Ridgefield man shares award for best Passover product
RIDGEFIELD – Ridgefield resident Scott Gantwerker was happy to learn that Matzolah, made by Atlanta-based Foodman LLC in which he is a principal, was awarded Best New Passover Product in the 2012 Kosherfest New Product Competition. But he was not surprised that Matzolah had won. Gantwerker and his business partner Wayne Silverman, who had also been his college roommate, had been perfecting the matzo-based granola for decades.
Gantwerker describes Matzolah as a “breakfast and nosh,” and in recognition of matzo’s biblical origin, calls it “the trail mix of the Exodus.” He loved the oat-based, non-Passover granolas his roommate had made when they were students at Michigan State University 40 years ago. After graduation Silverman created a Passover version of his granola made with matzo rather than oats, and each year sent bags of what he called Matzolah to Gantwerker, in time for the eight-day holiday. In the meantime, Gantwerker had gone on to become a research and development executive with Quaker Oats, Pepsi-Cola and Pepperidge Farm.
“I always knew Wayne had a hit,” Gantwerker says. “So we worked together to refine the recipe, to find the best ingredient suppliers, and obtain a rigorous Passover certification known as a ‘hechscher’.” Gantwerker says that Matzolah is made with Streit Matzo Company’s matzo. The product’s ‘hechscher,’ or certification, is from the Kof-K kosher certification body.
Gantwerker is now executive vice president of Foodman LLC, the company he and Silverman formed to produce and market other kosher foods. The company’s broader plan is to make specialty natural food products that are not only kosher for Passover but will appeal to all consumers year-round.
“Appropriately, it took 40 years for Foodman LLC to bring this product to market, the same amount of time it took the Israelites to reach the Land of Milk and Honey,” says Gantwerker. “It’s a 3,000-year old product for the 21st century.” Now that’s a time-tested breakfast, or on-the-go snack!”
As this year’s Best New Passover Product, Foodman’s Matzolah will debut Nov. 13 at Kosherfest. The world’s largest trade show for the kosher food industry is still scheduled to be held in Secaucus, New Jersey as clean-up from last month’s storm proceeds. Matzolah will be available for purchase and for national distribution beginning this fall. For more information visit www.FoodmanNosh.com.