Sunday, July 21, 2013

Whole Foods Market Local and Organic Showcase in Glastonbury CT

This week I was invited to the Whole Foods Market in Glastonbury CT, for a local and organic showcase event, featuring some of the best products New England has to offer! 

Whole Foods Market Local and Organic Showcase
Whole Foods Market Glastonbury - Local and Organic Showcase
What an informational event! In attendance were several Whole Foods Culinary Specialists, as well as several brand ambassadors and owners of other local New England companies: Cissé Trading Company, Ripe Bar Juice, Ooma Tesoro's, and Tea-Rrific.

I worked my way around the room, starting with Rachael from Cissé Trading Company who prepared a refreshing frozen banana hot cocoa "frostéy". It was delicious, perfect for a health-conscious treat, and what a great idea to use a frozen banana instead of ice to "slush" it up. All it took was a frozen ripe banana, whole (or you can use skim) milk and Cissé's organic Fair Trade Vanilla Bean Hot Cocoa Mix. Cissé's also makes cake, cookie, muffin and brownie mixes, all made with Fair Trade organic products.  
Cisse Trading Company Demonstration
Rachel from Cisse Trading Company at Whole Foods Glastonbury CT
Next we sampled some of Tia's Blueberry Granola Crisp made with local blueberries from Rose's Berry Farm in South Glastonbury. Tia is a demonstration specialist, and this crisp was easy to make, and oh.so.good. (Recipe: HERE)
Whole Foods Market Blueberry Crisp Granola
Blueberry Crisp Granola at Whole Foods Market Glastonbury CT
Next we sampled some of the best cocktail mixes around, from Ripe Bar Juice. Ripe is 100% fresh and natural, and comes in Margarita, Mojito, Punch, Lemon Sour, and Bloody Mary flavors. My very favorite was the mojito, probably because CT is experiencing a South Beach-like tropical heat wave...and mojito's remind me of fun times in South Beach. Best of all? They're located in New Haven, CT - right near me. Now that's what I call local!
Ripe Bar Juice
Ripe Bar Juice - Whole Foods Glastonbury CT
Next we met Mario from Tea-Rriffic Ice Cream - and sampled some homemade ice cream made with all natural ingredients. What a great idea! Tea infused flavors blended with light and creamy ice cream. The end result is a light subtle "grown-up" type taste. Tea-Rrific comes in Masala Chai (Assam black and rooibos teas with sweet aromatic and peppery spices), London Mist (malty and citrusy Earl Grey Tea with a hint of vanilla bean, Chunky London Mist (semi-sweet Belgian chocolate flakes and buttery roasted pecan chunks), Chamomile (with notes of Apple and Honey from Egyptian Chamomile Flowers), and Ginger Matcha (fresh ginger perfectly balanced with delicate grassy notes of premium Matcha green tea). Best of all?  It's ALL NATURAL!
Tea-Rrific Ice Cream - Whole Foods Market Glastonbury CT
Next up was Devon, a Culinary Demonstration Specialist, from Whole Foods-West Hartford who demonstrates at some of the greater Hartford area Whole Foods. Today Devon prepared a fresh Green Bean Salad with a homemade Berry Vinaigrette made with mostly locally grown products. (Recipe: HERE) Devon explained how Whole Foods partners with local growers to give their customers the freshest produce. Are you interested in pairing with Whole Foods? Contact your local store for more information.
Whole Foods Green Bean Salad with Berry Vinaigrette
Devon from Whole Foods prepared a Green Bean Salad with Berry Vinaigrette 
Next up was Jon, another Culinary Specialist from Whole Foods Market, who prepared an amazing Grilled Corn on the Cob, using sweet cooking rice seasoning, butter, and soy sauce. I have to admit when he explained the ingredients, I was doubtful, but when I tasted it - I was SOLD! It was amazingly good, and I will be incorporating this corn on the cob grilling technique into my summer barbecues!  When I asked why the unusual flavors, he explained his history as an exchange student in Japan, and how that influences some of the flavor profiles he works with. The tips you learn from these chefs at Whole Foods never cease to amaze me! **Update: See the Comments section at the end of this post for Jon's Japanese Style Grilled Corn on the Cob recipe. (Thanks Jon!)

Grilled Corn on the Cob at Whole Foods Market
Grilled Corn on the Cob - Whole Foods Market
Last on my Whole Foods Local and Organic Showcase tour was Michael, founder, owner, and chef of Ooma Tesoro's Marinara Sauce.  Michael's love for food is apparent in his dedication to producing his Ooma's (grandmother's) recipe, in the same way he learned from her, made with love with natural ingredients in small batches. Ooma Tesoro sauce is made in our neighboring state of Massachusetts, in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains.
Ooma Tesoro's Marinara Sauce - Whole Foods Market Glastonbury CT
What an informational and inspiring showcase we shared at Whole Foods Market on this visit.  A wonderful reminder to shop organic AND support and buy local!
Whole Foods Market Local and Organic Showcase
Whole Foods Market Local and Organic Showcase - Glastonbury CT

Do you have a Whole Foods Market near you? 

I'm still hoping that my immediate area in the Branford, Guilford, Madison, Old Saybrook shoreline in Connecticut gets a Whole Foods Market soon!  

 !! Hint-Hint !!

Disclaimer: I was invited to attend this Showcase by Whole Foods Market. All opinions contained herein are my own. All items shown are subject to change and may not be available in your area..

29 comments:

  1. would like to see you open a store in the Atlantic City,NJ area. Our nearest Whole Foods Market is Fifty miles away.

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    1. I hope you get your wish! Whole Foods Markets are wonderful places to shop! The quality can't be beat!

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  2. When we lived in Atlanta we went to whole foods all the time. The closest one to us in Torrington is in West Hartford which is pretty far. But we do go there when we're in the neighborhood and have to pick something up-enjoy browsing there!

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    1. I have to say I'm pretty impressed with Whole Foods. They do feature local products and the staff is so helpful. I'm about 40 minutes from the Glastonbury store and about 20 minutes from the Milford store...the funny thing? I find myself in Glastonbury more!

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  3. Looks like it was well worth the trip. Grilled corn on the cob-I need that recipe. And anything from Rose's Berry Farm...they do breakfast on their deck on Sundays during the season. If you ever get a chance, check it out. Glastonbury is my local Whole Foods stop but I don't get over there nearly as often as I should.

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    1. Sue, when you're at Whole Foods, just ask for suggestions. The staff always gives me some great ideas!
      And I had no idea about Rose's Berry Farm. Guess where I'll be going for breakfast soon? thanks for the heads up!

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    2. Japanese-style Grilled Corn on the Cob

      Ingredients:
      6 ears of fresh corn (preferably local) still in their husks
      3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
      1 Tablespoon Mirin (Japanese Sweet Cooking Wine)
      1/2 Stick melted butter (unsalted)

      Pull husks back on corn just enough so that you can remove the stringy silk, then close husks again. If you have time, soak corn in cold water for 30 minutes. If you don't have time, don't worry, just be ready to move your corn around frequently to keep the husks from burning. Grill corn over high heat, turning as necessary for about 15 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Make your glaze by blending soy sauce, mirin and melted butter. When corn is cool enough to touch, peel back the husks. You can remove them entirely, or just fold them back to leave yourself wit a decorative "handle". Brush corn all over with the glaze and return to the grill. Turn corn frequently so that the outside caramelizes slightly but does not burn.

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    3. Jon - you are the BEST**BEST**BEST! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  4. What a great event! I'm so sorry that I couldn't make it--looks like you had the opportunity to try a lot of great new things! I love Ooma Tesoro's!! Closest Whole Foods market is 45 minutes from our house, so we don't get there often, sadly.

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    1. I'm hopeful that word is spreading about the need for more Whole Foods. Right now for me they are a destination shopping experience...but I've been making the trek more and more lately. Definitely always worth the trip!

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  5. Oh Bonnie - I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing. I have been starting to frequent Whole Foods more and more, and honestly, just love it there. I really love how you shared so many local companies - I am going to keep my eyes peeled on my next visit. AND....that Grilled Corn recipe is to die for! Going to try this week.

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    1. Thank you so much Dana! I'm trying that corn on the cob recipe too! It was wonderful! Sweet and flavorful! The perfect accent for fresh corn.

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  6. Looks like fun! I just heard about the Ripe bar mixers (at the Jalapeno Heaven event from the Karma Tequila Rep!) I've been wanting to try them - and now I know where to find them. ;)

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    1. They were soooo good! Great flavors and there was a real need for this product. The taste is incredibly fresh and natural.

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  7. Bonnie, looks like a great time! I love all the fresh options at WFM! Even when you buy chocolate there, you can't feel guilty about it!! :D

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    1. You are so lucky to have a Whole Foods right in your town! And I agree that the chocolate is even healthier at Whole Foods!

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  8. Wow Bonnie, looks like you had fun! I've never been much of a Whole Foods shopper, but now I will have to reconsider! I almost wish my blog was more CT centric, so it would make sense for me to attend these awesome events. Great post!

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    1. Kyle, come to one! They are a great way to meet up with other bloggers, and learn more about some local products.

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  9. Great post, Bonnie. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun. It almost makes me wish that my blog was more CT centric, so it would make sense for me to attend (and write about) these local events

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  10. That granola crisp thing and the corn look AMAZING!

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    1. Yes!!!! Both were great! Really easy too!

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  11. That looks like so much yummy, Bonnie! It must have been fun.

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  12. Bonnie...What a great post! I need to send readers your way for corn recipe. My assistants loved it and have asked for me to recreate it at home. I love the last picture. Such a great capture of what this event was all about!

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    1. I can't believe how good the corn was! So sweet! So good! Your assistants are wonderful!

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  13. Bonnie, great post...great photos! Looks like a great event you had the opportunity to attend...love Whole Foods! Wish they would bring a store closer to Ellington!

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    1. Sounds like a bunch of us are sad that there aren't Whole Foods in every town!

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  14. This is like my 5th visit to this post. (-:

    I am really beginning to think that my photography will improve when I actually own a camera. Once again Bonnie, great photos. Love the perspective. I shared the Japanese grilled corn recipe from WholeFoods Jon on my Facebook page. (-:

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    1. I hope 5 visits is a good thing...and not that you were disappointed about anything?

      That's so nice of you to compliment the pictures...I must take 20 of every shot in order to get one good one!

      Thanks for sharing Jon's recipe! The corn was so good! It's a recipe keeper!

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