A New Jersey entrepreneur is taking her salad dressing company’s product distribution statewide thanks to a new Garden State-centric display recently installed at Stop & Shop grocery stores. The displays highlight New Jersey-made products and carry the full product line from Blazing Star Foods LLC.
Harmony, NJ resident Robin Stokes started Blazing Star Foods two years ago, and created the original flavor profiles from her imagination. “I wanted to do something different than what was already found on store shelves being made by several different dressing companies. My feeling is that it’s not fine wine, it’s dressing, so have fun with it; have a sense of humor!” said Stokes.
Her product line includes:
· Jackson’s Way – named for Civil War Confederate General Stonewall Jackson based on a myth about him eating whole lemons – made with lemon, sorrel, herbs and spices
· Rudy’s Mustard – named after her father, this dressing blends mustard, mustard seed, and horseradish
· Dill Pickle – made with whole pickles, not just pickling juices.
· BLT – combination of smoked paprika and sundried tomato that mimics the flavor of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich
· Holy Molé – vinaigrette with chilies, spices and chocolate
· Lemon Bomb – combination of lemon, lemon balm and spices
The dressings are all-natural with no preservatives and are GMO free. “The label on each bottle reads ‘Shake it like you mean it’ because all natural ingredients separate, so you need to shake them back together before pouring them over your salad,” explained Stokes.
“The Taste of New Jersey racks are located in different areas inside each store, so customers should ask the store manager for its location if they don’t first see it,” said Stokes.
Stokes began producing her dressings through the Rutgers University Food Innovation Center North. She uses the Warren County Community College’s Business Incubator Program to warehouse her product inventory. As the business grew she moved the production to a local co-packer and bottles 50-100 cases at a time, several times a year, as dictated by sales and product demand.
Her company name is an homage to her husband’s family. Through a genealogical search they discovered his ancestors helped to found the town of Blazing Star, NJ, which is today called Carteret, a borough in Middlesex County, and is the town in which he grew up. Blazing Star is also coincidentally the name of a flower, and the name of a ferry between Staten Island and New Jersey.
The dressings can also be found seasonally at roadside farm stands, at specialty food stores in NJ and Pa., and in the Lehigh Valley region at Olive with a Twist located inside the Easton Public Market.
Stokes also recommends using the dressings as a marinade or sauce for meat and poultry, and over pasta, as well as in dips. And she is always inventing new flavors. “I’m in the final stages of perfecting a few new dressing recipes that I plan to debut in 2017.
For more information on Blazing Star Foods LLC, including retail locations, recipes and detailed product descriptions, visit http://blazingstarfoods.com/index.html.