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The Good Food Awards celebrates cultural authenticity, regional flavors and traditions with our pantry category! Umami-packed miso paste, pungent sambal, spicy hot sauce, colorful salsa and a plethora of savory condiments, made from responsibly sourced, GMO-free ingredients, will be considered for Awards this year.


The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the pantry community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the pantry standard are and who will be judging this year.



Kelly LeCoy

Comm. Director at Real Food Real Stories – San Francisco, CA

Kelly is the Communications Director at Real Food Real Stories, a storytelling organization on a mission to humanize the food system. At RFRS, she uses all forms of media to connect the dots through story for eaters, farmers, chefs, and makers. Kelly has a diverse background in marketing and brand strategy, ranging from an incubator for culinary entrepreneurship to packaged food brands. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of story, through the shared lens of food, to change our world for the better. She loves that work spills over into life, but outside of food and marketing you can find her in a book, exploring California, or on her yoga mat.

Stacy Ladenburger

Director of Operations and Editor at GuildSomm – Oakland, CA

Stacy Ladenburger is the Director of Operations and Editor at GuildSomm, a nonprofit membership organization for wine professionals worldwide. Prior to this role, Stacy worked at grocery delivery startup Good Eggs and Oakland’s Ordinaire Wine Shop. She is also a writer whose work can be found at and in past pages of Edible San Francisco and Edible Silicon Valley. Stacy has participated in the Pantry category since its inception in 2015 and is thrilled to move into the role of co-chair this year. A Michigan native who has lived in the Bay Area for six years, she is still smitten with California produce.

Committee Members

Deagon Williams, Consultant, Culinary Business Strategy
Carly Haase Duester, Bi-Rite Market
Dana Plucinski, Publicist, Food Photographer, Social Media Strategist


In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, pantry entries must meet the following standards:

  • Made in the USA or US territories.
  • Made with a balanced objective of local, organic and highest-quality.*
  • Made with transparency in supply chain.**
  • Free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients, including colors, flavors and preservatives.
  • Made with rBGH-free milk, where milk is used.
  • Made with domestic, non-petroleum based vinegar where vinegar is used.
  • Free of genetically modified ingredients.
  • Made with spices that are certified organic, Fair Trade or traceable to the farm level.*
  • Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, oriented toward growing their business in harmony with a better food system.

*Ingredients that make up less than 2% of the product, such as spices, sugar or lemon juice, may be sourced from farther afield, or from a larger distributor.
**That is, an earnest attempt is made to verify the origin and production methods of the ingredient. If made with ingredients that are not grown domestically on a commercial scale, a farm-direct or certified organic source is sought out and documentation of this search, including notes on calling distributors, is provided.


Additionally, pantry entries must fit within one of the following subcategories:

  • Pantry Sauces & Pastes (e.g., miso, sambal, curry paste, hot sauce, BBQ sauce)
  • Salsas, Relishes & Chutneys (e.g., onion chutney, tomatillo salsa)
  • Condiments (e.g., mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard)
  • Flavor Bases (e.g., fish sauce, soy sauce)
  • Maple Syrups
  • Nut Butters
  • Vinegars

Past Judges

Alison Kunetka

Director of Food Product Development, Williams-Sonoma

Gwyneth Borden

Executive Director, Golden Gate Restaurant Association

Jenn Burns

Relationship Manager, Pilot R&D

Ben Chesler

Officer, Imperfect Produce

Kitty Cowles

Founder, Cowles Agency

Michael de la Torres

Chef, MDLT Food

Scott Frank

Vice President of Sales, Rustic Bakery

Dava Guthmiller

Head of Vision, Noise13

Maren Ellingboe King

Editor & Food Stylist, Just Add Salt

Gretchen Giles

Principal, Gretchen Giles Professional Communications

Sana Javeri Kadri

CEO & Founder, Diaspora Co.

Kelsie Kerr

Chef/Owner, Standard Fare

Pei-Ru Ko

Founder & Director, Real Food Real Stories

Renee Frojo

Founder, Laurel Street Kitchen

Dafna Kory

Founder/Co-Owner, INNA

Sienna Mintz

Head of Restaurant Partnerships, Chewse

Tomas Solis


Karen Leibowitz

Co-Founder, The Perennial

Grant Carlson

Co-Founder & CEO, Ugly Juice

Neil Lick

VP, Food Division & Test Kitchen, Williams-Sonoma

Randall Owczarzak

General Manager, Alameda Natural Grocery

Madelyn Markoe

Partner, Media Noche

Patrick Crowl

Founder/Chairman of Fun, Woodstock Farmers Market

Jenny Rojas Cline

Assistant Grocery Buyer, Bi-Rite Market

Joyce Mallonee

Brand Manager, Mallonee & Associates

Dominic Phillips

Founder, DPEM | Event Marketing

Moti Phillips

Director of Marketing, California Farmers' Markets Association

Jason Saunders

Vice President/Financial Advisor , SKA Wealth of Raymond James

Erin Scott

Food & Lifestyle Photographer, Erin Scott Photography

Michael Molesky

Owner, Proprietor

Joyce Attar

Director of Operations, World Foods Portland

Natacha Stojanovic

Health Advisor , Botanica

Gibson Thomas

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Edible Marin & Wine Country

Susie Wyshak

Food Business Consultant, FoodStarter