Food Product Development Contest winners announced
Northwest Ohio is rich with signature products developed locally, some of which have been recognized regionally and nationally.
Recently, the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT) sponsored the fifth annual Food Product Development Contest, which showcases many new local products ready to take that next step – actual product development.
The winners, recognized for their product concepts, were announced by CIFT vice president and director of agricultural programs, Rebecca Singer. They Include:
• Nacho Danny’s Kinda Hot, Hot Sauce by Danny Ivy, of Woodville. Dubbed by its founder as a “kinda hot” hot sauce, it is full of habanero and jalapeno peppers, cilantro, chili pods and other spices. The special blend of herbs and spices allow the senses to feel heat without sacrificing the integrity of the raw ingredients. Ivy notes the sauce will add flavor to just about any dish.
• Poppy Seed Dressing by Dustin Hostetler, of Toledo. The sweet and savory dressing has a flavorful blend of brown sugar, cider vinegar, poppy seeds, canola oil and a secret blend of spices to give it just the right kick. Served at one of Toledo’s favorites, Grumpy’s restaurant, the dressing goes well with traditional salads, slaws and pasta salads.
• Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix by Sherry Letzelter, of Lodi, Ohio. Salty and crunchy, the combination of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, chocolate chips and slivered almonds is drizzled with Ohio maple syrup.
Following a review of written applications and presentations by food entrepreneurs and chefs to a panel of judges, the highest scoring concepts were selected based on the viability of the product, commercialization potential, business strategy, and overall appeal to the marketplace.
As a result of the award, direct consultation and technical assistance from CIFT will be provided to the startup businesses ranging from business planning, product/process development, shelf stability testing, labeling review, regulatory assistance, and batch product preparations for sampling.
Later, production will begin at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK), a nonprofit commercial facility that educates and advises new and growing businesses, and provides access to a commercially-licensed kitchen. Currently more than 20 businesses make their products at the NOCK.
Entrepreneurs interested in learning more may contact Paula Ray, small business coordinator at CIFT at 419-535-6000, ext. 117 or email
H Jimmy Blue Eyes
About 75 people turned out at Pearson Metropark in Oregon June 24 to remember the late Jim Pauwels and celebrate his passion for hostas.
A number of those attending brought a plant to add to the waterfall garden at the park, located by the pond near Parking Lot #3.
The garden is maintained by Pauwel’s friends Don Bixler and Kevin Kwiatkowski, who planted the new “H Jimmy Blue Eyes” hosta in memory of Pauwels at the Sunday afternoon event. Park visitors are invited to stop by the garden area and enjoy the plantings.
Pauwels, an avid gardener and member of the Black Swamp Hosta and Daylily Society succumbed to pancreatic cancer Sept. 29, 2009.
Kevin Kwiatkowski and Don Bixler planted the H Jimmy Blue Eyes hosta at celebration of their late friend Jim Pauwels held at Pearson Metropark June 24.
Wii Bowling champs
The Perrysburg Area Senior Center’s “The Wee Wonders” emerged victorious in the Wii Bowling Championship held June 22 at the Northeast Senior Center in Walbridge.
Seven teams from five Wood County senior center competed in the tournament. The event has taken place for the past four years. Participants enjoy meeting new people, reuniting with friends from around the county and they especially like celebrating their similarities, including a true passion for bowling. The two big-screen televisions made it easy for the participants to play several games and also participate as audience members and cheer on their friends.
This year’s runners up were the Wood County Senior Center’s team “The Rolling Thunder.”
The tournament was sponsored by Senior Helpers, a Waterville-based home healthcare business. The company provided the team T-shirts and the trophy, which will travel to the winning site each year.
CIFT Food Product Development Contest winners include (L-R), Danny Ivy, Sherry Letzelter and Dustin Hostetler.