San Diego Union Tribune January 16, 2008

Gourmet Growth

Specialty food market continuing to thrive despite bad economic times.

By Jennifer Davies STAFF WRITER
January 16, 2008

Specialty foods such as fine cheeses, exotic teas and expensive chocolates are no longer only for the discerning food snob. Increasingly, these gourmet items are being gobbled up by the masses as well.

At Colorado gourmet tea maker Two Leaves and a Bud, sales are growing at a triple-digit rate. Richard Rosenfeld, founder of the three-year-old company, said people are willing to pay for quality when it comes to food and beverages.
“You can spend $8 for a box of our tea or $6 for a box of ordinary tea,” Rosenfeld said. “The one thing about specialty food is that it's a very affordable luxury.”

While overall food sales increased 4 percent over the past two years, the specialty foods sector has grown 17 percent, according to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade. In 2006, specialty food sales were $38.5 billion – double the level five years earlier.

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Today's Local News January 11, 2008


Entrepreneur turns Carlsbad’s red berries into greenbacks with dressings, condiments, spreads and barbecue sauces

By Leah Masterson |

Friday, January 11, 2008

According to the California Strawberry Commission’s 2003 consumer survey, 97 percent of U.S. households purchase strawberries. Warm sunny days and cool nights make Carlsbad the ideal place to grow the sweet fruit.

“I’m a little entrepreneur at heart, so when I did the research and found out 88 percent of the country’s strawberries come from California … I realized there could be a market here,” said Russ Bruhn, who founded Carlsbad Gourmet, a company that manufactures strawberry-based sauces, spreads, dressings, vinegars and mustards.

To his surprise, Bruhn couldn’t find any such products unique to Carlsbad when he started his business about 4 ½ years ago. So he hired a food scientist to help him develop the recipe for his first product, Strawberry Spread. The spread is sold at local Costco stores and is used in every peanut butter and jelly sandwich served at Legoland California in Carlsbad.

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North County Around Carlsbad

North County Times

by Barbara Brill - For North County Times

Cruising is one of the fastest growing forms of leisure travel today. Just look at the statistics. Last year, close to 10 million people from all walks of life hit the seas to relax, explore, learn and to have fun on the more than 200 floating cities that stop at a variety of ports around the world. One of those ports is San Diego, where there will be more than 200 stops between this October and October of 2005, and thanks to Patty Mc Duffee, who just a few months ago started her Vista business, Fielday, passengers from the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise ships will be heading to Carlsbad starting Oct. 5. Every Tuesday. For the next 51 weeks.

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November 2006 Article

Friday, November 3, 2006

The first weekend in November is here, and it always means the same thing — thousands of people will converge in downtown Carlsbad to take part in the largest one-day street fair in the United States.
The Carlsbad Village Street Faire will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It is held each year in May and November.
Now in its 32nd year, the free event has grown quite popular.
More than 100,000 people have attended for the past five years, said Ted Owen, president of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the fair. Previously, it boasted an attendance of 90,000.
“People come from all over the place,” Owen said. “It has become an annual trek for a lot of people.”

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The Sell Gourmet Network News Weblog

 Posted on: Monday, 31 March 2008, 03:00 CDT

Center Helps Turn Self-Employment Dreams Into Reality

By Randolph, Ned

Whether it’s helping a designer with an idea start a business or an ambitious entrepreneur intent on going national, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Success Center touts itself as a full-service shop for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Entrepreneur Russ Bruhn knows the feeling. He doesn’t mind working 362 days a year, as long as it’s for himself.

“What’s the alternative, getting up and working for someone else?”

An energetic soul, Bruhn was once co-owner of a goat ranch in Minnesota that produced not only cashmere and goat meat, but fetched weed control contracts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he said.

He last consulted with a beauty products company whose antifungal creme landed a $2.8 million contract with Walgreens.

“I said that’s the last time I do that for someone else.” he said.

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