"It's a challenge because most people come by and they're drinking wine," says Ellis, one of more than a dozen specialty food producers participating in the sold-out event. "They don't want milk."
To solve the problem last year, Ellis put his samples on a tray and wandered across the tasting floor. He found plenty of attendees thirsty for a non-alcoholic beverage, but the most enthusiastic drinkers were staffers plating samples.
"All the people serving food were really excited, because they were working their butts off," Ellis says.
Their excitement wasn't unwarranted: Ellis was giving away chocolate milk, which the dairy industry has lately started promoting as a sports drink. An industry-supported study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that recreational runners who drank chocolate milk instead of carbohydrate drinks ran 23 percent longer. Nutritionists also recommend chocolate milk as a recovery beverage.
In addition to milk, Ellis will also be offering samples of Greek-style yogurt, traditional yogurt and Jersey milk from grass-fed cows. "It's very unique," Ellis says of the brand new product, now being sold at PCC Markets. "It's non-homogenized, so the cream is on top."
Sounds like the perfect foundation for a farm-to-bar White Russian.