Foodbuzz Festival 2012

This post is long overdue. I’m afraid I won’t do this event justice by waiting so long to write about it. I’ll just try to bring myself back to that weekend by conjuring the taste of Mission Minis cupcakes, TCHO chocolate, fresh Alaska Seafood, and all the other fabulous things I consumed.

Foodbuzz may no longer be Foodbuzz but their annual blogger festival in San Francisco lives on. When we moved to SF last year, I was thrilled to finally be in the same city as the festival. As a local, how could I not attend?

Last year I was very overwhelmed by all the people and blogger cliques that seemed impenetrable to me. I didn’t last through all the events that weekend because I was discouraged about how my blog compared to everyone else’s. That experience and the severe lack of effort I’d been putting into my blog over the past few months made me somewhat wary of this years festival. Would I end up feeling inadequate and isolated again? I figured I’d either be really discouraged by the whole thing and quit blogging altogether, or really inspired and reinvigorated by the experience.

Things turned out somewhere in between those two scenarios. I did two things differently that made a huge difference in how much I enjoyed myself this time around. First, I skipped the initial cocktail/greeting event on Friday night. Last year this was the scariest part of the whole thing for me. I didn’t know anyone, and I have a tough time in large crowds of people where everyone seems to be grouped-up already. As a non-drinker, cocktails and appetizers have never really been my thing.

The second change I made was who I brought with me to the events I did attend. Last year I took my husband to the Taste Pavillion. Since there were no conference sessions this time around, the Taste Pavillion was the first part of the festival I attended on Saturday. I brought a friend from work who share a lot of my taste in food and appreciates local companies, which made up most of the exhibitors.  She and I had a blast sampling products and talking to company reps. It also helped that I hadn’t been to a big dinner even the night before, unlike last year.

I was a complete flake of a food blogger and didn’t take a single picture at the Taste Pavillion. I would apologize to all the exhibitors whose products I sampled but didn’t promote on my blog with a photo-ridden recap post but it’s not like I’m a big name blogger with lots of readers to influence. Sorry. Now I’m getting cynical. Back to the positive.

The festival shwag bag was awesome this year! Each blogger got an entire NatureBox full of healthy snacks (which I am already enjoying)! There were also plenty of California Walnuts to go around – so…delicious…

It was great having a friend to split samples with (I didn’t have room for an entire biscuit of each flavor Biscuit Bender had to offer, delicious as they were) and there was truly some wonderful food on hand. I was really impressed with all the Alaska Seafood offerings. The fish was fresh and perfectly un-fishy. Sonoma Brinery pickles and sauerkraut were definitely a favorite and I will be looking for LickPops at the SOMA Street Food Park next time I’m there (winter or not).

I know I live in the best food city ever (dont’ even argue) but all the local food businesses at the Taste Pavillion were still a welcome surprise. I really admire the hard work and dedication it must take to start a food-related business and I don’t think I realized how many of the brands I love come from the Bay Area. Did you know that Numi Tea is from the East Bay and  family owned Sola Bee Farms is making sustainably harvested honey in Petaluma?

I didn’t expect to have so much to say about the Foodbuzz Festival! I guess I’ll have to continue with the gala dinner in a second post!

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