click to enlarge DO IT YOURSELF: A Concord worker wanted to entertain her nephews, and voilà!

DO IT YOURSELF: A Concord worker wanted to entertain her nephews, and voilĂ !

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Dunkin' Worker Starts DIY Craze

They bring sprinkles, frosting, creativity, and doughy fried roundness to sheltering-in-place.

By S. Rufus
Tue, May 12, 2020 at 6:53 PM

An employee at a Dunkin' in Concord has inspired the company's brand-new DIY Dunkin' Donut Kits.

Norma Valkenaar asked the restaurant's franchisee, Matt Cobo, whether she could bring home some donuts, frosting, and sprinkles so that her young nephews could experiment with customizing their own treats.

When Valkenaar reported that this experiment had proven fun and successful, Cobo realized that it might also enliven sheltering-in-place for many families. "The reality of this experience has set in, and we know it's not going anywhere anytime soon," Cobo said in a press release. "Like most parents, we were looking for ways to entertain our kids and bring a little levity to this situation."

Last month, Cobo's Dunkin' shops in Walnut Creek and Concord started making DIY kits — which workers were encouraged to take home and use with their own families and to deliver on the doorsteps of friends and relatives, and which customers can now buy.

Priced at $6 for four plain donuts and $10 for nine, the kits include three different kinds of sprinkles and several different frostings.

"This is our small way of trying to brighten someone's day," Cobo said.

"The simple joy of getting to create your own donut can make kids light up, and if we can be a part of creating that moment, that makes us happy."

Now Dunkin' restaurants all over the USA have started selling donut kits.

Since March 17, service at Dunkin' restaurants has been limited to drive-thru ordering, carry-out, and delivery, with a few locations also offering curbside service. The company is currently donating a percentage of its proceeds from every gift card sold to the Dunkin' Joy in Childhood Foundation — an emergency fund designed especially for nonprofits helping families affected by Covid-19.


Lance Winters Scores Another James Beard Nomination

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Master distiller Lance Winters of Alameda's St. George Spirits has just been nominated for a his fifth straight James Beard Foundation Award in the Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer category.

Having previously worked as a US Navy nuclear engineer, Winters joined St. George in 1996 after offering its founder Jörg Rupf a sample bottle of his homemade whiskey. Since then, Winters has sparked attention worldwide for such distinctive spirits as St. George Single Malt Whiskey, St. George Absinthe Verte, St. George California Agricole Rum, the St. George gins (Botanivore Gin, Terroir Gin, and Dry Rye Gin), the St. George vodkas (All Purpose Vodka, California Citrus Vodka, and Green Chile Vodka), Baller Single Malt Whiskey, and Bruto Americano.

On May 4 — during what will be remembered as one of the restaurant industry's weirdest and most challenging phases ever — the James Beard Foundation livestreamed via its Twitter account this year's nominations in 60 categories spanning restaurateurship, restaurant design, and culinary media. James Beard awards are among the world's most prestigious food-and-drink-related honors.


Impossible Burger Expands Its Retail Presence

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Impossible Foods, whose huge production facility is in 85th Street in Oakland, has just announced a huge retail expansion, with its popular plant-based Impossible Burger being rolled out this week at over 1,700 grocery stores nationwide.

All of those stores are owned by The Kroger Co., which operates in 28 states under many different brands including Pay Less, Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons, Fred Meyer, and many more.

Impossible Foods' award-winning Impossible Burger — which won a Food and Beverage Award from the National Restaurant Association and which The New York Times has declared America's top plant-based burger — is now available not just on the shelves of these 1,700-plus stores, but can also be ordered online.

"The launch of Impossible Burger at Kroger grocery stores nationwide signals our intention to make Impossible Burger available everywhere America shops — at brick-and-mortar retailers and their increasingly popular online ordering and delivery services," said Impossible Foods' president Dennis Woodside, as reported at Supermarketnews and other venues.

"Our existing retail partners have achieved record sales of Impossible Burger in recent weeks. We expect our retail footprint to expand more than fifty-fold in 2020, and we are moving as quickly as possible to expand with additional outlets and in more retail channels," Woodside said.

The kosher, halal, and gluten-free-certified Impossible Burger is also served at Burger King, the Hard Rock Café, and thousands of other restaurants.

Demand for plant-based proteins is rising as worried consumers seek innovations and alternatives. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control reported that thousands of workers at American meat- and poultry-processing facilities have tested positive for Covid-19.

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