Morningstar Artisan Foods

A Curated Collection of Bean to Bar Chocolate & Other Culinary Delights from Around the World!

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These are the Importers and Makers we Broker to Distributors.

  • Elevation Artisan Meats

  • ROOT 66

  • I am Naturista

  • ZOE Water (Alkaline)

  • Italian Harvest Regional Artisan Foods from Italy

  • Ritrovo Selections Regional Artisan Foods from Italy

  • Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard

  • Bunches and Bunches Moles, Green Sauce and Ginger Snaps

  • Wyoming Authentic Beef Jerky, Sticks & Bites

  • SOBAR World First Protein Bar Designed by a MD, PhD Food Scientist 

  • Nickel Dime Craft Cocktail Syrups

So Elevation has done a good job of keeping up with demand to this point even though the brand has been growing steadily the last 2 years in chains like Spec’s Finer Foods, AJ’s, Whole Foods and even COSTCO.   As much as I love the butcher paper burrito it is a time consuming and expensive luxury.  Starting in April we are moving to the nitrogen flushed “flow pack” you see above.  For the time being we will still be cryovacing the chubs but as we get more comfortable with the new machinery that could change.

Chad’s crew did a really great job with the art work and the change in colors with each flavor along with the topographic pattern were both great ideas!

 

SOBAR is a revolutionary concept in Protein Bars. 

  • Dr. Fisher found that there were no real guidelines for judging the quality and effectiveness of protein bars even at the FDA.  It was a no-mans land of misinformation.  In fact he ended up developing the tools and data to do so himself.

  • SOBAR was designed to provide a highly effective source of protein that could also reduce peak blood alcohol concentration by preventing the absorption of 50% of the alcohol consumed in cocktails.  Now that is food for thought!

Nobody knows what a protein bar actually is…
at least until Joe came along!

Yes, you did read that correctly! The FDA has not established the specific attributes of what defines a “protein bar”.  Any “bar” with any amount of protein can be labeled as a “protein bar” as long as its protein content is specified properly in the Nutrition Facts on its wrapper.  (Definitely Click on the first link below where Joe documents all the research he has done on Protein Bars and what they contain.)

This fact, along with the current popularity of protein supplementation, has led to an abundance of “protein bars” and related products with a huge range of protein enrichment. Furthermore, some of these “protein bars” are loaded with sugar and fat and are not the most nutritionally sound snacks.

For many, “The Most Important Hour of the Day”!

I have never worked with a food scientist before but it confirms much about food & supplement biz that sometimes goes untold.  That said we have done hundreds of seminars related to good food and drink.  From that experience and the time spent hand-selling Wine, Spirits & Craft Beer, I can tell you for a fact that most consumers should eat a SOBAR prior to Cocktail Hour…  

 

Meet Joe Fisher, MD, PhD,  the Creator of THE SOBAR…

State-Of-The-Art, Natural Products and Methods.

From seed-to-home, we are USA-based business. Our hemp extract CBD products are made AND sourced from organic farms in Oregon and the renowned “Emerald Triangle” in California. Our agriculture and production methods and practices are state-of-the-art, sustainable, ethical, and eco-sensitive. This means that our hemp extract products are natural, vegan, gluten-free, pesticide-free, and contain only non-GMO organic ingredients. Perhaps most importantly, we are science-based and use third party testing and validation for our ingredients, formulations, and benefits.

We all know that water is vital to our survival, but is your drinking water helping you maintain an ideal pH balance? We believe it should be.

WHY IONIZED WATER?

Just about every important function of your body is linked to and monitored by proper hydration, but what does that really mean? Proper hydration requires getting water to each and every cell in your body. Seems simple enough, right? Well here’s the catch: the cells in our bodies are positively charged and so are the molecules in most drinking waters. This means… you guessed it, they repel one another (who said you weren’t paying attention to your 8th grade science teacher?).

This is why most water leaves you feeling bloated and making frequent trips to the bathroom. Through our unique ionization process, ZOÉ WATER is negatively charged for deep hydration at the cellular level that never leaves you feeling heavy — proof that a negative can sometimes be a big positive!

Wyoming Authentic is a hot property at retail…  Not only is it health food compared to its competitors, it is selling well head to head even though it is more expensive.  Their first chain was 7/11 in the Northeast and it is doing great… the 2nd was Publix storewide and it took off there also.  I’d say people everywhere want to eat cleaner better foods!

Condiments…

  • Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard

  • Bunches & Bunches

Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard…

This is a really great maker and on the West Coast where we have distribution it is very popular.  We really need some  grocery chains to sign on so that we can bring in few more distributors for this incredible Mustard line.

Just look at the mustard on your shelves and compare to the Kozlik’s package which has a lot of eye appeal.  The program we are offering distributors should put the w/s price at $3.49 and have Kozlik’s on the shelf at $5.99 to $6.99 at a 40-50% Gross Margin.  In Seattle and Portland they routinely sell it at $7.99 and online it is ridiculous.  You could say Kozlik’s has a cult following.

The 6 or 7 top sellers pictured below are a good place to start… for more info Click on the Image Below.

Bunches & Bunches

Tamalpais Star Roth-McCormick (goes by “Pai.”) is a professional chef, cookie maven and creator of Bunches & Bunches Ltd. based in Portland, OR.  She been real popular winning all sorts of prestigious food awards and receives a ton of press around the country.  We love finishing chicken in the sauces.  If you do well with gourmet cookies hers are the bomb. Dick Taylor, one of the country’s best chocolate makers uses her Snaps in one of their seasonal chocolate bars.  Click on the Image Below for more information and pricing.

 

So there are a couple of options here… You can take a look at the best seller list or visit the website to see the entire book on the website. The Price List Link will show you distributor pricing.  If you would like to see suggested wholesale pricing let us know and we’ll send you a price list.

 

Artisan Regional Foods from Italy

Italian Harvest… Starts with 6 of Italy’s best Artisan Pasta Makers

This book of makers is truly Small Batch and Artisan from all over Italy.    Think Real Artisan Pasta, all the ingredients to make  Authentic Sauces, Prepared Sauces and Regional Delicacies. We have been successful helping clients build a store set that sells through with remarkable consistency.

The best thing about the store set we recommend is that it is a visual thing. You don’t even need to demo it just display it properly. 

 

 

 

Artisan Pasta is all about Italian Organic Durum Wheat & Ancient Grains, a slow traditional production process, shapes and colors.  Your better customers will love the pasta.  They’ll taste the difference with Italian Harvest and they will come back to buy it time and again!

 

 

 

 

These are shockingly good and so easy…new product from Marella that is the best pasta maker in Italy.  It is an all in one pasta and sauce…. add 4 cups of hot water and a TBS of  olive oil then stir for 18-30 minutes depending on the ingredients (Heirloom Lentils take a bit longer) and also accounting for altitude (we live at 4600 ft.) and it is ready. I finish with a drizzle of bright Olive Oil and a touch of salt and some grated cheese. 

Plus there are new edition on the website….  ItalianHarvest.com Click to View

 

 

 

 

John Blount who created Italian Harvest  grew up in Italy and speaks the language like a native which sadly I did not pick up from my parents.  In his misspent youth he hitchhiked and rode his motorcycle all over Italy.  This gave him a good sense of the food culture. His intimate knowledge of the peninsula has had a positive influence on the way he selected the products for the catalog. As further proof Italian Harvest has won close to  50 SOFI Awards.

What I like most about Italian Harvest’s book is that is that it covers the basics of Pasta, Risotto and the the raw ingredients around which professional and home chefs can create really delicious authentic meals. Most of the classic recipes are really simple but they are ingredient centric.  You just cant replicate the terroir where these ingredients come from.  Plus their farming practices are better.

The makers themselves represent the Slow Food movement at it’s best never straying from tradition in order to save a few pennies. Everything in the book is the real deal.

 

 

 

It is all  about the flavor, mouth feel and texture when it comes to these artisan foods. One of the tell-tale signs that you are looking at “Real Artisan Pasta” is that in its uncooked state it has a rough texture.  You can feel it just by running a finger nail over it, even through a cellophane wrapper.  Industrial pasta by comparison feels very smooth to the touch. Once they’ve have had pasta of this quality consumers tend to adopt it. 

My older sister is a master of Italian Emigrant Cooking having picked it up from our mother who had an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject having frown up in NYC in a family that owned Italian Markets.  Anna Marie fine tuned her style with a number of classes in Italy.  Today she just loves showing off our mother’s recipes made with ingredients from Italian Harvest to her friends in Florida. 

 

 

Funny thing is you don’t have to be a total geek to tune into it.  Your better customers will figure it out the first time they try it!  I actually have had customers tell me “it tastes more like real food than pasta”.  

Ranise (below) is one of the best Olive Oil producers on the planet (96 Points in the Flos Olei Guide). The olive varietal they are famous for is Taggascia  grown in the hills above the Med in Liguria.  It makes a very pretty olive oil and they are great snacking olives.  The family are sensational farmers and all the little jars are just packed with flavor!  Basil or Ligurian Pesto is a regional specialty which means it doesn’t get any better than this.

 

 

 

Long story but we have had to deal with a certain amount of Gluten Intolerance.  So for a couple of years and intermittently there after we were forced to experiment with Gluten Free Pasta. Most of it tasted like cardboard. 

It was a happy day when we discovered La Rosa Gluten Free Pasta.  Slow extrusion through bronze dies and 2-4 days of drying at low temperatures just like our other Artisan Makers in the book but made with Organic Corn and Rice.  They are a really wonderful maker and you’d be doing your customers who require Gluten Free products a huge favor.

This is a really important sub-category in your pasta set as the number of consumers that are gluten intolerant is vast. 

 

 

So there are a couple of options here… You can take a look at the best seller list or visit the website to see the entire book. Prices on the site are at 50% GM on the site. The Price List Link will show you distributor pricing.

 

Nickel Dime’s… Advanced Cocktail Syrups are all over the current trends in Cocktail Culture!  Not only do they allow consumers to create Restaurant Quality Craft Cocktails at home with ease, for the more adventurous these syrups can be used to do riffs on all manner of stirred cocktails as well.  

This is a Very Versatile Cocktail Syrup 

Gift Sets are a wonderful way to introduce consumers to advanced syrups and mixers.  In fact it does all of the hard work for you on the shelf!  We see this strategy work with bitters sets all the time!

NickelDime Cocktail Syrups are a hot commodity online. And fit the mold of what several distributors who specialize in cocktail culture have told me are their best sellers which happen to be in the advanced mixer category. 

NickelDime syrups come with a slew of recipes for easy to make Craft Cocktails at home. 

In addition these advanced syrups can also be used in stirred cocktails to jazz up any that call for a sweet modifier and bitters.  Good examples are Old Fashioneds The Cherry Bomb works with Bourbon or Rye and Caged Heat work with Tequila, Rum or Bourbon.  Fairy Dust is a substitute for Absinthe in many ways. It can be used with any recipe calling for an absinthe wash.  I make a Gin Old Fashioned with a tsp of Fairy Dust and 2-3 dashes of Orange Bitters that’s sensational.  

The founders of Nickel Dime Cocktail Syrups.  

Jared Hirsch is a Mixologist, Bar Manager at Oakland’s Sidebar.  He has won multiple awards for his drinks, syrups and bar program, including the Four Roses National Cocktail Challenge at Tales of the Cocktail, Jameson’s Movember competition, and was a finalist in Belvedere’s National Project (Red) competition in New York.

Absinthia Vermut is an entrepreneur with a passion for making things that help others make better cocktails. Her first taste of absinthe was in 1996. She served her first bootleg bottles to friends a few months later on April Fool’s Day 1997, where she received the nickname, Absinthia. She continued making absinthe until suddenly one day, March 5, 2007 to be exact, the ban on absinthe was lifted. Never expecting absinthe to be legal in her lifetime, she knew she wanted to produce an organic absinthe. 

In 2013, she legally changed her name to Absinthia (Vermut is on her birth certificate), trademarked it, and founded Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, LLC in order to bring her organic absinthe to market. Finally able to sell her absinthe legally in September 2017, Absinthia™ Organic Absinthe Superieure began to appear in bars, restaurants, and bottle shops and won its first gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2018. Six awards and one year later, Absinthia Organic Absinthe is currently available in California, New York, and Louisiana. Absinthia is a member of the Women’s Cocktail Collective.

 

 

Ritrovo Selections…

This is our second incredible book of Regional Artisan Foods from Italy that we offer on an ACCOUNT by ACCOUNT basis around the country.  We are essentially working with them in areas where they have little or no distribution filling in holes so to speak.  

The first time we went to the Fancy Food Show in 2009 the only interesting booths in the Italian Aisles were Ritrovo and Italian Harvest everything else was tasteless.  Ritrovo does a really great job of sourcing from all over Italy but there are particular categories that really get my attention.

 

Better Vinegar is very popular.  In fact they are the most popular items in olive oil specialty shops eclipsing the sales of olive oil.

Ritrovo Selections offers selection of vinegar and ultra-premium olive oils that can give you an edge on these popular foods in both quality and price points that your clients will appreciate.  

 

 

Ritrovo Selections Balsamic Vinegar

Ron and Ilyse have been Sommeliers for a very long time so naturally they have a great palate for food and drink.  However their real talent is having the ability to collaborate with the with the makers in creating new and or improved versions of the regional foods. 

The vinegar they offer is a good example of that.  V Aceti is a sensational maker.  They own their own vineyards and the vinegar they produce is Certified Organic. This is something you don’t see very often.

There are a couple of off the wall flavors in the range and that comes from Ilyse.  The Turmeric Balsamic Vinegar is not only great with a variety of Italian and Asian dishes it makes wonderful Cocktails and Mocktails.

They also offer an Organic Balsamic and a White Balsamic Vinegar in their Sofia Bottle that are excellent quality at a killer price point on the shelf.  About $19-$20 at 40+% GM.

The Maletti 6 year Condimento made with 100% grape must is my all time favorite in the $30-$35 price range on the shelf. Not a whole lot of difference other than the price tag between this and a 12 year Tradizionale.

They also offer a range of Wine and Balsamic Vinegar from Acetorium that are great specialty shop item.  These are a bit pricey but are exquisite condiments. 

Last is a new Barolo Wine Vinegar that at $12.50 w/s and at the same quality as the Acetorium vinegar is a total bargain…

 

 

Ritrovo Offers One of the Better Selections of EVOO in the Country… Best of all there are a lot of Bargains that will work at retail in both Specialty Shops and Grocery Stores.

The big questions particularly with grocers is how to establish an upgraded olive oil set in your stores. Most importers will tell you to jump in price and quality to olive oils in the $30-$40+ range. These are usually finishing oils that are much bigger and bolder than the typical American addicted to sweet and creamy flavors are used to. 

Having hand sold and done hundreds of seminars on the subject I recommend taking smaller and more digestible steps.  The mid $20 price range and below are a better place to start. In addition with out sampling due to social distancing guidelines, moving through even a case of expensive olive oil can take time. More than once I have seen olive oils in the $35-$50 range on store shelves that are many years past their best buy dates.  These instances were in very nice stores grocery and specialty with excellent clienteles.

Today after 9 months of consumers being sequestered in their homes and spending more time on their computers than ever before due to COVID-19, we are seeing a different pulse in shopping behavior. Consumers are looking for better tasting and healthier foods to replace the meals they used to treat themselves to in restaurants. Online the media is giving them a whole new game plan and they are moving beyond the basics of how they normally fed themselves at home…

 

The prices in the images are MSRP at 40% GM+.

 

Real Ultra Premium Olive Oils at under $20 a half liter is a magic price point for the category.

 

Their award winning Casina Rossa pasta sauces with their distinctive package are an absolutely sensational retail items at a premium price point in the category.  The catalog is full of items like this.

 

Private Label by Ritrovo Selections

If you prefer promoting your own brand Ritrovo affords you the opportunity to showcase some really incredible foods to your customers.  This includes olive oils, organic wine and balsamic vinegar and the sauces you see above.

 

Ritrovo Selections Pasta

Included in the book are Organic, Gluten Free and Alternative Grain  Pastas…

 

  • Meals in a Jar, Antipasti…  What really turns me on about Artisan Foods from Italy is the fact that the makers just don’t cut corners to save time which all combines to produce goods that are rich in flavor.  Ritrovo’s catalog is full of them!

    • There has been a revolution going on the last 3 years that is changing to way people eat in this country.  Whoever thought you could walk into a Wine, Raw or Tapas bar and order a glass of wine and a $100 tin of Spanish Cockles perhaps served with charcuterie, cheese and a crusty loaf of bread?  Forget the chef lets give the cheese monger a raise!

    • An example are the Tuscan white beans in Truffle Oil which make a wonderful side dish for all sorts of grilled meats and seafood.  As an appetizer run it through the food processor and spread it on croistini or jus a crusty slice of bread..  It’s a simple and nutritious treat.

      Most of Ritrovo’s olives are packed in Olive Oil rather than brine.  it gives the olives a special quality and we will use the oil to finish meats and make dressings and marinades.  

    • Due to the stellar ingredients the tapenades, bruschetta, spreads and of course the Antipasto Della Casa only require a little crusty bread to make them happy

  • Truffle Products, Salts and Seasonings…  Ritrovo has a really great ingredient list that includes a range of truffle products including their award winning Truffle Salt.  Some are really unusual like their Pine Nuts from Tuscany, Wild Oregano from the mountains of Campania along with Wild Sicilian Fennel and Bay Leaves.

  • Much More…. There are about 300 skus in the book!


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