One of a Kind Show


Delectable Goods: Get to Know These One of a Kind Makers

02 . 23 . 2022

The upcoming One of a Kind Spring Show offers a feast for the eyes...and taste buds! We chatted with four gourmet artisans about their work and the delicious creations they'll be bringing to the show.

Abokichi is a creative food brand based in Canada and inspired by co-founder Fumi Tsukamoto's Japanese heritage. We spoke with Fumi to learn more about Abokichi.

How did Abokichi get started?

Fumi: Our story began when my partner Jess first encountered onigiri (Japanese rice balls) as a healthy and convenient snack or meal while living in Tokyo. After returning to Canada, she had difficulty finding healthy, natural, and minimally processed food to eat on the run. So she decided to introduce onigiri as a healthy option for busy people in Canada. The two of us began selling onigiri at farmer’s markets in the Toronto area. Today, along with our third business partner, Bobby, we work tirelessly to deliver a number of different healthy and delicious Japanese food options.

Tell us a bit about your food items.

Fumi: Our OKAZU chili oil earned the 2020 sofi Award and was featured in the New York Times in 2021. Abokichi Instant miso soup is the only hot beverage in the market made with the byproduct of sake brewing. We've also launched ABO Ramen, a wheat free ramen meal kit and ABO Ramen Fresh which is made from tofu byproduct.

Why did you name your business Abokichi?

Fumi: Abokichi means "Fortunate Avocado" and the name represents the creativity which can emerge when different cultures interact.

What are you especially excited to bring to the Spring Show this year?

Fumi: We will introduce our OKAZU Japanese chili miso condiments, instant miso soup, upcycled ramens and matcha to the folks in Chicago!

Based in St. Charles, Illinois, husband and wife team, Chris, or "Gindo", and Mary Ginder carefully craft small batch hot sauces. Mary gave us a little scoop about their sauces.

Tell us about Gindo's.

Mary: We create small batch handcrafted hot sauces using blends of fresh whole peppers, locally grown when possible, and carefully curated sea salts and spices. We offer three year-round sauces, and a rotating selection of limited release sauces every week of the year.

How did you decide to start Gindo's?

Mary: Hot sauce sort of found us. About 12 years ago, we were growing chili peppers and decided to make a sauce using ingredients found in our kitchen - peppers, sea salts, peppercorns and vinegar. From there, it grew into a passion for flavor and spice. We are committed to making all of our sauces in house with the freshest, highest quality ingredients. Each sauce is filled with flavor and the perfect balance of heat.

Where does your hot sauce inspiration come from?

Mary: Chris, or “Gindo," is the creative mastermind behind Gindo’s Hot Sauces and he approaches each sauce like a chef to a dish. He finds inspiration everywhere – ingredients that are in season at a farmers market, a meal he had at a restaurant, the changing of the seasons, or a famous style of sauce he heard about from another place in the world. His ideas are endless. Each sauce is unique, richly complex yet well-balanced, and intended to enhance food by adding flavor, aroma, color, texture, and even nutrients. Gindo also works with local farms, breweries and other businesses creating limited collaboration sauces.

When you're not crafting hot sauce how do you spend your free time?

Mary: We spend our free time with our two young daughters. We play family games, go on walks and to parks, cook food together and try to enjoy the simple things in life.

What are you especially excited to bring to the Spring Show this year?

Mary: Our energy and passion for hot sauce!

Sandra Brumfield of Sweet Nouveau specializes in artisanal, handcrafted desserts and candies made in small batches to ensure freshness and optimal flavor. Sandra told us how she got started and what confections we'll find at One of a Kind.

How did you get started?

Sandra: I come from a long line of cooks and bakers and at a young age learned to bake from my mother and grandmother who were highly-renowned bakers in our community. I later enrolled in the De La Patisserie program at the French Pastry School of Chicago and learned from the best pastry chefs in the industry. I began my journey right after graduation. I started out making caramels for wedding favors as an add on to my custom designer cakes and soon after that, I was making more caramels than cakes.

Tell us more about Sweet Nouveau.

Sandra: We are a handcrafted confections company, specializing in our award-winning artisan caramels. We stir each and every batch of caramel by hand, then we cut and individually wrap each piece and package in our hand stamped bags.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Sandra: I’m inspired by the different spices and ingredients I find when I travel. I look for unique spices and ingredients and figure out how to use them in my candy making.

What Sweet Nouveau goodies will we find at the Spring Show?

Sandra: I’m super excited to bring our new spring caramel flavors and our new chocolate line of products!

Proudly woman-owned and family operated, Outwoken Tea is hoping to change the world, one cup of tea at a time. Founder Aureal Ojeda shares how.

Tell us about Outwoken.

Aureal: Outwoken Tea is a mission-based business with sustainability as the primary focus. We directly source from small tea farmers in developing countries to achieve economic sustainability. This supports their economy and ours since we distribute in the U.S.A. Our local and global partnerships help us achieve social sustainability. Supporting our community and being hands-on significantly impact others to become more conscious about our environment. We can achieve environmental sustainability with innovation and determination by using home compostable packaging, high post-consumer use packaging, and zero toxic plastic. Every purchase plants one tree in an effort to help with reforestation.

How did you get started?

Aureal: After six-plus years in construction, I knew we had to make a difference. I went to many landfills and witnessed the unnecessary waste that could be avoided. When you walk on mountains of garbage, you can't have an "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" mentality. You know it doesn't go away; it just gets bigger. This inspired me to start a business that put people and the earth first.

What else inspires you?

Aureal: Besides the horrible experience at the landfills, I'm inspired by my son. I want my son to have a green future and breathe clean air. Like any other mother, you want what's best for your child and are concerned about what the future holds. I knew I had to do what I could to show him that yes, as one person, you can make a difference. I would feel awful knowing I did nothing for his future when I could do something.

Is there anything additional you would like to share?

Aureal: Every person can truly make a difference.

Visit our Gourmet Market to meet these culinary creators and more at the Spring Show April 29-May 1!