We expected to have a good time in January when we attended the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco put on by the Specialty Food Association, but we didn’t realize how much we’d learn – and the most important thing we learned was that we are on the right track with Fuegorita.
Today’s adventuresome foodies are looking for heat. The major spice companies are incorporating the burn into many of their products, so we know there is interest and demand -- definitely a market for what we have to offer.
We went there to explore and learn how to get our company off and running, and meeting people who had done it was inspirational. A few told us it was difficult and some warned us off of embarking on such an ambitious agenda altogether, but others told us we were taking all the right steps to making our dream a reality. Both made us more determined to get a bottle of Fuegorita onto every restaurant table and into the spice racks of heat freaks everywhere. We know the path for getting a food item from idea to market is a long one and that as with any other business, the key to success is understanding the needs of our customers.
One of our favorite stops was the New Brands on the Shelf Pavilion, a special hall where new members of the organization can display their wares. The booths here are identical -– just a table and a logo – so the playing field is level and prospective buyers can’t be influenced by the glitz and bling more established companies can afford.
We enjoyed meeting people who are just ahead of where we are, and we could easily visualize ourselves exhibiting there in the not-too-distant future. The event also gave us access to the industry relations and marketing people who can help us make that happen.
And yes, Moscone Center was wall-to-wall food, with so many exhibitors giving away samples that we grazed our way through the aisles and spent very little money at restaurants – an extra perk of this memorable experience.