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Addicted2Savings4u: Father’s Day Gift Guide

Posted by on Jun 8, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Addicted2Savings4u: Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day Gift Guide Brittany Shaw June 8, 2014 Article Link Molina Salsa is here to add a little mild, medium or hot spice into Dad’s life.  In our household we go through Salsa like crazy and use it for chips, dips, burritos, tacos, dinners and more and we are loving Molina Salsa flavors.  Molina Salsa name comes from Alonso De Molina who was a franciscan monk that traveled to South America in the 14th century and was the first person to coin the term salsa.  Enjoy a fresh tomato-based salsa with habanero peppers and their own blend of seasons and spices to make it like no other salsa on the market.  If dad loves Salsa pick up a 3 pack or 6 pack and it’s already perfect for gifting and can be  purchased here.  Be sure to browse the various recipes using this Salsa on their site as well. Facebook Twitter     CarMD Vehicle Health System and Diagnostic Code Reader will have Dad saying Thanks!  Men rarely ask for help and when it comes to their cars it’s the same way.  When something happens to their car they’d rather figure out the problem instead of taking it to a local dealership and paying $100 which you can’t blame them for.  CarMD will accurately diagnose your vehicles issues and let you know exactly what needs to be repaired and will give you the expected cost of your repair.  Providing you with an instant vehicle health check CarMD will quickly tell you if it’s safe to drive your vehicle, let you know if your vehicle is road trip worthy and can protect you from buying a lemon while shopping for your next vehicle.  This diagnostic code reader works on all vehicles made in 1996.  Once you hook the CarMD up to your car it will transfer all of the information and coding into the device when can than be commuted to your PC/Mac device.  You’ll love how easy it is to read the diagnostic on any vehicle and it’s so easy to use even a non-mechanic can use it.  To find out more about the CarMD you can head here and purchase it for just $99.99 on Amazon with the link above.  Facebook Twitter Stephens Stovetop BBQ is a must have for any dad! Whether you’re living in a home or an apartment you can be grilling all year long in the comfort of your own kitchen.  We love our stovetop BBQ and use it at minimum 4 times a week because it’s so much easier to grill up hamburgers in the kitchen than to fire up the BBQ at night time.  There is nothing this grill can’t cook up and can easily accommodate 2 huge steaks, 3 large hamburger patties, 3 fish fillets, or an assortment of fresh vegetables.  Stephens Stovetop BBQ is available for only $119.99 + Free shipping and can be  purchased here.  To see my full review just go here. Limited edition Captain Morgan 1671 Commemorative Blend of Spiced Rum is a HUGE yes for Father’s Day.  What Dad wouldn’t love a limited edition bottle of captain morgan for a gift?  Enjoy a unique blend of spices that provide a luxurious full-bodied flavor that will suit any taste bud.  With hints of Chocolate, Dark Fruits and Vanilla it’s the perfect addition to any mixed drink or to drink alone,...

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VBVA: Business of the Week: Molina Salsa

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in News | 0 comments

VBVA: Business of the Week: Molina Salsa

Business of the Week: Molina Salsa Staff May 4, 2014 Article Link In 2013, ketchup was dethroned as America’s best-selling condiment by a somewhat unlikely competitor — salsa. That’s right, the Super Bowl snack has now become a household staple, and that makes Kenny Letner and Landin King – owners of Molina Salsa — very happy. Salsa’s meteoric rise to the top of grocery lists in the U.S. isn’t the only thing the uncle-nephew team is celebrating. Last month, Kenny’s signature salsa recipe, which he perfected in his Virginia Beach kitchen, impressed judges so much at the annual Virginia Food and Beverage Expo it was named the Commonwealth’s Best New Food Product! It’s been a good year for Kenny and Landin, who spoke with VBVA about the secret behind their award-winning salsa and plans for getting it on store shelves across Virginia soon. First of all, congrats on being named “Best New Food Product” at the 2014 Virginia Food & Beverage Expo! How shocked were to win such an important award, especially so soon after launching your product?  Landin: This was both a humbling and incredibly exciting experience. We went into the show with high hopes of winning the award, but as soon as we saw how great all the other vendors were we realized it was going to be a tough competition. When we found out we won we were ecstatic. From the beginning we made this product to be a stand out specialty food and so seeing other people recognize that is a really great feeling. Why did you decide to pursue salsa as you first product, and how did you finalize the signature recipe?  Landin: Both Kenny and I love to cook and are frequently playing around with new recipes. He made the first batch of salsa after doing some reading on the traditional salsa style of the Aztecs. A few friends tried it and loved it. They asked him to make more, which they shared with their friends, who then also wanted more. After several of these requests Kenny started thinking this could actually be a marketable product. I have a background in branding, marketing and PR so he called me to help him out. Before long we launched Molina Salsa as an actual business and have been working to grow the brand ever since. People are pretty picky about their salsa — some like it hot, some like it chunky, some like it sweet — what sets your salsa apart from the rest?  Landin: The differentiating thing about Molina Salsa is that it is made the same way salsa originally was made. The Aztecs who were some of the first people to create salsa would take tomatoes and mash them with peppers and spices using a pestle and mortar. The salsa wasn’t chunky and it didn’t have lots of crazy ingredients. We followed that same method and made a simple but bold recipe, which has the same traditional taste and consistency, that salsa was meant to have. We like other, more modern, salsas too, but for our brand we wanted a truly traditional product. You don’t see that very often and I think that is why people really like it. Unlike other salsas on the market, Molina is far from just a dip/sauce. What is your favorite Molina-based recipe? Landin: Glad you mentioned this. Since our...

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Gourmet Retailer: Va. Food & Beverage Expo Awards

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Gourmet Retailer: Va. Food & Beverage Expo Awards

    Va. Food & Beverage Expo Awards Gourmet Retailer Staff April 10, 2014 Article Link The Virginia Food and Beverage Expo, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), took place on March 26. The Expo takes place once every two years to promote Virginia products and advance economic development. Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe and Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore announced the Best New Product Awards. This year there were 63 entries for awards in three categories – Best New Food, Best New Beverage and Best Product Overall. The Best New Product Overall award went to Ashburn Sauce Company, Inc. of Virginia Beach, Va., for their “Crabby Mary” Bloody Mary Mix. The Best New Food award went to The Letner Company, LLC of Virginia Beach, Va., for their Molina Salsa – Mild Flavor. Blue Crab Bay Co. of Melfa, Va., took home the Best New Beverage honor for their Jalapeno Infused Margarita Mixer. A panel of judges that included food writers, reporters and a chef evaluated the Best New Product competition entries on originality, taste and aroma, creative packaging, visual appeal and presentation. Judges were Lisa Antonelli Bacon, “Virginia Living”; Lorraine Eaton, “The Virginian-Pilot”; Cathy Jett, “The Free-Lance Star”; Sean Murphy, Executive Chef at The Savory Grain; and Denise Purcell, “Specialty Food Magazine.” This was a record year for the Virginia Food and Beverage Expo with more than 140 exhibitors, approximately 1,100 pre-registered buyers and 63 Best New Product Awards entries. Past Expos resulted in estimated one-day sale orders of $1 million, as well as invaluable connections between buyers and exhibitors. The next Virginia Food and Beverage Expo is scheduled for...

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The Virginia Pilot: Local Eats Take the Cake at State Expo

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014 in News | 0 comments

The Virginia Pilot: Local Eats Take the Cake at State Expo

Local Eats Take the Cake at State Expo The Virginia Pilot Patrick Evans-Hylton April 7, 2014 Article Link Three regional specialty foods – including two from Virginia Beach – came out top banana at the Virginia Food & Beverage Expo. The show, held March 26 in Richmond, promoted items under the Virginia’s Finest banner. Awards for the Best New Product, Best New Food Product and Best New Beverage Product were presented. Willard Ashburn’s Ashburn Sauce Co., www.ashburnsauce.com, based in Virginia Beach, won Best New Beverage Product for its Crabby Mary bloody mary mix. Ashburn describes the mix as a seafood lover’s dream, mixing traditional bloody mary mix elements with bits of blue crab, shrimp, lobster, fresh horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, Italian sea salt and other spices. Kenny Letner of Virginia Beach took the Best New Food Product award for his Molina Salsa,www.molinasalsa.com. Letner says his blend combines tomato sauce, sweet onion, roasted red peppers, minced garlic, habaneros and a blend of seasonings and spices. It is named for 16th-century Spaniard Alonso de Molina, who translated Mexican documents and coined the word “salsa.” Just across the water and up the Eastern Shore a bit, Pam Barefoot’s Blue Crab Bay Co.,www.bluecrabbay.com, won Best New Beverage Product for her Jalapeno Infused Margarita Mixer, which she says is a sweet/tart, all-natural mixer. More than 100 Virginia exhibitors present their items at this biannual, trade-only show, presented by the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Products are evaluated on originality, taste and aroma, creative packaging, visual appearance and presentation. For more information,...

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Virginia Pilot: Virginia Food & Beverage Expo top picks

Posted by on Apr 5, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Virginia Pilot: Virginia Food & Beverage Expo top picks

  Virginia Food & Beverage Expo top picks The Virginia Pilot Lorraine Eaton April 2, 2014 Article Link Talk about a tough assignment. My mission: Check out the Virginia Food & Beverage Expo last week in Richmond that featured 1,600 products from nearly 150 specialty-food producers across the state. Think a couple of gourmet shops filled with dog treats, maple syrup, beer, cookies, chutney, chocolates, ice cream, peanuts, steak, jams, bacon steak, chips, oysters, all manner of barbecue sauces, chips and salsas and more. After grazing the convention center aisles for four hours, I managed to choose a few favorites from an impressive field of new products – including the trio of items made by locals that swept the awards categories. Here are my picks and where to get them: ____ Crispycakes It seems impossible – rice Krispie-like treats that are ooey-gooey, somewhat crunchy, super-sweet, a little stretchy and yet don’t stick to your fingers or teeth. The Crispery’s Crispycakes deliver on all fronts. These 3-inch-square blocks stand 21⁄2 inches tall and are big enough to serve a party of four for dessert, if you can stop yourself from biting into the fluff and crunch before guests arrive. The company is owned by Judy Soldinger of Portsmouth. She and her husband, Steven, have much of the product made at Hampton’s Eggleston facility, which employs people with disabilities. Food Network chef Rachael Ray has featured the crispycakes, and they’re sold across the country, in Canada, the Cayman Islands – and, thankfully, right here in South Hampton Roads. $3.95 at www.thecrispery.com. Also available at The Route 58 Delicatessen, 4000 Virginia Beach Blvd., Loehmann’s Plaza, Virginia Beach ____ Pod and Vine OK, so a four-piece box might seem small, and the $8 cost might seem high, but these fine, wine-infused, almost-too-pretty-to-nibble chocolates are made to last. Each should be savored slowly – thoughtfully, even. The Pod and Vine confections from the Charlottesville-based Gearharts Fine Chocolates are made with Barboursville Vineyards’ Virginia Cabernet Franc wine, plum preserves and the chocolatier’s signature blend of dark chocolate. It’s the first in a planned line of chocolates infused with Virginia wines, a noble endeavor from this award-winning chocolatier. $8, plus shipping, for a four-piece box at www.gearharts chocolates.com ____ Bourbon Onion Jam “Getting bacon in a jar is not even close to being easy,” said Bethany Allen-Perez, managing partner of The Essential Table, the Winchester-based company that makes a line of savory jams suitable for topping burgers, steaks, pizzas or crackers – with or without cheese. The Bourbon Onion Jam – made with caramelized onions, smoky bourbon and aged balsamic vinegar – was born out of the company’s frustration of not being able to make a shelf-stable jam with bacon. Bethany and her business partner then turned to bourbon – and shazam! One taste, and I couldn’t wait to fire up the grill and schmear some on a burger. 9 ounces for $8.50, plus shipping, at www.theessential table.com ____ Jalapeno-Infused Margarita Mixer The best margaritas require fresh-squeezed lime juice, but, oh, what a bother that can be. After sipping a sample of this mixer, I may never toil at the juicer again. The ladies at Blue Crab Bay Co. in Melfa on the Eastern Shore have made mixing a margarita worthy of Patrón tequila as simple as pouring a highball. All...

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The Free Lance Star: WHAT’S IN STORE: Expo provides a taste of Virginia-made food

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in News | 0 comments

The Free Lance Star: WHAT’S IN STORE: Expo provides a taste of Virginia-made food

WHAT’S IN STORE: Expo provides a taste of Virginia-made food The Free Lance Star Cathy Jett March 28, 2014 Article Link What does it take to win the “Best New Product Overall” title at the Virginia Food & Beverage Expo? I got a chance to find out firsthand Wednesday when I volunteered to be one of six judges at the biennial industry event, which was held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Gail Moody Milteer, who works in sales and market development for Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, armed us with clipboards and scoring sheets to rate 63 sauces, salsas and other items on such factors as originality, taste and packaging.   Our group included an executive chef, a food writer and the Specialty Food Association’s senior director. We had two minutes at each booth, which was just enough time to hear an explanation about it, see the packaging and get a taste before the awards were presented at 11 a.m. We started off with thimble-size sips of Blue Crab Bay Co.’s Jalapeño Infused Margarita Mixer, a lime-based blend with a hint of jalapeño for extra zip. It was made from natural ingredients, a phrase we’d hear over and over, and came packaged in 25-ounce bottle with a colorful label. A number of vendors also stressed their product’s versatility. We were wowed, for example, when Willard Ashburn gave us a sample of his Ashburn Sauce Co.’s Crabby Mary bloody Mary mix, which contains bits of crab, shrimp and lobster. He told us it could also be used as a soup or pasta sauce. It also didn’t hurt that the bottle had an eye-catching label of a curvacious blonde perched on a life preserver. Then there was Kenny Letner, who had one of the more unusual back stories for his product. He told us that he’d researched the Aztec origins of salsa to come up with his own version. According to the priests who translated the descriptions of how it was made from Aztec Codices, the tomatoes and other ingredients turned into more of a sauce than the chunky salsas popular today, he said. Letner came up with his interpretation and named it Molina Salsa after one of the translators. Once the scores were tallied, Ashburn Sauce Co.’s Crabby Mary bloody Mary mix had won the Best New Product Overall award. Blue Crab Bay Co. netted the Best New Beverage title, and Letner received the Best New Food Award for his Molina Salsa. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services holds the expo to showcase Virginia-made food and beverage products to buyers for regional and national chains as well as gourmet shops and bed-and-breakfasts. This year 142 companies participated, along with six associations including the American Egg Board. That’s the highest number of exhibitors—and new exhibitors—that the expo has had, said Olivia Wilson, VDACS marketing and promotions coordinator. Their products ran the gamut. There were micro greens and maple syrup in kid-friendly squeeze bottles, zesty pickles and peppery salsas, kale chips and cookies, even chocolates infused with Barboursville Vineyards wine and some gourmet doggie treats. I wasn’t quite sure how to score the latter for taste, but we were assured that dogs loved them. Approximately 1,600 buyers preregistered for the expo. Wilson said that she expected the...

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Richmond Magazine: Eating Virginia

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Richmond Magazine: Eating Virginia

Eating Virginia Richmond Magazine Brandon Fox March 26, 2014 Article link There’s a lot of jam — a LOT of jam — barbecue sauce and peanuts in Virginia, apparently. We also have our fair share of chocolate, candy and baked goods. At the Virginia Food and Beverage ExpoWednesday (sponsored by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, local producers came to show off the goods. Richmond-based businesses like SausageCraft, Sun Seasoned Kale Chips, Blanchard’s Coffee and Reginald’s Homemade were handing out samples and giving passersby the glad hand. Ashburn Sauce Co. (out of Virginia Beach and not to be confused with Ashman Manufacturing) won the best overall product category for their pungent Bloody Mary mixes: Clammy Mary, Crabby Mary and Sassy Mary. The crowd was so thick around the booth after the awards ceremony, it was impossible for a short person with a large handbag to shove her way through. However, I was able to try the best food product award-winner, Molina Salsa (also from Virginia Beach), and like the best beverage winner, Melfa’s Blue Crab Bay, banging flavor is the key to success at this event. Virginia first lady Dorothy MacAuliffe and Secretary of Agriculture Todd Haymore handed out the awards, which also included a certificate of recognition for cookbook author, food writer and Richmond magazine friend Patrick Evans-Hylton. Best new discovery? Insanely good whoopie pies from Stevie G’s Gluten Free Bakery in Crozet. STOP, all of you who know I’m gluten-intolerant. That’s not why I loved them. They were crazy delicious with a pair of soft, chocolate-y cookies squishing rich, sugary vanilla frosting between the two of them — and most of the people around me didn’t even realize that they were gluten-free until the owner confirmed it. I will be scouring the shelves of Whole Foods to find them. Seems like a good time to expand a little farther into Richmond, don’t you...

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