Monthly Industry Insights
Hear from industry leaders about their guilty pleasures, the oddest thing in their refrigerator, their inspirations and take on new trends. Learn more about the people behind the foods and dishes you know and love - and others you SHOULD know and love. We've asked all of questions and have the answers for you here.
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March's Featured Interview: Caitlin Porter Loverin
While at the 2017 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, we spoke with Caitlin Porter Loverin, marketing coordinator of Fire Cider from Shire City Herbals out of Pittsfield, MA, about her business and why she thinks the New York Restaurant Show is important for those in foodservice.
Tell us a little about Fire Cider - how did your company come to be?
After watching his wife, Amy Huebner, struggle with her health, our founder Dana St. Pierre offered her his Fire Cider tonic, based on a home remedy his grandmother, Elisabet, a feisty German farm girl and unabashed inventor of kitchen concoctions, used to make to help keep her family hale and hearty. He took one of her recipes—a mash-up of onions, garlic, and honey that she steeped in mason jars on a sunny windowsill—and gave it a modern makeover with spicy-sweet flavors. A country doctor suggested Dana add apple cider vinegar for its health-enhancing properties, and, over the course of a decade, he refined his recipe into our original Fire Cider tonic.
Amy, who’d noticed a profound effect on her overall well-being and energy levels since using Fire Cider, suggested they make a batch for the 2010 Shire City Sanctuary Shindy, a Berkshires-based holiday artisan festival. By the end of the festival, they had sold out.
When people who had purchased from them at the fair showed up on their doorstep, asking for refills, they knew they’d hit on a winning formula. They went into business with Amy’s brother, Brian Huebner, to create a company dedicated to making customers’ lives a little healthier and more exciting, one flavorful sip at a time.
Is your product alcoholic?
No, it is not. It does mix well with alcohol, if that’s your style. We have a blog and recipe cards with our signature Fire Cider cocktails that buyers can check out, as well as recipes for many other uses of Fire Cider.
Why did you decide to come to the New York Restaurant Show this year?
This was my first time attending the NY Restaurant Show. I came with the intention of scouting out the feasibility for Fire Cider to exhibit at a future show. Fire Cider is new to the food service world, so we wanted to see how we would fit into the market.
What were you most excited about at the 2017 show?
I enjoyed checking out the food and beverage areas. The "new exhibitor" signs were prominent, and that created an excitement at the booth and lent to the feeling of a growing, successful show.
What trend or new product did you uncover while attending this year?
The cold brew coffees and the Hudson Whiskey booth were standouts for me.
What did you leave this year's show having gained?
I left with a better understanding of the food service market and what is expected of an exhibitor at the NY Restaurant Show.
What would you say to someone considering attending the New York Restaurant Show in the future?
To someone considering the show, I would say that it was a well-attended event that seemed to cover all bases in the food services market.
Find Fire Cider online at firecider.com; on Facebook @firecider; on Instagram @firecidershirecity; and on Twitter @firecider.
More about Fire Cider:
Fire Cider is a concentrated apple cider vinegar and honey tonic - a tablespoon a day is recommended. It is shelf stable and has an 18-month shelf life. All Fire Cider (Original, African Bronze Honey and Unsweetened) are USDA Certified Organic. Fire Cider contains raw, living apple cider vinegar. Interested in stocking Fire Cider in your store, cafe, bar, or restaurant? Contact the team at 413-553-0739 Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm ET.
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April Insights - Chef Manjit Manohar, The Pierre Hotel
March Insights - Chef Justine MacNeil, Del Posto
February Insights - Chef Stephen Yen, Paige Hospitality Group
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November Insights - Michelle Noble, Le Cordon Bleu
October Insights - James McGuinness, Keiser University
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May Chef Insights - Marc Murphy, Benchmarc Restaurants
April Chef Insights - Megan Johnson, Casellula
March Chef Insights - Sara Moulton, Chef, Cookbook Author, TV Personality
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January Chef Insights - Anton Testino, Mulberry Street Cafe
November Chef Insights - David Binkle, Los Angeles Unified School District
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September Chef Insights - Barbie Marshall, The Farming Chef
August Chef Insights - Cal DeMercurio, Corporate Executive Chef, Black Bear Diner
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June Chef Insights - Ryan Vargas, Chef de Cuisine at Emeril's Tchoup Chop