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Who's News in Catering for June 26, 2021

Products on the Market

Kuleana is the producer of the world's most innovative plant-based tuna. The next-generation seafood company today announces a new agreement that secures the company's national availability. The strategic agreement marks the official launch of its plant-based tuna at their Poké Bar restaurants across North America. Under this agreement, Kuleana is rolling out its product nationally by providing health and sustainability oriented consumers with immediate and convenient access to its plant-based products. 


Trayforma by Stora Enso is a new wood fibre-based material composition designed for microwavable food tray packaging. The renewable material is free of PET, has a very low share of PP and a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional meal tray products. The material contains up to 95% wood fibres, making it widely recyclable in most existing carton packaging recycling schemes.  Microwavable meals are typically packed in fossil-based PET trays as the material is safe for heating. Stora Enso’s Trayforma material replaces fossil-based plastics with renewable, light-weight paperboard that significantly lowers the carbon footprint of each tray. By changing to recyclable, low-carbon trays, brand owners and retailers selling microwave ready-meals can act on circular economy commitments.  

People on the Move

JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa, opened July 2020, and has hired Chef Melissa Sallman as its new executive chef. In this role, Chef Melissa will oversee the resort’s upscale, indoor/outdoor steak and seafood restaurant Sear + Sea. Chef Melissa will be adding her own flair to the restaurant’s inventive dishes, bringing experience from her time at the JW Marriott Marco Island, where she spent over 3 years as executive sous chef. Chef Melissa is no stranger to Marriott, having spent nearly the past 20 years with the company. After graduating with a culinary degree from Hennepin Technical School in 2002, Chef Melissa began working as a cook at the Minneapolis Marriott Southwest, quickly rising through the ranks before moving on to Marriott properties in St. Louis, San Antonio, and Fort Lauderdale.  She has been with Marriott for nearly 20 years. 

Hot Off the Presses

As the nation emerges from pandemic shutdowns and capacity limits, local restaurants around the country are getting an eggstra boost from a popular menu mainstay — the incredible egg — and a healthy dose of hometown competition. Igniting America's passion for eating out, the American Egg Board (AEB) has partnered with celebrity chef Connie Lovely Jackson, aka Chef Lovely, and influencers across the country to showcase eggceptional dishes at their favorite local restaurants on TikTok in the nation's first #EggDishChallenge. To further help local restaurants rebound, the AEB is donating $10,000 each to ten selected restaurants across the country. Now through Tuesday, July 6, noteworthy food influencers will create and share videos taken inside local restaurants, championing their pick for the best egg dish in their city and challenging their followers to do the same. Every restaurant tagged in a TikTok with the #EggDishChallenge hashtag will be entered for a chance to receive one of ten $10,000 donations to help that winning restaurant with post-pandemic improvements. Chef Lovely will help choose the top 10 deserving restaurants. 


Curate, the modern sales and operations platform for florists, caterers, and other creative small businesses, today announced a $1.25 million seed round. The round was led by Chicago-based OCA Ventures, with participation by Square co-founder Jim McKelvey, Cultivation Capital, and Stout Street Capital.  The funding is a major milestone for Curate and follows an intense year during which it helped small businesses navigate Covid-19-related sales and operations challenges, from cancelled events to profound supply chain disruptions. And now, as the economy emerges from Covid-19 restrictions, Curate is seeing explosive demand, with April 2021 revenues up 700x over the year prior.  



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