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

& Sell Direct to Retailers.

  • Elevation Artisan Meats

  • Ritrovo Selections

  • Giuliana Direct Olive Oil

  • Kozlik’s Canadian Mustard

  • Bunches and Bunches 

  • Wyoming Authentic Beef Jerky, Sticks & Bites

  • SOBAR… A State of the Art Protein Bar that also Prevents Alcohol Absorption by 50% when Drinking

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!

Elevation Pate’ are NEW and we had the Brandy version last night and it was delicious…

Giuliana Direct…
Extraordinary Ultra-Premium Olive Oils
Always Fresh and at the Right Price Points
plus FREE Freight Anywhere in the Contiguous 48

Olive Oil is a gift from the gods!  It is a total flavor enhancer to meats, seafood, cheese and especially vegetables. Try a drizzle of real olive oil on vanilla ice cream with a little Maldon Sea Salt, it will make you a believer. 

It’s also natures best transport system through our bodies for the nutrients in the other good foods we consume. E.g. it is healthier for you to sauté broccoli in Olive Oil than steaming it.  Polyphenols are water soluble and get washed down the drain in the process of steaming. In a nutshell Olive Oil is a Life Essential Food!  

In the pandemic we have seen the sales of better Olive Oils  increase dramatically along with all manner of Specialty Foods.  As strange as this last year has been it has forever changed consumer awareness and their eating habits.

Giuliana Direct makes it incredibly easy to offer a world class selection of olive oils to your clients…  For Specialty Shops and Small Chains it is the perfect source to develop a trade in better olive oils.

  • Steve Lewis is prominent importer of wine based out of Boulder, CO.  He started importing Olive Oils from some of his Tuscan Wine Makers back in the late 90’s. Eleni and I started buying olive oil from him in 2005 after meeting him at one of his wine events. 

  • A few years later he sent me an email saying he had brought in a few more producers and that I should look at the PDF he had attached.  Well lord almighty he had added 8 new makers and 20 skus that I had been reading about in the Flos Olei Guide that all scored 96-98 points.  We have been introducing clients to this book ever since.

  • Giuliana Direct makes it real easy to work with them… you can assort 12 pack cases anyway you like.  

  • They also have a lot of BARGAINS…  In terms of all round use in the kitchen De Carlo Il Classico is our go to EVOO in the house.  The 750 & 1000 ml. portions would be in the $15 – $18 range on the shelf  in a 500 ml. bottle… It even comes in a 5 Liter bag in box that is an even sweeter deal… 

  • Bonamini (year after year the worlds best light fruit EVOO in the Flos Olei Guide) along with Egregio and Virgen from Oleoestepa are lovely in the mid $20 range and are as good as many oils in the $30-$40 range. 

  • It is much the same with the finishing oils I am showing of in the image below.  All of them are delicious with nuances that distinguish them.  The Torre Di Mossa is the biggest of the bunch and singular in its intensity. At $26 it is a steal as it and the Felice Garibaldi from De Carlo taste as good as many olive oils in the $35 – $45 range.

  • The La Cultivada Hojiblanca is with out a doubt the most popular oil at the 1000 or so tasting events I have orchestrated.  It has this beautiful mouthfeel and an apple and almond finish. People taste it and fork over $30+ with out batting an eye.  

  • The pricing in the images are my suggested shelf pricing at 40% Gross Margin. 

2020 being the crazy year it has been our usual transition into the 2020 harvest is a little behind schedule.  Also it would be nice if President Elect Biden were to relieve us of the excessive duties placed on European specialty foods. 

 With any luck this will be reviewed and set back to normal with our trading partners early on in his administration.  At any rate our restock will be in full swing in January and February the catalog will give you an idea of the breadth of the offering.

The 5 Liter Bag in Box is the single greatest value in world of Olive Oils especially when it comes from a a superstar producer like De Carlo from Puglia in Southeastern Italy where the family has been producing Olive Oil since 1599. 

We run a little COOP here in what we refer to as Westworld or the Gateway to Canyon Lands in Western Colorado and it has been a popular item for 3 years now.  At $90-$100 (28-35% GM) on the shelf it is the equivalent of less than $10 per half liter.  

In addition it is coming up online as and option more frequently than ever before.  So whether you have a commercial kitchen or a retail establishment De Carlo’s 5 Liter Bag in Box is definitely something to consider. 


I would have never guessed that SOBAR would Win SOFI GOLD this year as the competition is intense in the Health and Wellness Category.

Food & Wine just released their article about SOBAR so they are continuing to get considerable good press!

SOBAR is going to be a featured at one of the worlds great festivals in 2022 (I am not allowed to tell you which one but there’s always a a lot of drinking going on!). 

Before it even hits the retail market there will be 100,000 bars going to a distributor in China. 

We’re in the business, but alcohol is a big problem in the USA and the world.  SOBAR can alleviate some of the downside risks of drinking and even add some points to our Karma.

In addition to its ability to slow down the absorption of alcohol by 50% it is the world’s best source of protein in a bar!  This should be in every liquor store, specialty market and grocery in the country.



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…



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.

The 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.

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 in our current social distancing environment, 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.



Pasta Sauces…  Their award winning Casina Rossa pasta sauces with their distinctive package and superb ingredient lists are absolutely sensational retail items.  


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!


  • 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.

First of all 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 there are 2 reasons for its success. 

The package is sensational, it’s a real eye catcher and reflective of the Great American West. 

It’s made with Grass Fed Beef from a select group of Wyoming Ranches with no preservatives so it’s right on target with current trends where people all over the country want to eat cleaner better foods!

  • No MSG, Nitrites, Nitrates or Artificial Ingredients

  • Gluten Free

  • Grass-Fed-Angus Beef exclusively from a select group of family owned Wyoming Ranches

  • Made in the company’s own USDA Facility in Cody, Wyoming