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Press Releases

July 5, 2024
Thirteen Virginia Specialty Food Businesses Featured at the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show
~ Clark + Hopkins wins fourth sofi Gold Award with DC-inspired hot sauce ~

Contact: Michael Wallace

Thirteen Virginia companies exhibited at the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show at the Javits Center in New York City, showcasing their locally crafted specialty items alongside more than 2,000 exhibitors from 56 countries. Artisan hot sauce makers Clark + Hopkins won their fourth sofi Gold Award, this time for their District Sauce.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) supported the local businesses by hosting a Virginia State Pavilion within the trade show to highlight the Virginia’s Finest companies exhibiting at the Summer Fancy Food Show. VDACS also coordinated networking opportunities with domestic and international industry buyers and distribution companies.

"It’s always exciting to see some of Virginia’s finest quality products showcased alongside such a diverse range of specialties from around the U.S. and other parts of the world. The Summer Fancy Food Show is an opportunity to bring attention to what Virginia has to offer, and connect these talented business owners with key buyers representing grocery stores, restaurants, markets, and gift shops," said VDACS Commissioner Joseph Guthrie. "Clark + Hopkins is a particularly impressive success story, and I congratulate them on winning their fourth sofi Gold Award, showing that they are the best in creating unique and delicious hot sauces."

For more than 50 years, the Specialty Food Association has honored the best in the trade through the prestigious sofi Award, which is presented during the Summer Fancy Food Show. This year, Clark + Hopkins, a Leesburg-based maker of artisan hot sauces and Bloody Mary mixes, was recognized as a 2024 sofi Award gold winner in the hot sauce category. The winning sauce, District Sauce, features a unique fusion of hot honey and fragrant berbere spices, crafted as an homage to Washington, D.C.’s Ethiopian community. This is the fourth sofi Award for Clark + Hopkins, as they were previously recognized for their Ethiopia Pepper Sauce in 2023, Laos Pepper Sauce in 2020, and Assam Pepper Sauce in 2019.

"The Summer Fancy Food Show is the food show of North America. Anybody you can think of in the food world comes to this show, and 20 percent of our sales come through connections made at that show," said Clark + Hopkins founder Brandon Clark. "Virginia is the only state with this level of support in its Summer Fancy Food Show pavilion, and we have the most supportive cheerleaders in the VDACS team. When we’re engaged as a foodie community, the rest of the state is too."

The Summer Fancy Food Show also provided an opportunity to showcase a new Virginia collaboration, with Belmont Peanuts and Jody’s Popcorn flavors infused with Clark + Hopkins.

The following is a list of the Virginia companies that exhibited in this year’s trade show.

Many of these companies are participants in the VDACS’ Virginia’s Finest trademark program. The Virginia’s Finest program identifies, differentiates, and promotes top-quality, Virginia-produced and processed specialty food and beverage products.

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