Supporting the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 1/3/19

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At Fuchs North America, we believe in giving back to our community by supporting meaningful organizations and initiatives. One of those organizations is the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, Maryland.

The Boys and Girls Club serves the community by driving positive outcomes and enhancing the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence.  Their after school program helps children with homework, life skills, character, and leadership development as well as having a place to belong and feel cared for and valued.

front bgcwOur company first became involved with the Boys and Girls Club of Westminster when our CEO Dan Cooper joined their Capital Campaign committee, which was working towards the goal of building a new home for the club.  The Boys and Girls Club had a waiting list of children and didn’t have the capacity at their previous location so they launched a campaign to raise funds to expand. 

The new building opened in spring 2018 and is able to accommodate 600 kids per day – a significant increase from their previous building which could only accommodate for roughly 110 kids per day. Now, they’re focused on the addition of a gymnasium, which will help keep teens involved and be a special place to bring their friends under adult supervision in a safe place and not on the street.  

According to the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster’s Executive Director Bonnae Meshulam, teens are an important demographic for the Westminster community due to a growing teen substance abuse problem in the county where we are facing an opioid crisis. Teen fatalities due to illicit use of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl, increased 175% from 2014 to 2015 in Carroll County, notes Meshulam.

mentor ctr“For this reason, our club continues to increase teen club membership; there are few opportunities for teens after school, weekends and in the summer where they can be in a safe environment, participate in teen-specific programs, and be with caring adult mentors to help them through the numerous situations they are facing.  We give hope and opportunity to more kids and we are the only Boys & Girls Club in the entire county,” explains Meshulam.

In addition to Cooper’s role on the Capital Campaign committee, Fuchs has offered support to the club in other ways. As a special thank you gift to our donors, Fuchs produced a special blend of spices for them.

Executive Director Bonnae Meshulam also came to speak with Fuchs’ employees at our quarterly meeting to introduce the Boys and Girls Club and speak about their needs.  Our employees expressed interest in volunteering their time and talent at the Boys and Girls Club.  We expect to have several employees begin volunteering in 2019.

To learn more about the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster, click here.

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2018 Year in Review

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 1/2/19

It’s hard to believe that it’s 2019 already! 2018 certainly flew by. It was quite the year for us – from tradeshows to sales kits, let’s take a quick look back at some highlights from 2018.

Island Inspirations Collection

Our first sample collection of the year, the Island Inspirations Collection, launched in March. With delicious, tropical inspired seasonings like Filipino Style Banana Ketchup Snack Seasoning and Coconut Curry Milkshake Seasoning, this collection was an instant hit.

Learn more about this collection here. 

Four Back to Back Tradeshows

Fuchs was on the move last spring! In the span of less than two months, Fuchs exhibited at four different trade shows, spanning both coasts and four US cities.

Check out our blog to take a look back at this spring and all the yumminess that our R&D team served up. 

Modern Comforts Collection

We got comfy with comfort food in 2018! Our second sample collection of the year launched in July and featured modern takes on comfort food classics. One of our personal favorite from this collection? Cheddar & Green Chili Mac & Cheese.

Learn more about that collection here. 

Limited Edition Collections

For the first time ever, we introduced Limited Edition Collections, aimed at offering innovative flavors and solutions for specific segments. Over the summer, we launched two “Shaken & Stirred Collections” – one for the snack industry and the other geared towards proteins. Shortly after, we introduced “Wrap It Up!” – a collection of innovative seasonings for tortillas and flatbreads. We finished out 2018 with our first entirely organic collection, the Café Classics Collection, which was inspired by favorite coffeehouse flavors.

To read more about our limited edition collections, check out this page.

New Additions to the Fuchs Team

In early 2018, we announced the additions of 2 new members of our management team, Marty Lev, Director of Supply Chain, and Derrick Epley, Director of Operations. Read more about them here. 

In the fall, Justin Silvia joined Fuchs as our new Purchasing Manager, taking over for longtime employee Joe Fuchs, who retired at the end of the year. Learn more about Justin here. 

Oktoberfest, Oh Yes! Collection 

We launched our Oktoberfest, Oh Yes! Collection in September, which was truly one of our favorite collections to work on. With this collection, we wanted to celebrate our company’s rich history, which has its roots in Germany. Dieter Fuchs founded the Fuchs Gruppe in Dissen, Germany, selling spices off of the back of his bicycle in 1952, and we’re proud to be part of this company as it has grown to become among the largest privately held seasoning and spice manufacturers in the world. As Germany celebrated Oktoberfest, we wanted to raise a glass to our heritage with this collection.

Learn more about this collection here. 

The First Ever Fuchs Favorites Contest

In November, we hosted our first ever Fuchs Favorites Contest - an internal contest where employees submitted their most innovative snack seasoning ideas. We received over 100 submissions from our staff, with almost every department in the company participating. A panel of judges narrowed it down to the top five ideas, which were created by our R&D team and presented at a company-wide tasting event on November 6th. Our employees voted to determine the winner.

Check out our blog to find out about our winner and fantastic finalists.

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Fuchs Favorites Contest Recap

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 11/20/18

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November was an exciting month for us here at Fuchs! We hosted our first ever Fuchs Favorites Contest – an internal contest where employees submitted their most innovative snack seasoning ideas. We received over 100 submissions from our staff, with almost every department in the company participating. A panel of judges narrowed it down to the top five ideas, which were created by our R&D team and presented at a company-wide tasting event on November 6th. Our employees voted to determine the winner. Read below to learn more about the winning seasoning and our four fantastic finalists!

Winner: Lisa Bookhultz, QA Supervisor – Cream of Crab Soup Crackers

A huge congratulations to our winner, Lisa Bookhultz, the QA Supervisor at Fuchs, for her Cream of Crab Soup Cracker idea! Seeing as we’re a Maryland based company, just miles from the Chesapeake Bay, it was no surprise that our employees loved her idea. Lisa worked with Senior Food Scientist Darla Byerly on bringing her idea to life.

“My inspiration was the cream of crab soup that my brother cooks. He worked his way up the ranks and is now a restaurant manager of two different restaurants in Federal Hill. He even sent in a batch of his soup for us to taste test and compare,” Lisa explains.

“His recipe is extra creamy with just a hint of Maryland seafood seasoning and a dash of heat. It is truly the best crab soup I have ever tasted. This flavor is what Darla and I tried to recreate on a cracker. It has all the components of traditional cream of crab soup with a few surprise ingredients. It offers the usual comfort food appeal of cream of crab soup but with hometown roots,” she describes.

Finalist: Tom Cossentino, Assistant Controller – Goan Curry Pita Chips

untitledWhen our judges were faced with narrowing down the list of over 100 submissions, Tom Cossentino’s Goan Curry stood out immediately. Inspired by a recent visit to an Indian restaurant, this flavor profile is both adventurous and authentic. Goan Curry is a spicy and sour Indian curry that is usually served over fish or shrimp. Our employees stepped out of their comfort zones to give these pita chips a try, and they were instantly a fan favorite. Crafted by Chef Elizabeth Lindemer, this snack seasoning is truly innovative.

Finalist: Kara McConnell, Northeast Sales Manager – Irish Cream Popcorn

Not only is this sweet, beverage inspired flavor perfect for fall, but it is also particularly on-trend. Our employees loved the rich flavor, which really transformed basic popcorn into a treat. Associate Food Scientist Brian Swing partnered with Kara to develop this delightful seasoning, which is sure to be a favorite in our R&D lab all season long!

“With the ski season approaching, Irish Cream is one of my favorite flavors to add to my hot coffee when hanging out with friends watching our children ski race. Popcorn happens to be my favorite snack and I felt it would allow the full flavor to come through,” Kara describes.

Finalist: Stephanie Salter, QA Technician –Wine & Cheese Cracker Sandwiches

untitled 2Another idea inspired by beverages, Stephanie’s Wine & Cheese Cracker Sandwiches were another fan favorite. Stephanie’s coworkers encouraged her to participate in the contest, and we’re glad she listened! Food Technologist Courtney Stokes captured Stephanie’s vision perfectly. Cheesy crackers were paired with a red wine flavored cream cheese filling that looked, smelled and tasted exactly like wine and cheese.

Finalist: Kathryn Svendsgaard, Regional Sales Manager, West Coast – Hot Jam Smoked Almonds

Kathryn’s idea for a Hot Jam Smoked Almond was truly innovative – and on-trend. Our employees loved the smoky and spicy combination, developed by Associate Food Scientist Mia Andrisani. Through her work with customers, Kathryn has already demonstrated that she is full of fantastic ideas, perhaps due in part to her culinary background. When she was brainstorming ideas to submit to the contest, she thought about what flavors she seeks when she’s snacking.

“When I eat a snack I am going for flavor. Big flavor. The idea of Hot Jam Smoked Almonds is loaded with dimension and makes my mouth water. The sweetness of Jam along with the heat of chili gets even more interesting when smoke is added,” Kathryn explains.

Interested in trying one of these five fantastic seasonings? Contact Rebekah Wicke at to request a sample.

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Flavors of the World Storytime Event

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 7/26/18

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Last week Chef Elizabeth teamed up with the North Carroll Library to teach kids and their parents about global flavors. Not only did she give them the inside scoop about what people in other parts of the world eat, but she also brought some samples along!

IMG 6129We all know that Mexican and Latin are among the most popular ethnic cuisines, and Chef Elizabeth gave the group of youngsters a glimpse into some popular foods from south of the border. While hearing stories based in this region of the world, everyone noshed on Mexican Chocolate Seasoned Popcorn.

This flavor profile is based on a traditional drink in Mexico that features a course chocolate tablet that is ground and combined with sugar and spices such as cinnamon and chilies, and occasionally almonds.  Although as a beverage it is often served hot and the chocolate is rich, the blending of spices gives it a surprisingly refreshing feeling.

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Next up was African cuisine, which has witnessed a substantial amount of growth in foodservice in the past year or two. Chef Elizabeth explained the common ingredients featured in African cuisine and brought samples of our Senegalese Style Tamarind & Coconut Snack Seasoning on potato chips. This sweet and sour flavor profile was featured in our African Inspirations Collection and was a hit amongst the group.

Sweet, sour and rich with umami, tamarind is an indigenous plant of tropical African and a significant ingredient in much of the Senegalese cuisine.  We’ve combined this unique ingredient with another prominent component, coconut, for an exciting profile that works wonderfully on snacks such as chips and nuts, but can also pair with chicken or fish.

Last, but certainly not least, Chef Elizabeth introduced participants to the wonders of Indian cuisine, another region that’s been trending in the food industry in recent years. Storytime wouldn’t be complete without dessert, so Chef Elizabeth whipped up some Kashmiri Spiced Carrot Cupcakes from our South Asian Collection for the group to enjoy.

With crisp autumn air quickly approaching it’s time to give the grill a little break and warm up the oven. You’ll find our Kashmiri Spiced Carrot Cake Mix a wonderful format for the captivating and inviting spices of the Kashmir Valley region.

All in all, the event was a success, with participants learning about – and trying – global flavors without having to leave the library.

To learn more about our global flavor expertise, contact us.

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Blends vs. Spices

Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 5/4/18

Check out this recent article on how some companies are struggling to find or retain good workers. For some of our customers, the decision between purchasing a blend or spices is a difficult one. Choosing to purchase a blend can save on time, money and stress among many other benefits. Contact us to find out more. 


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