never be forgotten.
The feedback on Nolechek’s True No Nitrite bacon was amazing and we’re excited to begin supplying Marieke Gouda with the cooked bacon pieces for their Bacon Gouda. We also sampled our Hickory Smoked Brisket Strips and to say this product was well received is an understatement! This product is a cross between a snack stick and jerky, made from whole briskets rubbed with a special blend of seasonings, smoked and sliced for snacking. People couldn’t get enough of how unique it is and we have some exciting opportunities we’re working on from the show.
All good things must come to an end and after three days of sampling, sharing our story, venturing out to surrounding exhibitors, and eating so much good food, we were ready to head home. Because there truly is no place like home and I’m thankful Wisconsin is mine. The leads we generated and are working on because of the show are going to bring great things for Nolechek’s in 2020 and we are excited to share the experience with our fans! So, here’s to all 2020 has to offer and thanks for the support!