As the industry gears up for a New York state of mind with this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show, news is just rolling in on the industry influencers that will be honored in the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Hall of Fame. One such accomplished figure is Almondina® Founder Yuval Zaliouk.
"I am honored and humbled to be included with the who’s who of the food industry and those who have fed the world with great taste, high quality, and flair," Yuval Zaliouk said of his nomination. "To think that my additional career would not only honor my grandmother, but my whole family, is beyond my wildest expectations. This is fantastic!"
According to the SFA, its Hall of Fame was created to “honor individuals whose accomplishments, impact, contributions, innovations, and successes within the specialty food industry deserve praise and recognition.”
Yuval is the Founder of Almondina, named after his grandmother Dina, and its parent company YZ Enterprises. According to a press release, Almondina is the inspiring success story of Yuval–a man whose great loves include both music and food.
After a successful career as a maestro, Yuval began his second career in our own industry by formulating the Toledo-based Almondina. The company and its beloved selections all stem from the inventor of the Almondina receipe, Dina.
"Generous as she was in giving away her recipes, Grandma Dina kept the one for Petit Gateau Sec a total secret until the end of her life. Only then did she finally reveal the secret to her daughter, Ahuda, my mother," Yuval shared. "It is with her blessing and with pride that my family shares these delicious, healthful wonders with your family and the world."
Long after his grandmother’s passing, Yuval became aware that her delicious cookie fell in line with the growing demands of health-conscious consumers. Starting by baking in his own kitchen, seven years has found the company’s biscuits available in 50 states, sought after in 7 other countries, and Yuval named as Entrepreneur of the Year.
The company noted that its crunchy, roasted almond biscuits are a healthy and delicious option perfect for pairing with coffee, tea, soft cheeses, and dessert wines.
Yuval first began his professional footprint in the world of music. In 1966, he became the conductor of the Royal Ballet Company in London where he conducted exclusively for famous dancers Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev in Covent Garden and on European tours for four years. In 1975, Maestro took the task of rebuilding the then-defunct Haifa Symphony Orchestra in Israel, in addition to holding directorship positions with The Opera Studio in Paris, and The Edmonton Symphony in Canada. Then, in 1980, Yuval was appointed as Music Director and Conductor of The Toledo Symphony in Ohio, a position he then held for nine years, and is now its Conductor Laureate.
Yuval attended The Haifa Academy of Music, where he graduated with distinction after studying piano, trombone, and percussion. He also graduated with a law degree from The Hebrew University in Jeralusem, while he simultaneously studied conducting at The Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem.
Yuval and Almondina look forward to maintaining the company’s mission: “To put a delicious, healthful cookie on every table.”
As we move closer to Summer Fancy Food Show, count on Deli Market News for all the latest in this year’s awards and industry influencers.