North Bay food business group picks Redwood Hill Farm, Miyoko's Kitchen for 'pioneer' awards

The North Bay Food Industry Group (FIG) Monday announced the 2018 recipients of its annual Pioneer Awards, naming the founder of a Sebastopol creamery and the creator of food products made from plants instead of animal milk.

The industry group, created in 2013 to help the area's specialty food and beverage industry grow and thrive, will honor Jennifer Bice, founder and managing director of Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery in Sebastopol, with its 'industry pioneer' award, while Miyoko Schinner, founder and CEO of Miyoko's Kitchen in Petaluma, will be recognized with its 'Next Generation Industry Pioneer' honor.

Both will receive the recognition at the fifth annual FIG Pioneer Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 14. The event takes place from 5–8 p.m. at the SOMO Village Events Center in Rohnert Park.

In making the announcement, the group noted that Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery is celebrating its 50th year of operation. It produces artisanal yogurt, kefir, sour cream and other specialty dairy products under two distinct brands: Redwood Hill Farm goat milk dairy and Green Valley Creamery, lactose-free cow milk dairy.

'Fifty years ago, I never dreamed that my love for dairy goats would turn into a fulfilling, lifelong vocation," Bice said in a statement. Our North Bay is a special place that embraces craft, quality, and care for animals – values I've tried to live throughout my career.'

As CEO and founder of Miyoko's Kitchen, Schinner has created a proprietary process for producing organic, award-winning cheeses and butter that are sold in thousands of stores nationwide while using plants.

Blair Kellison, CEO of Traditional Medicinals and chair of the board of North Bay FIG, stated, 'The North Bay is a special place for specialty foods. Industry pioneers like Jennifer Bice have thrived here and just as importantly given support to others building on their own dreams. We think it's important to acknowledge and honor these individuals for helping to create this special community. '

The Nov. 14 event is open to the public. Tickets or write to

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