RIND’s Classic Cambleu, a soft-ripened, French-style vegan cheese, has won the gold award in the Plant Based - Other Dairy category as part of the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) 2020 sofi Awards, a top honor in the $158 billion specialty food industry.
The Classic Cambleu was selected by a panel of specialty food experts from nearly 2,000 entries across 39 product categories. Products are judged on taste, including flavor, appearance, texture and aroma, ingredient quality and innovation. All tastings are blind. This year, for the first time, sofi judging was held at the prestigious Rutgers Food Innovation Center following strict safety guidelines.
“It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm for our vegan cheese,” says Joshua Katcher, cofounder of RIND. “This top award confirms what so many customers and retailers say on our social channels, and what we’ve worked so hard to achieve – a bloomy, intense, buttery and rich, soft-ripened vegan cheese. RIND is found online and we have retailers in New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania.”
“When we began developing RIND over three years ago, we wanted to create a product that would be sought after by lovers of dairy cheese ,” says cofounder Dina DiCenso. “We tested dozens of variations. When we launched, this kind of innovation was almost non-existent in North America. Now we’re expanding our operations to meet huge domestic and international demand.”
“It’s a privilege to continue the sofi Award tradition of recognizing extraordinary products and the people behind them,” says SFA Interim President Bill Lynch. “Having great news to celebrate, like the sofi Awards, is revitalizing for all of us in this pandemic year. The sofi finalists represent our dynamic industry - exciting consumers and expanding retail offerings around the world.”
The sofi Awards are open to members of the Specialty Food Association, a not-for-profit trade association with specialty food industry members across the U.S. The awards have been given each year since 1972.
About RIND by Dina & Joshua
RIND was founded in 2017 by Dina DiCenso and Joshua Katcher. Located in Brooklyn, NY, RIND is transforming the cheese market by combining vegan innovation with cheese-making traditions. Using a proprietary blend of plant-based ingredients, cultures and old world methods, RIND’s products are both delicious and conscientious. In addition to Classic Cambleu, RIND's current line of products include camembert, bleu, porcini, paprika and lapsang varieties. Future plans include scaling and expansion.
About the Specialty Food Association
Founded in 1952 in New York City, the Specialty Food Association (SFA) is the leading advocate for the $158.4 billion specialty food industry. Representing makers, importers, entrepreneurs, retailers, distributors and others in the trade, the SFA aims to champion, nurture and connect its members to deliver traditional and innovative new products to consumers that expand consumption of specialty foods. With over 4,000 member companies, the Association helps its members through providing information, research, educational events, and celebrating the industry through its awards programs. The SFA is known for hosting the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows and presents the sofi Awards honoring excellence in specialty food.