Hello readers,

The National Restaurant Association Hotel-Motel Show wrapped another successful year at McCormick Place May 21-24. One of the notable exhibits was the display of Food and Beverage (FABI) award winners. Chosen by a panel of industry experts, including Aramark’s Global Procurement Director Jennifer Pollhamer and Levy Restaurant’s VP, Chef de Cuisine Robin Rosenberg, the 26 picks show a collective trend toward more healthful choices and ease of use for restaurant operators. But they can also be tasty choices for office snacks, meeting munchies, and client gift bags. Here are some of our favorites:

Stubborn Soda™

PepsiCo’s latest invention is soda infused with herbs and superfoods. There’s the Wild Black Cherry with Tarragon, Orange Hibiscus, and Lemon Berry Acai. Each provides an elevated carbonated drink made with certified cane sugar and high-quality ingredients that’s sure to be a conversation starter.

Sevillo Fine Food’s Fire Roasted Artichoke Hearts

Let’s be real, artichokes can be a pain-in-the-appetizer. But not with Sevillo’s new creation. These flash-frozen artichoke hearts have been lightly dipped in balsamic vinegar and marinated in fresh garlic and herbs before being fire roasted to bring out all the delicious flavors. The best part is all the prep work cuts down on cook time, and the quality will let everyone think these were catered.

Boulart Ciabatta Bites

A basket of bread can be intimidating for anyone cutting down on carbs or gluten, but bite-sizes like Boulart’s mini ciabatta rolls are the perfect portion. Great as a snack or for dipping, Boulart’s baked goods are non-GMO Project Verified and contain no additives, preservatives, or added sugar, which makes them even more appealing.

Earnest Eats Hot & Fit Superfood Bulk Hot Cereal

Need a healthy breakfast bar option for early meetings? Earnest Eats has made the first hot cereal with non-GMO ancient grains including quinoa, oats and amaranth. That means each bowl will have more protein, fiber and texture than traditional varieties of oats. They’re also unsweetened, meaning you can create a buffet of natural toppings for guests to choose from and make their own. And it cooks in five minutes!

OM Spirits “Organic Mixology” Liqueurs

Noted mixologist and author Natalie Bovis has created a line of certified organic, socially conscious liqueurs that are great for any signature drink you’ll be serving at your next event. Available in four flavors, the pre-mixing cuts down on prep time, too.

See all the winners here.

Happy Planning!

Wizard World Chicago Comic Con shows its true colors as a fan-favorite event.


Hello Readers,

Fresh off her Chicago N.I.C.E. award for Best Not-for-Profit Event in 2017, event planner Mindy Loughead (of Perfectly Planned Events) has worked her magic again in a memorable fundraiser for the Home Care Physicians/House Calls program for the Western Region of Northwestern Medicine.


It was the day no one thought they would see happen—at least in this lifetime. On Nov. 2, the eternal underdogs the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series Championship, ending a 108-year wait and gaining a whole lot of new appreciation and fans as a result. Just 10 weeks later they would celebrate yet again at the annual fan convention at the Sheraton Grand Chicago, which was an undeniable success thanks to the quick actions of a team of event producers.