A Screening Committee of Experts in the local food system have selected the following ten food and farm entrepreneurs working in the NYC foodshed to pitch their business plans at Food + Enterprise: (Note: Tickets to the event are sold out).
The following businesses have been selected to present at the 2014 Pitch Competition:
(3) El Poblano Farm – Gudelio Garcia with Erica Dorn – Urban Farm located in Staten Island, NY – www.elpoblanofarm.com (Details Below)
This year, Food + Enterprise features Growth Stage Startup food (and farming) businesses with gross revenues greater than $100,000 in operation for more than year serving NY foodshed.
In addition, Entrepreneurs were selected for Food + Enterprise with an eye towards meeting the following criteria established by Slow Money NYC:
- Small, local and sustainable orientation in the business.
- Immediate and tangible impact on accelerating positive change in the local, sustainable food system.
- Food processed or produced in NY foodshed serving NYC markets (CT, MA, PA, NJ, NY or VT). Not just a marketing and sales office HQ’d in NY area.
- Contributes in some way to one of the following: building local soil health, preserving farmland, caring for the commons, building social & racial equity and creating good jobs with a living wage.
- Credible plan, experienced management and competent advisors with clear path to near-term execution realized by raising funds.
- Plan was best of its type among similar business applying to Food + Enterprise Pitch Competition.
In making our selection, we also looked for social enterprises that have a great business idea as well as strong potential to make a variety of impacts, such as:
- Environment: Reducing Wasting, Contaminants and Emission — Using Resources Sustainably
- Equity: Improving Working Conditions and/or Increasing Access to Food and Just Distribution of Resources
- Vibrant Communities: Foster Community Engagement – Support Development of Local Economies
- Public Health: Reduce Hunger, Improve Health
Slow Money NYC is providing extensive preparation for each entrepreneur individually and during a day-long Pitch Prep Workshop on April 24, 2014. In this way, we believe that these enterprises will be able to face the expert judges and a live audience at The Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn, NY on April 25, 2014. Winner will receive $500 provided by Chipotle.
1. Amrita Health Foods – Amrita makes plant-based energy bars, snack bars and meail replacement bars using brown rice protein and organic dried fruits—such as tropical mangoes, pineapples, and Mejdool dates—together with a rich blend of raw organic sunflower seeds and sesame seeds would provide essential proteins and fats without the added allergens of nuts, dairy, and soy. As an added bonus, kids may take them to their nut-free schools. To really separate Amrita from other energy bars on the market, we packed each bar full of Superfoods such as organic chia seeds, organic maca, and organic unsweetened coconut. These key ingredients fuel endurance for athletes and all of us. Motto: Developing plant-based nutrition without the top 8 allergens for active adults and kids.
Arshad Bahl founded Amrita Health Foods after witnessing his son use a gluten-free and dairy-free diet to help recover from autism. Arshad has spent 20 years in strategic, marketing, finance and management roles in Fortune 50 companies. Arshad has a BSc in Physics, M.A in Envrionmental Policy and MBA in Marketing and Strategy
2. Cissé (pronounced “see-say”) Trading Company is a cocoa company, selling gourmet, traceable baking mixes and hot cocoa through grocery stores and natural retailers. The gourmet products offer a fully transparent supply chain to consumers. The company’s goal is to disrupt packaged foods by combining two high-value attributes: high quality and positive social impact. Cissé has the first-mover advantage in offering traceability in this vertical. Motto: Bringing full traceability to packaged goods
Diana is the founder of Cissé Trading Company. Her passion is sustainable development led her to work for Médecins Sans Frontieres, Keep a Child Alive and ultimately found Cissé. When she’s not demoing in grocery stores, she’s at the playground with her toddler, Noam.
3. El Poblano Farm, located in the Richmond Hill district of Staten Island, is a single-acre plot on the oldest running farmstead in New York City. Established in 2010 by farmer Gudelio Garcia, El Poblano Farm is rooted in the cultivation of indigenous Mexican herbs that are not traditionally grown or marketed in the United States. These unique herbs include pipiche, papalo, and epazote, as well as much-desired vegetables like arugula, baby squash, swiss chard, beets, onions and more. Over sixty varieties of herbs and vegetables are grown using organic methods. Fresh, delicious and cultivated with deep care, vegetables from El Poblano Farm are “beyond organic.” Motto: Bring Papalo to the People since 2010.
GUDELIO GARCIA, Founder, El Poblano Farms
Gudelio grew up farming in his hometown of Puebla, Mexico. Later, he moved to Mexico City and became a successful wholesaler of mangos and papayas. After coming to the US, Gudelio eventually located a plot where he could try his hand at farming once again.
ERICA DORN, CSA Coordinator, El Poblano Farms
Erica has helped grow El Poblano Farm to serve a 100 member CSA, 4 farmers markets, and wholesale accounts with food businesses. In addition to the farm, Erica consults food and farm businesses around the U.S. and is a teaches business and social entrepreneurship at Baruch.
4. Enlightenment Wines is a unique winery focusing on artisanal fruit wines, dry honey wines (mead) and botanical wines. We have garnered praise from a variety of print publications and now cannot meet demand for our product. We are now ready to expand into a destination winery and bar in Brooklyn. The high margins afforded by direct sales will give us a solid base to build our brand and develop our wholesale business organically as we highlight all the great local beverages made in New York. Motto: Locally sourced fruit wines and herbal meads winery
RAPHAEL LYON, Founder, Enlightenment Wines
5. Field Goods – Our mission is to open the floodgates for the flow of local food by reinventing how people purchase produce – and to be a very good partner to our farmers. We work with over 60 small farmers and producers. In 2 ½ years, our customer base has grown to 1,500+. Our wellness program is used by more than 150 organizations. We believe in the power of employment to change lives and are the 2104 Ulster-Greene ARC Employer of the Year. Motto: Fressh Foods from Small Farm
Donna began her as a banker moving into publishing after earning her MBA from Columbia Business School. In the late 1990s, Donna was an executive at start-up an e-commerce company. In 2005, Donna joined Sahale Snacks, a start-up food company. She began working on Field Goods in 2010.
6. The Fresh Connection is a Brooklyn-based company that provides transportation and logistics services to the NYC metro area’s local and sustainable food system, expanding customer access to many inaccessible or inconvenient to access products. Our clients are independent, artisanal, and environmentally and economically sustainable food producers with a strong emphasis on local sourcing. Motto: Delivery and Logistics for a Sustainable Food System
Mark Jaffe is the founder of The Fresh Connection. He was born in Brooklyn, grew up in New Jersey, went to college in Olympia, WA, farmed in Maine, and has now come full circle, living a five minute bike ride from his parents’ old apartment by Grand Army Plaza.
7. Kriemhild Dairy Farms seeks to produce exceptional, wholesome grassfed dairy products. We strive to maintain triple bottom line success by improving the social welfare of our employees and community, by supporting farming and operating practices that reduce our impact on the environment, and by generating solid profits that increase our stability and positive influence in the community. We are unique in that we will be paying our dairy suppliers a premium price for their grass milk, a differentiated milk that is not recognized on the commodity market. We are a company with ethics. Motto: Butter is Back!
Lindsey is newest partner to Kriemhild Dairy Farms, has managed Kriemhild since it’s conception in 2010. Recently completing technical dairy processing coursework at Cornell University, she is also a semi-recent grad from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. She is passionate about small scale, sustainable dairy production.
ur health. Menus change every week, depending on what is in season. Meals are delivered weekly to NYC residents. We deliver by cargo bike (no cars) and use compostable and recyclable packaging. Motto:Sustainably sourced meals, delivered to your door.
CAROLL LEE, Founder, Provenance Meals
9. Radicle Farm Co grows and distributes chef demanded varieties of local living salad greens. Our greens are tastier, more distinctive and fresher than their bagged or cut counterparts. We plan to fundamentally change the image of salad as soggy and dead into something beautiful and alive. Motto: It’s time to expect more from your greens
CHRISTOPHER WASHINGTON, Founder, Radicle Farms
Christopher Washington is a food entrepreneur who began his career working with farmers in Togo, Washington DC, Ghana, and most recently New Jersey. Christopher has spoken at the Clinton Global Initiative and is featured in the book “The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Global Economy”.
10. The Splendid Spoon has a mission is to make healthy plant-based food choices that are both delicious and easy to access. French Culinary Institute-trained chef and founder Nicole Chaszar partners with Registered Dietician Sharon Richter to create flavorful plant-based soups that provide two-plus servings of fresh seasonal vegetables per bowl, and are ready to eat in minutes. Our soups are always 100% plant-based (VEGAN) and GLUTEN-FREE. Motto: With two-plus servings of local vegetables in every bowl we make eating well easy. Let’s Spoon!
Nicole has been on a journey to find her role in the food world since she began cooking at a young age – jarring strawberry jam with her grandmother! As an undergrad, she studied diet therapies as a treatment for epilepsy, and was published in Nutrition and Metabolism. In the midst of a career in media, she attended the French Culinary Institute, and since graduating she has spent time in kitchens such as locavore haven Eat, as well as teaching cooking and nutrition classes at Columbia University.