Blue Ridge Food Ventures announces finalists in The Big Tasty
Date Posted: 1/31/2013
8 FINALISTS ADVANCE IN CONTEST AIMED AT DISCOVERING THE NEXT BIG FOOD PRODUCT OR BUSINESS IDEA IN N.C
Winner of Blue Ridge Food Ventures contest, 'The Big Tasty,'
could get grocery shelf space in addition to cash, mentoring and more
January 31, 2013 – Asheville-based agribusiness incubator Blue Ridge Food Ventures announces the selection of eight finalists in its first ever food business contest, The Big Tasty. The competition offers food business entrepreneurs a chance to bring an innovative new product or service out of the kitchen and onto the market. The finalists were chosen from a field of 58 entries and judged by a panel of food industry and small business experts.
Big Tasty finalists and their product ideas are as follows:
• Alyse Baca, of Arden, N.C.: Sweet and savory empanada-style hand pies, drawing on Baca’s Mexican heritage and traditions from the pie shop owned by her partner’s grandfather.
• Vicki Daily, of Raleigh: Beet Magic beet powder for beverage preparation, based on reported health benefits of beet juice for athletes as well as for dealing with high blood pressure.
• Grace Eaton and Nicole Pond, of Asheville: Humble Crumb Handcrafted Doughnuts, a line of gourmet doughnuts featuring unique flavor pairings and quality local ingredients.
• Robert O. Parriott, of Spruce Pine, N.C.: Carolina Mountain Chips and Dips, small-batch chips from local potatoes and dips made from ingredients such as ramps and smoked trout.
• Ron and Valerie Patton, of Asheville: Vortex Doughnuts, gourmet doughnuts with unique flavors, inspired by “destination doughnut shops” in cities such as Portland and Austin.
• Alicia Rehburg, of Graham, N.C.: Gorilla Grains, gourmet granola made with 100 percent organic oats and real butter that “creates texture with a crispy, light ‘bite’ and flavor.”
• Ben Saylor, of Asheville: Smokey Mountain Sweet Potato Jerkey, a savory vegan snack food made with raw, locally sourced sweet potatoes and gluten- and soy-free ingredients.
• Jerilyn Turnamian, of Greensboro: Sully’s Blue Cheese Vinaigrette Dressing, made from Danish blue cheese and red wine vinegar, served with salads, pasta, fish, poultry and meats.
For the next several weeks, finalists are receiving one-on-one coaching from food business experts. Final presentations and taste tests with a professional panel of judges will be made in March. Winners will be announced in April.
The winner of The Big Tasty will receive $2,500 and 100 free hours’ use of the Blue Ridge Food Ventures commercial kitchen space and equipment, worth almost $2,400. The champion may also win shelf placement in the 15 North Carolina stores owned by Greensboro-based grocery retailer The Fresh Market®.
Two runners-up will receive $1,000 each and 50 business incubator hours at Blue Ridge Food Ventures. All winners will receive a free Foundations of Business Planning course from co-sponsor Mountain BizWorks, an agency that offers training and consultation for small businesses.
Contestants paid a $10 entry fee and submitted an application package to explain, illustrate and introduce their new product or service idea. The competition, open to any North Carolina resident, was made possible with funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund.
About Blue Ridge Food Ventures
Asheville-based Blue Ridge Food Ventures was North Carolina’s first business incubator specifically designed to provide services to farmers and food entrepreneurs. It is a job creation initiative of AdvantageWest, the regional economic development partnership for the 23 westernmost counties of N.C. BRFV offers food entrepreneurs shared use of an FDA-compliant, 11,000-sq.-ft. commercial kitchen, manufacturing space, and technical and business support. Small, local food production companies rent time and industrial kitchen space and equipment to produce everything from pickles, pastries and hot sauce to chocolate truffles, herb mixtures, baked goods, nut butters and teas. Caterers and food cart/food truck businesses also use the facilities as a commissary. Products made at BRFV can be found across the country. Several have received national recognition in national media outlets, including one that won a Cooking Light magazine taste-test award in the artisanal foods category. For information, visit www.blueridgefoodventures.org.
About The Fresh Market, Inc.
Founded in 1982, The Fresh Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: TFM) is a specialty grocery retailer focused on providing high-quality products in a unique and inviting atmosphere with a high level of customer service. The company currently operates 124 stores in 24 states, primarily located in the Southeast, Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, with plans for continued expansion throughout the country. The Fresh Market is an equal opportunity employer. For more information, please visit www.thefreshmarket.com.
Kathi Petersen - firstname.lastname@example.org
We are stronger together than we are as individuals. Regionalism is critically important for local developers as we work to improve the economy and quality of life for our citizens. AdvantageWest provides the means for us to think and act regionally.
, Senior VP, Corporate & Public Relations
134 Wright Brothers Way
Fletcher, NC 28732
Email Kathi Petersen