A nod from Martha Stewart can be the turning point for a fledgling business. It’s happened in Seattle before, when Stewart listed Skillet Street Food’s bacon jam in a gift guide. The company went from shutdown fears to big-time success.
A bunch of local food and drink creators now have Stewart’s preliminary stamp of approval as finalists in the “Martha Stewart American Made Awards,” meant to honor “beautiful, innovating, inspiring products.” Businesses could nominate themselves to be considered. Martha herself is making the final picks; the category’s other judges are from the magazine’s food editorial side along with its “director of food product development.” There’s also a people’s choice award based on online votes — yes, that’s a test of a business’s social media smarts rather than an assessment of quality, but if you want to play the game or help your favorite along, here’s the link where you can vote six times a day (!) through Oct. 13 (!!) for your top choices. You’ve read about some of the finalists here already, like broVo Spirits with its botanically inspired flavors, and Mora Iced Creamery, worth the ferry ride for a single scoop.
Other Washington state food and drink finalists are 2Bar Spirits, Bluebird Microcreamery, jcoco chocolates (try their surprisingly good edamame sea salt bar,) Noble Handcrafted, Simple & Crisp dried fruit slices, and Spiceologist spice rubs. Don’t forget the Jacobsen Salt Co., an Oregon-based business, but used in so many Seattle restaurants and kitchens we’re claiming it as a hometown hero.