The Flavor of Georgia
Story from Elberton Star
The Flavor of Georgia food product contest is an annual event celebrating the many flavors Georgia has to offer. Market-ready prototypes (as was Fulghum’s case) or commercially available food products from across the state are judged and critiqued by a panel of food experts. Entries are judged based on flavor, best use of Georgian ingredients, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities, commercial appeal and originality.
Steeped deeply in her Christian roots, Fulghum said she spent a lot of time praying about the decision to enter the contest. “I didn’t decide to enter until the last minute,” she said.
This wasn’t her first attempt at a food competition. A few years ago, after a successful campaign of selling fried pies using her grandmother’s recipe as a means to help the Royston Church of God build a new building, Cindy decided to try to market the sweet and fruity pies. She entered them in the contest two years ago but they did not garner the attention she had hoped.
Little did Cindy Fulghum know that experience was setting her up for the whirlwind ride she’s been on since being named “People’s Choice.”
The chicken log is a recipe she has developed over several years. “I think I’ve got it as good as I can get it,” said Fulghum about the recipe. She began with a basic recipe and made it her own by changing the ingredients to fit her taste.
Although Fulghum felt the recipe was a potential winner, she still had doubts.
“I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to?’” said Fulghum. “I had to search myself really hard and talk to Mom.”
She finally decided to put it in God’s hands by opening a Bible and pointing to a verse for guidance. The verse said “Cast your bread upon the water” and Fulghum took that as a sign she was supposed to enter. “If God is in it, I’ll see what happens,” she told herself.
Fulghum created a brand name for her product. She decided to call it Three Generations of Georgia, going back to her grandmother from whom the inspiration to compete first came. She then created a logo and label for her product and prepared to compete.
She did not get to just pack up and go to Atlanta. The first stop was the UGA campus with 126 contestants, most of them with established companies and product lines looking for exposure.
From the 126, 26 were chosen to be finalists. One of the 26 was the Chicken Log.
Finalists then took their show on the road to Atlanta to vie in six categories such as confections, meats, jams/jellies/sauces, barbecue/hot sauces, snack foods and other products. Other than the categories there would be one product out of all 26 which would be named People’s Choice.
Fulghum would earn the coveted People’s Choice title with the award being presented by Governor Nathan Deal and Commissioner of Agriculture Gary Black.’