1 This is the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta, where the IDDBA event was held. It is one of the five largest convention centers in the country.
2 This center includes nearly four million square feet of exhibition space, and hosts more than a million visitors each year.
3 Here I was backstage before my speech at the annual International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association Seminar & Expo. The conference gathered buyers, merchants and executives who share a passion for food. It was a great way to share my ideas and to learn more about this sector of the food industry. https://www.iddba.org
4 The turnout was great, and the audience was very attentive.
5 In my keynote speech, I focused on food and farming, and how it has changed over the years. I talked about how much I enjoy growing vegetables and fruits at my Bedford, New York farm. I discussed my passion for eating well, and the importance of sourcing our food. And, I explained how our Martha Stewart Living magazine aims to inspire mindful shopping and healthy eating.
6 Here I am joined by IDDBA Chairman, David Leonhardi.
7 I was able to attend the trade show, where many exhibitors, such as Gonella Bakery, showed their products. Gonella is a family run business based in Schaumburg, Illinois that's been making bread for more than 125-years, specializing in fresh breads and frozen doughs. http://www.gonnella.com
8 Boulart is an organic bakery that prides itself on having no preservatives, no additives, and no GMOs in any of its products. The company's selection of artisanal breads included its own creation of the ciabatta baguette. http://boulart.com/
9 Rich's is a dessert company that made its reputation when its founder, Robert E. Rich, created the first non-dairy whipped topping from the soya bean. http://www.richs.com
10 I posed for this photo with the 75-person team that created the "Show & Sell" center, a 10-thousand square foot model store, at the event, that provided visitors with new ways to showcase products, increase brand exposure, and improve product merchandising.
11 During the Seminar & Expo, the Association held its 20th annual Cake Decorating Challenge. Bakers from across the country entered to participate in the three-day contest to demonstrate their decorating skills and creativity.
12 There were many cakes on display throughout the show, but in addition, part of the competition asked each contestant to produce enough cakes to fill one multi-tiered, eight-inch bakery case.
13 The participating bakers had to make a lot of cakes to fill their bakery cases with interesting, and well-designed, well-decorated samples. This case was one of the ones filled for the Cake Decorating Challenge.
14 For three days, participants worked on their cakes, creating designs for all occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and baby arrivals.
15 Judges evaluated skills in three areas - production cakes, theme cakes and wedding cakes. On the last day, each competing decorator was asked to design a cake for a special occasion, a selected theme, and their own choice favorite.
16 Cakes were then evaluated for artistic quality, color, lettering and design, and icing techniques.
17 There were also many cakes on display for the "Show and Sell" in the show center.
19 I tried some of Wanderlust's Cold Brew Nitro Coffee - it was delicious. Wanderlust is a small Atlanta-based company that serves ready to drink cold brew, coffee concentrate, and cold brew on tap. http://www.wanderlustcoffee.com/
21 More than 60 kitchen designers from 70-stores in the Atlanta area attended the event.
22 Each audience member received the latest copy of our Martha Stewart Living magazine and a Home Depot themed cookie made by Dani Fiore of Sweet Dani B couture cookies. http://sweetdanib.com
23 Here I am with a group from The Home Depot corporate offices.
24 Some of The Home Depot staff received award certificates while I was there. Here I am with Greg Senn who was commended for his work as a #1 top sales leader of our Martha Stewart Living Kitchen collection this year.
25 John Hays was also awarded a certificate of excellence as a #1 top sales leader for the Martha Stewart Living Kitchen line in 2015. I was glad to be able to personally thank members of the sales force who work to bring our brand and products to The Home Depot shoppers.
26 Samples of the Martha Stewart Living Kitchen countertops: Shadow, Sierra, Snowcap, Midnight, Cove, and Flagstone. And, two of my cabinet doors: Gardner Textured Purestyle in Timberline, and Tipton Textured Purestyle in Orchard. See more in our Martha Stewart Living Kitchen catalog. http://issuu.com/marthastewartliving/docs/msl_full_line_april_2015_1_
28 The lines were long, and each guest had multiple copies - it was a great book signing!
29 Following the book signing, I met with some people from Land O'Lakes - West Customer Teams Director, Chris Sheid, Marketing Director, Martin Abrams, and Customer Marketing Director, Joe Squires.