TOWNSHEND — Big Picture Farm's Maple Milk Caramel won the gold award in the Confections Category as part of the Specialty Food Association's 2020 sofi Awards, a top honor in the $158 billion specialty food industry. In a rare turn, Big Picture Farm also won the Silver for its Raspberry Rhubarb goat milk caramel.
Vermont swept the entire category — the bronze prize went to Mount Mansfield Maple Products, and New Product went to Vermont Amber Candy Company. Big Picture Farm's Maple
Caramel — which features maple syrup from Plummer's Sugarhouse in Grafton — was one of 148 winners selected by a panel of specialty food experts from nearly 2,000 entries across 39 product categories. Big Picture Farm's Raspberry Rhubarb Milk Caramel is made with Putney Mountain Winery's Rhubarb Blush. 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.
"2020 has been a miserable ... year," said Louisa Conrad, owner of Big Picture Farm, in a statement. "So this is some rare and welcome good news! When you spend so much time and labor and effort and love moving your goats from pasture to pasture to pasture to ensure that they get the best food, that their diet is super diverse, that your workers are properly compensated and taken care of, and that the land is properly managed — it sure is nice for all of that to be recognized. Recognized not only for being sustainable and creating happy goats, but also for producing the most delicious confections in America. We are super proud of our goats (and our non-goat team) that made this possible."
All of Big Picture Farm's products can be found at bigpicturefarm.com.
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.
Started in 2010 by Louisa Conrad and Lucas Farrell (and now joined by daughters Maisie and Minna), Big Picture Farm is a small hillside goat dairy and farmstead confectionery and creamery located in Townshend. Its award-winning goat milk caramels and farmstead cheeses are made with fresh, raw, creamy goat's milk from a herd of 40 healthy and happy, free-ranging companions. An Animal-Welfare-Approved farm, the health and happiness of the animals is the center around which their farm and farm products