We woke up on the morning of Tuesday, April 8th to an email with the subject line " Great news about your 2014 sofi Awards entry", and we knew our life as we know it, is going to change, perhaps dramatically over the next few months. To have the opportunity to be a contender for the trophy at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City in June is beyond anything we could have hoped for, as we know what kind of boost it is going to give to a young startup like ours with a product that is essentially foreign to the majority of citizens of this great country.
Twelve months ago we were still struggling with trying to find the right packaging for our confections. We knew we were doing something that has probably never been done before, at least at a massive commercial scale, which is to package and sell a traditionally sugar-coated confection without the sugar coating. It took some really honest and sometimes brutal feedback from customers and relatives (Lin's mother), for our packaging to evolve to where it is today. It's still a work in progress.
It's been a roller coaster ride since we started marketing our Fruit Jewels to retailers third quarter last year. We have received so much support from our friends and family, the Maui business community, and most importantly, the customers who have come to our stall on Saturday mornings at the Upcountry Farmers Market in the Pukalani Long's Drugs parking lot, and at the various Maui fairs and festivals we've attended, to share their thoughts on our products and our efforts, and to give us their hard-earned dollars in exchange for our confections. We only wished we could spread the word faster about our products, and we wished more retailers would be willing to take a chance on carrying our products.
We are so grateful and overjoyed to be a finalist for the 2014 sofi Awards. It is the most significant industry recognition and validation for our efforts to date. We didn't have much expectations when we submitted our entries, and we will continue to plow along and focus on delivering the best of what our beloved island has to offer to the world.