Sandersville, Georgia-based Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese has won third place in the annual national judging and competition of the American Cheese Society (ACS). The results were announced at the 36th Annual ACS Conference in Richmond, Virginia.
Going up against 257 entering companies and 1,742 different products, Proper Pepper’s “Classic” variety placed third in the “Flavored Cheeses” category.
Deana Tanner Bibb, founder and owner of Proper Pepper, launched her small-batch crafted food business in 2015 after winning the Flavor of Georgia contest with her Get Back Jack flavored pimento cheese. Since then, the company has grown to include retailers and restaurants in Georgia, Florida, Texas and North Carolina.
Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese comes in two flavors: Classic and Get Back Jack. Its premium ingredients, hand-shredded cheese and 75:25 ratio of cheese to dressing likens the taste of homemade, according to the company.
Bibb, known for her fresh vintage packaging with a crown motif and innovative ways of serving Proper Pepper beyond sandwiches and dips, offers recipes and serving ideas on the product website, properpepper.com and social media platforms.
“Launching a food business has been such a fun journey, but has also been very challenging,” says Bibb. “The learning curve has been steep but the people I’ve met along the way through Georgia Grown and retailers has been very fulfilling. I enjoy sharing new and creative ways to serve an old southern staple.”
Bibb’s immediate goal is to give everyone in Georgia the opportunity to purchase Proper Pepper in their own communities.
“If Proper Pepper is Georgia’s award-winning pimento cheese, then I think it should be accessible to all 10.5 million Georgians,” says Bibb. “Sure it’s a business development tactic and a lofty goal, but the daily view of the crown on my packaging is a nice reminder that my faith and tenacity will see this through.” Store locations currently selling Proper Pepper are listed on the product’s website.
“I’m humbled by this award and very excited about Proper Pepper’s future,” says Bibb. “I invite you to join me on this journey by following the crown on all of our social media platforms.”
For a list of this year’s ACS winners and judges, click here.