Incubator Village to Feature Dozens of Companies

Mark Hamstra | 1 Jun 2022

The Summer Fancy Food Show this month in New York City will feature Incubator Village, where startups will exhibit alongside the incubator kitchens with which they work. Participants include:

Caminus Ventures

New York-based Caminus Ventures is the first accelerator program for Black entrepreneurs in the food, beverage, and adjacent industries. It seeks to provide Black business owners with equitable access to resources and opportunities to close the racial wealth gap.

Edenesque makes plant-based milks without fillers or additives, sourced from sustainable farmers who are building soil health and supporting biodiversity. Founded by Leslie Woodward, a Black, female chef, the company seeks to make its nut- and oat-based milks available in food-insecure neighborhoods.

Nourish and Bloom is the first autonomous grocery store with robotic delivery in the United States and the first African-American owned autonomous grocery store in the world. It offers locally sourced craft items, such as produce, meats, baked goods, dairy and prepared meals, alongside everyday convenience items with no checkout, and also features robotic delivery.

Uncle Waithley’s makes a ginger beer that includes Scotch bonnet peppers, ginger, turmeric, lime and tonic water, based on a Caribbean family recipe and brewed in small batches. The Black-owned business is based in the Harlem area of New York City.

CommonWealth Kitchen

Boston-based CommonWealth Kitchen includes a network of predominantly minority and women-owned businesses. It offers support that these founders might not have historically had access to, such as its shared kitchen and manufacturing space, specialized equipment, and guidance around best practices, as well as networking opportunities. “The Fancy Food Show allows startup food businesses in the incubator program to showcase their products and tell their stories to national buyers at an affordable price,” said Ploy Khunisorn, director of educational programs at CommonWealth Kitchen. “This is a great opportunity for these companies to experience the biggest food show in the U.S.”

Little Pickins makes pre-cooked and frozen organic meal bites for kids. Founded and owned by women, this company offers products that are nutritionally dense with a balance of macro and micro ingredients.

Wise Mouth Tea offers 100 percent natural and hand-brewed teas and fruit drinks, influenced by the ancient Eastern herbal tea remedies that founder Lei Nichols learned as a child. The products come in a variety of unique flavors and contain no concentrates, additives, preservatives, or artificial ingredients.

Off Our Rocker Cookies is a line of plant-based, vegan, and gluten-free cookies made from sweet potatoes, almond flour, and other ingredients, available in six flavors and seasonal varieties. They are designed as a breakfast replacement, pre- or post-workout snack, or a grab-and-go snack or dessert for any time of day.

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Cornell AgriTech Center of Excellence

The Cornell Center of Excellence leverages its strong brand and considerable resources in the food and agriculture space to help build burgeoning companies in Upstate New York. The center serves as a hub to connect New York businesses with services they need for success by linking them with world-class Cornell researchers, farmers, processors, businesses, and consumers. It pulls together multiple partners to accelerate business development across manufacturing, supply chain, and retail.

Jamie’s Farm, founded by Jamie Kim after years of making granola in her own kitchen, offers a line of gluten-free granolas made with grass-fed ghee and butter and featuring locally grown and sustainably farmed ingredients.

Whipnotic is introducing a fruit-infused, low-sugar whipped cream that has a swirl of natural color, made using patented technology. The woman-owned company is planning to launch the product this summer.

The Spare Food Co. creates food products using ingredients that would otherwise have been discarded, such as its debut line of tonics made using excess whey generated through the making of yogurt.

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The Hatchery Chicago

The Hatchery Chicago enables local entrepreneurs to build and grow successful food and beverage businesses and provides job training and placement programs, which in turn create sustainable economic growth and new job opportunities.

Leto Foods makes healthy smoothies for pregnancy and postpartum nutrition using whole fruits and vegetables. The frozen beverages contain a mix of protein, fiber and healthy fat, along with supplemental choline, a prenatal and postpartum vitamin.

LusOasis makes sweet and savory vegan waffle and pancake mixes that feature gluten-free, sugar-free, and plant-based ingredients. The products can be used to make cookies, doughnuts, scones, and other items.

Siempre Soups is a plant-based soup company whose mission is to “bring soup back to its roots.” All of its soups are made from just a handful of simple ingredients, with no preservatives, and come in convenient packaging, ready to heat and eat in 90 seconds straight from the container.

Think Jerky uses sustainably-raised 100 percent grass-fed beef or 100 percent natural turkey with no added hormones or antibiotics. Each variety is made from a unique recipe crafted by a different celebrity chef using only restaurant-quality ingredients.

Tomato Bliss offers all-natural, fresh soups, broths and other products made from colorful mixes of 100 percent heirloom tomatoes. The woman-owned company grows rare varieties of heirloom tomatoes on a regenerative farm in Michigan’s fruit belt and partners with like-minded farmers to source its ingredients.

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Oregon State University Food Innovation Center

The Oregon State University Food Innovation Center is a unique urban Agricultural Experiment Station located in Portland, Oregon. As part of OSU, the FIC serves the Northwest food industry and communities, as well as national and international businesses. The FIC has a product and process development team to help new and established entrepreneurs bring products to market; a full service consumer sensory testing laboratory, and a food safety hub for education and testing. “The Food Innovation Center has been attending the Fancy Food Show for many years, and has been working with the association on Incubator Village all of those years,” said Sarah Masoni, director of product and process development. “We are excited to say we will have 10 companies joining us at the Fancy Food Show. It’s a diverse group of individuals from all over the world, and we look forward to meeting with buyers and media who want to visit us.”

Elevate Your Bake makes a line of gougère, a baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese, under the Gougères Artisanal Cheesepuffs brand. The line includes four varieties — Classic, Jalapeno Cheddar, Toasted Garlic and Bleu Cheese, and Shitake Mushroom and Leek.

Khalsa Salsa combines bold Indian spices with the classic fresh ingredients of Mexican salsa. The salsa is crafted in small batches in the Pacific Northwest.

Mosaic Grove is launching a line of tiger nut products under the Not Nuts! brand (tiger nuts are actually a nutrient-dense, gluten-free tuber), starting with a tiger nut flour. The company was founded by Dr. Kaadze Wright, who left Ghana at age 17 and later returned to launch an organic cashew farm, and in 2019 started Ghana’s only tiger nut cooperative farm.

Portland Salt Co. makes seasoning blends using pure sea salt from the Pacific Ocean and all-natural spices. Products include Steak Salt, Pita Salt (made with za’atar), and Toast Sugar.

Queen of Hearts Superfoods is a women-owned and operated maker of premium superfood dressings and nutritional oils and seeds that deliver flavor and nutrients.

Retreat Foods is a snack brand dedicated to fighting stress. It offers four flavors of decadent nut and seed butters—Balance, Calm, Focus, and Boost—with a functional dose (one pill’s worth) of adaptogens in each spoonful.

Saba’s Sauces puts a twist on traditional recipes made by families in Eritrea and Ethiopia, who have been home-blending berbere spice for centuries to create their own awaze sauce. Saba’s Awaze Sauce creates a blend between modern and traditional flavors.

Sibeiho LLC is a Singaporean food startup based in Portland, Oregon, that makes Sambal chili sauces. The products are made in small batches using all-natural ingredients (and local whenever possible) following a family recipe. Sibeiho Sambals are a versatile way to add bold umami flavor to everyday meals either as a condiment or as an ingredient in many different types of recipes.

Tan Tan Foods includes a line of vegan and gluten-free Vietnamese sauces, based on family recipes from the owners of the Tan Tan Café & Delicatessen in Beaverton, Oregon. Its Peanut Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, and Mom’s Hot Chili Sauce can be used as dipping sauces, marinades and glazes, as well as in stir-fry dishes.

Waves Caribbean makes sauces and rubs from family recipes that have been passed down through generations, reflecting its founders’ Jamaican and Trinidadian lineage. It seeks to translate family recipes from the last 200 years into great-tasting, table-ready sauces with the cleanest ingredients possible.

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Rutgers Food Innovation Center

The Food Innovation Center at Rutgers University supports domestic U.S. companies, as well as international businesses looking to establish or expand their presence in the U.S., with the marketing, technical, regulatory and manufacturing expertise that are critical for success. Its standards set the bar for food safety, quality, and guidance from concept development to commercialization. The mentoring team are veterans of the food industry with decades of hands-on experience. “Incubators are the inspiration and heart of the food and beverage pipeline,” said Nolan Lewin of the Rutgers FIC.

Angel Planet Foods makes ready-to-eat, vegan and vegetarian meals based primarily on Asian cuisines. The meals are available for delivery or pickup at the company’s East Hanover, New Jersey, facility, or at two farmers markets in the area.

Hidden Gems is a beverage company that is seeking to create a more sustainable food system by finding creative ways to use the parts of food that are commonly discarded. Its first product is a ready-to-drink beverage called Reveal made from avocado seeds.

Kekoa Foods makes baby foods using 100 percent organic ingredients that also include a mild herb or spice such as turmeric or ginger to develop adventurous taste buds and provide added nutritional benefits. Its fruit and vegetable purees are designed to introduce babies to solid food and help them develop a taste for nutritious foods.

Simply Good Jars offers a line of ready-to-eat salads in reusable plastic jars, creating a restaurant-quality experience without the use of preservatives. The Philadelphia-based company seeks to offer healthy and sustainable food choices.

Sundial Foods has launched a line of plant-based chicken wings in foodservice after several years of research, featuring clean-label ingredients. The Albany, California-based company, founded and owned by women, developed wing substitutes with a juicy muscle meat analog, along with substitute “skin” and “bones.”

Vibal Energy Tea is a natural energy tea that starts with a light green tea base made with organic, fair trade green tea, infused with caffeine, panax ginseng, and L-theanine for a balanced boost. The company uses clean caffeine from raw green coffee beans to give about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.

Related: Fancy New York Pitch Slam Contestants Announced; Fancy Food Show Education Preview: Q&A With Nuovo Pasta’s Quinn.