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Local olive oil takes 2nd at food expo

Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company’s Half Dome California claimed the 2017 Buyers Choice Award this week while Enzo Olive Oil’s Fresno Chili Crush took 2nd and Busseto Foods’ California Park Pack Wine Trail Edition held third.

Enzo Olive Oil’s Fresno Chili Crush features Madera-grown olives.

The Brioche Lady also took the People’s Choice Award for its purple yam brioche, and Enzo Olive Oil accepted the Fred Ruiz Entrepeneurial Award. The new product awards were presented Wednesday evening at this year’s Fresno Food Expo, which celebrates Central California grown food and drink.

Twenty-eight new products, varietals and packaging concepts were entered by 26 San Joaquin Valley businesses to be considered for the awards. The Buyers Choice contenders faced a celebrity judging panel while the People’s Choice were chosen by the public, which submitted 2,621 votes online.

“The New Product Award entries and winners for 2017 are a shining example of the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the more than 400 different commodities and 2,500 growers and manufacturers that feed one third of our nation every day,” said David Nalchajian, General Manager of the Fresno Food Expo. “From healthy snack foods, innovative packaging to trending spirits, nuts, teas, cold brew coffee milk, infused olive oils and so much more — Central California’s thriving food industry is one to be nationally recognized and celebrated.”

The Fred Ruiz Entrepreneurial Award honors Valley-based food or beverage companies that show “exemplary leadership and an entrepreneurial spirit, all while being an exceptional community steward,” according to expo organizers. Winner ENZO Olive Oil will receive advice and mentoring for one year by Fred Ruiz, founder of Ruiz Food Products, and a team of food industry professionals.

For information on the Fresno Food Expo, visit

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