Carmela, a retail food service and wine distributor based in Fraser, recently held its annual culinary event at the Eastern Market where more than 200 vendors introduced the hottest trends in food.
“We service food markets, restaurants and wine shops and cover the entire state of Michigan as well as northern Ohio,” says Carmie Vicari Gray, a purchasing agent at the company. “And we currently have 1,000 customers.”
Gray says she travels to both Manhattan and San Francisco every year to attend the USA’s two most prestigious “fancy food shows” in order to find new items to bring to the Detroit area. “And we are also always looking for local vendors who have new products to market as well,” she says.
Some of the locally made products showcased at this year’s event include:
Marcia’s Pickled Munchies
Birmingham resident Marcia Nodel says she started out making pickles for both friends and family around 30 years ago.
“But three years ago, once my kids were grown, I wanted to start a new life and decided to go into the pickle business. We now have five different all-natural, hand-packed pickled products (Wild Dills, Little Hotties, Sweet ‘N Sassy, Cherry Pops and ‘Sparagus).”
All five types are made locally. Just this year both the Cherry Pops and the Little Hotties were presented with Good Food Awards in San Francisco (These awards recognize craft food makers whose products not only taste good but also promote social good.) And Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor currently utilizes the Little Hotties in their #216 sandwich that consists of challah bread, fried chicken and pimento sauce. Available at Busch’s, Papa Joe’s Gourmet Markets and Whole Foods, Marcia’s Munchies range in price from $6.99 to $9.99 per jar. Go to marciasmunchiesusa.com.
Wolf Moon Cocktail Mixers
Because both craft cocktails and fresh juices are trending right now, Detroit residents Dorota Coy and her husband, Steve, along with friend Joe McClure (the founder and owner of McClures Pickles) decided to produce delicious fresh juice cocktail mixers that are all natural and have no preservatives. Made from fruits, vegetables, cane sugar and flowers and available in Pineapple Jalapeno, Citrus and Hibiscus flavors, Wolf Moon’s juices mix well with a variety of spirits to create unique craft cocktails. Available at the Germack Coffee Shop and Store, Parker Street Market and Hugh, all located in Detroit, a 32-ounce bottle ranges in price from $11.99 to $12.99. Go to wolfmoonmixers.com.
Charley’s Rebel Potato Chips
Charley Reardon began making tortilla chips in Wyoming, Michigan, in 2012. And just three months ago, he added all-natural potato chips to his repertoire. “Most potato chips are seasoned at the very end. Not ours. We season them first so the flavor comes from the inside out. It’s a unique process,” he says. “And we only use fresh ingredients that come from a local producer.” Two-ounce bags of chips range in price from $3.29 to S3.99 and will be available after May 9 at Westborn Markets and Brighton Market in Brighton. Go to charleyschips.com.
Another interesting new product (not made in Michigan) is:
The Cookie Dough Cafe Gourmet Edible Cookie Dough
Joan Pacetti and Julia Clark, sisters and co-owners of the Cookie Dough Cafe Co. located in Normal, Illinois, fondly remember how much they loved eating cookie dough when they were young. But eventually that was forbidden because consuming raw eggs became verboten. So three years ago, the siblings figured out how to make a truly delicious edible cookie dough that contains no eggs and “tastes just like it came from the bowl. It kind of reminds you of your childhood,” Joan says. Their product was featured on a “Shark Tank” TV show in January of 2014 and is currently available locally at Westborn, Nino Salvaggio and Randazzo Fresh Markets. Available in four different flavors, a 16-ounce container ranges in price from $9.89 to $10.29.