Telefood, a food gift, wine and spirits publication, reports on a meeting of Eastern manufacturers, distributors and retailers at the Mingfair House in New York City where the creation of an association of the fancy food trade was discussed. The tentative name was the National Fancy Food Specialties Association for the Manufacturing, Distributing and Retail Trade. Telefood’s Ron Schmitz was selected to collect opinion from the industry as to whether it would support such a group.
NASFT Begins Soliciting Membership
A house ad in the July issue of Telefood soliciting membership in the newly formed National Association for the Specialty Food Trade.
First Membership Meeting of the NASFT
A letter announcing the first membership meeting of the NASFT, to be held February 20, at 4 p.m. at 22 E. 67th Street, New York City. It was signed by Stephen Leeman, president, and Ronald Schmitz, secretary.
Forums Held to Advance Specialty Food Sales
By January 1953, the association held forums on the third Wednesday of every month at its headquarters at Mingfair House in New York City. Members of the trade as well as representatives of the press attended to discuss how to advance specialty food sales. At one meeting, Hildegarde Popper, food editor for House & Garden, claimed that there would be greater use of specialty foods if housewives knew more about them.
First NASFT-Coordinated Convention
The first NASFT coordinated show was the 1953 NARGUS (National Association of Retail Grocers) convention in Chicago where a “fine food department” was set up of products from member manufacturers, packers and importers. Costs were underwritten by Telefood.
Products of the Day
Fancy food products of the day included cream peppermints from the Maillard Corporation.
Advertisement for Bigelow's Specialty Tea
Advertisement for Bigelow’s Constant Comment Tea, still a popular variety today.
NASFT Sponsors Exhibits at Gift Show in NYC
Following its success at the NARGUS show the NASFT sponsored exhibits at the International Gift and Fancy Food Show at the Hotel Astor in New York City. Participants included The Ming Tea Corporation and Moore & Co. Soups, Inc. It was deemed so successful that the association began to consider a similar event.
Plans for the First NASFT Fancy Food Show
A group of specialty food importers and distributors gather at Papas restaurant on 14th Street in Manhattan to discuss plans for the first NASFT Fancy Food Show.
First Annual National Fancy Food and Confection Show
The first annual National Fancy Food and Confection Show was held August 28-30, at the Hotel Astor in New York City. Eighty-two exhibitors were on hand, including Amora mustards from Arnold Food Products; Edouard Artzner foie gras from Atalanta Trading Corp.; and Bon Vivant Soups. Panel session topics included gift basket packing and window displays were set up to demonstrate how fine food should be presented.
Ribbon Cutting at Inaugural Show
Ribbon cutting at the inaugural Fancy Food Show.
The Holland Pavilion at Inaugural Show
The Holland pavilion showcased more than 200 imported products.
Companies Show Off Their Products
A representative at the Ming Tea booth shows off the company’s product line.
Gala Foods Displays Product Line
Gala Foods displays its line of jams, condiments and quinine water.
Imported Products at Fancy Food Show
Liberty Import company exhibited Dulfrance soup mixes imported from France.
The Original NASFT Logo
NASFT logo circa 1958.
NASFT Office Opens
An administrative office of the NASFT is formed and Edward Sanjous is named executive director.