Black Swamp Gourmet, a barbecue and dry rub food processing company based in Ohio, was honored with the Best Overall Product award, Golden Chile award, and Best of the Best award at the ZestFest in Irving, Texas, for their sweet and fiery sauce.

The three-day ZestFest is one of the largest events in the country that showcases some of the hottest and spiciest foods.

“We are so honored as this is a blind taste test,” stated Bob Basel, co-owner and founder (with wife Karen), Black Swamp Gourmet. “With the event being held in Texas, which is of course known for its authentic sauces and spices, we are humbled to receive this honor due in part through the help of CIFT.”

The birth of Black Swamp Gourmet started when Bob Basel started mixing different spices to add flavor to his lunch sandwiches. After he and Karen started sharing their creation of sauces to some very enthusiastic family and friends, they approached CIFT to begin processing at the Northwest Ohio Cooperation Kitchen (NOCK).

More than 40 companies currently use the NOCK which provides an affordable venue to develop a concept into a commercially viable food product. CIFT has worked with small and startup companies since the center's inception in 1995.

For more information on Black Swamp Gourmet, visit