PHOTOS: 8,000 Show Up for Brauhaus Schmitz’s Oktoberfest

After almost 11 minutes a champion was crowned. Joe Heyob won himself a Year of Beer at Brauhaus Schmitz.

Photo courtesy of South Street Headhouse District

The 700 block of South Street could barely contain the crowd of revelers who packed in to celebrate Brauhaus Schmitz’s 7th annual Oktoberfest on Saturday. “This year’s Festival was certainly the largest we have had yet,” says owner Doug Hager. “All day long we had a constant stream of people coming and going. We estimate upwards of 8,000 people stopped by the festival during the course of the day.”

That’s great for business all up and down South Street, but maybe too much to handle on one block (plus a small “bonus area”) alone. Hager suggests they may have to make some changes in years to come to accommodate the crowd. “We would like to see it continue to grow … I think we may have maximized what can be done on our block alone. We will have to look at all options for ways to either expand the size of or limit attendance to this festival in the years to come.”

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Philly Startup With Game-Changing Beer Test Moves into Juice Biz

A hand-held test from Invisible Sentinel.

A hand-held test from Invisible Sentinel.

Invisible Sentinel is venturing into the juice business.

The fast-growing University City Science Center-based company has been making a name for itself by testing the likes of Victory beer and Jackson Family wines for various kinds of spoilage. (It also tests food for pathogens.)

Now the company has signed a deal with Refresco Gerber, an international bottler of juice, to use the testing technology in Refresco’s quality processes for rapid detection of spoilage organisms commonly found in fruit juice and concentrates. Read more »

Stephen Starr Sells Catering Group

Stephen Starr

Stephen Starr at the BizPhilly launch event.

Stephen Starr has sold the catering arm of Starr Restaurants — a $40 million business that provides food for weddings, corporate events and cultural institutions.

TrustHouse Services Group has purchased Starr Restaurants Catering Group (SRGC) for an undisclosed amount. SRGC will continue to operate under the Starr Catering banner and be led by President and CEO Simon Powles and COO Guy Kellner. Read more »

Aramark Vows to Trim Fat, Calories from Menus

Aramark's corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. (Wikimedia Commons)

Aramark’s corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. (Wikimedia Commons)

Aramark provides millions of meals each year to people in 21 countries. Now, the company vows to make those meals healthier.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia-based Aramark announced a new plan to reduce calories, saturated fat and sodium levels by 20 percent, while increasing fruits, vegetables and whole grains 20 percent. They call the program Healthy for Life 20 by 20. Read more »

Trans Fats 101: What They Are (and Why You Should Steer Clear of Them)

Photo by Flickr user Ezra Wolfe

Photo by Flickr user Ezra Wolfe

Earlier this month, the FDA announced it was banning artificial trans fats from food products. It set a 2018 deadline to remove all partially hydrogenated oils from food products.

Obviously, this has major implications for one staple of Philadelphian diets: Tastykakes. A 2013 study from the Harvard School of Public Health said that the Tasty Baking Company had made some of the biggest strides in removing trans fats from its products already.

So how’d they do it? We don’t know, because the company declined several requests for an interview. A quick scan through the convenience store, though, shows that trans fats are still present in Tastykakes: Donuts listed as an ingredient partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening, a trans fat. But it’s not all bad: A package of cupcakes listed hydrogenated cottonseed oil; fully hydrogenated oils do not contain trans fats.

This is silly, in a way: Hydrogenated cottonseed oil isn’t great for you either. And they’re Tastykakes! They’re going to be unhealthy. But it does make us ask, why are trans fats so dangerous, anyway? I got Dr. Daniel Edmundowicz, chief of cardiology at Temple University Hospital, to answer a few basic questions. Read more »

BizFeed: UberEATS Coming to Philly

Uber is hiring a general manager to launch a Philly UberEATS delivery service.

Uber is hiring a general manager to launch a Philly UberEATS delivery service.

1. Uber’s food delivery hiring Philly GM

The News: Uber isn’t just a people-delivery service, it’s also a food-delivery service through its vertical UberEATS. Now the company is hiring a general manager to head up the Philly operation, according to Technically Philly. It’s currently available in just five cities: New York, Barcelona, Chicago, Los Angeles and Toronto.

The job listing said the company is looking for someone with a “get shit done attitude” and the “fear tolerance of a honey-badger:” Read more »

SmartPlate that Detects Nutrition Facts of Food Completes $100,000 Kickstarter

This plate will calculate the nutritional value of your food.

This plate will calculate the nutritional value of your food.

When I spoke to Anthony Ortiz on Thursday, he couldn’t help being a little nervous. His company’s $100,000 Kickstarter campaign sat at $96,258 with just three days to go. With Kickstarter, if you don’t hit your goal, you don’t get a dime.

“Talk about a nail-biting nerve-wracking process,” said Ortiz, the CEO Fitly. “That’s the risk you take with a platform like Kickstarter – it’s all or nothing.” Read more »

Campbell Soup Makes $231M Fresh Food Bet

Campbell Soup Co. headquarters in Camden, N.J.

Campbell Soup Co. is making another acquisition to continue moving the company toward a fresher, healthier product line.

On Tuesday, it agreed to acquire Garden Fresh Gourmet for $231 million. Garden Fresh makes refrigerated salsa, hummus and other dips. It generated $100 million in net sales last year and has 500 employees in Michigan. Read more »

Brick and Mortar Opening

DSC_0919 copy

Last night Michael B. Welsh’s much anticipated Brick and Mortar (BAM) opened up at 12th and Pearl Streets in the Loft District of Philadelphia. The New American tavern seats up to 110 people and is located on the first floor of the Goldtex Building, which features large windows letting in a lot of light and banquet style tables as well as having a community table for large parties. Chef Brian Ricci’s menu will serve lunch and dinner, as well as late-night snacks, plus the best cocktails you could imagine.

Last night’s opening served as a fundraiser to support Friends of The Rail Park, attracting supporters including Inga Saffron, Connor Barwin, Sam Sherman and Paul Steinke, who enjoyed signature cocktails + hors d’oeuvres crafted by the BAM staff. Friends of The Rail Park had a lot to celebrate last night as the Philadelphia Art Commission had given final approval for the anticipated park’s design on Wednesday. During the event Philly’s favorite rapper, Chill Moody performed with Yufi Zewdu & DJ Ricochet.

Photos after the jump »

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