Small businesses make big connections at Pick Tennessee tradeshow

Staff Reports • Updated Jul 10, 2018 at 11:00 AM

NASHVILLE – Smokin’ Joe’s Food Products, Gypsy Circus Cider and Royal Relish Chow Chow are the official winners of the 2018 Pick Tennessee Products Tradeshow. 

Many other exhibitors went home feeling like winners, as well, having met and even struck deals with major Tennessee retailers.

Tennessee food and farm product entrepreneurs competed for recognition and promoted their products to retail buyers at the event held in Chattanooga as part of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association Convention. All competitors are members of Pick Tennessee, a service of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to connect consumers to Tennessee foods and artisan products. Pick Tennessee helped offset the cost of exhibiting at the TGCSA convention.

The tradeshow has been a fixture of Pick Tennessee for more than 20 years and focuses on value-added products. In 2012, Pick Tennessee started its tradeshow in partnership with TGCSA to give member businesses access to the state’s largest buyers of processed products. Pick Tennessee also connects aspiring food and farm product businesses with commercial kitchens and local farm sources. TDA’s consumer and industry services division helps new entrepreneurs navigate necessary permits for production and packaging.

Smokin Joe’s is a Nashville fish batter and sauce company, with products already on the shelves at Kroger stores and other retail outlets. Smokin’ Joe’s took first with Smokin’ Joe’s Original Tartar Sauce. Second place winner Gypsy Circus Cider Co. near Kingsport uses locally sourced apples when possible to produce their range of ciders. Nashville’s Winfrey Foods took third with Royal Relish Chow Chow, available at Publix and other stores. Tennessee companies Olive and Sinclair Chocolate and salsa, sauce and marinade maker EV Originals won honorable mentions.

Learn more about Tennessee food and farm products, the Pick Tennessee program, farmers markets, farm fun activities, and more at picktnproducts.org. Follow Pick Tennessee on social media for seasonal updates, recipes and events.

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