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Fab Finds: Fresno Food Expo 2016

Fab Finds: Fresno Food Expo 2016

On Thursday, the Central Valley held it's 6th annual "Fresno Food Expo" where hundreds of retail and foodservice buyers made their way around a room full of the Valley's finest, freshest and most exciting new products in the food industry!  

It's such an honor to have been an original exhibitor since the very beginning when it first debuted in 2011.  This event makes me so proud of where I come from!

As you can see, our booth looks FANTASTIC!  We decided to debut our new booth right here on our home turf and we couldn't have been more proud and happier with how it turned out!  

Sidebar: I'm going to toot my own horn for just a quick sec...  I'm especially proud of this booth because A. that's a photo of my beautiful niece Isabella on our gorgeous backdrop and B. I TOOK THAT PHOTO!!  I mean, to see it that big and lit up in person was a very special moment for me.  Sidebar complete.

Not only did we have an awesome booth, but we had our very own National Raisin mascot with us helping hand out Raisels and waving to everyone!

*What a ham!*

This year's expo was by FAR the best they've ever had!  I was so impressed with the route they took this year.  Not only was it planned perfectly, but the aesthetics of the whole event were absolutely stunning and truly brought life and character to the Central Valley.  

In case you're wondering how this whole shindig goes down, let me explain:  From 9am-3pm the doors are open only for buyers to come through and really have an opportunity to talk with the exhibitors and see if there's anything new and exciting out there that catches their eye.  Then we get a break from 3-5pm because come 5pm, the doors are open to the public!  This is the most exciting and fun part of the Expo because people go NUTS for "free stuff!"  (I think they forget they've paid that $50 for the ticket! lol)

One of the main reasons I was so impressed with what the Expo did this year was they brought world-renowned author, broadcaster and Food Network personality, Simon Majumdar!  He was brought in to help host a new culinary experience where participating restaurants were tasked to create an appetizer that integrates at least two locally sourced products from food or beverage producers exhibiting at the Expo.  Pretty cool right!?  

Before Mr. Majumdar put on his hosting hat, he was able to walk around and get a closer look at all the exhibitors.  I'd say one particular product definitely caught his eye...


After he tried them, he was immediately impressed and kept telling us what a fantastic product we have!  Wanna know the highlight of my day?  I actually got to sit down and have a really nice impromptu chat with Simon about our family business, about my blog, about my passion for cooking and it such a magical feeling!  He is such a geuninely nice person and I was so thankful and fortunate to have been able to have that time to talk with him, especially knowing what a busy schedule he had.  So, THANK YOU Simon, you were a great addition to the Fresno Food Expo and National Raisin can't thank you enough for stopping by and giving our product a try!

Oh, and must a mention, he came back later on to get more Raisels and I gave him an entire bag full to take home! πŸ’πŸ» No bigs!

Simon gives a little Raisel love in his video below!

Now, I've got to give a little shoutout to our friend's over at Riley's Brewing Co., they were our next door neighbor at the Expo and such a delight to hang with all day!  Not only did they make sure to quench our thirst when necessary, but they were also HILARIOUS!!  They definitely added a great vibe to our experience!  P.S. If you haven't tried Riley's, you need to.  Literally, every single beverage they make is out of this world!  Not only do they make beer, but they also make a variety of hard sodas INCLUDING their infamous Hard Root Beer, but my favorite is definitely the Hard Orange Cream... Grown up orange soda, like WHAT?!?!? 

Lastly, we had the Mayor of Fresno, Ashley Swearengin stop by our booth as she ALWAYS does to stock up her Raisel inventory.  She is obsessed with Raisels and we LOVE it!!  Like seriously, #1 fan!

(Literally our neighbor from Riley's Brewing got caught tossing Raisels over to their booth! Classic!)

It was so nice having both of my brothers, my sister-in-law, niece and most of my cousins all in the booth with us helping out and really taking in the whole experience of the Expo!  I'd say the best part is the fact that we got our hands on a cow bell (thanks Mama) and decided to be THAT booth... We'd obnoxiously ring that bell every time someone tried Raisels for the first time and liked them!  It wasn't even a real game, yet people were into it!  We all had a BLAST! #CowBellForTheWin  

This was show a first class show and I cannot WAIT to see what they do next year!! 

Check out this video from The Untamed Chef and Joaquin Around...Fast forward to 1:29 for our segment! #RaiselShots

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