Get Out The Vote!

Now, before you think we’ve gone political and run away screaming, let me assure you, we’re about as far from it as you can get.  Yes, this is the year for voting, but we’re asking for your help on a completely different issue.  Give me a couple minutes of your time, and I’ll explain.

Croix Valley Steak Sauce is a local company (great sauces, too) and Damon and the crew need our help.  He’s in the process of putting together a commercial kitchen over in St. Paul, as well as forming a “guild” of local manufacturers who would share the in the expenses of trying to get a food business off the ground (and, if you’ve never done it before, let me just say that it ain’t easy).  As luck would have it, Chase Bank and LivingSocial have a grant competition going on right now called Mission:  Small Business, where they’ll be giving out $250,000 grants to each of 12 selected businesses around the country.  Damon’s proposal is one of the businesses in the running, but we need  to collect 250 votes for him by June 30 or his proposal won’t make the first cut.

That’s where you come in.  Here’s what you can do to help:

  1. Surf on over to the Mission: Small Business website.
  2. Click the “Log In & Support” button to log into the site (you’ll need to have a Facebook account)
  3. Type “Croix Valley” (without quotes) in the business name box and click the “Search” button.  You shouldn’t have to enter the state or city, but if nothing comes up, select”Wisconsin” for the state, and “Hudson” for the city.
  4. Click the “Vote” button to the right of “Croix Valley Steak Sauces“.

That’s it!  If you want, feel free to share your vote on Facebook or Twitter.  And pass the word on to your friends.

Why are we asking for your help?  We plan to take advantage of the Guild once it’s up and running, and having a production kitchen closer to home would give us greater control over the quality of our products, as well as make it possible for us to start creating new sauces and rubs (yes, I said rubs, we’ve got dry mixes “in the mix” so stay tuned).  In other words, a vote for Damon is (indirectly) a vote for us as well.

Thank you for your time.  Now get out there and vote!

Here Comes the Judge

You may remember (and don’t worry if you don’t, as we’re going to tell you) that Scott participated in ILoveItSpicy.com‘s “Feast Your Eyes On This” challenge this time last year, where he finished in 3rd place.  The competition is back this year, and Scott’s a judge for Round 3 (hmmm, 3rd place, 3rd round, I see a pattern here).

Check out the videos from the participants and vote for your favorite.

Springtime, And the Grillin’ Is Easy!

The weather up here in Minnesota has been fantastic these past few days.  Unseasonably fantastic.  Frighteningly fantastic.  Frankly, we’re skeptical it’ll last (remember, the only month there hasn’t been officially recorded snow in Minnesota is July, though there have been several claims of flakes on the 4th).  Whatever the weather’s going to do next, right now it’s perfect for grilling.  And what’s better, you might ask, for grilling than jerk chicken?  As far as we’re concerned, nothing.  It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s oh, so tasty.

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New Products, a Show, and More Gold!

Whew.  What a week.  We just got back from ZestFest 2012 and, let me tell you, we had a blast there!  And what, pray tell, did we do there?  Well…

  • Debuted 2 new products and won another Golden Chili Award
  • Handed out thousands of samples to hungry visitors
  • Sold a ton of sauce
  • Met some old friends and made some new ones
  • Slept.  Some.  Ok, not much.
But one thing at a time, eh?

Go … Go … Gold (times 3)!

We told you earlier there was some fantastic news coming up this week, now we can finally let the cat out of the bag. The folks over at the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show have just published the 2012 Scovie Award winners, and Judo Joel’s Asian-Infused Jerk Marinade has taken 3 Gold Medals! Yep, that’s right, we’re #1 in three categories this year:

This is fantastic news! Let me tell you, Joel’s bouncing all over the place (and threatening to throw everyone), and we all are extremely pleased.

But wait, you say. We’re both the #1 Hot Jerk and #1 Mild Jerk Sauce? How’s that work? Honestly, we’re not sure. What we do know is last year, there weren’t enough competitors for there to be two categories of Jerk Barbecue Sauce, so they combined them into a single “Barbecue Sauce, Jerk” category … and we took a silver. This year, the field is heating up, enough so that they could have two categories. Technically, we consider our marinade to be in the “medium” range and, since they don’t have a “medium” category, we entered in both “hot” and “mild” again (like we did last year). This time, Joel walks away with a gold in each! So, suffice it to say, we’re very, very pleased, and we want to both thank the judges as well as wish a warm congratulations to all of this year’s winners!

And if you think we’ll be resting on our laurels, think again: We just got the latest samples from our next two products back from the lab, and they’re really good! Look for new sauces coming to the Judo Joel line around the first of the year!

Wa-HOO!