Startup Tucson completed its third round of Recipes for Success Food Accelerator, as a part of a $300,000 USDA grant secured in 2020. The third cohort of Recipes for Success helped 15 food entrepreneurs develop and grow their businesses over the course of ten weeks.
The accelerator ended with the Food Forward Showcase, a graduation and celebration of the cohort’s hard work and gave the entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase their food products to the local Tucson community. The showcase featured keynote speaker Felipe Garcia, president and CEO of Visit Tucson. Hosted at University of Arizona’s FORGE at Roy Place, the event also featured catered food from Flora’s, local Arizona wines from Sand-Reckoner Vineyards and beers from Ten55 Brewing Co.
“Food businesses are greatly important for Tucson, with the designation of Tucson as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy being a game changer,” Garcia said. “We are so glad to see many chefs and food artists excel in our community, and we know there are still many more individuals that can help us to continue bringing attention to our city as one of the top food cities in the world. Many individuals in our community have an idea of a business but need mentoring and help – Startup Tucson has done a great job helping these companies further develop their businesses.”
Recipes for Success’ 15 companies demonstrated their food products while secret judges voted on business models and the community voted for the People’s Choice Award. Taking the top prize of $500 for their soul food samples was King’s Kreations Catering. A second prize was awarded to Flaming Oats, nutritious oatmeal with a kick, and the People’s Choice Award went to Casa Modern, a company selling elixirs and ingredients for the modern pantry.
“Recipes for Success Food Accelerator has been amazing,” said Erisha Green, founder of King’s Kreations Catering and Food Forward Showcase winner. “I was a new business and didn’t know anything, but the information I learned in class left me feeling confident, not only in myself, but in my business and the products we produce. I will be participating in Startup Tucson’s SPRINT Challenge program to take King’s Kreations Catering to the next level. Our next goal is to get online and start shipping our products to help one family at a time get a home cooked meal.”
“Since launch, we have graduated more than 50 food companies into our ecosystem from this program. They are at markets, selling online and building their businesses here in our food ecosystem, it’s been tremendously impactful,” said Liz Pocock, CEO of Startup Tucson. “While funding from the USDA for Recipes for Success will end in fall of 2023, Startup Tucson is committed to continuing this program and is currently seeking additional funding sources and partnerships to ensure its continued success.”
Startup Tucson’s fourth cohort of the free food accelerator will launch in spring of 2023. Startup Tucson is also offering free eCommerce websites to local food companies as part of the USDA Grant, as well as creating a Virtual Tour of Gastronomy with partner Visit Tucson that will provide consumers a one-stop local to search for where to buy local food and food products.
Congratulations to the third cohort of food accelerator companies:
Blondie’s Ice Cream creates homemade ice creams to delight all ages. Posted up in a completely self-contained, solar powered, retrofitted 1973 horse trailer, Blondie’s Ice Cream is excited to share scoops at your next corporate event, street fair, block Blondies party, or wedding. Coming to a Tucson street corner near you.
Boujee Pops are for all ages, providing handcrafted, small batch ice pops, with unique flavors not typically found elsewhere. Made with organic ingredients and Boujee Pops locally sourced produce.
Casa Modern is a crafter of modern cocktail elixirs and syrups to add an indulgent flare to any home barkeep’s shelf. It produces high-quality, unique flavor profiles to bring your favorite cocktail to your living room.
Chocolate 66 is a small, local women-owned chocolate business dedicated to hand-creating classic chocolates while incorporating whimsey. It’s a made to order company and able to fill chocolate needs and dietary choices (nut free, dairy free and gluten free)
Flaming Oats provides high nutritious vegan protein-packed oatmeal for health conscious people and rule-breakers who prefer savory over sweet.
Home Away From Home Salsa is a company that provides delicious, blended homemade Nana Sylvia’s Salsa from our kitchen to yours. Your tastebuds will take you on a journey through the old pueblo.
Keto Fresh Bakery is an online bakery serving the best sugar-free, low carb, keto cheesecake you have ever tasted.
King Kreations Catering provides the perfect food selection alternative for the on-the-go individual. Those who love to share amazing memories with their family and friends while having a satisfying food experience to remember.
Liz Bakes is a cottage kitchen-certified home bakery that specializes in recreating the classics-the things that your grandma would bake you the weekends. Liz Bakes loves getting to reimagine childhood favorites like pop-tarts, while also creating custom-baked foods like cookies, cakes, and pies. Liz Bakes offers gluten-free and vegan options as well – because everyone should be able to enjoy a cookie if they want to.
On Top of Spaghetti is a Tucson-based pasta sauce brand delivering fresh, high-quality, and authentic marinara sauce. On Top of Spaghetti currently produces two varieties of marinara sauce using the same recipe: one chunky, and one blended. A brand-new business, On Top of Spaghetti intends to add more flavors in the future.
Sonoran Salsa Works is dedicated to capturing centuries of authentic Mexican flavors and traditions, which you can taste in our signature salsa macha, a spicy, crunchy and smoky sauce that elevates everything you drizzle it on!
SouperFoods brings delicious, nutrient-dense, plant-based soups to busy people. We use only real, organic ingredients, with no seed oils or added sugar. We believe that what you put into your body, you get out, and that you should not have to compromise your health because of your busy lifestyle.
Nana’s Tamales brings authentic and traditional Mexican flavors to your table. While exploring with flavor is fun, at Nana’s Tamales we believe that there are many Mexican recipes waiting to be shared with the world. Please join Nana’s Tamales as we introduce our authentic Mexican tamales to Tucson.
Myco Munchies uses the magic of oyster mushrooms to create a salty umami delicacy with the perfect amount of chew to beat those jerky cravings. We package our product in compostable packaging to reduce waste and help our environment.
Yummy Crumbs was founded in 2017. Owner Meagan Miller has always had a passion for baking and used that same energy to transform the average cookie into something spectacular! You can find Yummy Crumbs cookies at local Tucson and Vail markets and they’re also available for local pickup. Some of Yummy Crumbs most popular flavors are Birthday Cake, Andes Mint, S’mores and Cinnamon roll.