3,000 Products Competed for Top Specialty Food Association Award
Belmont, CA (April 21, 2017) – Black Sesame Seed Toffee Brittle has won sofi Gold Award in Chocolate Candy in the Specialty Food Association’s 2017 sofi™ Awards competition.
A sofi is the top honor in the $127 billion specialty food industry. “sofi” stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation and represents the best of the best from members of the Specialty Food Association.
The Black Sesame Seed Toffee Brittle was one of 154 Winners selected by a national panel of 62 specialty food experts from 3,000 entries across 39 categories. Every entry is carefully assessed by passionate and knowledgeable food professionals including chefs, culinary experts, academics, food writers, and category buyers. Products are judged on taste, including flavor, appearance, texture and aroma, as well as ingredient quality. All tastings are blind.
“We are honored that Black Sesame Seed Toffee Brittle has won a coveted sofi Award,” says Christine Doerr, owner of NeoCocoa. “As entrepreneurs we are always looking for ways to know that our product is loved. This is one of the ultimate stamps of approval and we’re very grateful.” Black Sesame Seed Toffee Brittle is found at Bi-Rite Markets, Canyon Market, Toque Blanche and the La Cocina Kiosk.
“A sofi means a product, and the people behind it, have arrived,” says Phil Kafarakis, president, Specialty Food Association. “This year’s winners represent a devotion to excellence and innovation in specialty food that continues to fuel our industry, excite consumers and expand retail offerings around the world.”
The sofi Awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association established in 1952 for food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs with more than 3,400 members in the U.S. and abroad.
From a total pool of nearly 2,000 entries, NeoCocoa’s Nib Brittle was selected as a winner in the Confection Category of the 2016 Good Food Awards.
Edible Silicon Valley
“I am a local girl and I sell locally,” says Christine Doerr, founder of Neo Cocoa Chocolate Truffles. And when she says “local,” she means it. Doerr grew up in Silicon Valley, worked for local chocolatier Cocolat at Stanford..."
San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Ganache is proof that God loves us,” exclaimed a student with pink and purple hair, as Neo Cocoa founder Christine Doerr rapidly whisked a bowl of melted chocolate and poured it into a metal frame for cooling.
San Francisco Bay Guardian - Best of the Bay 2012
Christine Doerr the chocoholic force behind Neo Cocoa makes truffles sans the outer hard chocolate shell. Why bother with an extra layer when you can go straight to the gooey ganache inside capable of melting perfectly in your mouth? After all isn’t their filling the reason why we eat truffles in the first place? That was Doerr’s thought anyway when she enrolled in La Cocina’s food vendor incubator program. Now she has her own personal chocolate kitchen and her amazing ridiculously decadent chocolates can be found all over the Bay Area. Warning to all Neo newbies: these truffles are dangerously addictive!
Neo Cocoa was recently included in Dessert Professional magazine’s Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America 2011. Christine Doerr’s business, is best known for its truffles, sold wholesale to stores in San Francisco.
“In the few years since founding Neo Cocoa, Christine Doerr has garnered some serious accolades including being most awarded at the 2011 San Francisco International Chocolate Salon including Best Truffle and Most Luxurious Chocolate Experience."
“Christine Doerr describes her Neo Cocoa truffles as "naked." Unlike the boxed assortments we're used to, Neo Cocoa truffles contain only the creamy chocolate filling (known as ganache) and not the hard outer shell (or couverture). This simplicity of structure results in simple, vividly flavored chocolates in varieties such as warm ginger root, freshly zested lime, mocha cinnamon, and almond butter with smoked sea salt.”
Neo Cocoa - Gourmet Walks on Chocolate
Gourmet Walks 6/23/09
The chocolate media darling of the year is undoubtedly Christine Doerr's Neo Cocoa. I first sampled these unique truffles at the San Francisco Chocolate Salon, where Neo Cocoa snagged a first place for "Best Truffle" and a second place for "Best Traditional Chocolates," "Top Artisan Chocolatier," "Most Luxurious Chocolate Experience," "New Product" and "Best in Salon." With accolades like that, how much higher can Neo Cocoa soar?
Salon Celebrates the Fine Art of Chocolate
Christina Troup, SF Examiner 03/19/09
"good chocolate should have depth, complexity, flavor notes and mouth-feel, says Doerr. I personally like to eat chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao."
Sara Desaran, 7x7 Magazine Bits + Bites 03/05/09
"these are my new favorite truffles "handcrafted in San Francisco." Christine Doerr started out at the Stanford Shopping Center at the Cocolat retail shop (all hail Alice Medrich), went on to the CCA, became a pastry chef, went to design school, worked as a graphic designer and of course, chocolate called her back! Good thing it did."
The Nibble 03/05/09
The roster of chocolates at Neo Cocoa is small, but it’s growing slowly. These chocolates are intense, but they’re not excessively bittersweet (you try pulling that off sometime!). While they’re probably best suited to those devoted to stronger flavors, I’m sure those uber-smooth textures will pull in many new fans.