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NEWS: Simpson & Vail wins a Gold sofi™ award in 2021 Annual competition

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posted Sunday May 09, 2021 06:00 PM

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Simpson & Vail, is thrilled to announce that their popular Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Dessert Tea has won a Gold award as part of the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) 2021 sofi™ Awards, a top honor in the $158 billion specialty food industry.

Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble Dessert Tea was one of 130 winners selected from nearly 1,500 entries across 49 product categories. This dessert tea was sampled in a blind taste test, against competitors in the Tea category, by a panel of judges consisting of food professionals such as chefs, specialty food buyers, food journalists and culinary instructors. Teas were judged based on flavor, appearance, texture and aroma as well as ingredients used in the blend.

“This dessert tea has been a winner with our customers and we are honored that it was chosen this year as a Gold winner by the Specialty Food Association judges!” said Cyndi Harron, co-owner of Simpson & Vail. “With so many people embracing a healthier lifestyle this caffeine-free tea, with zero calories, is the perfect accompaniment.”

First introduced to the market in March 2018, this Blueberry Cinnamon Crumble tea originated in December of 2017 as a gift to Simpson & Vail staff. “We like to gift our employees with, among other things, their favorite teas for the holiday season,” says Harron. “In 2017 I created this dessert tea for them and the response was overwhelming, with a chorus of “we have to add this to the dessert tea line”. And so a star was born.”

Simpson & Vail’s dessert tea line consists of fifteen blends including other best sellers such as Almond Sugar Cookie, Caramel Walnut Shortbread and Carrot Cake Cupcake. This popular line is among the approximately 375 teas offered by Simpson & Vail. Other lines include National Park Teas, Literary Teas, Holiday Teas, Yoga Teas, and Wellness Teas as well as black, green, oolong, white and botanicals from around the world. Blended teas are mixed in small batches, to ensure freshness, and are shipped daily from their Connecticut facility.

Simpson and Vail, incorporated in 1929, is the second oldest tea company in the United States. Purchased in 1978 by Jim and Joan Harron, it is owned and operated today by two of their children, Jim and Cyndi. Simpson & Vail provides quality loose tea and coffee through their retail store located in Brookfield, CT and online at They also share tea news and recipes at their as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The Specialty Food Association (SFA), is the leading trade association and source of information about the $158.4 billion specialty food industry. Founded in 1952 in New York City, the SFA represents makers, importers, retailers, distributors, and others in the trade. The SFA is known for its Fancy Food Shows; the sofi™ Awards, which honor excellence in specialty food and beverage; Trendspotter Panel Show reports and annual predictions; the State of the Specialty Food Industry Report; the Product Marketplace database, featuring specialty foods and beverages in 161 categories and sub-categories; Infinite Aisle, a new ecommerce marketplace that enables SFA Members to make buyer-maker connections and sales year-round; and Specialty Food LIVE!™, a digital marketplace experience.

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