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SMITHFIELD

Soon after the town of Smithfield was established in 1752, the succulent amber colored dry-salt hams made from peanut-fed hogs started a tradition that would make Smithfield, Virginia famous the world over. Capt. Mallory Todd dry cured the first ham in 1779. As a result of gentle hardwood smoking and dry salt curing passed down through generations of curemasters, the tradition has spread beyond those simple beginnings along the Pagan River to homes across America A 1926 state law permits only a ham cured within the town limits to be awarded the name. In his own ham paean, the New York Times’ R.W. Apple on March 23, 2005 noted that Smithfield ham “bears about as much resemblance to your pink, watery, run-of-the-mill brine-cured ham as a horse chestnut does to a chestnut horse.”

In 1936 Joseph W. Luter & Joseph W. Luter, Jr. founded the Smithfield Packing Company along a tributary of the historic James River. Over the decades, the town’s many smokehouses — Gwaltney, Luter’s, and so on — have been filtered into a single company. As the only remaining game in Smithfield town, it holds claim to what’s arguablythe closest American equivalent of Europe's protected food appellations. Over the years, the curing process for Genuine Smithfield Hams has changed very little. However, with the development of high-tech hog breeding techniques, there is now a new generation of pork that combines yesterday’s goodness with today’s leaner taste. These delicious, honey-cured or sugar cured gourmet hams are a milder flavored, slowly hardwood smoked, moist and tender additions to the Smithfield family of hams. Smithfield’s product line has expanded to include smoked turkey, smoked seafood, chicken and pork barbeque, desserts and more. Smithfield today, in addition to sharing the foods and traditions with which Virginia is so richly blessed – classic, gourmet foods that compliment the Tidewater coastal lowlands, the fertile Piedmont and the majestic mountains of the Ridge and Valley – has grown with the gourmet food industry and expanded their product line to offer the finest foods from around the country.

THE PEANUT SHOP OF WILLIAMSBURG

Located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg is The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg, the place where our own "founding fathers" began. It was in that tiny shop where their small batch, hand-cooked roasting techniques were developed and perfected. Although there have been many changes since The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg first opened its doors, what hasn't changed is the extraordinary, crunchy flavor resulting from time honored roasting methods. The Peanut Shop peanuts still achieve their legendary flavor and crunchiness as a result of time honored cooking practices. They begin with only premium quality, super extra large Virginia peanuts, hand selected for their size. These peanuts are first water blanched, which gives them their fresh and unique crunchiness, and then small batch roasted in 100% peanut oil under the direct supervision of their Roastmaster.


VIRGINIA DINER

A LEGEND IN A NUTSHELL SINCE 1929
You may not realize that the Virginia Diner really is a 80-year old diner located in Wakefield, Virginia known for its home style cooking served up with plenty of Southern smiles. In those days the little diner was a refurbished Sussex, Surry, and Southampton Railroad car.Being in the heart of peanut country, it wasn’t long before they were cooking peanuts and serving them in the Diner as their country version of “after dinner mints.” Today The Virginia Diner has been replicated and the old railroad car has become a legend, but its quaint atmosphere has been faithfully preserved and still reflects throughout the restaurant. Antique peanut vendor roasters and buckets of free peanuts for munching continue to greet guests at the front door along with the irresistible aroma of freshly prepared dishes. Today, people all over the United States buy and enjoy many varieties of Virginia Diner peanuts and many send them to friends, colleagues, and family as appreciated gifts, fresh from local fields and prepared in its kitchen instead of after-dinner mints. On March 24, 2008, in Season 3, Episode 3 of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, called Regional Favorites, Guy Fieri journeyed from the East Coast to the southwest for regional specialties including classic Southern cooking at the landmark Virginia Diner.

CHINCOTEAGUE SEAFOOD COMPANY

Chincoteague Seafood Co., Inc., a local family-owned business has successfully operated boats and processing facilities in Chincoteague and Atlantic, Virginia, located just south of the Maryland line. Chincoteague is nationally known as the home of quality seafood, particularly clams, crabs and oysters. It is also famous because it is the focal point every year of the nationally known Pony Swim, in which the wild Assateague ponies are gathered together for a swim across a shallow channel into Chincoteague, where many are auctioned off.

The company was started in 1955 when Bernard Rubin, their founder and current Chairman, began selling their clam chowder to restaurants in New England under their original Cape Cod label. In 1969, as a result of a clam supply problem in the northeast, he searched for a new location and opened a processing facility in Atlantic, Virginia to take advantage of the area's abundant supply of high quality clams. In 1974, as a result of company growth, the second processing facility was opened in Chincoteague, Virginia and also became the corporate headquarters.

Their newest venture, completed in May 2001, was the acquisition and move into a brand new office facility and distribution center in Parsonsburg, Maryland (outside of Salisbury, Maryland). This facility allows greater access to the trucking companies that transport their products to their many repeat customers around the country, and the future expansion of their company.

Their product line can best be described as a "gourmet" quality line that is competitively priced and is “Naturally Sea-Licious”. They cut no corners on quality and the results can be seen in their finished products. Today, they sell their products to restaurants, colleges, hospitals, other institutions, and retail customers throughout the United States. Their uncompromising recipes are based on fresh, high-quality ingredients, and provide a home-made authentic taste and presentation. They use no MSG, preservatives, artificial colorings or artificial flavorings in our soups. They have expanded their product line over the past few years, including their newest items, Crab and Cheddar Soup, Shrimp Bisque, and Lobster and Cheddar Bisque, in order to meet the growing demand for diversity in consumer tastes.

They have been awarded the American Taste Award of Excellence certificates on our New England Clam Chowder, Manhattan Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, Cream of Crab Soup, and Vegetable Red Crab Soup.

To this day, Chincoteague Seafood Co., Inc. remains active in all phases of the seafood business including a large commercial and retail distribution network.

BLUE CRAB BAY

In 1985, Blue Crab Bay founder Pamela Barefoot had an inspired vision of what a business could be. From her seaside farmhouse kitchen she imagined a company that would put the tastes of the Chesapeake region on the map, be a protector of the environment and provide stimulating and fun employment for citizens of her rural community. Surrounding herself with foods from the Chesapeake, a functioning stove, a list of contacts and boatloads of imagination and determination, Barefoot got to work. Sales exploded, awards rained plentiful, and the number of employees mounted. Barefoot began distribution of other products, including foods and gift items.

Her first brand, Blue Crab Bay Co.,featured original products like seasonings for crab dip and gift packs wrapped in weathered fishnet with seashells. In the late 1980's, on the strength of the addictive "Clam Dip Blend", the customer base escalated geographically and her small company began exhibiting at national trade shows.
Blue Crab Bay offers an extensive product line of specialty foods and gifts, internationally recognized for their signature blue labeling, handsome packaging and unrivaled taste. The handsome packaging even gained the attention of Hollywood set directors. Kitchen cabinets were stocked full in an opening shot of Julia Roberts' film "Sleeping with the Enemy."

When she found her company in financial trouble, Barefoot did not give up. She went into her kitchen and developed her dream product. She spent the early months of 1994 mixing tomato paste, clam juice, horseradish and seafood spices to create Sting Ray Bloody Mary Mixer. Their best selling Sting Ray® Bloody Mary Mixer won top honors in Outstanding Beverage a prestigious award competition at the International Fancy Food Show in New York. Blue Crab Bay Co. has been featured in many national publications, including INC., Coastal Living and Nation's Business. The company was selected as a 1998 Blue Chip Enterprise and in 1999 Barefoot was honored as the Small Business Administration's Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Virginia. In 2003, she received the SBA's Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur Award in Washington, DC.

In the shadows of all this success, Blue Crab Bay Co.'s corporate culture continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to the environment and its rural Eastern Shore community. Each year, employees energetically plan and execute charity events. Since 1998, the Blue Crabbers Relay for Life Team has raised over $50,000 to benefit the American Cancer Society. The company supports various organizations including the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Citizens for a Better Eastern Shore, The Nature Conservancy, and the United Way of United Way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

GOLD TROPHY WINNER International Fancy Food Show:

·Outstanding Beverage STING RAY MIXER June 1998.

SILVER TROPHY WINNERS International Fancy Food Show:

·Outstanding Appetizer CRAB DIP KIT July 1999.

·Outstanding Product Line June 1998.

·Outstanding Food Gift Pack SOUPER GIFT PACK June 1998.

·Outstanding Beverage STING RAY MIXER June 1997.

·Outstanding Beverage STING RAY MIXER July 1995.

OTHER PRODUCT AWARD:

·Award of Excellence for a Regional Product, presented by Julia Child and the American Institute of Wine & Food, Washington, DC October 1991.

SMALL BUSINESS AWARDS:

·Hottest National Brand, Virginia Business Magazine 1999.

·Fantastic 50 Award, Virginia Chamber of Commerce, for recognition as one of Virginia's fastest-growing private companies March 1998.

 

BYRD MILL

The Tradition of Byrd Mill began in 1740. Young Patrick Henry visited the mill often, bringing corn, wheat and buckwheat from his father's nearby plantation. Byrd Mill continued in operation at its original site until 1968 when an untimely fire brought an end to production in the original building. Byrd Mill now located in Ashland, Virginia manufactures some of the finest gourmet mixes available while still offering many of those old tyme products.

GRAVES MOUNTAIN

Graves’ Mountain Lodge is nestled deep in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains near Syria, Virginia. Graves Mountain Lodge established its cannery in 1980. They use family recipes to make their old-fashioned preserves unmatched for their quality and goodness. They cook their preserves in open kettles. The batches are kept small and each product is made as needed. They use the finest quality fruit, pure cane sugar and all natural seasonings in creating a product they feel is as good as "Grandma used to make.

HOLY CROSS ABBEY

Monastery Creamed Honey is from the monks of Holy Cross Abbey, Berryville, Virginia. Holy Cross Abbey is a monastery of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance (Trappists) sheltered by the Blue Ridge Mountains in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It is a natural product made of the finest clover honey, slowly mixed until it has light creamy texture, the consistency of butter.

ROWENA'S

Red Rocker Candy, LLC brings you the goodness of old-fashioned candies and chocolates, hand-made in small batches in their factory. It started as a desire to make the best toffees and brittles as gifts for friends and family. It turned into the fulfillment of a life-long dream. Red Rocker is now based in the small Virginia town of Troy. Each batch of candy is hand-made in their new facility using only the finest ingredients:pure butter, the best nuts money can buy, and the best chocolate available on the market. In August, 2015 was in Virginia Living magazine's August feature about candy making in Virginia. 


WOODPECKER FARM FOODS

Woodpecker Farm Foods presents food products that are all natural from Old Virginia family recipes. Woodpecker Farm Foods was originally founded in 1993 by Charles and Pat Linton. Charles is a great grandson of George Washington's sister, Betty Washington of Lewis Kenmore in Fredericksburg, VA. In 1993 they decided to share some of the family recipes that were passes down through the years. Many of the family recipes date back to George Washington's family and Colonial times. Woodpecker Farm Foods has strived to provide quality, Virginia-made products with a tie to our nation’s history. For example, they use unbleached wheat flour and stone-ground corn meal instead of processed flours. The only processed ingredients are those that are part of the baking powder or baking soda found in the products, which have been added to the original recipes to improve preparation. Try some of these great products and see for yourself how history and modern times have combined to bring you the "best of the best."

The company is now owned by Mike & Mandy Onda (Mandy is a relative of the Lintons) who seek to provide the same level of quality and service that Woodpecker Farm Foods is known for. They hope their products become a tradition for your family, too.

CABIN CREEK ROASTERS

Cabin Creek Roasters is a small volume specialty coffee roaster located in Edinburg, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley. Monty Ruckman started roasting his own coffee after swearing never to drink bad coffee again after 21 years of bad U.S. Navy coffee. With increased demand for his coffee and four years of experience Cabin Creek Roasters began business. After the coffee is roasted, it is immediately bagged in high-quality re-sealable UV resistant bag with a one way CO2 escape valve. It also protects the coffee from moisture and oxygen and once opened the air can be pressed out through the valve to extend freshness.

Here is what they have to say about Coffee:
The taste of coffee (characteristic) can vary greatly, depending on where and under what conditions the beans are grown, as well as the roast profile applied to them. The characteristics of the bean can depend on everything from the type of coffee tree they are grown on, to elevation, or rainfall; how they were picked and prepared, and where and how they were dried. Every single step of coffee cultivation can drastically change the flavor of the bean. The plantation workers, the earth, and even the weather have all contributed to the natural unique taste this bean will carry. By the time the green (raw) beans have reached our Roastmaster, they already carry within them the characteristics to make a unique flavor of coffee. Not every coffee is roasted to the same level (style). Our Roastmaster finds the perfect roast style to enhance each coffee we import, so that each has its own taste, and is discernible from our other coffees. Roasting will not only bring forth the natural flavors and oils from within the bean, but it will also add a roasted flavor ranging from an essence of light cinnamon to a bittersweet caramel smoky flavor. It is the job of the Roastmaster to celebrate and honor the beans’ attributes with a perfect roasting recipe and then to recreate that same roast consistently. The roasting process is a lot of what sets good coffee apart from exceptional coffee.

We have chosen Cabin Creek Colombian Supremo coffee for our gift baskets and boxes. It will take the place of First Colony Coffee which is no longer roasted in Virginia.
 
 

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