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The Passionate Foodie

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There are about 25 different species of Sturgeon, and the roe of several species is harvested as caviar. They are not the prettiest of fish, but their roe are delicious and highly prized. Caviar has long been considered a luxury, though it is said that in the early 19th century in the U.S., caviar was served as part of a free lunch in saloons, with the hope the saltiness would get people to drink more. Its popularity though eventually led to a great decline in sturgeon populations so that the the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, notes that wild caviar, whether domestic or imported, is to be Avoided. Farmed caviar though, such as Sturgeon in the U.S. is a Good Alternative and White Sturgeon in British Colombia is a Best Choice. read more

Bloomberg: On New Year’s Day, Consider the Sturgeon

When Peter the Great gave Louis XV a gift of caviar, the French king tried it, and then spat it out on the floor of Versailles. About 320 years later we seem to have gotten used to the taste. “The fancy cars, the women and the caviar, you know who we are,” sings Ludacris in “Pimpin’ All Over the World.” It’s not just that these fish eggs taste good: they taste like the high life.

Look beyond its aura of glamour and you’ll find that caviar is the product of an intricate and shifting global industry. With U.S. bans on caviar from the critically endangered Caspian and Black Sea sturgeon, traditionally the source of the most prized eggs, that business got a lot more complicated. Read more at Bloomberg.com

CHRISTOPHER HLUBB PROMOTED TO PRESIDENT and COO OF MARKY’S GROUP, INC.

MIAMI (June 6, 2013) – Marky’s Group, Inc. has announced that Christopher Hlubb has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of the Miami-based gourmet food conglomerate. Christopher_Hlubb_headshot_reduced

A once aspiring neurosurgeon and prior genetic researcher at John Hopkins Hospital, Hlubb is now focused on changing the gourmet food industry. He left the laboratory in 2001 with his first foray into the private sector working in biomedicine. He then decided to pursue a more entrepreneurial role in the wine industry working with Chilean mega-cooperatives on the production of wines and other gourmet food products. After many years with some of the biggest names in retail, Hlubb accepted a position with Marky’s Caviar in Miami as Director of Corporate sales in 2010.

Hlubb has since revamped the entire infrastructure of the company. Last year he launched Marky’s Panama, after acquiring a local gourmet food distributor, and Marky’s Europe. In January 2013, Marky’s Group, Inc. was created as the parent company of Marky’s import and distribution business, Marky’s Gourmet Retail Store (formerly Marky’s Showroom in Miami), Caviar & More kiosks, Sturgeon Aquafarms, Marky’s Panama and the newly created subsidiaries in Europe.

“We made a strategic decision to expand our family business to that of a larger corporation,” said Marky’s Co-Founder Mark Zaslavsky.  “We are thrilled to have someone like Chris, with his business acumen and high level of expertise and experience in the gourmet food and wine categories, on our executive team.”

Hlubb’s busy schedule is focused on brand and product development, as well as the management of Marky’s Group’s rapidly expanding portfolio of subsidiaries in manufacturing, distribution and retail, both in the U.S. and abroad. He manages a team of more than 100, and at just 38, he is quickly emerging as a leader in the gourmet food industry.

Tapping into his experience in the wine industry, Hlubb created a program that mirrors the prestige of the internationally acclaimed Master Sommelier program for the caviar industry. To date, with the company’s caviar product manager, Marky’s has trained some 700 people from retailers and restaurants like Whole Foods, Specs, The Setai, Azamara Club Cruises, Costco and Acqualina.

“This is an exciting time to be working in the gourmet food industry,” said Hlubb. “Our goal is to change the face and structure of the gourmet industry by implementing local manufacturing of a larger portfolio of previously imported products while continuing to source the highest quality products worldwide.”

Among his favorite projects is Sturgeon AquaFarms, one of the subsidiaries of Marky’s Group, Inc. Sturgeon AquaFarms is the only aquafarm in the U.S. licensed to raise beluga sturgeon. The company successfully imported the beluga from Europe in 2003, just two years before the international ban took effect. And next year, in 2014, the company expects to be harvesting beluga caviar and re-introducing it to the American market. Other high-priority projects include the expansion of Caviar & More kiosks and Marky’s Gourmet Retail Stores worldwide with the first new sites to open in Panama in 2013 and New York soon after.

About Marky’s Group, Inc:

Marky’s Group, Inc., founded in 1983, is the privately held parent company of all Marky’s branded distribution businesses, Sturgeon Aquafarms, Caviar & More and Marky’s Gourmet Retail Store. With locations in Miami, Panama and Europe, Marky’s manufactures, imports, exports, distributes and retails more than 8,000 gourmet foods and caviar worldwide to restaurants, hotels, retailers and consumers.