Lavender Lemonade, a product by Ventura-based Lori’s Original Lemonade, won a gold award in the Specialty Food Association’s 2021 sofi Awards.
The lemonade was one of 130 winners across 49 categories, announced May 5. There were almost 1,500 entrees, and the entrees were judged in an anonymous sampling for taste, ingredient quality and innovation.
Lori Volk, the founder of Lori’s Original Lemonade, also calls herself the “chief believer” of the company. She was hoping for a win in the awards, and even had it up on her vision board.
She’s won sofi Awards for her lemonade before, but never the top award. In 2018, she won the silver for her ginger lemonade, and in 2019, she won the silver for her strawberry.
Volk is especially thankful to have survived to get this award considering the rough ride the food and beverage industry has been through in the past year. She didn’t submit anything for the awards in 2020 because of how chaotic the first part of the year was for her. Volk didn’t know if the company would survive.
Then the summer hit, and her sales rose drastically — and kept rising. This past April was the most successful month Volk has had in the history of the company.
“I feel really grateful,” Volk said.
Volk is getting ready to launch a new flavor within the next few months. She’s aiming for July, but issues with the supply chain might delay her plans.
“You just keep pushing forward and hoping you can make progress,” she said.