Fresno Food Expo expected to expand

FRESNO, California

Vendors gathered on Friday at city hall to talk about what worked and what didn't work at the Fresno Food Expo.

The event brought in $90 thousand but made just three-thousand dollars. 48-grand was spent on marketing.

But Eddie Papulias of Fresno-based Pappy's Fine Foods said the expo's size was perfect for growing his business. Papulias explained, "Quite frankly when you're at a big show like the Fancy Food Show you're a gnat. Very hard to be seen."

Pappy's seasonings and sauces can already be found at Costco and Sam's Club. Papulias introduced his new herbal line at the expo. He said, "It's a brand new project. We're just unveiling it and Whole Foods was there. Tremendous because it's all organic. We're grown here."

Italian meats produced by Busseto Foods of Fresno were also showcased at the expo. CEO Mike Grazier said vendors were surprised by one possible customer. Grazier said, "Some doors were opened to potential business out there. Some in the food service area. Also an area people don't think about in the state of California - corrections."

Grazier and Papulias said the event effectively showed the quality of food products from the Valley.

The city of Fresno is ready to expand next year. Downtown and Community Revitalization Director Craig Scharton said, "Everybody is confident that we'll probably have two times, maybe three times as many companies in the show. They were talking about making it a two-day show."

The idea is to hold the Fresno Food Expo during the same time frame a larger show is held in Anaheim. Organizers feel they'd able to attract more buyers to the Valley.

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