The Hatchery Chicago, a nonprofit incubator dedicated to helping Chicago entrepreneurs build and grow successful businesses, introduced six new and innovative CPG startups at this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show.

How to Help New Food & Beverage Start-ups
Speaking at New Products Conference: Natalie Shmulik, The Hatchery Chicago


The Hatchery Chicago’s booth featured:

• Lil Bucks: Inspired by her time living in Sydney, Lil Bucks founder Emily Griffith, absolutely had to bring a popular Australian “secret ingredient” to the American market: sprouted buckwheat. An anti-oxidant superfood, Lil Bucks’ sprouted buckwheat comes in three flavors - original, matcha, and cacao - and is gluten-free, vegan, and paleo.

• Blake’s Seed Based: Blake's Seed Based makes seed-based snacks that are Top 8 Allergen-Free. They currently have a line of snack bars and protein bars featuring a base recipe of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, and quinoa. For every box they sell, they donate a bar to a school in need through their Bar For A Box program.

• MudLrk: MudLrk crafts wholesome, plant-based and sustainable crunchy snacks. It was founded by Trace Ostergren after he discovered these foods while living in Asia. They use whole mushrooms for their line of shiitake mushroom chips and whole jackfruit for their JakFrut chips. All products are packaged with compostable materials. Mudlark is an old English word meaning to scavenge for items of value, which is exactly what they do!

• Think Jerky: Partnering with some of the world’s best chefs, founder Ricky Hirsch created flavorful jerky that is lower in sugar and salt than anything on the market. The jerky comes from sustainably-raised 100% grass-fed beef or free-range turkey that have no added hormones or antibiotics, and the ingredients are non-GMO, gluten-free and paleo friendly.

• lil’gourmets: lil’gourmets is a new brand of delicious, chef-inspired, organic, refrigerated veggie meals for babies & toddlers. Their unique veggie-first promise means that these recipes make vegetables the star – each meal is 70-95% veggies and beans, and only 3-5g of sugar. All products are pediatrician-approved and thoughtfully crafted with the goal of providing essential nutrients today, and to help your lil’one develop a love of vegetables and flavorful foods for life. Available in Cinnamon Beets & Apples, Coconut Cauliflower Mash, Moroccan Butternut Squash, and Sweet Potato Curry.

• Old Arthur’s: Old Arthur's Barbecue Sauce was crafted more than 160 years ago by our patriarch Arthur Watts, one of America’s earliest Pitmasters.   Born a slave in 1837, Arthur developed these recipes in fulfilling his daily responsibility of preparing open-pit barbecue.  Liberated at the age of 28, these recipes brought him notoriety as a free man until his death at the age of 108!  When you sample Old Arthur’s, know that you are experiencing authentic barbecue flavor, painstakingly refined by one, single man, over the course of a century!

The Hatchery Chicago provides startups with the chance to grow their businesses through participation in the Fancy Food Show. These six companies are a part of The Hatchery Chicago’s incubator program, which supports over 200 food & beverage entrepreneurs through a robust curriculum, affordable production space in a brand new 67,000 square foot facility, access to financing, and relationship-building opportunities with industry leaders.