Overheard On the Road

October OTR Feedback

Were you at our October On The Road networking event? Tag yourself in the Facebook photo album and share your pictures as well. 

This networking and tasting event happened because a member like you made it happen. Want to have an event near you? Have a suggestion for a larger location? Reach out to [email protected].

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NJMEP Manufacturing Day and Survey Results

What do YOU think is the most urgent issue facing NJ businesses?

Online and at our booth at the NJMEP Manufacturing Day Celebration we asked people to drop a business card in what they thought was the biggest challenge facing NJ businesses today. What should we be planning the annual NJFPA Conference around? (OK we did bribe them with a chance at Eagles / Flyers /Conference tickets. Winners to be announced shortly.) We asked them to choose between:

  1. Workforce
  2. Transportation / Logistics
  3. Agility (How can you plan when everything keeps changing!)
  4. Other

The winner by a landslide was workforce.

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October OTR Recap and Photos

October OTR Recap and Photo Album

Were you at our October On The Road networking event? Tag yourself in the Facebook photo album and share your pictures as well. (How is it possible that the Cultinary Family Farm twins were not captured on camera??)

The staff and space of Cross Keys Brewing were wonderfully welcoming and the room was packed. Thank goodness the rain held off because the crowd was spilling out the door. Not that rain would have kept anyone from lining up for dinner from Red's Rolling Restaurant.

Culinary Family Farms Black Garlic was an experience. When they walk you through the flavors like a wine tasting you know this is something special. Superfoods was already using black garlic in their recipes and were excited to meet a NJ source. The samples of Superfood's veggie burgers, taco filling, and "forbidden banana bread" are all vegan and amazingly delicious. Paul is an experienced chef that has already brought products to Costco and it shows. We got to learn a little more about the history behind the spring rolls of Carey's Gourmet and their established following. 

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Food Business Basics Workshop - Register Now

Thursday, November 3, 2022 - Food Business Workshop

Are you interested in the upcoming Rutgers Food Innovation Center, Food Business Basics Workshop but still on the fence?

Check out the workshop schedule to see the full scope of what this day will cover to bring your food business to the next level: branding, packaging materials, food safety, sales, Whole Foods foragers, and finding co-packers. 

And this workshop is not just for startups! Are you new to the industry and need a crash course? An established small business looking to take things to the next level? Even the largest NJ food processors have taken advantage of the resources of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center to test out new recipes, formulas, and processes. 

Still not sure? Reach out to [email protected] and [email protected] to learn more. The first 15 NJFPA members that mention this post will get a VERY special rate.

If you can't make this one, remember that NJFPA members always get 10% off on RFIC classes. 

Member Spotlight: DirtyJerzBBQ

Wolfgang Tsoutsouris of DirtyJerzBBQ

The original Dirty Jerz BBQ Sauce was created by CEO/Founder, Wolfgang Tsoutsouris, in his home kitchen, right here in New Jersey. Wolfgang was at our recent Golf Outing connecting with people about the NJ food space and finding small-batch co-packers in NJ. 

Worlfgang is also a business consultant and active member of the Association for Corporate Growth, NJ Chapter. He recommends ACG events to all NJFPA members looking to grow their businesses. Get connected with him and other NJFPA members in our Member Directory and watch your business grow. 

Hopefully, you got a taste of his signature sauce at our in person October 13th OTR at Cross Keys Brewing

Missed it? This networking and tasting event happened because a member like you made it happen. Want to have an event near you? Have an idea for a location? Reach out to [email protected].



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October 13th OTR Updates!

October 13th OTR - New Tastings

For our October OTR we are featuring some up-and-coming local food processors.

If that wasn't enough to tempt you, we are excited to welcome Larry Walker, President & CEO of Balford Foods who will share a few words on his experiences and advice in the food industry.

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Piscataway RFIC Update

Rutgers Food Innovation Center North - Fall 2022 Update

While Rutgers University made a fiscal decision to no longer rent job Rutgers-owned buildings during the COVID era, they did want to continue the presence of RFIC North. We received approval from the SEBS executive leadership team and the Chair of the Food Science Department to take up residency in a lab on the 4th floor of the Food Science building. This smaller space is designed to allow start up’s and clients from the northern part of the state and New York Metro area to meet with the FIC team without needing to drive to the Bridgeton site for initial conversations and testing of prototypes.

While this new space in New Brunswick will not allow for manufacturing as Piscataway had, it is still an opportunity for potential clients to begin the process of working with RFIC. The biggest advantage comes from the opportunity for the professors and student body to engage much easier with the RFIC team who will be in the New Brunswick lab and office a few times a month. FIC will offer food safety and training courses, both virtually and in person. Work with the sensory labs will grow and the marketing team will have access to a remarkably diverse group to work with on competing analyses. All in all, entering the next phase of FIC in New Brunswick promises to afford new and exciting horizons for everyone. 

- Nolan Lewin 
Rutgers Food Innovation Center

Remember NJFPA members always get a 10% discount on FIC training courses!

Build Your Workforce Pipeline

Inspire the next generation of food and beverage manufacturers!

NJFPA member Melissa Eckstein is the District Career Facilitator of the Gateway 2 Careers program at Gateway Regional High School. She is legendary throughout the state for developing symbiotic relationships between education and the workforce. (Food Forum Podcast S2E7)

Having cultivated partnerships with 150 businesses and counting, she has created career opportunities for students, as well as workforce development prospects for companies. You are invited to participate in their December 2nd career day to speak to Gateway students directly about careers available at your company and learn about the workforce programs at Gateway 2 Careers that are building a pipeline of talent for area businesses.

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NJ Manufacturing Day Schedule

October 7th - NJ Manufacturing Day Schedule

Stop by the NJFPA booth for your 'Proud NJFPA Member' pin AND a chance to win NJFPA Conference tickets, Eagles and Flyers tickets!

What?!? You still aren't registered yet? Use code SOTS15 for 15% off: https://www.njmep.org/events/manufacturing-day/

2023 NJFPA Conference Save the Date!

March 16-17, 2023 - Atlantic City

In 2023, the New Jersey Food Processors Association will again gather on March 16-17 in Atlantic City to share ideas, benchmark industry trends, and network amongst peers. This is a cornerstone program for the NJFPA that continues to grow its reach and engagement.

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NJFPA On the Road October 13th

On The Road Networking at Cross Keys Brewing

Date: Thursday, October 13th at 5:30 PM - 8:30 ET
Location: Cross Keys Brewing - Williamstown, NJ 08094
Registration: https://njfpa.memberclicks.net/otrcrosskeys
$40 Non-member
$35 Member

For our October OTR we are featuring some up-and-coming local food processors. Sample new in-development sauces from Dirty Jerz BBQ, taste the next hot flavor of Black Garlic with Cultinary Family Farms, and more. Have some samples you want to share? Want feedback from the staff of Rutgers Food Innovation Center? Contact [email protected].

Thank you to our sponsor M&T Bank!
In good times, networking can seem like an "optional" activity. But throughout the pandemic, the theme of relationships came up again and again with our members. That when (not if) an emergency happened, they weren't just searching google for help. Our members could rely on the relationships built through the NJFPA. Relationships with other food processors that are going through the same things. Relationships with vendors they can trust.

Register Today: https://njfpa.memberclicks.net/otrcrosskeys

Member Spotlight: Garton's Rigging Crane

Member Spotlight: Garton's Rigging Crane

New member John McDaris is with business development at Garton’s and reached out to the NJFPA to begin building more relationships in the wider NJ Food industry. Look for him at our upcoming On The Road in Williamstown and welcome him to the NJFPA.

"Garton’s Rigging was founded in 1946 by Buster Garton’s grandfather, Henry Garton with just one 8- ton crane and a stake body truck. Henry initially founded the company to service the crane rental and transport needs of the booming Vineland and Millville areas.

While we started in the crane and transporting business what a lot of people don't know is that we also do rigging of equipment for the food industry.

We have been working on this in the Vineland areas since 1950’s and our clients have said they really appreciated the way we accommodate all their needs for handling their process equipment."

Co-Packers - Co-Packers - Co-Packers!

Calling all Co-Packers!

Hands down, one of the most frequent questions we get at NJFPA is where to find a co-packer, especially a NEW JERSEY co-packer. Are you a co-packer looking for new clients? Do you know of one? Are you looking to build more co-packing space in NJ? Reach out to us at the October OTR or [email protected]

"I want the governor to be serving my sauce at his next BBQ. How can I do that if it's being made in Pennsylvania!"
- Wolfgang Tsoutsouris 
Dirty Jerz BBQ

Celebrate National Manufacturing Day!

NJFPA is proud to sponsor NJMEP's 'MADE in New Jersey' National Manufacturing Day

Date: October 7, 2022 - 8:00 AM-3:00 PM
Location:  iPlay America, 110 Schanck Road, Freehold, NJ 07728
Registration: https://www.njmep.org/events/manufacturing-day/

Each year, Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) is held on the first Friday in October in order to show students, parents, and the public what modern manufacturing is all about.

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One Day Food Business Basics Course

One Day Food Business Basics Course

Looking to jump-start or level up a new food business? The one-day session will include business and technical experts, including an attorney, food scientists, a packaging expert, trend and marketing experts and so much more.  (You know, like an NJFPA event!)

Date: November 3, 2022 8:30 AM-5:00 PM
Location:  Rutgers Eco Center 1200 Florence Columbus Road, Bordentown, NJ 08505.
Registration: https://foodinnovation.rutgers.edu/what-fic-does/learn/food-business-basics/

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FREE Event: Resources for Growth Small Business

FREE Event: Resources for Growth Small Business - NJBAC /NJ State Chamber/Chamber of Commerce So. NJ

Date: Wed, September 21, 2022 - 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM EDT
Location: Rowan College at Burlington County, Mt Laurel, NJ 08054
Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resources-for-growth-small-business-event-tickets-392725952897

At the 2022 NJFPA Conference, we talked about the many resources and advantages to doing business in New Jersey. Come find them in one place! Meet with representatives of the programs involved including:

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Monkey Pox Factsheet for the Food Industry

CDC Recommends to Update Your Adverse Health Policy to Include Monkey Pox

The number of cases of Monkey Pox in the U.S. has now risen to the point where the CDC is recommending that all food processing facilities look for the symptoms on their employees (and send them home from work if the “pox” symptoms are present).  Food processors also need to ensure that all food handlers are reminded to follow GMPs and always wear gloves when touching food or food contact surfaces, to mitigate the risks of Monkey Pox being spread through the food materials.

Please read the attached flyer of information regarding the Monkey Pox virus from the Institute for Food Safety at Cornell University. This document was created on August 11, 2022.

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NJFPA Member Benefits on Rutgers Training

NJFPA Member Benefits on Rutgers Training

Back-to-school season is not just for kids. NJFPA members get a 10% discount on training from Rutgers. Remember that everyone in an NJFPA member company is eligible for NJFPA benefits! Contact Rutgers about customized training for your whole staff

Updated course listings have been posted Food Science and Food Safety Courses – Rutgers NJAES Office of Continuing Professional Education Broaden and update your team's food skills with Food Safety training courses and Food Science courses offered by Rutgers, including HACCP training, food microbiology, sensory evaluation, and more. - cpe.rutgers.edu

Featured Course: Sensory Evaluation
Course Code: LF0606CA23 Date: Sept 28 & 29, 2022 - 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Cook Student Center, 59 Biel Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 
Registration: $1,150 per person Early Bird Discount Fee: $1,050 per person (expires September 7, 2022)

NJFPA Member Feedback

NJFPA Member Feedback

Thank you to everyone who contributed their feedback on our organization.  The board had a full day of reflection on the last few years and planning for the next. Our last board retreat was in 2019 and needless to say, a lot has changed since then. We will be sharing some of our conversations over the coming weeks. 

NJFPAs history, our roots, are founded in the personal relationships among our members. A group of processors and allies that respected each other and wanted to support each other to encourage industry growth in the garden state. 

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DFA Call for NJFPA Member Expertise 

DFA Call for NJFPA Member Expertise 

Design for America (DFA) is a nationally recognized organization that fosters student creativity and design thinking skills to address complex problems in local communities.

DFA’s Rutgers chapter invites NJFPA members to collaborate with students in addressing the question, "How can we sustainably equip communities to address the obstacles involved with food insecurity?".

Students will work in teams to design solutions to food insecurity with empathy and creativity. Organizations can gain insights and strategies surrounding unmet needs, and students can develop an affinity for community engagement. For more information or to express interest, please email the DFA at Rutgers team at [email protected].