Member companies from the popular Something Special from Wisconsin™ (SSfW) program captured 22 of 42 possible awards at the recent Wisconsin State Fair Grand Champion Eats & Treats competition.
SSfW member companies took home five 1st place awards; four 2nds; five 3rds; and seven 4ths; along with the coveted Best of Show Award – Grand Champion Eats & Treats. That award was won by Wisconsin Hickory Syrup LLC of Princeton for their Wisconsin hickory fudge. Pleasant’s Best, a Minoqua-based company, took first place in a new category open only to SSfW members, Best Something from Wisconsin – Grand Champion Eats & Treats, for their Baled Hay sandwich relish.
This year marked the fifth year for the competition. Open to Wisconsin small professional food businesses with yearly sales under $250,000, the Wisconsin State Fair Grand Champion Eats & Treats competition is suited for small- to mid-size players in the food processing industry.
Judging took place in a dozen categories: pickles and pickled vegetables; relishes, mustard and dressing; jams and jellies; barbecue sauce and hot sauces; fruits and vegetables: pesto, pie filling, garlic, dried fruits, tomato sauces, etc.; sweets: bakery, candy, cookies, caramels, fondue; Thyme for Fun: any herb-infused dry mix (herb blends, spice blends, dip mixes, etc.; fermented products (except alcohol); snack foods: crackers, granola, nuts, etc. (except popcorn); popcorn and popcorn snacks; Best of Show – Grand Champion; Best Something from Wisconsin – Grand Champion; and Best Packaging – Grand Champion.
The 22 awards were won collectively by the following SSfW companies: Pleasant’s Best Sauces, Minocqua; Dashelitos Enterprises LLC, Madison; Out of the Kitchen, Prairie du Sac; Garden of Eden Kingdom, Wauwatosa; Croix Valley Foods, River Falls; Badger State Fruit Processing, Pittsville; Wisconsin Hickory Syrup LLC, Princeton; B&E’s Trees LLC, Viroqua; CJ’s Premium Spices, Oconomowoc; Duck Creek Vineyard, Denmark; Sweet P’s Pantry, Oconomowoc; Addicting Pretzels, Waterford; and Pop’s Kettle Corn, Waukesha.
Founded in 1983, Something Special from Wisconsin is a trademarked marketing program administered by DATCP. The easily-recognizable red, white and yellow SSfW program logo helps member companies stand out from the competition by providing a quick and reliable way to identify genuine Wisconsin products and services at grocery stores, retail outlets, farmers’ markets and restaurants. Any Wisconsin business, no matter how big or small, can apply for approval to use the SSfW logo if at least 50 percent of the value of the product or service is attributable to Wisconsin ingredients, production or processing. The program currently has nearly 500 members.
“We are extremely pleased with the success of our SSfW member companies at the Eats and Treats competition,” said Lois Federman, SSfW director. “The SSfW logo brings instant recognition and credibility, and the results of the competition are testament to the fact that SSfW companies are producing products of truly the highest quality and desirability.”