How good is the coffee and chocolate in Maine?

Good enough to go head-to-head with artisan edibles across the country.

Tandem Coffee Roasters in Portland and Belfast’s Bixby & Co. are finalists in the fourth annual Good Food Awards. Announced today, the awards for outstanding American food producers is a coveted distinction in the craft and slow-food movement.

The event is organized by the Seedling Project, a San Francisco-based group that promotes sustainable living through food.

“[These] businesses are a vital link in a healthy food system,” said Sarah Weiner, co-founder of the project in a prepared statement.

Awards are given in 10 categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserve, spirits and oil. Two hundred finalists made the cut for pushing “their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities.”

A panel of coffee pros selected Tandem’s Aylele Yirgacheffe Ethiopia beans versus scores of entrees across the country. The East Bayside micro roaster, less than two years old, shares the spotlight with giants in the field such as Stumptown Coffee of Oregon and Intelligentsia of California.

“It’s a pretty big honor to us. There were a total of 1,450 total entries among all categories,” said Will Pratt, co-owner of Tandem in an email. “We’re especially honored to be on a list that includes some of our favorite roasters in the country.”

Bixby’s To the Nines Chocolate Bar shared the same honor in the confections category.

Winners will be announced in early December. The award ceremony is Jan. 16 in San Francisco. Two days later the top products will be unveiled at a public marketplace at the San Francisco Ferry Building, a foodie magnet.

Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.