2019 Hall of Fame Recipients
Specialty Food Association will induct the following members of its 2019 Hall of Fame class, at the Summer Fancy Food Show. The Hall of Fame’s mission is “to honor individuals whose accomplishments, impact, contributions, innovations, and successes within the specialty food industry deserve praise and recognition.”
The Specialty Food Association congratulates the following inductees:
Robert and Margaret Garcia, RW Garcia Co., Inc.
Back in 1982, Robert and Margaret Garcia noticed that the chip aisle was dominated by one company offering unhealthy options. They set out to create a better-for-you tortilla chip, with no preservatives, no GMOs, and no additives. RW Garcia started small; but soon enough, RW Garcia was popular all over California.
Today, RW Garcia products are available in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. It was the first snack food company to be Non-GMO Project Verified, and it prides itself on using sustainable, natural ingredients. RW Garcia has added crackers and organic corn chips to its offerings.
Allison Hooper and Bob Reese, Vermont Creamery
A night in 1984 changed the lives of Allison Hooper and Bob Reese, co-founders of Vermont Creamery, revered for goat cheese, cultured butter, and crème fra?che. An Austrian chef, Anton Flory, planned to showcase his signature lamb stuffed with rosemary and goat cheese at an event. American goat cheese didn’t exist so Reese asked Hooper if she could make 10 pounds of it. She could.
For nearly four decades they created demand, one chef at a time. And won scores of sofi and American Cheese Society Awards. In 2018, they sold Vermont Creamery to Land O’Lakes for an undisclosed sum
Shawn McBride, Foah International LLC
A drunk baker changed Shawn McBride’s life. In 1971, she got a summer job at a resort in Colorado. Paul Prudhomme was the executive chef. He knew Shawn could bake and asked her to take over.
McBride and Prudhomme lost touch. She became an educator and Prudhomme a famous chef. Then they got back together. McBride spent 30 years working with Chef Paul, rising to CEO and president of Magic Seasoning Blends. In 2012, she joined Foah International, an importer. McBride has served on many SFA Committees, and spent 16 years on the Board, retiring as Past Chair in 2018.
Ahmed Rahim & Reem Hassani, Numi Organic Tea
Ahmed Rahim spent 10 years in Europe, learning to create tea blends. He and his sister Reem Hassani created Numi Organic Tea to bring the flavors of the East to the more traditional tea market of the U.S. The company, named after the dried lime tea the siblings drank in their homeland of Iraq, differentiates itself by focusing on fuller leaf teas, global flavors and environmentally-friendly practices. Rahim is the “alchemist” while Hassani is the marketing guru.
Numi’s mission also includes making the world a better place. The Numi Foundation tackles issues from educating children in low-income schools to providing farming communities with safe drinking water.
Stewart Reich, Hanson Faso Sales & Marketing
“We’re the explorers, the risk-takers,” says Stewart Reich, president of Hanson Faso Sales & Marketing.
Reich’s family has been in the business in America since 1945. His great uncle Max Ries and father Steve Reich owned Reese Finer Foods. In 1964, Steve bought Charlotte Charles, and ran it with his wife, Margrit. When the company went public in 1983, it was handling 3,000 food items.
Hanson Faso was born in 1965. Reich, in 1995, built the Lombard, IL. brokerage, growing from five to 20 states and more than 100 product lines. Reich also served on the SFA Board and chaired the Broker Council for eight years.
A full list of 2019?Hall of Fame Inductees
|Robert and Margaret Garcia||RW Garcia Co., Inc.|
|Allison Hooper and Bob Reese||Vermont Creamery|
|Shawn McBride||Foah International LLC|
|Ahmed Rahim & Reem Hassani||Numi Organic Tea|
|Stewart Reich||Hanson Faso Sales & Marketing|