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Specialty Food Association Honors Industry Pioneers

Specialty Food Association Honors Industry Pioneers


Eight industry trendsetters will receive the Specialty Food Association’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award on June 29, 2015, at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York.

These eight individuals have made a significant impact in the specialty food industry. Sales are at a record high of $109 billion and account for nearly 15 percent of all U.S. retail food sales, according to a press release. They were selected by a special committee from the Specialty Food Association’s inaugural Hall of Fame, which includes 114 food innovators who were inducted in January 2015.

Join us in congratulating the following industry honorees:

  • Giorgio DeLuca, Joel Dean, and Jack Ceglic from Dean & DeLuca

Co-founders DeLuca, Dean, and Ceglic redefined specialty food in the 1970s and 1980s, giving birth to a global brand and inspiring thousands of retailers to embrace specialty food.

  • Edith Friedland from EFCO Imports

Friedland was the first woman to lead the Specialty Food Association/NASFT. Her company introduced European beers, Swiss health foods, and South American hearts of palm to the U.S.

  • Alfred Lepore from Ferrara Foods

Lepore broke new ground for imported Italian foods in the U.S. and fostered U.S. production of Italian products under the iconic Ferrara brand.

  • Steve Reich from Charlotte Charles

Reich introduced specialty foods to the masses by developing specialty food as a gift. Charlotte Charles became one of the most prominent gift packers, manufacturers, and distributors in the industry.

  • John Roberts, Specialty Food Association/NASFT

Roberts led the Specialty Food Association/NASFT for 17 years. He acquired full ownership of the Association’s Fancy Food Shows from a show management company, developed industry-leading media products and introduced education programs for all levels of expertise in the industry.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented at the red-carpet sofi™ Awards ceremony at the Summer Fancy Food Show. The ceremony is open to all show attendees, and will be held at 5:00 – 7:00 pm at Javits Center, Special Events Hall.

Congratulations to these industry innovators!

Specialty Food Association