Fresno Food Expo opens with plenty of fancy food, drink and new name
The Fresno Food Expo, the state’s largest regional food show, got underway Thursday with more than 140 of the state’s premier food makers showcasing everything from spicy barbecue flavored tortilla chips to horchata flavored milk.
Held at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall, the expo is in its eighth season and continues to grow. This year, organizers expanded the expo’s San Joaquin Valley refocus to include food makers from throughout the state. It has also changed its name to the California Food Expo to better reflect its new mission.
Karen Ross, California Secretary of Food and Agriculture, praised the event and its role in promoting California’s food producers.
“You have created a signature event that showcases this place, what you grow, how you grow it and the who people who grow it,” she said.
Amy Fuentes, the expo manager, said that while the event began as a way to showcase Fresno’s established and start-up food makers, it has been approached many times by vendors from outside the area.
During Thursday morning’s welcome breakfast, the winners of the show’s major awards were announced. Winning the New Product Award was Enzo’s Table Peach Jam. The Consumer Choice Award went to La Tapatilla Tortilleria’s Spice BBQ Tortilla Chips. And the Fred Ruiz Entrepreneurial Award was given to Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Co.
More than 700 local and national buyers met with the shows vendors during the business-to-business portion of the expo.
On Thursday night, the public gets its chance to sample the food and drink from the expo’s vendors. The evening portion, known as Expolicious, runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. For tickets vist the expo’s website at www.fresnofoodexpo.com