reSET has announced the three winners of its recent Food Incubator Pitch event, which focused on teaching these businesses how to adapt and thrive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
First place went to Courtney Powell, owner of GRDN Kitchen, a pop-up business that offers vegan soul and comfort food.
Second place went to Tieasha Gayle, owner of Taste of Decadence. Taste of Decadence is a family-owned and operated catering company specializing in Caribbean-inspired cuisine.
Yawovi Simpini, owner of Artfoodlive, won third place. Artfoodlive describes its mission as bringing people together through food, and provides food catering service for private gatherings, tastings, and weddings. This catering service is also a mobile operation.
reSET worked in conjunction with Hands on Hartford, a social service nonprofit, to present the cohort. The 12-week program provided participants with workshops on a variety of topics including marketing, pricing, and cultivating an online presence. reSET and Hands on Hartford will help connect participants with mentors, potential investors, and resources such as kitchen space, coordinators said.
The audience who attended the pitch event – where representatives from the 16 start-ups discussed their own background stories while presenting their business objectives – raised $600, which has gone to the “foodpreneurs” as cash prizes. Powell won $300, with Gayle and Simpini winning $200 and $100 respectively.
The winning foodpreneurs will use the funds to invest in their growth and expansion.