MRM People & Places: Maki Madness and Pancakes for Life

Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine's People & Places column features news of company hires and promotions, charitable efforts and product introductions. 

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The James Beard Foundation and VISIT PHILADELPHIA® announced that together, the organizations will reveal the 2020 James Beard Awards nominees at a live press conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 25 in partnership with Constellation Culinary Group. Jeff Guaracino, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA and Clare Reichenbach, CEO of the James Beard Foundation, will co-host the press conference and corresponding breakfast at The Barnes Foundation. Nominees for more than 50 awards categories, including Restaurant and Chef, Restaurant Design, and Media will be announced. The event will take place at 10:00 A.M. ET and will be streamed live online.

“VISIT PHILADELPHIA and the James Beard Foundation are thrilled for our unique partnership that brings the culinary and tourism industries together to make it easy for travelers to support delicious, diverse, and sustainable food,” said Jeff Guaracino, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA. “The year-round, region-wide collaboration will connect travelers to James Beard–recognized chefs and culinary talents that make the Greater Philadelphia region a not-to-be-missed destination for people who love food and love to make an impact.” 

The annual event taking place in Philadelphia this year is part of a first-of-its-kind culinary tourism partnership between the James Beard Foundation and VISIT PHILADELPHIA, shining light on chefs and the region’s cuisine and culinary missions. 

The 2020 James Beard Awards will mark the 30th anniversary of America’s most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs, restaurants, journalists, authors, and other leaders in the food and beverage industry. Throughout their three-decade history, the Beard Awards have both sparked and reflected trends in America’s food culture. To commemorate the past, honor the present, and look to the future, the Foundation is celebrating the semifinalists, nominees, winners, events, and milestones that have created the dynamic and ever enlightening food and restaurant community we have today. Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. The first James Beard Awards were given in 1991. The James Beard Awards are governed by the volunteer Awards Committee. Each Awards program (Restaurants and Chefs, Books, Journalism, Design, Broadcast Media, and Leadership) has its own subcommittee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards programs. All James Beard Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia.

Sushi Maki has been on a roll, spreading the joy of what great sushi should be – delicious, responsibly-sourced and full of tasty combinations – to guests throughout South Florida for 20 years.

Sushi Maki Ocean Tempura

Founded in 2000, Abe and Christina Ng wanted to give Miami something it didn’t have at the time – a neighborhood Japanese restaurant for sushi lovers that served delicious fresh food at good prices. In a sea of sushi snobbery, they had a revolutionary idea: democratize sushi by offering an intelligent, accessible and environmentally-conscious approach to dining. Now, 20 years later, Sushi Maki has 22 locations throughout South Florida and an impressive relationship with Whole Foods Markets providing sustainable seafood sushi.

“This is an exciting year for us and we can’t wait to celebrate with the community that we have had the pleasure of serving for two decades,” Abe Ng said. “Sushi Maki is a true family affair. Part of its success can be attributed to the 40+ year-long journey that began with my dad, Allan Ng, building Canton Chinese – one of the most beloved Chinese restaurants in Miami. Sushi Maki has had many co-founders – my parents, my sister Iva, my brother-in-law, and my wife Christina – they all pitched in. Now, we have been around long enough to where some people could say that the first time they ate sushi was at Sushi Maki! We offer something unique that keeps sushi newbies and know-it-alls alike coming back for more. We love serving our freshly prepared Asian dishes to everyone, and are going the extra mile to spread goodness and create deeper connections. That’s why we are taking this opportunity to give back to our community throughout the year.”

In honor of its 20th anniversary, Sushi Maki is sharing goodness with the local community during a year-long Maki Madness celebration. On the 20th of every month, Sushi Maki will debut a featured sushi roll, from which 20 cents of the sale of each of these rolls will be donated to a partner community organization. From Feb. 20-March 19, Sushi Maki will offer the Ocean Tempura Roll – white fish, avocado, sesame seeds, spicy mayo, eel sauce and nori, served with white or brown rice – in partnership with Feed Miami. Then, from March 20-April 19, Sushi Maki will offer the Big Roll – kanikama, spicy tuna, BBQ eel, shrimp tempura, avocado, fried spinach noodles, tobiko wasabi and spicy sweet chili sauce – in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami. To stay up to date on the latest featured roll, follow Sushi Maki on Instagram.

As the first sushi chain in the U.S. to earn the Marine Stewardship Council Certification in addition to its ethos of healthy fare for all, Sushi Maki maintains its mission of incredible food from credible sources. Its salmon is sustainably harvested from leading aquaculture fisheries, and its chicken and steak are all-natural with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Sushi Maki also offers a variety of other MSC certified sustainable seafood, on a seasonal basis.

Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto will open his ramen and Izakaya concept, Momosan, in the Wynwood district of Miami  in summer 2020, Momosan Wynwood will feature the Iron Chef’s signature take on Japanese ramen, grilled skewers and Izakaya dishes, plus a diverse selection of sake, beer and Japanese whisky.  The restaurant will be located at 415 NW 26th Street in Wynwood.

Chef Morimoto

“I am looking forward to opening Momosan in the lively and eclectic Wynwood district, and to being part of the continued growth of the culinary scene here” said Chef Morimoto. “I’ve been so impressed with Wynwood during my visits to Miami and am thrilled that we found the perfect location to introduce Momosan Wynwood. The vibrant scene here is a wonderful setting for my playful Momosan concept, which is all about enjoying ramen, yakitori, beer and sake in a fun, casual and energetic environment.”

At Momosan Wynwood, noodles will be front and center, highlighting Chef Morimoto’s varieties of Japanese-style flavor forward ramen. The menu will also shine with a variety of grilled dishes and Japanese snacks, all with Chef Morimoto’s signature twist. Playful small plates, rice bowls and sushi rolls  will take guests on a comfort food journey.

The beverage menu will feature a vast sake list, including a selection of Chef Morimoto’s signature sake and wine, cocktails, draft and bottled beer including classic Japanese style lager, Morimoto signature beers in collaboration with Rogue Ales, and a local brew. 

Chef Morimoto opened his first Momosan Ramen & Sake in New York City in 2016, followed by his second Momosan shop in Waikiki Beach in May 2018, and his third Momosan location opened in Seattle’s International District in September 2019. In 2020, Chef will continue to expand Momosan with locations in cities including Miami, Boston, Brooklyn and San Jose.

Junction Food & Drink is preparing to bring a new dining experience to Colorado Center, with a multitude of food and drink options appealing to workers, residents, light rail users, foodies, and University of Denver students and faculty throughout the bustling area.

Junction Food Hall Rendering

The elevated culinary destination is set to open at 2000 S. Colorado Blvd. in early April, featuring an eclectic collection of 10 artisanal food stalls in addition to Denver-based Sonder Coffee and Tea and the signature indoor/outdoor 40-foot Junction Bar. As guests explore the 12,220-square-foot food hall, they will have the opportunity to select from a wide array of “best-of” food trends from some of today’s most cutting-edge local and national chefs, including:

Big Wave Taco Shop – Denver-based TAG Restaurant Group, founded by Chef Troy Guard, is bringing Big Wave Taco Shop to Junction.

Bird on a Wire Southern Chick’n – The Garner Brothers are bringing Southern favorites from their family-owned restaurants to Junction. Guests can enjoy a Nashville Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich, Chicken Tenders and Southern Smoked Wings with tasty sides like Mac & Cheese, Fried Pickles, Waffle Fries and Coleslaw.

Ebisu Ramen and Sushi – Chef Soon Choi is bringing his many years of experience as head chef at Sushi Den to Junction. The menu will feature small plates, sushi rolls, sushi bowls and ramen.

Restaurateur Dave Garner’s Grind and Grill Burger – Guests can expect unique twists to traditional burgers with this family-owned stall at Junction.

François Saber’s Lazo Empanadas – Lazo Empanadas are traditional Argentinian, farm-fresh pockets of perfection. Lazo’s goal is to create empanada fanatics everywhere and Junction is the next focus!

Mr. Miner’s Meat and Cheese – Chase and Melissa Devitt’s food stall will offer meat and cheese charcuterie board selections served with accoutrement, in addition to salads, sandwiches and a variety of shareables.

Rob Prange brings Paciugo Gelato to Junction – At Paciugo, they still make their gelati and sorbetti the traditional Italian way, with the freshest fruits and all-natural ingredients. The result is a light, unbelievable smooth frozen dessert with 70% less fat than ice cream. More flavor. Less fat.

Pete’s-A-Pie of Denver– Longtime DC pizza operator Joel Mehr brings Pete’s-A-Pie to Denver. Pete’s-A-Pie will offer chef-driven New Haven style pizza by the slice and whole.

Chef Yaser Khalaf’s Shawarma Shack – Guests will be front row to unique food theater with Shawarma Shack’s mesmerizing slow cooked meats roasting on spits in the window. Shawarma Shack pays homage to the region with its creativity and diversity, and is a favorite among vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free guests.

Smok Barbeque – Bill Espiricueta and the Smok team focus on classic barbecue from across the entire country with special notes from Austin, Texas and Kansas City. Smok will be serving brisket sandwiches and burnt-end sandwiches along with other delights at Junction.

The signature 40-foot Junction Bar will open onto a vast 4,000-square-foot outdoor space, which will fit up to 140 guests. Both indoor and outdoor seating will accommodate up to 400 guests.

“Denver is home to several food halls, but there’s nothing even remotely resembling Junction Food & Drink in the southeast sector of the city,” said Pat Garza, CEO of National Food Hall Solutions. “We wanted to bring a world-class food hall experience to this underserved area that’s busy with office workers, residents, foodies, and DU faculty and students. We couldn’t have found a more perfect spot for Junction. It’s incredibly easy to access because it is at the RTD rail line’s Colorado Station stop, plus it is centrally located between Downtown and the Denver Tech Center, and it’s just over one mile from DU. And now, after months of recruiting a truly elite roster of local and national chefs and restaurateurs, we can’t wait to open our doors to this special dining destination.”

Junction is also bringing more than 125 new jobs to the local community.

Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits  announced that Mel Dick, the company’s Senior Vice President and President of its Wine Division, was knighted Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (OMRI). He received the prestigious award in light of his outstanding business achievements and his contributions to the growth of the international market for Italian wines, as well as for his understanding of Italy’s wine culture.  

Mel Dick

The OMRI, the highest award of the Italian Republic, is awarded for achievements in the fields of literature, the arts, economy, public service,  and social, philanthropic and humanitarian activities. Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the United States, bestowed the award at the presence of Consul General Cristiano Musillo, On. Avv. Ylenja Lucaselli Hager, and Prof. Avv. Vito Cozzoli on February 20, at SGWS Wynwood, Southern Glazer’s new state-of-the-art hospitality and education center in Miami, Florida.

“Thanks to his hard work, Italian excellence, quality, traditions and innovative techniques in the wine industry are increasingly appreciated and valued throughout the U.S.,” said Ambassador Varricchio. 

Interested in the wine and spirits business early on, he got his official start in the wine distribution world at the age of 21 in Gambarelli and Devito in New Jersey. Shortly thereafter, in March of 1958, he was hired by Gallo Wine Distributors of New Jersey, followed by various E&J Gallo positions throughout the United States. Later, in 1969, he accepted a job at Southern Wine and Spirits of America as General Sales Manager of Wine to develop the wine operations of the Company. Primarily responsible for the establishment of all aspects of the wine trade within the Company, he became Vice President of Wine in 1972 and assumed control of organization, sales, marketing, and supplier relations in all aspects of the Company's burgeoning wine business. In 1976, he became President of the Wine Division for Southern Wine and Spirits of America, and in 1984, he became a partner in the Company. In 1991, Mr. Dick acquired the additional title of Senior Vice President of Southern Wine and Spirits of America. He is very proud of his adult life devotion to the great wine and spirits industry.

SONIC® Drive-In donated $350,000 to public classroom projects through Limeades for Learning to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week. Through this donation, SONIC and its longtime nonprofit partner, DonorsChoose, are helping public school teachers obtain the supplies they need in the following teacher project categories: STEM, Music and Arts, Health and Wellness and Special Needs.


“Empowering teachers and giving back to communities is a core commitment for SONIC, and Random Acts of Kindness Week is a great opportunity to surprise and delight amazing teachers and help fulfill their diverse classroom needs,” said Christi Woodworth, vice president of public relations for SONIC. “We’re grateful for the impact teachers make in their classrooms every day and are proud to support teachers who continue changing the lives of their students.”

As a part of the total donation, SONIC is also surprising a select group of teachers at random across their markets, by gifting them a $50 DonorsChoose gift card. Additionally, SONIC is thanking a random selection of DonorsChoose supporters with a special promo code for them to apply toward their favorite teacher projects.

SONIC provides important funds for public school teachers and their students year-round through a variety of funding opportunities. Since the launch of Limeades for Learning in 2009, SONIC has donated $15,287,317 to public school teachers, impacting more than 19,887 teachers and 4,452,401 students across the country. 

After committing to honor America’s service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation through a fundraiser for Folds of HonorGenghis Grill presented a check of $23,000 to the nonprofit on Thursday, Feb. 13, on behalf of parent company Mongolian Concepts.


During its two-week fundraiser in November, Genghis Grill, along with Mongolian Concepts’ sister brands bd’s Mongolian Grill and Flat Top Grill, encouraged guests to donate $3 or more to Folds of Honor to raise money for educational scholarships for families of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Fundraiser participants showed their support for our country’s heroes by signing a symbolic folded flag and pinning it to the wall at Genghis Grill locations throughout the country, and 100% of the pin-up proceeds were donated to Folds of Honor.

“At Genghis Grill, we want to show our support to our courageous men and women in uniform by taking care of their families,” said Genghis Grill CMO and U.S. Navy Veteran Doug Willmarth. “We are proud that our guests joined us in raising support for such an impactful cause. It is an honor that we were able to donate this money raised to help fund scholarships for family members of wounded or fallen members of the military.”

“We are humbled to receive this donation as we recognize another successful year of partnering with Genghis Grill,” said Chick Linski, senior vice president of the Folds of Honor Foundation. “It is the generous effort of dedicated partners like Genghis Grill that allows Folds of Honor to support the education of families of America’s fallen and disabled service members.”

Since 2007, Folds of Honor has been dedicated to its mission to provide educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service members. Folds of Honor uses the folded flag as its logo because it reflects the organization’s mission – to honor the sacrifice of America’s heroes, while giving hope to the bearers of their legacy.

The St. Regis San Francisco, appointed Ryan Cunningham to the position of director of food and beverage.  Cunningham brings more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry to his new position and will oversee all of the property’s food and beverage initiatives, including operations of the Lobby Lounge, The Grill, private dining and banquets.  This is Cunningham’s third hiring at The St. Regis San Francisco .

“We are excited to welcome Ryan back to The St. Regis San Francisco family,” said Jacqueline Volkart, general manager of The St. Regis San Francisco.  “We are confident his exceptional experience in hotel and restaurant management will enhance our current offerings as well as spark innovative new ideas.”

Cunningham graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management and joined The St. Regis San Francisco team as a banquet manager in 2006.   After three years at the St. Regis, he answered the call of ski country, working at The Resort at Squaw Creek from 2009 to 2013 before returning to the St. Regis as the assistant director of food and beverage.  In 2018, Cunningham moved to the Palace Hotel, San Francisco as the director of food and beverage, leading the renovation of the GC Lounge, the Pied Piper and meeting spaces. Most recently, Cunningham was a member of the opening team of the San Francisco Proper Hotel. 

“The St. Regis San Francisco is an extraordinary hotel offering an unparalleled guest experience,” said Cunningham.  “It’s where my heart is, and I’m delighted to be back.  The St. Regis San Francisco has exciting, ambitious plans for 2020 and beyond and I look forward to playing a part in helping to bring them to fruition.”

Led by Executive Chef Chris Lusk and Bar Director Steve Yamada, Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats will open on March 16, in the heart of New Orleans’ Central Business District (CBD).

Peacock Room

“New Orleans is known for its rich, cultural dining scene and dynamic cocktail offerings, and we’re excited to debut two truly outstanding concepts that honor the city’s past while celebrating its modern creative class,” said Chris Lusk, executive chef for Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats. “We look forward to inviting guests to revel in the electric energy of each space. Whether it’s a late-night craft cocktail at the Peacock Room or a mid-day boozy milkshake at Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, guests can experience twists on classic New Orleans flavors and unparalleled Southern hospitality in the heart of downtown.” 

Effortlessly blending the eccentric personality of New Orleans’ bar culture with the old world charm and sophistication of a classic social club, Peacock Room was designed to deliver a bright and vibrant feel during the day and a sexy, moody atmosphere come sundown, perfect for an afternoon aperitif, dinner, or end-of-evening nightcap. The interior of the Peacock Room features a bohemian mix of art on the walls, vintage carpets, brass hardware, crystal fixtures, and velvet upholstery. New Orleans’ cocktail guru Steve Yamada lends his talents to the cocktail lounge, where he serves a contemporary selection of exceptional, hard-to-come-by spirits and evocative craft cocktails, such as the bright yet smoky Primp and Preen, made with mezcal, white rum, orgeat, fresh citrus, and a touch of blue curaçao, and the sweet and creamy Right Place/Wrong Time, made with butter-infused vodka, coconut milk, and espresso syrup. For the food-focused, Chef Chris Lusk’s menu features refined shareable interpretations of regional classics, including items like Crawtator Crusted Oysters with jalapeno sriracha, mirliton, and bacon lardon; Blue Crab Pimento Cheese with port salut, Calabrian chiles, and toasted brioche; and Fruits de Mer Pho, made with cashew hoisin, grouper, shrimp ramen, and crab boulettes. First Friday High Tea Service featuring whiskey and rum-based tea cocktails and a variety of finger sandwiches with local flare, launches this spring, adding an extra layer of intrigue to the guest experience. 

Just a few steps away from Peacock Room, in a minimalist-designed space flooded with natural light and energized with upbeat music, is Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats. The café features banquette seating along Tchoupitoulas Street and a laptop-friendly central communal table equipped with functional power. The café’s expertly crafted espresso drinks, drip coffee, and rotating pour-over selections are offered alongside a selection of coffee-infused cocktails and alcohol-infused shakes, like the Holy Atolé, a twist on Mexican hot chocolate with mezcal, and the Red Velvet Cupcake made with bourbon creole cream cheese. The food program at Gospel is formatted for light eating-on-the-go, with items like NOLA-inspired breakfast tacos made with crab-boiled potato, andouille sausage, cotija cheese, and jalapeno sriracha; house-made pastries; bagels with green tomato cream cheese, boiled shrimp, sweet onion, and Calabrian chiles; and bananas foster parfaits. Guests can also enjoy house-made frozen custards, including monthly seasonal flavors off the café’s Custard Calendar, like Strawberry Shortcake made with vanilla custard, white chocolate, fresh strawberries, and a sweet biscuit.  

IHOP® National Pancake Day is back on Tuesday, February 25, at participating restaurants nationwide and this year IHOP is taking the event to the next level. Every guest who visits IHOP from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (or until 10 p.m. at select locations) can enjoy a free short stack of buttermilk pancakes* and try their luck at winning one of more than 250,000 instant win prizes plus the grand prize of “Pancakes for Life”.**


To enter, guests simply need to scan a QR code located on the signage at their table to find out if they’re an instant prize winner. By completing the required information, all participants will also be entered into the grand prize drawing.

Instant win prizes include limited-edition pancake-themed merchandise such as bicycles, scooters, customizable jackets, handmade berets and more. In addition to the “Pancakes for Life” grand prize, ten lucky winners will also score $500 in IHOP gift cards.

Now in its 15th year, IHOP National Pancake Day is the brand’s signature giving event. This year, IHOP and its franchisees aim to raise more than $4 million for its national charity partner, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, and other local charities including Shriner’s Hospitals for Children and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

“IHOP launched its National Pancake Day event 15 years ago as a way to celebrate the best food ever – pancakes – and put a purpose behind the day by partnering with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other charities to help kids in our communities,” said Stephanie Peterson, Executive Director of Communications, IHOP.

“This year, we really amped up our annual celebration by creating the ultimate IHOP fan sweepstakes where one lucky pancake-er will walk away with ‘Pancakes for Life,’” continued Peterson. “At IHOP, bigger is better so we’re also giving away more than 250,000, one-of-a-kind, instant win pancake-themed prizes, everything from custom bikes to design-your-own bomber jackets to collectible watches. This is unlike anything we’ve ever done before on National Pancake Day, and the only way for guests to try and score one of these items is by visiting an IHOP restaurant on Tuesday, February 25.”

Since 2006, IHOP has raised more than $30 million for its charity partners, helping make miracles happen for kids facing critical illnesses and disabilities. Guests can donate on-check, with cash at donation boxes or by purchasing a wall tag at the restaurant.

“The communities where IHOP and our franchisees operate is at the core of everything we do, and National Pancake Day serves as a great example of our commitment to helping the kids and families who are our guests, neighbors, friends and family,” said Peterson.

More than 32 million patients visit one of the 170 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in North America each year. Donations raised on IHOP National Pancake Day will help provide families with everything from critical care to necessary items like chemotherapy, which costs up to $7,000 a treatment, or even a package of preemie diapers.

Every dollar raised during the IHOP National Pancake Day campaign stays local and supports the nearest children’s hospital associated with the charity partners.

Talea Beer Co. (Brooklyn, NY) won the title of Best Brews of New York at Brookfield Place.

Photo courtesy of Brookfield Place

Representing Brooklyn, as one of its first women-owned breweries, Talea beat out four other breweries from around the state to win the title. 

Participating breweries include the following from across New York City:

KCBC Brewery (Brooklyn, NY)

The Bronx Brewery (Bronx, New York)

Finback Brewery (Queens, NY)

Torch & Crown Brewing Co. (Manhattan, NY)

Talea was voted by the event’s attendees as the best brew, guided by New York State’s notable beer connoisseur, Anne Becerra. The event was free to attend with food from Brookfield Place top eateries available for purchase throughout the festival.  All beer sales benefited a charitable cause. In partnership with the participating breweries, 100% of the beer sales will be donated to Leave no Trace

Mission Taco Joint partnered with local spirits brand, Una Vida Tequila from One Life Spirits, to create a new private label tequila, top photo. The restaurant now carries the Mission Taco Joint Una Vida Blanco Tequila at all six locations for the Mission Margarita, late-night happy hour tequila shots and select craft cocktails.


Kyle Harlan, Beverage Director of Mission Taco Joint, worked closely with the Una Vida team to select a tequila that pairs well with Mission Taco Joint’s signature cocktails, specifically their margarita. The partners tasted over twenty varieties of blanco tequila to find the perfect flavor profile. “We wanted to have a hand-selected tequila program and provide our guests with an amazing margarita,” says Harlan. “Our guests know and love our Mission Margarita so the challenge was to find the perfect tequila flavor profile for our recipe. We had the unique opportunity to create a spirit with the end cocktail already in mind.”

The Mission Taco Joint Una Vida blanco tequila has an agave-forward profile with notes of honey and vanilla and a slight floral finish. The tequila’s mineral quality helps to highlight the fresh lime juice in the margarita and gives the cocktail a smooth flavor. The Mission Margarita recipe has remained unchanged for seven years and is a true fan-favorite – margaritas account for 70% of beverages sold at Mission Taco Joint.

Una Vida is the tequila line from One Life Spirits, a local spirits brand created by Bryce Lob and Zach Conley. With previous experience in the spirits industry, the St. Louisans booked a six-month trip to Tequila, Mexico to interview distilleries and learn more about the process firsthand. They launched their own spirits company One Life Spirits just over one year ago and distribute their product throughout the Midwest. 

Mission Taco Joint’s family of restaurants includes locations in St. Louis (Delmar Loop, Historic Soulard, Central West End, and Streets of St. Charles) and Kansas City (East Crossroads and South Plaza).

The Cheesecake Factory® is expanding The Cheesecake Factory At Home™ products in grocery, and introducing a collection of premium cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend and sour cream, in seven celebratory flavors. 


The Cheesecake Factory collaborated with Wells Enterprises, Inc., a Le Mars, Iowa ice cream manufacturer, to produce its innovative ice cream line with real cheesecake ingredients incorporated right into the mix.

“Cheesecake fans no longer need to choose between a slice and a scoop; now they can have both in one delicious dessert,” said David Overton, Founder and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. “We are so pleased to be introducing this premium, unique new retail product line and can’t wait for our fans to try it in the comfort of home.”

The delicious lineup is now available in the frozen aisle of grocery stores nationwide (SRP: $4.99/14-oz. carton), and includes:

Birthday Cake: Premium cake flavored cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend, sour cream, cake pieces, swirls of icing and candy sprinkles

Chocolate: Premium chocolate cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend, sour cream and rich chocolate fudge swirls

Cookies & Cream: Premium cookies & cream cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend, sour cream and chocolate cookie swirls

Key Lime: Premium key lime cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend, sour cream and graham swirls

Original: Premium cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend, sour cream and graham swirls

Salted Caramel: Premium caramel cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend, sour cream, sea salt caramel and graham swirls

Strawberry: Premium strawberry cheesecake ice cream with a signature cream cheese blend, sour cream, strawberry and graham swirls

Independent restaurants and midsize foodservice operations have a new option in food preparation and warewashing equipment with the introduction of Centerline by Hobart, which introduces an offering of simple, affordable food preparation and dishwashing equipment for operations that demand quality and reliable performance without the need for advanced technology features or extreme-volume, continuous run-time requirements. 


“At Hobart, we are inspired by those who are not only passionate about creating great food but are inspired to serve and improve the lives of others through food,” said Todd Blair, marketing director for Hobart Food Equipment Group. “Because we are committed to supporting the needs of foodservice professionals at every step of their journey, we’ve introduced Centerline by Hobart, a line of equipment that offers the quality and durability operators need to pursue their passions and be successful as their operations grow and evolve. We recognize various operations, menus and volume requirements don’t always necessitate the need for our premium line. With Centerline, we’ve extended our offering to provide more options and flexibility that better support our customers’ unique needs.”

Centerline by Hobart debuted with the introduction of the Centerline HMM20 Standard Heavy-Duty 20-Quart Mixer in May 2019 and Centerline CUH undercounter dishwasher, to be released later in the year.

"We recognize foodservice professionals are central for creating great food and bringing people together, and the equipment they use is central to that process,” Blair said. “As a brand with a mission to support foodservice professionals with equipment they can trust and rely on to help them succeed, it’s important we offer equipment options that make the most sense for their volume, application and operational requirements. Centerline by Hobart is designed with our customers in mind, offering simple, affordable equipment options so many have been asking for, backed by the quality and reliability they’ve come to expect from the Hobart name.”

Nespresso Professional launched Peru Organic, the first certified organic Nespresso coffee. The addition of Peru Organic is part of a revamp of the brand’s Professional Origins coffee range, which includes three other distinctive, single-origin coffees sourced from Brazil, Guatemala and India. All four are designed for Nespresso Professional coffee machines.

All four Professional Origins coffees are sourced from carefully-selected regions within their respective countries, and they are cultivated, harvested, and processed using methods endorsed by local farmers. The result? A unique range of coffees that reflects the terroir, flavors, and traditions of their regions.

“Whether running a restaurant, serving coffee to hotel guests or ensuring office employees feel valued, we know having the highest quality, sustainably-sourced coffee matters,” said Kika Buhrmann, Vice President of B2B Nespresso USA. “That’s why we’re always looking for new offerings for our partners, and we’re immensely proud of our revamped Nespresso Professional Origins range; it blends together distinctive flavor, sustainability, and an authentic connection to these four coffee producing countries.” 

With the addition of Peru Organic, the Nespresso Professional coffee range is comprised of 15 unique coffees.

The latest Nespresso Professional Origins coffee is certified organic by both the European Union and the United States Department of Agriculture, so consumers can be sure it meets the highest standards. With an increasing number of consumers seeking organic options, Peru Organic will satisfy the US consumer with a floral, fruity, certified-organic coffee choice.

“Nespresso is excited to announce its first organic blend, Peru Organic, which is produced in collaboration with local farming communities,” said Daniel Weston, Head of Sustainability at Nespresso. “Drinking organic coffee is a burgeoning lifestyle choice, which is why we’ve taken the time and care to craft Peru Organic. Produced in accordance with strict practices and controls across the whole supply chain, we hope our customers will enjoy the unique taste of this beautiful new organic coffee.” 

To create Peru Organic, Nespresso Professional chose 450 smallholder farmers in the Cajamarca region, in northwestern Peru, nestled about 5,250 to 6,890 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains. The independent farmers in this region hand-harvest the coffee cherries and dry them in their own backyards. They also use fertilizers made from organic materials, like banana skins, and utilize native plants like guava and lucuma to naturally shade the coffee trees and protect the local flora and fauna. The floral and fruity coffee flavor is reminiscent of the landscape in these unique, subtropical highlands.

Bradley Corp. introduces a new line of matching Vergeâ soap dispensers and faucets. These complete sets offer cohesive and striking designs that further enhance the sophisticated look of Verge washbasins and work seamlessly with any other basin. 


With advanced sensing technology for reliability and durability, the Verge soap and faucet pairs come in an industry-leading collection of four styles and six popular finishes that help achieve every designer’s vision. With the most models, finishes and advanced features available, these versatile sets provide the perfect finishing touch to every commercial washroom

“Specifying the Verge family of soap dispensers and faucets harmonizes designers’ looks and adds a beautiful and unified design element to washbasins,” says Laura Stang, senior product and portfolio manager, Bradley Corp. “Whether the sets are mounted on Verge washbasins or other models, because they are universally designed, the pairing of these fixtures makes an elegant and coordinated design statement.”


Notable features for both the Verge soap dispensers and faucets include hidden sensors to deter tampering, optimized sensing to eliminate false activations, longer spouts for increased hand washing space, and cast brass spout construction with popular and environmentally friendly PVD finishes. Verge soap dispensers are designed with the industry’s widest range of top-fill options and feature a smart sense system with LED light indicators that display low soap and battery. An audible and visual alert system guides refilling to avoid soap overfilling or spilling. The dispensers use universal bulk soap in foam and liquid options. 

For high-traffic applications that use multiple hand washing stations, a top fill multi-feed soap system supplies soap up to six dispensers at once. The system includes a translucent ring that illuminates when the tank begins to run low on soap or power. Verge faucets have a patented dual sensor technology that provides the most accurate activation while optimizing battery life. With a selection of four new touch-free styles, Verge faucets have multiple low-flow options to match water savings preferences and multiple run time options to fit the application. To minimize germ build-up, the faucets’ auto-flush feature flushes the water line every 24 hours. A manual valve override feature is available for longer water flushing.