Governor Brown Signs Bill to Permit Sidewalk Vending Across California

On September 17, Governor Brown signed the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (Senate Bill 946), prohibiting criminal penalties for sidewalk vending and treating vendors like other businesses in the state.

“With Senate Bill 946 we can start seeing sidewalk vendors for who they are – women and seniors, single parents, and micro-business owners taking that first step to starting their own business,” said Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens). “Governor Brown’s signature validates that thousands of sidewalk vendors are an important part of our economy, whose hard work supports their families and gives California its unique flavor.”

SB 946 allows municipalities to establish permit programs for vendors, and they may require sidewalk vendors to obtain a business license and abide by state tax laws, just like other businesses.

Vendors who were previously convicted under local anti-vending laws may petition the court for dismissal of the sentence.

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Legalizing Sale of Home-Cooked Food Will Boost California’s Entrepreneurs

Statement by Mark Herbert, California Director for Small Business Majority, on why the California Senate vote yesterday to pass a bill that would permit chefs to sell meals made in their home kitchens is a victory for entrepreneurship.

The California Senate’s vote yesterday to pass AB 626, which would allow the sale of meals prepared in home kitchens and improve public health safeguards around the existing informal food economy, would benefit many of California’s entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, especially women, immigrants and people of color.

Without the fear of fines, AB 626 would permit thousands of existing home cooks to openly access business education and training on safe food handling practices. Small-scale microenterprises are an important tool for those who want to grow their business but don’t have access to sufficient capital to enter the commercial food industry. What’s more, this bill would protect consumers by ensuring public officials have access to the kitchens where the food is prepared and protect their rights to use existing public health reporting mechanisms if concerns arise.

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“Open That Bottle Night” Preview and much more at the 2019 Symposium for Professional Wine Writers


Apply now for one of thirty fully-funded fellowships

Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, founders of “Open That Bottle Night” and renowned wine journalists (, formerly Washington Post) join a robust faculty of writers, editors, and coaches at the 15th annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers, to be held February 19 to 22, 2019 at Meadowood Napa Valley. “Open That Bottle Night” falls on February 23, 2019.

For the fourth year in a row, the Symposium will offer thirty fully-funded fellowships for accomplished writers in the wine, food and wine, and travel and wine fields. The three-day event includes workshops, panel discussions, tastings, and one-on-one-coaching, all supporting excellence in wine writing and providing mentorship and networking opportunities.

The Symposium faculty includes Richard Bradley, editor-in-chief and chief content officer, Worth; Esther Mobley, wine critic, San Francisco Chronicle; Tracey Ryder, co-founder, Edible Communities; Julia Cosgrove, vice president & editor-in-chief, AFAR Media; Erin Kirschenmann, senior editor, Wine Business Monthly; Ali Bouzari, culinary scientist, author, and co-founder of Pilot R&D and Render; Ellen Fort, editor, Eater SF; Mary-Frances Heck, senior food editor, Food & Wine, Irene Edwards, editor-in-chief, Sunset Magazine; Karen MacNeil, author and wine educator; and Jordan Mackay, author and journalist. Continue reading

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2018 Trade Shows Wrap-Up

By Wilbert Jones

Trade Show Image

Photo: International Home and Housewares Show

Each year between the months of March and June, the city of Chicago hosts some of the most important global trade shows associated with the hospitality industry. Attendees worldwide flock to this windy city to learn about some of the most innovative consumer household products, food, beverage trends in the food service and retail marketplace.

International Home + Housewares Show

This year, from March 10-13, over 60,000 attendees attended to the International Home + Housewares Show, to visit over 2,000 vendors. A few highlights include a 12-cup self-cleaning grind and brew coffee maker from Hamilton Beach and Cuisinart. The company Zero Oxygen Solutions (ZOS) demonstrated a gadget that keeps wine fresh up to 2 months after the bottle has been opened. It comes with a reusable oxygen-absorbing cartridge which absorbs 100% of oxygen from the air in the bottle of wine (oxygen is what causes wine to go bad) as well as dissolves oxygen in the wine.

One new item that will probably end up in every consumer household is the Rejuvenate Click n Clean Floor Care Kit. The manufacturer of this product wants to change the way consumers clean their floors in their homes. A new multi-surface spray mop system, does a range of cleaning, from dusting to deep scrubbing on flooring surface of every kind, including hardwood, laminate, linoleum, tile, grout, marble, granite, vinyl tile sealed concrete and even carpet.

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Application Period For Transporting Healthy Food Grants Now Open

The 2018 grants will help improve access to local, fresh foods in underserved communities

Distributors and producers of fresh, local foods are invited to apply to the 2018 Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food, presented in partnership by CSX and The Conservation Fund. The grants will range from $2,500 to $10,000 and will go towards charitable organizations working to increase access to fresh vegetables, meat, fish and dairy in vulnerable and underserved communities. 

Since the Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food began in 2014, more than $500,000 has been awarded through 54 grants, enabling recipients to serve an additional 300,000 families with more than 40 million pounds of food. The grant program is designed to support and strengthen local transportation and distribution of healthy food to communities in need. The grants are used by charitable producers and retailers in a number of ways, including purchasing refrigerated delivery vehicles and financing mobile market trucks and food stands to bring fresh produce to isolated communities.

The grants are given to charitable organizations in the 22 states where CSX operates—Alabama, ConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaIllinoisIndianaKentuckyLouisianaMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMississippiNew JerseyNew YorkNorth CarolinaOhioPennsylvaniaSouth CarolinaTennesseeVirginia and West Virginia.

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Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G. Announces Two Sommelier-Targeted Contests


Winners to Visit the Historic Heart of Italy’s Prosecco Superiore Region during the 50th Anniversary of its Appellation Designation 

Charles Communications Associates announces on behalf of its client, The Consorzio of Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore D.O.C.G., the launch of two national contests for active U.S. sommeliers, wine buyers or beverage directors – offering winners the opportunity to win a trip to Conegliano Valdobbiadene, the historic heart and pinnacle of Italy’s Prosecco region, located 45 minutes west of Venice in the foothills of the Italian Alps. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the region’s D.O.C.G. appellation designation.

The two contests: an essay and Instagram competition, respectively, are a key part of the region’s trade-focused campaign designed to educate and inform beverage professionals about the legacy of leadership, tradition and dedication to quality of the Prosecco Superiore region.


Instagram Contest:  Active sommeliers, wine buyers or directors in the U.S can enter the competition by posting a photo of Prosecco Superiore alone or with a dish including a pairing note or caption, tagging @proseccocv and including #proseccosuperiore #proseccosuperioredocg #proseccoelevated #Somminstapic and that person will be entered to win an all-expenses paid, three-day trip to Conegliano Valdobbiadene in 2019, including airfare, accommodation and producer visits as a guest of the Consorzio. Candidates need to be working actively in their place of business as an employee or consultant.

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Reynolds Wrap is Hiring its First-Ever Chief Grilling Officer

Reynolds Wrap is looking for a “CGO” to travel to the best barbeque cities across the country and report back on new grilling tips, tricks, recipes and techniques.

ReynoldsCGOImage_1Hungry? Good. Reynolds Wrap® – the durable, kitchen staple known for locking in delicious grilled flavors – is looking for its first-ever Chief GrillingOfficer. The team at Reynolds Wrap is committed to finding the most flavorful ways to grill your favorite food – which means they need help exploring the country in search of the best tips and techniques.

This two week, paid gig offers unforgettable experiences in America’s most mouth-watering cities. In case that’s not clear enough: Eat food. Document the experience. Get paid! The Chief Grilling Officer, or “CGO’s” responsibilities are simple (and delicious); travel to some of the most notorious barbeque cities in the country to learn about grilling culture and new techniques for the Reynolds Wrap test kitchen.

“We’re on a mission here at Reynolds Wrap to identify the best grilling techniques and tips to share with backyard grillers,” said Brienne Neisewander, brand director for Foil at Reynolds Consumer Products. “We’re looking for a truly passionate grilling enthusiast to lead the way across the country and discover hidden grilling gems.”

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Food Starter Partners with Fiera Foods to Empower Female Entrepreneurs

Food Starter (CNW Group/Food Starter)

Food Starter (CNW Group/Food Starter)

Food Starter, a startup food incubator and accelerator in Toronto, and Fiera Foods, a globally successful Canadian food manufacturer, have announced the launch of The Women in Food Rise Up Fund.

The three-year startup growth fund, Rise Up, presented by Fiera Foods, will provide Food Starter’s women-led enterprises with access to a grant of $5,000 to quickly start and scale food businesses. The fund aims to recognize that women entrepreneurs play a leading role in innovating Ontario’s food industry.

“We see day in and day out through our interactions with partners, employees and clients, that women can lead and excel in our industry,” said Boris Serebryany, President and CEO of Fiera Foods Company.

“The concerning reality is that women are still underrepresented in food manufacturing. We’re proud to work toward a solution by partnering with Food Starter to remove barriers, creating a more open and inclusive environment for female entrepreneurs and innovators in Ontario’s food industry.”

Grant recipients will receive a cheque for $3,500 within two weeks of announcement plus $1,500 in Food Starter production hours or accelerator fee credits. The grant will be used for purchasing new equipment, supplies or ingredients required to fill orders, production labour and marketing expenses.

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