Monday, December 13, 2010

My gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauce Marinade spotted at a tailgate

I've heard from many of you about the great meals you're cooking with my gourmet products and the special, fun, get-togethers with friends and family around those meals. I am going to start blogging about those experiences and recipes and I encourage you all to share those recipes and experiences as well by posting a comment to any of my blog posts.

Today, I'd like to share a story relayed by Cathy from Highland NY. Cathy and her husband Bob were tailgating with family and friends at the October 17th Giants vs. Lions game at Giant's Stadium. It was chilly but "good weather for tossing the ball around and eating grilled shrimp", Cathy said. They made Caribbean Shrimp Skewers using my gourmet Mild Caribbean Jerk Sauce Marinade which "...was delicious! Not so spicy but it had a nice mild flavor." To make the Caribbean Shrimp Skewers, marinate the shrimp in my Mild Caribbean Jerk Sauce Marinade for about half hour, skewer then grill. Cooks in just a few minutes.

It's rewarding to know that you're enjoying my gourmet products and that my Caribbean Jerk Sauce was out there tantalizing taste buds and satisfying tummies on that chilly October day. Thanks Cathy and Bob for buying my gourmet products, sharing it with family and friends and especially for letting me know how you're enjoying my gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauce Marinade. I love hearing these stories!

Keep the stories coming!


Sampling event today!

I'll be at Cheese Louise on Rt. 28 today from 4:30 till 6 PM serving free samples of all my gourmet products. I invite you to stop by, pick up a sample and check out all the great offerings at Cheese Louise.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

My gourmet company showcased locally

I've been writing about the importance of local businesses helping local businesses. I'm excited to tell you today about another local business doing their part to promote local businesses.

The Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union bank on Rt 9W in Kingston (across from Adam's) showcases one of their business customers every month of the year. The bank provides a free display table and prominent signage announcing that particular business as the member of the month and selected businesses are invited to set up their exhibit display any way they choose with signage and products. This is a wonderful opportunity for businesses to introduce their products and services to possible customers for a sustained amount of time.

Here's the really cool part...Baron's International Kitchen was selected as the business member of the month for December! Visit the bank and you'll see my exhibit table. It displays jars of my gourmet products in several of the different available sizes and I've also included a holiday display so you can view different gift options that are available. You'll also find menus and business cards for some of my local partners (businesses where my gourmet products are available for purchase) and I hope you'll check out their offers and catering services and keep them in mind if you're looking to create a holiday party this season that people will still be talking about next year :-) Free samples of my gourmet products are provided on Fridays and Saturdays so do stop by and pick up a sample if you've been curious to try my gourmet products before you buy.

A very big thank you to to the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union for the opportunity to showcase my company and gourmet products and for doing their part to help support our local economy. At the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union, you'll find the friendliest people and financial products and services designed to meet personal and business needs. I highly recommend calling on Patrick and his team at the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union. You won't be disappointed.

Keep it local!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Find delicious gourmet foods locally!

So, I just have to tell you about a delicious dish that I tried last night at Cheese Louise. Timo was working the kitchen and he prepared a traditional South American dish called Ayote Con Dulce which is slow cooked, sweetened squash in cane sugar and cinnamon. Rick was kind enough to offer me a sample when I stopped in last night to pick up gift certificates for family members and mmmmmm, it was so good!

Growing up in the Caribbean, I became accustomed to cooking with cane sugar but Ayote Con Dulce was different from any baked cinnamon squash dish I've ever had. It had just a hint of the scent of cinnamon and the carmelized cane sugar added not only a nice color but also a sweetened flavor that infused the squash.

I've heard from several of you that though you travel the Rt 28 corridor on a regular basis, you aren't aware of Cheese Louise. Well, you've just got to stop by and check this place out! Cheese Louise is a recently launched culinary gem offering delicious prepared foods, tempting gourmet shelf goods and of course a wide variety of specialty cheeses that are sure to delight every foodie. The hummus is made fresh using only the highest quality ingredients. Be sure to ask for a sample of anything that tempts your taste buds.

Rick and Sam are currently featuring my Mild Caribbean Jerk Sauce marinade and Portuguese Repolho Relish as a special this month so give the Mild Jerk Slow Roasted Beef on Ciabatta roll with Portuguese Relish on the side a try. It's delicious, filling and a refreshing alternative to the ordinary usual lunch options.

Cheese Louise is located at 940 Route 28 next to Bistro to Go. Give a call at 845 853 8207 for directions and hours.

Eat local, buy local this holiday season!


Friday, November 19, 2010

My gourmet products are now available at Adam's Fairacre Farms

So, this was the BIG announcement that I alluded to a few posts back! I'm just thrilled to announce that my gourmet products are now on the shelves at Adam's Fairacre Farms in Poughkeepsie, Newburgh and Kingston, NY.

Getting my gourmet products on the shelves at Adams is another of those dreams come true for me. Adams is one of my most favorite stores. I'm an avid gardener and every Spring I'm in there buying plants and garden supplies. While I'm there, I often purchase a freshly baked bread from the bakery and Kaseri or goat cheese from the cheese counter. I've often said to myself, "...gosh, it'd be great to have my gourmet products featured on the shelves at Adams..." as I daydreamed about "one day". Well, my daydream has become a reality and "one day" is now!

All of my gourmet products are now available at the 3 Adams locations right here in the Hudson Valley- Kingston, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie. Sandra the Prepared Foods Manager in the Newburgh store is featuring my gourmet Portuguese Repolho Relish in the salad bar. If you've been interested in trying my gourmet Portuguese Repolho Relish before you buy, stop by the Adams in Newburgh, NY and add it to your salad selection.

In addition to the retail sizes which you'll find on the shelves at the Newburgh location, Pete the Grocery Manager is also featuring restaurant/industrial sizes of my gourmet Caribbean Hot Sauce and gourmet Portuguese Repolho Relish on the shelves for purchase. Pete receives regular requests from local restaurants and delis for high quality gourmet food products in larger sizes and he wanted to find out how these businesses would respond to the availability of the industrial/restaurant sizes of my gourmet products. I too am curious to see how his "experiment" turns out because as I've mentioned, I am very much interested in partnerships with local restaurant owners and an increased presence on the menus of local restaurants. I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

My gourmet products are being featured in more of the places where you shop and dine and I so very much appreciate your continued support in trying and buying my gourmet products. I hope you will continue to patronize my valued local partners, including Adam's Fairacre Farms and as always I encourage you to post comments anytime about the delicious international meals you're making with my gourmet products and sharing with friends and family.

I'm now at 15 stores and counting...there's 10 more stores to go to reach my next company milestone of 25 stores. Why not come along for the ride by clicking the link to follow my blog. It's certainly been an exciting ride so far and I'm sure there'll be more of the same to come.

Stay tuned,


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My gourmet products on the menu at Cheese Louise

I just have to tell you about a delicious lunch I just ate...

Sam at Cheese Louise in West Hurley, NY has prepared a uniquely delicious special using two of my gourmet products. I was curious to give it a try so I swung by a little while ago and picked up the special for lunch. I got it to go.

The special is called Mild Slow Roasted Pulled Beef on Ciabatta Roll with Portuguese Repolho Relish. The Portuguese Repolho Relish is served as a side. The pulled beef is first marinated in my gourmet Caribbean Mild Jerk Sauce Marinade and then slow cooked so it's melt in your mouth tender. The heat level is perfectly mild. The Ciabatta roll was first brushed with the sauce remnants from the slow cooked beef, drizzled with in-store made garlic olive oil then warmed in the oven for a few minutes. The Mild Slow Roasted Pulled Beef was warmed in a skillet then added to the Ciabatta Roll. It smelled absolutely delicious and I couldn't wait to get back to my home office and indulge.

After I arrived, I had to be a bit patient while I unwrapped the sandwich because I wanted to set it up and take a photo to share (the photo's attached below). The sandwich was still steaming warm when I got back to my home office and that made the waiting to get the right shot pure torture while the enticing smells filled the room. It was well worth the wait! The beef was melt in the mouth tender and flavorful with a mild heat intensity. Of course, my Caribbean Hot Sauce can take care of upping the intensity of the heat if you're so inclined, just ask Rick.

The sweet and tangy flavor of the Portuguese Repolho Relish added an extra dimension for the taste buds- there was the island flavor of my gourmet Caribbean Mild Jerk Sauce Marinade in the beef and the sweet and tangy flavor from my gourmet Portuguese Repolho was truly delicious. Sam, you've outdone yourself this time! :)

Rick made a side salad with craisins and feta (I LOVE craisins) which was also very good- the feta paired very well with the sweetly tart craisins. I really liked the salad dressing which was not your typical dressing- it had a great flavor that complimented the feta and craisins well. I forgot to ask Rick what it was though. I topped off lunch with a slice of cheesecake (my one weakness, I just can't resist cheesecake). Ahhh, lunch today was a real treat.

If you're local, are looking for something out of the ordinary for lunch and have been interested in giving my gourmet Caribbean Mild Jerk Sauce Marinade and gourmet Portuguese Repolho Relish a try, this is the perfect opportunity. Stop by Cheese Louise on Rt 28 in West Hurley, NY or call (845 853 8207) and order the Mild Slow Roasted Pulled Beef on Ciabatta Roll with Portuguese Repolho Relish special and don't forget the salad and desert. You'll get a delicious, satisfying meal that's well worth the price.

I invite you to post a comment and share your experience with the delicious Mild Slow Roasted Pulled Beef on Ciabatta Roll with Portuguese Repolho Relish special. Here's to tasty energy that helps inspire and get us through the day. Thanks Rick and Sam!


Mild Slow Roasted Pulled Beef on Ciabatta Roll with Portuguese Repolho Relish

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pick up a delicious dinner to go at Davenport's Farm Market

I've been meaning to tell you about a delicious dinner to go that I purchased from Davenport's Farm Market in Stone Ridge, NY recently.

Well, it was a super busy day. You know the type- you're running around all day and when you finally get a breather, it's just about dinner time and that's when you remember that you haven't any idea about what to do for dinner. Well, I headed over to Davenport Farm Market.

Noel, the chef had prepared a meatloaf, potato wedges and roasted veggies among other things and it was absolutely d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s. The meatloaf was flavorful and moist, the white and sweet potato wedges made a tasty mix and the roasted mixed veggies were sweet and firm. In fact, I couldn't stop eating the potato wedges...they were goooood.

So, I don't worry anymore when I need a dinner solution in a flash. I head over to Davenports Farm Market. They've always got me covered. If you haven't already, I highly recommend giving their dinners to go a try. The meals are made fresh daily using only the finest ingredients. If you've been thinking of giving my gourmet products a try, you can also purchase the Jerk Chicken dinner which is made using my gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauce Marinade.

I invite you to post a reply to this post and share your own experience with Davenport Farm Market's dinner to go and I appreciate your patronage of Davenport Farm Market. It's a local business with friendly people and a valued Baron's International Kitchen partner.

Here's to eating wholesome dinners when you have no time to cook it yourself. Thanks, Bruce and Noel!


Monday, November 8, 2010

My gourmet products are now available in Westchester County, NY

Baron's International Kitchen's first outlet in Westchester, NY

I'm super excited to announce that my gourmet products are now on the shelf at the Tarrytown Gourmet Food Market in Tarrytown, NY. Baron's International Kitchen has achieved another milestone with the addition of this outlet, the first in Westchester County, NY.

The Tarrytown Gourmet Food Market is an elegant, upscale foodie haven on the scale of a specialty food supermarket. I snapped a few additional photos to share and added those below. There are the typical departments you would expect from any supermarket- fresh fish, meat, produce, bakery, floral, cheese, deli but all the items are thoughtfully presented and carefully displayed in tastefully appealing fashion. The layout is uncluttered but the shelves are stocked with tons of tempting goodies. A wide variety of food options are available at the Tarrytown Gourmet Food Market including Organic, Halal, Low calorie, Vegetarian, Natural, Sugar-free, Vegan and Kosher. There are also hot and cold prepared food stations. Indoor and outdoor seating is available.

The Tarrytown Gourmet Food Market is open Mon - Sat from 7am to 8pm and on Sunday from 8am - 7pm. Call Shawn at the Tarrytown Gourmet Food Market to order your organic turkey for Thanksgiving. Supplies are limited so be sure to place your order soon.

If you're south of West Hurley, NY and Ulster County and have been seeking a store that sells my gourmet products, stop by the Tarrytown Gourmet Food Market in Tarrytown, NY on the scenic Hudson River. While you're there, check out their variety of international products including French jam, Belgian chocolate and fair trade coffee. It's a long drive from Baron's International Kitchen's company headquarters here in West Hurley, NY but the beautiful view of the fall foliage all along the NYS Thruway made it an enjoyable excursion. When I get a co-packer lined up to begin production of my gourmet products, they'll begin handling delivery so my visits to Tarrytown may become less frequent. There are ongoing developments on that front but I'll share those soon.

Here's to the thrill of achieving milestones!


Stay tuned...more exciting news coming soon.

here's the hot & cold food station
this is the deli counter
a view of the produce dept as you look towards the rear of the store
this is the checkout area

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauce on the menu this weekend at Boitson's

I have very exciting gourmet Mild Caribbean Jerk Sauce is being featured this weekend in the dinner special at Boitson's restaurant in downtown Kingston!

Fred the chef has prepared "Baron's Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa and Red Basmati Rice" featuring my gourmet Mild Caribbean Jerk Sauce. My Caribbean Hot Sauce is also available if you'd like to spice things up a bit. Be sure to ask your server for it if you'd like to try it. This delectable dinner special is available through this weekend (from tonight Thursday 11/4 thru Sunday 11/7). It's sure to tempt and tantalize your taste buds with the authentic scents and spices of the Caribbean. I know you're gonna absolutely love it! If you're local and you've been interested in trying my gourmet Mild Caribbean Jerk Sauce, here's is the perfect opportunity. Be sure to tell us about your dining experience at Boitson's if you do stop by - post a reply to this post.

Boitson's is a relatively new eatery in uptown Kingston, NY on North Front Street. As Lynn Hazelwood from the Accidental Foodie wrote in her July 2010 review, "'s hip, comfortable and a deal! The menu is a mix of American Bistro (like steak frites and mussels), American Classics (including southern specialties like fried chicken and collards) and fancier fare like roasted beet risotto and pork loin stuffed with peaches and goat cheese. Prices are pleasingly recession-proof..." Read Lynn's entire review and you'll be drooling with anticipation. Couldn't have put it better, Lynn. Boitson's is open Thursday thru Monday from 5PM - 10 PM, Friday and Saturday from 5PM - 11PM. Call 845 339 2333 for directions or more information.

I'm so very thankful to Maria Phillips, Boiton's owner and the amazing energy behind this hot spot for giving me the opportunity to showcase my gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauce at her restaurant. I'm very excited about the gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauce being featured so prominently in such a delicious dinner presentation in this happenin' spot. I hope you'll visit Boitson's this weekend and order the Baron's Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsa and Red Basmati Rice dinner special.

I'm also excited about the new relationship between Maria and I - local, female, gourmet food business owners collaborating for mutual fun and gain. A special thanks also to Sean Nutley, part owner of the Blue Cashew Kitchen Pharmacy in Rhinebeck, NY for putting Maria and I in touch with each other. Local businesses supporting local businesses...that's what it's all about. I very much appreciate your patronage of the Blue Cashew Kitchen Pharmacy and Boiston's - a local business with warm, friendly, outgoing people and both valued Baron's International Kitchen partners.

Here's to sharing scrumptious savory food in new, hip surroundings with old friends!


Shop local to quickly get ready for the holidays

The holidays are almost upon us and as we start thinking about what to make and where to shop, I wanted to remind everyone out there in my community about some of the ways our local businesses can help us get ready for the holidays this year.

Kevin at Woodstock Meats is now taking orders for organic turkeys for Thanksgiving. Be sure to get your order in early as turkeys are limited. Kevin also has a wide assortment of specialty cheeses including organic Adirondack Cheddar, Hudson Red- a soft and creamy variety, the 5 star award winner Berkshire Blue and an organic Alpine which is similar to a grated Romano. In addition, you can also purchase Mozzarella, Feta and all your usual favorites.

Keep in mind that you can also find a wide variety of organic meats, fish and deli meats at Woodstock Meats. Kevin and the friendly staff at Woodstock Meats will help you find what you need and their prompt service will get you out quickly so you can get on with the rest of your day. Why drive all over town to find what you need this holiday season? Instead, shop locally, save time and help grow our local economy while you're at it. Now that's multi-tasking :)

I appreciate your patronage of Woodstock Meats - a local business with friendly people and a valued Baron's International Kitchen partner.

Here's to shopping smarter!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My gourmet products up for bid at auction

I have donated a gourmet gift basket containing several of my scrumptious international goodies to an online auction in support of a local business.

The online auction is a fundraiser of the High Meadow School which is located in Stone Ridge, NY. The online auction will begin on November 1st and end November 14th at 8PM EST. The online auction will feature many goods, services and unique experiences donated by local individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses.

If you've been planning to gift my gourmet products this holiday season, why not visit High Meadow School's online auction and submit a bid on my Caribbean Delectables Gourmet Gift Basket. It can be found in the "food and gourmet items" section. Be sure to browse the other categories too. You might just find the perfect holiday gift for your special someone this season- perhaps a unique experience that they'll treasure and remember long after the holidays have passed.

I'm happy to be supporting this local business for a 2nd year. I hope you'll join me in offering your support to the High Meadow School by submitting an online bid for one of the many unique items in their auction fundraiser. It's simple and you can do it from the comfort of your home, anytime- day or night.
Let the bidding begin!


Monday, October 18, 2010

My gourmet products are now available at Cheese Louise

My gourmet products are now available at Cheese Louise located on Rt 28 in Hurley, NY.

This new, gourmet hot spot located between the Wine Hutch and Gourmet Bistro on Rt 28 in Hurley, NY is a culinary retreat offering a variety of tantalizing specialty goodies. At Cheese Louise, you'll find -- cheese, of course! Over 75 different varieties of fine cheeses in fact- from the ever popular Organic Sharp Gouda to the hard-to-find Cahill's Irish Porter. Feel free to sample anything that tempts your taste buds.

Cheese Louise also serves a wide variety of high end, all natural comfort foods and soup all made fresh daily. Their ready to go meals are prepared using only the finest and freshest ingredients and I know you won't be able to resist the culinary creations by Sam- Owner Rick's right hand woman. There's indoor seating so you can stay a while and enjoy your meal in a beautiful and comfortable space then top it off with a serving of Jane's Ice Cream- a popular, locally produced favorite. It's a tasty way to wrap up any meal. I highly recommend getting on Cheese Louise's lunch menu fax list so you can find out what delectable dishes Sam has prepared each day.

...and in addition, you'll also find a variety of dry goods and peasant pantry items at Cheese Louise that showcase the very best from local gourmet and specialty foods companies.

Visit the new Cheese Louise located on Rt. 28 in Hurley, NY 11:30 - 7 PM, Mon - Thurs & Sat, Friday till 9 PM and while you're there, remember to try a sample! Rick and Sam will take great care of you with a warm and inviting welcome that will make you feel like an old friend, right at home.

Here's to new experiences!


PS- I'm looking forward to reaching the milestone of adding the 25th store! Why not come along for the ride by clicking the link to follow my blog.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Celebrate Fall at Gil's Farm Market

Get out there and celebrate Fall in true New England style at Gil's Farm Market located on Rt. 209 in Hurley, NY.

In addition to a variety of beautiful plants you can buy farm fresh produce that was grown right on Gil's farm. While you're there, pick up a Halloween pumpkin- there's a whole field to choose from whether you're looking for large or small sizes. There's also a pumpkin cannon if you decide to shoot that pumpkin rather than take it home.

Fall Fest weekends at Gil's Farm Market are from 11 AM - 4 PM. Gil's Farm Market is open from 9 AM - 6 PM daily. I appreciate your patronage of Gil's Farm Market- a local business with wonderful people and a valued Baron's International Kitchen partner.

Here's to local businesses helping local businesses!

Friday, October 15, 2010

How the production test runs at Nelson's Farms went

So, a couple of weeks ago I did production test runs at Nelson's Farms in Cazenovia, NY. The process worked well- I made a very small amount (maybe the volume equivalent of 2 - 4 cups of each of the products) in Nelson's Farms test kitchen. From that, Amanda and Sue were able to quote me a price to perform production of my gourmet sauces and condiments.

I'm going to take a look at their ingredient price list- I may be able to get some of the more expensive ingredients cheaper at a different source and then I'll know where I'm at. A colleague, Johnny McLaughlin who owns Heartbreaking Dawns recommended a source for one of my most expensive ingredients so I'm gonna give them a call and check out their pricing. Thanks, Johnny!!

I suspect that Baron's International Kitchen is at an in-between stage of growth right now such that though I can't afford the time to continue to make all my gourmet products myself, by myself, Baron's International Kitchen is just not quite ready for a co-packer. I'm going to resume my journey towards the 25th store and get back out meeting and talking with other business owners. I have really been enjoying that part of my job.

So, I guess the outcome is that I don't really know what the outcome is yet. I'll keep you posted...

I met Johnny McLaughlin of Heartbreaking Dawns at the Rosendale Street Fair in Rosendale NY this past summer- nice guy. Heartbreaking Dawns sells a variety of gourmet spicy products including hot sauce. I'm glad to have met both Johnny McLaughlin of Heartbreaking Dawns and Marty Fabian of Beechwood House Sauces there actually- these guys both rock! They've demonstrated a real collaborative spirit- letting me pick their brains, offering advice, sharing lessons learned. Their knowledge and real world experiences while building and growing their businesses have been invaluable to helping me grow Baron's International Kitchen. Thanks, guys!

Here's to local businesses helping local businesses!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Gourmet Products Restocked at Local Stores

Many local stores were out of stock but have purchased more of my gourmet products. This means you can continue to enjoy the convenience of purchasing my gourmet products at your favorite local retailers such as Fleisher's Meats, Emmanuel's Marketplace, The Blue Cashew Kitchen Pharmacy, The Emerson Country Store, Gill's Farm Market and Davenport Farms.

Keep in mind that dinners to go are also available at Davenport Farms- Noel prepares the delicious menu Monday through Friday and meals are ready by 4PM. You've just got to try the Jerk Chicken dinner which is made with the mild variety of my gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauce Marinade. YUM! I hope you'll patronize Davenport Farms for dinner-to-go next time you need to prepare a wholesome meal but have no time to make it yourself. You won't be disappointed. Tell Noel that Terry sent you.

Would you like your favorite retailer to start carrying my gourmet products? Ask them to contact me so you can conveniently purchase my gourmet products close to home. If you send me a note via the website contact form, I'll be sure to follow-up. Thanks in advance for your support.

Make An Authentic International Meal Tonight!


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Production test runs at Nelson Farms Co-Packers

So, I was up in Cazenovia, NY yesterday at Nelson Farms- a co-packing facility where I had production test runs scheduled. It was a very long day. I headed out at 6:30AM and got back at 6 PM and cooked all day.

The day went well, the test runs went fine and there were no problems. I was nervous that Nelson Farms would have difficulty processing my gourmet Caribbean Jerk Sauces (the hot and mild marinades) because of the fresh thyme but they have a machine that can easily process that so hand chopping the thyme which is labor intensive is unnecessary- whew!

The Caribbean Hot Sauce is also straightforward and would not present any production challenges. The Portuguese Repolho Relish may present some challenges but not in terms of processing the ingredients actually. It turns out that cabbage is available pre-processed so that would not need to be hand chopped which would save a lot of time and the rest of the ingredients are pretty straightforward. Nah, it turns out that bottling this gourmet product may be a bit of a challenge because of the shape of the jar. If you're considering bottling a product, it is worth spending some time thinking about the size & shape of the jar. I recommend talking with a co-packer for input before settling on any particular shape or size. This will help eliminate any problem issues in the future.

Amanda, the Production Development Manager's experience really shone through. She made me feel very comfortable and was great about recommending ways to save time on the processing of certain ingredients which made me feel comfortable about Nelson Farms' expertise and knowledge. Now comes the hard part...waiting to receive the cost per jar quote from Sue Evans, the Associate Director at Nelson Farms. I expect to receive that sometime next week then I'll know if I can move on to the next level of growing Baron's International Kitchen or if I'm back to the drawing board.

More to follow...


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting ready for another production test run

Well, I've been out all weekend buying ingredients for my production test run with Nelson Farms in Cazenovia, NY scheduled for Monday the 27th.

Given my previous experience with Farm to Table Co-Packers, it's been hard to get too excited about the prospect of working with the folks at Nelson Farms so I guess I'm guardedly optimistic that Nelson Farms will be able to produce my gourmet products at a price within my budget. We'll soon find out.

More to follow,


Friday, September 24, 2010

Bargains abound at the High Falls Food Co OP

Today I wanted to tell you about some of the bargains to be found at the High Falls Food Co Op located in High Falls, NY. The High Falls Food Co Op features weekly specials on a variety of all natural and environmentally friendly products. Here's a sampling of their specials this week:

  • save $1.20 on organic peanut butter
  • save $1.50 on 7-grain wheat free cereal
  • save $1.29 on Canadian bacon
  • Nasaya Tofu- regularly $3.19 now $2.50
  • Non dairy coco mix reduced $3.99
  • Annie's organic dinners- regularly $2.99 now $2.00
  • 10 lb Bio Kleen laundry powder- regularly $21.09 now $16.52
  • 32 ounce Bio Kleen dishwashing liquid- regularly $6.39 now $4.99

Apologies for any errors I've made in communicating prices. Best to contact the High Falls Food Co Op directly at 845 687 7262 for more details and specifics on these or any of their other featured bargains. Better yet, next time you're in High Falls, NY stop by the High Falls Food Co Op and stock up on selections of all natural products at bargain prices. Specials are advertised weekly and featured products may change from week to week.

I appreciate your patronage of the High Falls Food Co Op- a local business with wonderful people and a valued Baron's International Kitchen partner.

Be healthy!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Reflections from the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Fest

Well, I've had a bit of a hiatus after the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Fest as my little ones went back to school, my in-laws who have been tremendously supportive by spending lots of time with my little ones so I can pursue my dream of starting and building Baron's International Kitchen were away on vacation and of course, we all got sick. Yeah, we caught the back to school flu bug that's been making the rounds past 2 weeks. One of the valuable aspects of owning your own business is having the flexibility to stop and get off the roller coaster when life needs attending to but it's time to get back to work now and there's a lot in the hopper for the next couple of weeks as I play catchup. There'll be many postings coming out about all that's going on.

First, I wanted to share a bit about my experience at the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Fest. The event was heavily attended as the organizers did a great job of advertising the event. There was a lot about it on local radio stations and in local print media. At the event I met folks from all over- Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvannia even the UK.

Despite the event name, I found there were mostly wine vendors and very few food vendors. I was a bit disappointed at the relatively low showing on the food vendor side but I did have a fair number of folks come by and sample the products. Several even make purchases. Though my assigned spot was less than ideal (I received relatively low traffic because the booth was in an underused building), I am planning to give it another go next year and I'm optimistic that Baron's International Kitchen will do even better. Below you can view pictures of me at the booth and my hubby Josh making samples.

Thanks to Josh, Joyce and Norman for all the family help. I also want to thank everyone who stopped by, tried my gourmet products and made a purchase. I really appreciate all your support,


Friday, September 10, 2010

Countdown to the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Fest

Well, it's been really busy getting ready for the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Fest event happening this weekend at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in historic Rhinebeck, NY. I've been in the cooking at the Reservoir Inn, labeling inventory and running the day to day and it's been just a whirlwind but we're all set to go now.

If you've been considering buying my gourmet products but would like to try before you buy, stop by my booth and try a sample. I'll be indoors- space #113. All my gourmet products will be available for sampling and of course you can purchase what tantalizes your tastebuds.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow at the Hudson Valley Food & Wine Fest,


Thursday, August 19, 2010

My quest continues to outsource production of my gourmet products

Well, back to the drawing board...I was optimistic that production of my gourmet products could be outsourced to Farm to Table co-packers but as the negotiations progressed, it became clear that Farm to Table is positioned to work with organizations much larger than Baron's International Kitchen is. Though Baron's International Kitchen is growing, it isn't at large scale production yet and so I'm sort of in between the 2 options of making the products myself or partnering with an organization like Farm to Table co-packers.

I reached out to the NYS Dept of Agriculture & Markets and asked about other co-packing facilities in the state and they forwarded me a list of organizations. I reached out to those within about 2 hours of my area Kingston, NY for information about their services and am planning to meet with Nelson Farms next week.

Nelson Farms is a venture of Morrisville State College that provides entrepreneurial agri-business opportunities for specialty food processors, farmers, growers and producers. Their services include processing/co-packing, product development, distribution, marketing and sales promotion and education/training. They also have a dairy incubator. It sounds like their services are much more in line with those I require but I'll be meeting with the Director, Dave Evans next week to learn more. There'll be more info coming soon after the meet with him.

In the meantime, I'm back in the kitchen next week Tuesday to make more of the Mild Caribbean Marinade. Baron's International Kitchen will have a booth at the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest on September 11th & 12th at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, NY and I'll need more inventory for that event. If you're a foodie or love good wine, consider attending the event. Local restaurants will be providing free/nominally priced samples and there will be lots of wine to sample too. You can also purchase at the event cases of those wines you enjoyed sampling. If you've been curious about my gourmet products and would like try before you buy, stop by my booth at the event and have a taste. I'm sure you're gonna love 'em.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

My gourmet products are now available at The Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy

I'm excited to say that Baron's International Kitchen has hit another milestone with the addition of our 10th retail outlet - The Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy.

My gourmet products are now available at The Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy located on Rt 9 in historic Rhinebeck, NY. Owners Sean & Gregory pride themselves on finding the most unique and classic quality goods and since 2004 they have blazed a trail of innovation, fusing utility & design into a well merchandised specialty kitchen experience.

The store is just beautiful. It's upscale atmosphere, hip background music and bright, visually attractive presentation entices, encouraging browsing of every display. I love the wide variety of culinary tools and gadgets that make quick work of preparation for parties and get-togethers. Gourmet and specialty food products include honey, sauces, oils & vinegar. You'll also find a wide variety of other items including professional cutlery, cooking & bake ware, bar ware, tabletops, stemware, small appliances, cookbooks and select provisions. This rare Hudson Valley gem supplies a variety of clients ranging from local shoppers to culinary professionals to food enthusiasts from far and wide.

You've got to make it a point to stop by The Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy in historic Rhinebeck, NY. I know you'll find it a rewarding experience even if you're just in the mood for browsing. Shop The Bluecashew Kitchen Pharmacy online for that unique item for the foodie in your life, create a registry for that special occasion or simply build a wish list for your next birthday or anniversary.

Here's to great shopping surrounded by great beauty!


PS- I'm looking forward to reaching the milestone of adding the 25th store! Why not come along for the ride by following my blog.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Technology makes lunch ordering easier!

Since I've been working with local small businesses in the area, I've begun to see and really believe that if we support each other as partners in our mutual success, we can become powerful forces that help each other be successful. To that end and in support of the local businesses that I am doing businesses with, I'd like to inform you about specials, events and offers that might be interesting to you. I encourage all of you out there who are local to take advantage of these specials and offers and support the events by patronizing the highlighted business.

This week I'd like to tell you about a very cool service provided by Kevin over at Woodstock Meats. It's their Online Sandwich Builder which is accessible from the order lunch link on the main page of their website. Not only can you order the type of sandwich you're in the mood for but you can also select the type of condiment (for example a particular type of mustard or light mayo), any sides (for example 4 baby carrots or 3 slices of avocado), the dessert you'd like (for example a particular type of candy bar, cookies, chips or that banana bread I told you about) and the beverage of your preference. The online sandwich builder allows you to customize your sandwich order just as you would if you were standing in the store placing the order in person.

You can pick up your order anytime- no wait required, even if it's on the way into work in the morning. Kevin is providing a 10% discount on all lunch orders placed via the online sandwich builder so if you're headed in or through Woodstock, NY place your order ahead of time and have it ready for pickup when you're ready.

You can also place your order for fish or organic meat online and purchase additional items such as groceries, baked goods and potted plants.

I appreciate your support of Kevin and Woodstock Meats.

thanks, Terry

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My gourmet products restocked at local stores

Several local stores were out of stock but have just purchased additional inventory of my gourmet products so you can can continue to enjoy the convenience of purchasing my gourmet products at popular local retailers Davenport's Farm Market, Gil's Farm Market & Fleisher's Meats.

I invite you all to share your experiences with my products. I'm curious to know about the recipes you've made and view any pictures you may care to share.

Hot fun in the summertime!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My gourmet products are now available at Emmanuel's Marketplace

My gourmet products are now on the shelf at Emmanuel's Marketplace on Route 209 in Stone Ridge, New York.

They are featured in the "local/hudson valley" section of the store which is on the right and left when entering the store. I'm excited to be featured at Emmanuel's because I love the store and shop there all the time. To me, it feels like a nice NYC market that carries everything I need. They have the yummiest cold cuts, meat and veges and a pretty wide selection of organic items. The store is always stocked and the crew is very helpful. If you live locally and haven't visited the market yet, you've got to make it a point to stop in and check out this gem. It's the kind of place where you love to browse the aisles.

Thanks Jim and Pat for the opportunity to be showcased at Emmanuel's Marketplace. I'm looking forward to working with you,


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

First company event successful!

The Rosendale Music Festival was this past Saturday and Sunday on the main street in Rosendale, NY. There was a good amount of traffic to my booth throughout the day as there were lots of people who stopped by to try a sample of the Caribbean Hot Sauce and the Portuguese Repolho Relish. The overall reaction of those who sampled these gourmet products was positive- I got lots of "mmmmm"s, "that's really good" and "delicious!" which was rewarding to hear. There were several hard core hot sauce junkies who sampled the Caribbean Hot Sauce straight up, just like an alcoholic shot which was impressive and some kids who though young were already discriminating hot sauce Connoisseurs - also impressive. Many who sampled my gourmet products ended up making a purchase which I think demonstrated quite clearly just how important samples are in the (gourmet food) sales process.

I got to see Cory Kessler- the Ulster County Health Dept. Inspector- again. What a super nice guy! Cory was right there with me last year helping to get me going. He recommended the Reservoir Inn restaurant as the right kitchen space to rent and Shawn the Proprietor as a great person to work with. He helped finalize my gourmet product labels & pricing. Thanks so much for all your support Cory and for responding to my thousand and one questions over the past year :) It felt great to be at the Rosendale Music Festival with you now given where I was a year ago. I got a picture with Cory which I shared below.

One of the owners of Fleisher's Meat Market in Kingston stopped by and shared a recent experience. Fleisher's Meat Market which currently features my gourmet products served my Portuguese Repolho Relish and Caribbean Hot Sauce on hot dogs and burgers at an event and they were a big hit! Thanks for sharing that experience. I'd love to know more.

I also met a ton of just super nice and supportive folks at this event. First, there were the vendors who accepted jars of my 2 gourmet condiments and provided them as condiment options to their customers - thanks so much guys for helping to get the product to more people so they could try it. Genie and Ginette, my neighbors in the next booth baked delicious pretzel rolls in a variety of flavors and despite the incredible heat on Saturday (it sure did feel like 103 degrees out there) they kept their sense of humor and helped make the event fun. Genie and Ginette (sorry if I'm butchering your names here guys :) have built up a following at the local farm market over the past 4 weeks and from the positive reactions to their product at the Rosendale Music Festival, it seems it won't be long before they're ready to outsource the production of their gourmet food too. I also met Aimee who had just started her own handmade jewelry business- hang in there, Aimee. It's hard work and long hours but I suspect you'll find it a rewarding endeavor. Pat a fireman at the Rosendale Fire Company purchased some Jerk Sauce and mentioned he was planning to use the sauce to make some baby back ribs. He was going to marinate the ribs in the Jerk Sauce then slow cook them in a smoker. That sounds really delicious, Pat! I'm looking forward to knowing how they came out. I hope you'll post a comment here along with a picture or 2. I also met Franny an independent representative of several different brands who enjoyed my Caribbean Hot Sauce so much that she made a wholesale purchase which she was excited to resell. I'm looking forward to knowing how that turned out, Franny. Marty of Beechwood House Sauces, Marie of Kangen Water (it was cool that you'd just come back from Antigua, Marie!), Rory and Barbara Pinto (it was so great meeting and talking with you. I do hope we stay in touch) and of course, Johnny McLaughlin of Hearbreaking Dawns. Thanks a ton Johnny for all the great tips and advice. I'm psyched that you like my Caribbean Hot Sauce and I'll definitely take you up on the offer to pick your brain in the future. To all the potential future partners that I met at the Rosendale Music Festival- I'm looking forward to exploring partnership opportunities with you that benefit both our businesses. It really is about local businesses helping local businesses be successful. Finally but by no means least, a HUGE thank you to my hubby Josh for being my shlepper boy and helping out through the incredible heat wave (I know how much you hate the heat) and to Norman and Joyce for hanging out with our little ones Mina and Jake so I could do this. Lots of love to you all!

Well, I had a lot of fun but I'm glad it's over. It was a lot of work. I've attached a few pictures from the event. There's a picture of me with Cory and a few of my booth. The pics were taken on Saturday morning just as the event kicked off. I was hoping to get some pictures of the traffic to my booth throughout the day or on Sunday but it proved too busy to capture those. Maybe next time.

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to say hi and try my gourmet products. I really appreciate all your support.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baron's International Kitchen's first event

I'm getting ready to exhibit at the Rosendale Music Festival (aka The Rosendale Street Fair) which is happening this weekend, Saturday the 24th and Sunday the 25th on the main street in Rosendale, NY. It's pretty exciting, the company's first official event.

We've been going to the Rosendale Street Fair for a couple of years now just as visitors. It's actually a pretty cool event. It's 2 days of good food and music featuring local bands/artists performing live. There are a couple of stages set up along the main route and bands perform all day throughout the 2 days. Of course, there's lots of great food and crafts for sale and there's no fee to attend the event. It's been a bit of a dream to have my gourmet company be an exhibitor at the Rosendale Street Fair and it's pretty neat that now that dream's come true.

Baron's International Kitchen will have a booth and I'll be sharing free samples. My hubby Josh will be helping me at the booth and grandma and grandpa will have our little ones. Stop by and say hello if you'll be in the area. If you've been thinking of making a purchase but would like to try before you buy, it'll be the perfect opportunity to try my gourmet products and pick some up for yourself or family and friends.

Looking forward to meeting/seeing you there!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Production test runs successful!

As you know, for the past week I've been getting ready for the production outsourcing test runs at Farm To Table, the co-packing facility that may begin producing my gourmet products.

It was an exhausting and at times stressful experience and the hot, humid weather didn't make things easier. Long days were filled with either shopping for ingredients or ordering ingredients and 1 ingredient in particular, the hot peppers were impossible to find. One day I decided to drive to the Hunt's Point Produce Market in the Bronx (a 4 hour round trip) for the peppers because they were not available from sources here in West Hurley, NY but thankfully, Jim the Produce Manager at Hannaford on Rt. 9W in Kingston was able to get some. Whew! Glad you saved me the trip, Jim. I remember visiting the Hunt's Point Market as a child with my parents but I haven't been there in years. It's an amazing place. You can pretty much get any produce, meat or seafood there.

Another day I drove to Waterford, NY to pick up the jars and lids as there was a risk they might not arrive on time if they were shipped. I have to admit, I actually don't mind the drive to Waterford, NY. It's about an hour and a half away, further north, never any traffic and it's a nice ride. Here's a little factoid about Waterford, NY that you may not know- Waterford, NY is the oldest incorporated village in the US -- I didn't know that. Waterford, NY is on the Champlain Lock Canal but as my supplier, Burch Bottle & Packaging is not located directly on the canal, I have only caught fleeting glimpses here and there of it as I drive by. One of these days I'll hopefully get a good snapshot of it.

Well, anyway, all the time and energy paid off. The production test runs of all 4 products were scheduled over 2 days (yesterday and today). I was nervous that the pH of the gourmet products would be out of range which would mean it would all have to be thrown out but everything worked out fine. The pH was within range, the consistency looked good and the taste was on target--Yey!

A huge thanks to Jim at Hannaford for helping get the hot peppers, Jackie and Amy at Burch Bottle & Packaging for helping to get the jars and lids and of course Jes, Carlos and the rest of the team at Farm To Table for all their help and patience. I'm really looking forward to working with those guys.

In a few days, I expect to receive a price quote from Farm To Table for producing my gourmet products. I hope the quote will be within my budget making it possible to move forward with Farm To Table so I can maintain a focus on building relationships with partners and clients and growing Baron's International Kitchen.

Finally, I'm excited to introduce a new feature to my blog posts. Since Clayton at Dragon Search Marketing suggested the idea of adding pictures to my blog posts, I've been dying to give it a try so here are just a few pics from my travels to get the items needed for the test runs. Thanks, Clayton! Keep an eye out for more photos in the future.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Increasing production to meet growing demand

I'm just back from a much needed 2 week, totally unplugged vacation. It was a rejuvenating and relaxing time and it felt really good to reconnect with my little ones Mina and Jake and especially with my hubby Josh. You know, after a vacation I'm always amazed at the realization of just how stressed out I was before the vacation. I guess after dealing with stress for a while, it gets harder to accurately gauge how stressful life's gotten- if I explained that well. Anyway, I highly recommend taking time for R & R with those you love if it's been a while. It's energizing for body and soul.

Now that I'm back to work, I'm getting ready for 2 days of test runs at Farm 2 Table. Farm 2 Table is a co-packing facility located in Kingston, NY and if all goes well, I will be outsourcing production of my gourmet products to these folks. I have mixed emotions about outsourcing production of my gourmet products. On the one hand, I have really enjoyed making the products myself and have found that very satisfying. There's nothing in the world like hearing folks say, "I tried your gourmet products and they're delicious!" because I made the gourmet products with my own hands, do you know what I mean? On the other hand though, being a one woman show has made it a big challenge to keep up with demand or expand the business further. I'm also nervous because I'll be making 20 gallons of each product- the largest quantity made at one time so far and whenever production is scaled up like this, there's always a risk that the pH of the batch will be off. If the pH is off, the entire batch will have to be discarded and that's very costly for this small business owner. Regardless though, I must overcome whatever challenges arise if the business is to grow and go to the next level. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.

So this week, I'm a shopping machine :) I'm buying labels, jars, lids and all the fresh produce and other ingredients that will be needed and delivering everything to the Farm 2 Table facility. Monday and Tuesday next week are the big days. Keep your fingers crossed that the test runs go great and that the pH comes out just fine! I'll let you know how it goes.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Largest order so far for my gourmet sauces and condiments!

Well, my gourmet sauces and condiments continue to sell out at local stores. I'm so glad you're enjoying the delicious meals you have been able to make with my international gourmet sauces and condiments. Thank you for your business and continued support.

I received the largest order so far for my gourmet sauces and condiments from Woodstock Meats. If you have been awaiting restock of my gourmet sauces and condiments at the Emerson Country Store and Woodstock Meats, I've just made deliveries so the next time you're in the area, you can stop by your favorite local retailers and purchase my gourmet sauces and condiments.

Remember Woodstock Meats offers more than high quality meat or my gourmet sauces and condiments. You can also purchase lunch, groceries and baked goods. In fact, the next time you're there pick up a Banana Bread. It's hard to get because it sells out fast but I'm sure once you try it, you'll be hooked!

I always enjoy visiting the Emerson Country Store. Stop by this beautiful space when you're in the area and check out all their unique items produced right here in the Hudson Valley.

Good hunting!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Social media marketing for my gourmet food business

I'm by no means an expert on the subject but like everything else along my journey of entrepreneurship so far, I've been learning. So, here's my deal- I have a blog, a Facebook account and I'm Linked In but these have felt like distinct stand alone networking and marketing tools though there are characteristics in common. For some time I've been interested in learning how to pull them all together and use them more effectively for my gourmet food business.

Last week I attended the 2010 Hudson Valley Business Edge conference in Fishkill, NY. I found the conference informative overall but especially so in the area of social media marketing. I attended a session by Ric Dragon of Dragon Search Marketing which explained how these tools compliment each other and how to use them along with other tools to engage consumers better and solidify my company's online presence. For example, Ric explained that businesses should use Wordpress which is open source blogging software so a company's website traffic stays within that company's website and doesn't go out to another site. For example, I currently use blogger which hosts my blog on the blogger site so my blog's readers are actually taken to the blogger website which helps increase blogger's website traffic but not mine. I came away from Ric's session and conversations with Ric and his associate Clayton Walter with many ideas that I'd like to implement. My biggest challenge now is to find the time to do it all :) as I mentioned, my biggest immediate challenge is producing the gourmet products at a rate that keeps pace with demand.

I think it was Clayton who advised starting small, doing one thing first and going from there. So true, Clayton! One small step at a time is how I started my gourmet food business and how I've been able to grow it so far. It's a solid strategy that's certainly gotten me through. Thanks so much, guys! I will be spending some time over the next couple of weeks implementing Ric and Clayton's recommendations and suggestions and I look forward to any of your feedback or suggestions on that effort. If any other fellow entrepreneurs one out there are looking to learn more about social media marketing, I highly recommend calling Ric and his team at Dragon Search Marketing. They'll help you figure it all out.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Demand increases for my gourmet products...

It's been a while since I was able to blog. It's been pretty busy over the past couple of weeks.

Late April through May, my gourmet products were selling out fast at several local retailers including Davenport Farms, The High Falls Food Co-Op and Fleisher's Grass Fed & Organic Meats. In addition to replenishing their retail sales inventory, several retailers have also requested my gourmet products in new larger size containers for a variety of uses. For example, Kevin over at Woodstock Meats and Erica at Fleisher's Meat Market plan to use their half gallon sizes of the Caribbean Hot Sauce and Portuguese Repolho Relish to give their customers free samples. Bruce at Davenport Farm Market is offering dinner's to go and has plans to feature my gourmet products on a Caribbean themed dinner menu perhaps once each week- at $8.95 per pound, it's a pretty good deal! If you've been curious about my gourmet international sauces and condiments and you're in the area, drop by one of these retailers and try a sample or pick up dinner to go. We know once you try them, you'll want to buy.

Though I've been just thrilled that you are all enjoying my delectably savory gourmet sauces and condiments, my challenge has been how to keep up with production to meet existing demand while continuing to nurture existing client relationships (and activity I consider paramount) while also simultaneously supporting our mutual business success via development and deployment of effective marketing initiatives and visiting new stores to grow the company. That the past 6 weeks have been a whirlwind is a tremendous understatement.

I've spent a lot of time in the kitchen cooking and also on the road visiting and talking with clients. It feels rewarding to build relationships with other local business owners and work together with them in support of both our businesses. It feels like a big support group where we share ideas and explore ways to meet your needs in a way that will also meet our needs...and all the time, I've been learning, learning, learning. What a rush!

In addition to cooking and building client relationships, there are other important related tasks that I've been attending to also. For example, I had to identify the right size and type of jar for the larger quantities that would meet my retailer's needs, develop new labels for these larger sizes, cook additional product to fill these jars, register these new container sizes with the FDA and list these new sizes on my website (I'm still working on this). In addition to all this, I'm planning to be an exhibitor at the Rosendale Street Festival this July and I've had to also start getting ready for that- July is fast approaching! I've already registered for the event and got a booth but I still need to get my insurance certificate in, decide on the layout and configuration for the space and start buying the materials I'll need to set up the space while also ensuring that I have enough inventory to sell at the event (this guessed it, more cooking). I've been visiting online sites, visiting stores, pricing materials and talking with my network of experienced vendors to price and purchase those items but it's time consuming work and slow going.

So, in order to keep up with everything, I had to seriously start looking for a company to partner with to outsource the cooking. Much as I love it, it's just too time consuming for me to continue performing. I was interested in an organization similar to Hudson Valley Foodworks, a commercial and incubator kitchen in Poughkeepsie, NY that provides small and start up gourmet and specialty food producers like myself with not only kitchen space and equipment but also full scale production services. I learned that Hudson Valley Foodworks was no longer operational but that a new organization called Farm 2 Table (F2T) was providing the same services and they're located right here in Kingston NY. At Farm 2 Table's helm is Jim Highland and Luc Roels who I got to know during the time I spent working at Hudson Valley Foodworks. I had a meeting with Jes who coordinates all the activities and it looks like F2T will be able to help significantly by meeting my production needs at a reasonable price. I'll keep you posted on developments as they unfold and I'll try to not wait another 6 weeks to do that.

Finally, I wanted to share 2 things quickly before signing off...

First, some of my retail clients have some really interesting products, services, discounts and special offers that I think you might find beneficial or useful so I've decided to blog about these as they come up. Go ahead and visit the featured retailers if their products and services meet your needs and take advantage of their discounts and special offers especially on that unique or hard to find item. It would be great if you shared your experiences here not only for the benefit of other readers and also so I can know if and how these are working for you.

Next, I've heard about some of the delicious meal creations many of you have been inspired to make with my gourmet products and I'd really LOVE it if you could blog about the meals you've made and the culinary experiences you've had with my gourmet products. I think other readers would also be inspired by your recipes and may even want to make your creative meal ideas.

OK, well, that's it for now. I've had my hands full as usual but it's all good and I'm still having fun.

Here's to great tasting gourmet food and summer time fun!


Friday, April 23, 2010

My gourmet products are now available at Gill's Farm Market

My gourmet products are on the shelf as Gill's Farm Market opens for the season!

Gill's is a local farm market located on Route 209 South in Hurley, New York that sells fresh produce grown on their farm- some items picked early in the morning the same day it hits the shelf for sale- now that's fresh!

You've got to try their asparagus. It's larger than what I've seen in the supermarket and very tasty. I prepared it on the grill using a vegetable grilling basket and was pleasantly surprised at how it retained its flavor and crunch. In addition to asparagus, the spinach is also in now. You can also purchase beautiful potted flowering plants at the on-site greenhouse for Mom this Mother's Day or that special graduate.

Stop by and visit Loretta, Cindy and the rest of the friendly staff at Gill's Farm Market whenever you're headed south on Route 209 through Hurley, New York.

Eat healthy, eat farm fresh,


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My gourmet products have sold out at 2 local stores!

Wow! My gourmet products have sold out at Woodstock Meats and my Caribbean Hot Sauce has sold out at the Emerson Country Store. Very exciting news!

I was back in the kitchen at the Reservoir Inn Restaurant in West Hurley, NY bright and early in the morning (2 AM) on Tueday and I made more inventory. I plan to deliver more gourmet products to Kevin at Woodstock Meats by the end of this week (4/23). I expect to make a delivery to the Emerson Country Store next week but I'll keep you posted on that.

Thanks for all your support,


My gourmet products are now available at J & J Gourmet Café & Catering

You can now purchase my gourmet products at J & J Gourmet Café and Catering located on Market Street in Red Hook, New York.

Owners Jen & Joe had a dream over 17 years ago to bring a Café to the community that offered unmatched catering services, a place where visitors could sit and stay awhile. They've achieved that dream in J & J Gourmet Café and Catering which offers a variety of gourmet sandwiches made fresh to order. Hot and cold beverages and baked goods are also available. Special menu items prepared in my gourmet products will also soon be available as well so be sure to ask about these specials when ordering. A variety of items including vegetarian options are available for your catered event. Call Jen or Joe for more information about catering services at 845 758 9030 or visit them online at Taste the difference.

I met Chef Jen back on 2003 at the Hudson Valley Foodworks, a gourmet food commercial kitchen facility in Poughkeepsie, NY. It's exciting to be able to collaborate with her now.

Shop local, eat local, do business locally!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

3 new stores added this week!

Great news - I've added 3 stores to the list of outlets where my gourmet products can be purchased.

My gourmet sauces and condiments are now also being sold at Woodstock Meats, Fleisher's and The Emerson Country Store.

Woodstock Meats at 57 Mill Hill Road is conveniently located on the main road through Woodstock. You'll find Kevin the owner behind the counter most days. He's friendly and helpful if you need assistance selecting the right cut of organic meat. Sandwiches at the deli counter are made-to-order and you can also purchase groceries. Visit Kevin and all the folks at Woodstock Meats whenever you're in the area. They work hard to meet your needs and I know you'll enjoy your visit.

Fleisher's Meats located at 307 Wall Street in Kingston is a meat market specializing in grass-fed & organic meats. When they started Fleisher's Meats in 2004, owners- Joshua and Jessica Applestone envisioned an old fashioned butcher shop providing meat sourced locally that was free of hormones and antibiotics and full of real farm flavor. Today, Fleisher's Meats is a nationally acclaimed butcher shop with offerings that make them pretty unique (hey even have a Butchery Apprentice Program). In addition to meat, you can purchase a variety of stocks and soups as well as eggs, milk and other farm fresh items. Fleisher's Meats provides home delivery meat service to New York City and they are committed to consumer education. It's a beautiful store and whether you're a hearty meat eater, new to meat or just returning to meat, Joshua, Jessica, Erica and all the folks at Fleisher's will help you pick what's right for you.

The Emerson Country Store is located at 5340 Route 28 in the Emerson Resort & Spa complex. It's beautiful inside and out- tall mountains and winding streams combine to provide breathtaking views outside. An elegant inviting space full of interesting books, delicious sweet treats, appealing & unique gourmet foods and wonderfully warm and friendly people await you inside. Stop by and check it out but plan for an extended visit :) Give into your temptation to enjoy a cup of coffee and a treat while watching Bobby Flay on the big screen TV as he prepares one of his scrumptious creations. It'll be hard to decide whether to eat inside or enjoy the wondrous views outside at their outdoor seating area though. Either way, I know you'll enjoy your visit to the Emerson Country Store. There is an amazing kaleidoscope on the grounds which will certainly grab the kids attention. Naomi, CEO of the Emerson Resort and Spa has got a great team at the Emerson Country Store who will surely make your visit memorable.



Friday, April 2, 2010

My gourmet products are now available at the High Falls Food Co-Op!

Great news! You can now purchase my gourmet international products at the High Falls Food Co-Op located on Route 213 in High Falls, NY.

The High Falls Food Co-Op is a fully stocked health food store cooperative that is open to the public. The High Falls Food Co-Op engages in on-going research to meet the mission of non-GMO standards which include avoiding refined sugars and harmful additives. They also provide cruelty-free household and personal care product lines, products in the fair trade venue and products that support fair worker policies.

Stop by and check out the selection at the High Falls Food Co-Op. The friendly staff will help if you're looking for something specific. Ruth is tireless in her pursuit of the best quality and most delicious foods. Jodi & Amy ensure that items are reasonably priced. Their level of dedication and commitment is inspiring.

Ruth, Jodi, Amy and the rest of the folks at the High Falls Food Co-Op will take great care of you so you enjoy your shopping experience. It has been a pleasure getting to know them.

Here's to eating healthy!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Purchase my gourmet products at Davenport Farms!

I have very exciting news!

You can now purchase my gourmet international sauces and condiments at Davenport Farms located on Rt 209 in Stone Ridge, NY.

I LOVE this specialty food store/farm market and I shop there all the time. It's a local family-owned farm market, greenhouse and wholesale vegetable farm. My kids love their ice cream (it's hard in fact to drive by the store without them asking if we can stop for ice cream every-single-time :)

I can't resist their cake loafs or farm fresh veggies and fruit. I also get beautiful plants from their greenhouse. They serve a variety of hot soups and sandwiches- made fresh each day and all are very popular lunchtime options. Ever since I started Baron's International Kitchen I hoped to see my gourmet products on the shelf at Davenport Farms and now it feels like a dream's really come true. Thanks so much for the opportunity, Bruce!

You've got to stop by and check it out. Davenport Farms is conveniently located, on the way to or from Stone Ridge, on the corner across from the Sun Creek Center and the Stone Ridge Volunteer Fire Co. Bruce Davenport- the owner, Tony, Elvis- all the folks there are always so helpful and friendly. You can visit them online but I recommend going in person. You'll enjoy perusing the shelves.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

3, 2, 1...LAUNCH!

Welcome to the official launch of Baron's International Kitchen!

I wanted a way to bring together delicious foods from destinations around the world. This led me to create products that are inspired by the recipes of friends and family living in international locales. My products are made locally here in the Hudson Valley (New York).

There are several gourmet products available as you'll see in my online store. The Caribbean Marinade combines traditional West Indian spices and other ingredients that infuse chicken, pork, steak, seafood and tofu with a vibrant flavor that doesn't overwhelm the palate. Use either version of this flavorful sauce to make some of the Caribbean recipes featured on the recipe page such as Caribbean Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Plum Sauce- a luscious Caribbean meal or Antiguan Jerk Chicken Wings- hot or mild, you won't be able to put down these finger lickin' wings sure to be a hit at any party. The Caribbean Hot Sauce hits HOT then soothes with a delayed mustard flavor that awakens the palate. It invigorates the taste of beef, chicken, pork, hot dogs, burgers and even deli salads, BBQ sauces, mustards and mayonnaise spreads. The Portuguese Repolho Relish is sweet and tangy - it tingles the taste buds.

Gourmet gift baskets are also available.

So, help get the word out about Baron's International Kitchen, on the web at

Now...let the ordering begin!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bid on my gourmet sauces at online auction site

My gourmet Caribbean sauces are up for bid on an online auction site.

I've donated a gourmet gift basket to a fundraiser in support of a good cause. The "Caribbean Delectables Gourmet Gift Basket" features 3 of my gourmet sauces- the hot and mild versions of the Caribbean Jerk Sauce and the Caribbean Hot Sauce.

The gourmet gift basket was provided to the bidding for good online auctions site. The auction is open until this Saturday March 14th at 6PM EDT and proceeds from this fundraiser will support the ongoing high-quality work of the team at the High Meadow School- recognized as one of the best progressive private elementary schools in the Hudson Valley, NY.

I hope you will visit the site and support Baron's International Kitchen and the High Meadow School by placing a bid on the Caribbean Delectables Gourmet Gift Basket.

Let the bidding begin!


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Brief launch update

The launch is getting closer and closer and I'm absolutely exhausted working to get ready for it. I've been pretty much focused on making inventory for the past couple of weeks in order to meet launch demand as well as so I can start approaching gourmet and specialty food stores to carry my gourmet products. I was in the kitchen at the Reservoir Inn this past Monday from 4AM until early afternoon and I made 7 cases of the Caribbean Hot Sauce. Yesterday I was back in the kitchen from 4AM until 7:30 PM and I made 5 cases of the hot and mild Caribbean Marinades. I feel totally wiped out today but the positive receptions that the Caribbean Marinade - Mild Jerk Sauce and the Portuguese Repolho Relish received from patrons at the Reservoir Inn restaurant has been fueling my energy levels (along with lots of coffee :)

I expect next week to be the last week of making inventory for a while. I'll be back in the kitchen at the Reservoir Inn on Monday and Tuesday and I'll be making the largest quantity at one time so far on both of those days. I guess I'll need to arrive earlier in the morning than I have been so I can wrap up before the Restaurant starts to prep for dinner. If I get started around 2AM, I should OK.

Alright, more to come soon so stay tuned,


Restaurant patrons rave about Portuguese Repolho Relish

I mentioned in my last blog post that Shawn at the Reservoir Inn was planning to make a weekend dinner special, Roast Pork Loin & Kielbasa with Portuguese Cabbage Relish featuring my Portuguese Repolho Relish. Here's how that went...

I was talking with Shawn's sister Kim about it and she said everyone who tried the dinner special really loved it! In fact she said, there was one guest who was trying to decide between this and another dinner special. She told him, "Oh no, you've got to try the Cabbage Relish dinner special, it's really good" so he did order it. After the meal, she said he thanked her saying, "oh, thank you so much for recommending the Cabbage Relish special. I really enjoyed it, it was so good!" Yey! I'm so thrilled that people are enjoying my gourmet products. Yep, these family recipes are out of this world scrumptious.

OK, well, that's it for now. More coming soon about my progress getting ready for launch so stay tuned,


Friday, March 5, 2010

The countdown to the company launch begins...

Well, it's been exciting gearing up for the company launch but it sure has been a lot of work. I've been in the kitchen making inventory mostly- had a 19 hour workday on Tuesday, basically it was a huge marathon cooking session and I totally LOVED it! I'll be putting in many more days like this in the next couple of weeks to make as much of my gourmet and specialty sauces and condiments as possible for the launch. I may not get much sleep but at least I'll be having fun :)

Lots more going on other fronts now too...

I've started looking into the Farmer's Market opportunities in the area. My initial impression is that there's a lot to learn about- the insurance, booth, fees, scheduling...and the application process itself seems quite involved. I'll take it one step at a time as I have with everything else so far and I'm sure I'll be able to figure it all out. I'll keep you posted on how that's going and of course update the events page on the website to let you know where I'll be and when.

I've also started a list of gourmet and specialty food stores, restaurants and gourmet delis that I will be approaching to use and/or sell my gourmet and specialty foods. Those are a secret for now but I will share news about new developments as they occur.

I've begun to think about a public relations strategy for the launch that will fit my limited budget. I have a few ideas that may work out. I'll share more about those in the coming weeks.

OK, well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for more news and updates about the launch.


Mild Jerk Sauce a hit at local restaurant

Hey everybody,

I've got some great news! Shawn Keizer, Proprietor of the Reservoir Inn used my Mild Jerk Sauce to make a Rack of Lamb weekend dinner special at the restaurant and it was a hit. He said, "...very popular and people seemed to really like it." Really cool huh!? This coming weekend, he will be making another dinner special - Stewed Loin of Pork and Kielbasa with a Portuguese Cabbage Relish (featuring my Portuguese Repolho Relish). Give Shawn at the Reservoir Inn a call to make a reservation and give his dinner special meals a try. The website is and the phone number is 845 331 9806.

There are a couple of other things going on that I wanted to just write quickly about...

Michael Hansen, the owner of The Hansen Caviar company told me that shoppers have purchased several of my gourmet foods- very exciting! I'm considering several marketing strategies that could help increase sales at the store. More on that soon.

So, I just filed my corporate tax return. Thanks so much Akram! Akram Ibrahim and his team at Hudson Valley CPAs did a wonderful job. I have been working with Akram for some time and I have to say he's the best out there. He takes my calls, he always takes the time to answer my questions, he never talks over my head and he has helped me become a much more informed and educated business owner. I very highly recommend giving Akram and his team a call if you're looking for an Accountant who will be a partner in your business' future success. He has 2 locations- New Paltz (845 790 3343) and Poughkeepsie (845 454 8780) and competitive rates.

Let's see, what else...Oh yes, I received my Certificate of Authority. Woohoo! So now, I need to use the identification number on a resale certificate which I provide when I purchase items for making my gourmet sauces and condiments and I can save the sales tax on those purchases. Contact me if you have questions about the process and I'd be happy to share my experiences with you.

Well, that's it for now. I'm now starting to get ready for the company's official launch which will be soon. There will be a lot to do but it's exciting and I'm looking forward to the next couple of months. More about that soon.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

My first sale to a gourmet and specialty food store!

It's been a very exciting day!

OK, well in my last post, I promised to reveal the name of the gourmet and specialty food store in the Hudson Valley, NY that now sells Baron's International Kitchen's gourmet products. Are you ready? It's The Hansen Caviar Company on Route 28 in West Hurley, NY (800-735-0441).

All of my products are available at this outlet- Michael Hansen has designed an elegant space which features many interesting food items. It's a fun experience to be in the store just browsing the shelves. You've got to stop by this Hudson Valley specialty food store and check it out.

Enjoy your visit to The Hansen Caviar Company! Let me know how it goes.


Some info about sales tax and selling wholesale

Hey folks,

well I'm ready to reveal the name of that gourmet and specialty food store in the Hudson Valley that now sells my gourmet products but first I wanted to share some information about selling wholesale.

One of the most fun aspects of running my own business has been the incredible amount of learning that I've experienced which has made all the hard work so far just that much more enjoyable. Today was no exception. I got a tutorial on NY sales tax and Resale Certificates from a very nice and patient representative named Jimmy at the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. I thought I'd share this info with my fellow entrepreneurs out there for those who (like me) just didn't know.

So in NYS, vendors (that's us business owners) are not required to pay sales tax on items used to produce products that will then be resold provided this vendor is registered with the state AND has a Resale Certificate.

Vendors are required to collect sales tax from retail purchasers. There's more...if vendors (remember, that's you) sell wholesale to other retailers (B to B), then that business buyer is also not required to pay sales tax IF they are registered AND have a Resale Certificate. I know it may sound confusing but it's pretty straightforward really. You can find more information online or contact the Department of Taxation and Finance in your state to find out what the regulations are.

In NYS a quarterly sales tax return must be filed using form ST-100. This is the vehicle for paying the sales tax collected. The first one for 2010 is due March 21st and covers the prior one year period ending February 28th.

I'd be happy to talk about specifics if you're interested but I encourage you to reach out to the folks at the Department of Taxation and Finance instead for more information. They're the real experts. Thanks, Jimmy for all your help and for making everything so easy to understand!

So, are you ready to find out the name of that gourmet and specialty food store in the Hudson Valley, NY that now sells my gourmet products?...

Read the next blog to find out :)


What's new and exciting?

Yeah, I's been a while since I checked in. It's been very busy (which is good). There's a lot happening that I've been meaning to write about. I just have to take a few minutes even though it's late to tell about some new and exciting developments.

So, I have made all the products and I have even had a few sales. They've come from friends and family through the website. It's been fun packaging up the orders and taking them to the post office (yeah, it's the little things that make me happy :) Remember that gourmet and specialty food store that placed an order in December that I blogged about? Well, now that the inventory is available and labeled (more about the product labels below) I'll be delivering that order tomorrow. After that, I'll reveal the name of the gourmet and specialty food store so check back to find out more.

So the product took a little bit of work to finish the design of those and then a really long time to get them printed just right. Finally, it worked out and I was able to order them. For the past couple of weeks, I've been a labeling machine, cutting and adhering product labels onto the items. This work has completely taken over my dining room. There are boxes everywhere.

Not sure if I mentioned this in a previous blog...Shawn, the Proprietor of The Reservoir Inn Restaurant in West Hurley, NY where I'm renting the kitchen expressed interest in featuring my products on the restaurant's menu- how cool is that? I will be getting some product over to him in the next day or two so his Chef can experiment to decide what dishes will be featured. Check back for updates about that as well so you can know when you can visit the Reservoir Inn and order a meal prepared with one of my products. It will be a great way to try my gourmet products and you'll also be able to purchase those items you enjoyed right there at the Restaurant- how cool is that too?

So what's next? Well, I'll be in the kitchen producing inventory on a pretty hectic schedule over the next couple of weeks, so it's going to be really busy for me. I'd like to kick things off you know, more "officially", really start getting the word out but I need to make more inventory first because I definitely don't have enough right now. I'm hoping to really increase the sales momentum mid to late March.

It's tax season- all you entrepreneurs out there who own corporations, remember your corporate tax filings are due by 3/15. If you're looking for a new Accountant, let me know. I'm very happy with the attention and service my Accountant provides and I would be happy to share his name and number if anyone is interested.

Well, that's the major news for now. I'll be back in touch tomorrow and will reveal the name of that gourmet and specialty food store where you will be able to purchase Baron's International Kitchen products. Stay tuned!


Monday, January 25, 2010

My First Online Order!

Hey everybody,

Quite a bit’s happened in the past couple of days that I wanted to share...

First, I heard from the FDA and Baron’s International Kitchen has been registered. Keep in mind that this is not for FDA approval. Rather, the regulation requires that all food manufacturers register with the FDA basically so they are aware of who is doing what. The FDA registration form was pretty intimidating but the process was remarkably smooth. If my experiences would be helpful to anyone out there who is going through the process too, let me know. I’d be happy to share specifics of my experiences to help a fellow entrepreneur get started.

The next thing I wanted to share is that the company has hit another milestone. The first online order came in today. YEY! I’m very excited about it. Thank you! Tomorrow I will package and ship the order. This is certainly one of the biggest milestones and I’m so happy to have made it this far.

The last thing that’s going on is that I’m headed into the kitchen tomorrow morning to produce and bottle the hot sauce. It will be an early day as usual- a 5 AM start but to all of you out there who have been waiting to buy the hot sauce, hang in there for just a few more days. You’ll soon be able to order this gourmet hot sauce on the website. I’ll let you all know when.

Next week, I’ll head into the kitchen to produce the Portuguese Repolho Relish and then I’ll have all the initial products available for purchase. I’ll need to register these last 2 products with the FDA but now that I’ve been through that process, I don’t expect it to be a challenge.

Check back soon for new and exciting news,