Soozie’s Doozies Wins 2016 Food Innovation Challenge
Soozie’s Doozies, a line of cookies, shortbreads and cookie doughs, received support from food industry mentors
Soozie’s Doozies, LLC of Union, Mo., was named the grand prize winner of the 2016 Food Innovation Challenge at the Decatur Club in Decatur, Ill. Owners Olivia Kelvin and Robert Stanton will receive $50,000 in seed funding from Archer Daniels Midland Company and $50,000 in services from National Foodworks Services (NFS), along with other prizes, all designed to help advance their food innovation.
“It’s tough being an entrepreneur, and sometimes you just want to quit. But tonight makes it all worthwhile. We couldn’t be more excited for the future of Soozie’s Doozies,” Stanton said.
Soozie’s Doozies, a line of cookies, shortbreads and cookie doughs, received support from mentors Jon Seighman, senior director food applications, ADM’s WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit; and John Wellehan, managing director, Good Food Business Accelerator to help refine their product business plan.
Kathy’s Kitchen of Virginia, Ill., and Sweet Freedom Gluten Free Bakery of New Hampton, Iowa, were named the second and third place winners, respectively.
“The caliber of contestants we saw in the first year of this contest was truly impressive, and it’s a great reflection of the fantastic food innovation small entrepreneurs can bring to the table,” said Vince Macciocchi, president of ADM’s WILD Flavors and Specialty Ingredients business unit. “This challenge has been a great way to foster growth in new industry talent and build relationships with future food innovators. We congratulate all of the winners and look forward to seeing them prosper in the future.”
“All of the ten semi-finalists were really winners here because throughout this process, they gained access to top talent in the food industry and a great deal of insight to help grow their businesses,” said Tony Caccomo, managing partner, NFS. “And the City of Decatur is a winner here too because this contest allowed us to showcase the vast resources available to food entrepreneurs in this region as well as the potential for Decatur to be a national hub for food innovation.”
Additional prizes and services were provided by other contest sponsors including Aripack, County Market, Dale’s Southlake Pharmacy, Jones & Thomas, and Merieux NutriSciences. A full list of contest sponsors is available at www.foodinnovationchallenge.com in addition to more information about the finalists and their food innovations. The Food Innovation Challenge is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest.
About The Food Innovation Challenge:
The Food Innovation Challenge is a start-up competition for aspiring Midwest cash entrepreneurs to showcase their new or early stage food business and product ideas. The Grand Prize Winner will receive $50,000 from Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) and $50,000 in services from National Foodworks Services (NFS) to help get their food idea off the ground. For more information and a full list of contest sponsors and partners, visit www.foodinnovationchallenge.com.