The Specialty Food Association (SFA) has named the recipients of 2016 Lifetime Achievement Awards, which will be presented on June 27 at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City. They are Andrew Balducci, Balducci’s; David and Eunice Bigelow, Bigelow Tea; Daniel Carter, DCI Cheese; James McGilloway, The Gilway Co.; and Joel Schuman, Source Atlantique.
Specialty food sales surpassed $120.5 billion in 2015. Yet just a few decades ago, it was barely a recognized entity.
“The Association’s Lifetime Achievement Awards recognize and celebrate the pioneers who helped launch and sustain the movement to elevate the foods Americans enjoy,” says Ron Tanner, VP of philanthropy, government and industry relations for SFA.
More about the winners:
- Andrew Balducci: Former owner of Balducci’s, he was one of the first direct importers of Prosciutto di Parma in the U.S. and is credited with introducing broccoli rabe to California farmers, having mozzarella made fresh and being among the first to enlist the services of artisan bread bakers. He worked to continually expand the Balducci’s New York City fruit and produce operations, adding cheese, pastry, seafood and a butcher shop to its repertoire.
- Eunice and David Bigelow: While the Bigelow Tea company attributes its beginnings to Ruth Bigelow and the advent of “Constant Comment” Tea in 1945, it was David and Eunice who paved the way for the explosion of the U.S. specialty tea market. Today, the Bigelows serve as co-chairs of the family-run company that makes more than 120 blends. They are founding members of the NASFT (now SFA).
- Daniel Joseph Carter: Widely regarded as the driving force behind the creation of the U.S. specialty cheese industry, Carter has worked across the cheese category, from the Purity Cheese Co., to his own consulting firm, Dan Carter Inc., to establishing an appropriations bill to reposition and invigorate Wisconsin dairy and specialty cheese production. Carter also served as chair of the NASFT from 1972-73. He was recognized as a Master Connoisseur of French Gastronomy in 1972, and received the International Dairy Deli Bakery’s “President Award.”
- James McGilloway: In 1971, after a successful career in supermarket management, McGilloway migrated to the specialty food industry, where he spent 25-plus years building success in the U.S. for Twinings Tea, Tobler Chocolates, Tiptree Preserves and other iconic brands. In 1981, he founded The Gilway Co. with Tiptree Preserves, products under the Gilway label, and many other British and European specialties. He served as chair of the NASFT from 1986-88, making major contributions to the reshaping and direction of the association.
- Joel Schuman: Joel Schuman founded Source Atlantique in 1991 as part of the Food Import Group. With years in the business and strong relationships with European suppliers, he raised the standards of brand development, marketing and salesmanship available to foreign manufacturers. Under Schuman’s leadership, Source Atlantique took ownership of brands that offered great potential, broadening and strengthening the company’s sphere of influence in the specialty food industry. His business acumen and passion for specialty foods contributed to the overall growth of the specialty food industry, bringing new brands to the U.S. and increasing the demand for high-quality food products.
A special committee chose the Lifetime Achievement Award recipients from the Specialty Food Association, and the awards ceremony is open to all Summer Fancy Food Show attendees.
The 2016 Summer Class of 47 Specialty Food Association Hall of Fame inductees also will be recognized during the event. Both the Lifetime Achievement Awards and Hall of Fame ceremony will be held Monday, June 27 at 5 p.m.
Summer Fancy Foods show registration is open online throughout the show, and attendees also may register in person at Javits Center starting June 26. The show takes place at the Jacob Javits Center, New York City, June 26-28. Show hours are June 26-27, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and June 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.