This week, Brooklyn-based RIND—an artisanal vegan cheese brand—was awarded gold in the 2020 Sofi Awards’ “Plant-Based, Other Dairy” category by the Specialty Foods Association, a membership-based network made up of food industry professionals. Founded in 2017 by Joshua Katcher (the fashion mogul behind vegan brand Brave Gentleman) and Dina DiCenso (owner of vegan shop Gristle Tattoo), the plant-based cheese brand first launched in select New York City restaurants last year.  

RIND’s Classic Cambleu—a buttery cheese enrobed by an edible white camembert and bleu mold—was judged on taste, appearance, texture, aroma, ingredient quality, and innovation. While RIND won gold, Jeni’s Dairy Free Ice Cream (Texas Sheet Cake flavor) and Dah! Almond Milk Yogurt (Alphonso Mango flavor) came in second and third, respectively.

“It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm for our vegan cheese,” Katcher said of RIND’s win. “This top award confirms what so many customers and retailers say on our social media channels, and what we’ve worked so hard to achieve—a bloomy, intense, buttery and rich, soft-ripened vegan cheese.”

RIND’s current offerings include bleu, lapsang, paprika, and porcini varieties. Products are available to consumers through online retailer Vegan Essentials and in select locations across New York, California, Texas, and Pennsylvania.