by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed
The 1st annual Taste of the GFA fundraiser/tasting event on Thursday, October 25 was a huge success. This article features the lineup for the Good Food Accelerator’s fifth entrepreneur cohort, which begins an intensive six-month development program in early November.
Most organizations make a big announcement and then throw a big party to celebrate. Chicago non-profit FamilyFarmed flipped the script on Thursday evening, holding its 1st annual Taste of the GFA fundraiser, presented by Quarles & Brady and The Boston Consulting Group, to benefit our Good Food Accelerator‘s programs — and using the event to do the big reveal of the 10 businesses that will participate in the Accelerator’s upcoming fifth cohort.
These businesses will engage in an intensive six-month entrepreneur development program, beginning in a couple of weeks, featuring a curriculum delivered weekly at 1871 Chicago (also site of the Taste of the GFA event), industry-leading mentors, networking opportunities and access to investors.
Many of the Accelerator’s “rookies” — and many of the 35 graduates from the Accelerator’s first four cohorts — participated in the highly successful Taste of the GFA, the first event staged by the program’s recently created Associate Board. The event drew more than 200 attendees, with tickets selling out a week in advance, and they were treated to delicious samples from the Accelerator businesses, amazing dishes prepared by Lula Café, Kimski and Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar, and a cocktail concocted by Billy Sunday. All of the restaurant recipes used products made by Accelerator alumni. (Read more about Kimski and Heritage on Good Food News, with articles to come about Lula and Billy Sunday.)
Rebecca Frabizio, FamilyFarmed’s director of entrepreneurial programs, announced the lineup of 10 early-stage businesses that will be participating as Fellows in the fifth Good Food Accelerator cohort. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed
Now meet the 10 rising-star businesses who you’ll be reading lots about on Good Food News over the next six months (all businesses located in Chicago unless otherwise noted):
Bronzeville Sausage Co.
Product: Clean-label chicken sausage
Accelerator Fellow: Eugene Shelby
Bronzeville Sausage Co. delighted attendees at the Taste of the GFA event with its delicious grilled chicken sausages. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed
Chicago Kale Chip Co.
Product: Flavored vegan kale chips
Accelerator Fellow: Dean Kasal
The Good Food Accelerator, over the next six months, will help Chicago Kale Chip Co.’s boldly flavored kale chips and Moon Meals’ vegan Fiesta Wraps in their efforts to scale up their businesses. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed
Product: Non-dairy (banana-based) frozen “nice cream”
Accelerator Fellows: Jessica Gartenstein and Erik Garten
Product: Premium extra virgin olive oil
Accelerator Fellow: Giorgios Karayannis
Kolossos, a Fellow in the Good Food Accelerator’s new cohort, is a Chicago company that markets distinctively delicious extra virgin olive oil and wine vinegar from Greece. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed
Matt n’ Mike’s
Product: Superfood snack bar for children
Accelerator Fellow: Mike and Matt Mulroe
Product: Plant-based, fresh grab-and-go meals
Accelerator Fellow: LaForce James Baker
Product: Nutrient-dense vegan gelato
Accelerator Fellow: Kailey Donewald
Frönen and Sacred Serve, members of the Good Food Accelerator’s upcoming fifth cohort, both make dairy-free alternatives to ice cream. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed
The Zen Sweet Company
Product: Monkfruit-derived sugar/sweetener replacement
Accelerator Fellow: Michelle Francis-Winer and Corey Winer
Product: Plant-based coffee creamer
Accelerator Fellow: Lori and Elise Lefcourt
Product: Granolas (various flavors) for mindful eating
Accelerator Fellows: Brittany Chibe
Within/Without’s colorful packages of granola, in a variety of delicious flavors, were on display at the Taste of the GFA fundraiser/tasting event to support FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Accelerator. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed
Good Food News will provide continuing coverage of the Good Food Accelerator. Please check back next week for additional stories focused on the Taste of the GFA fundraiser.