Portland, Ore., — June 21, 2019— The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) is pleased to announce the winners of its inaugural Angel Food Conference pitch competition, presented June 19 at Portland’s Redd East. The Angel Food Conference convened food and beverage entrepreneurs and other professionals in the space, as well as investors and service providers.
The event focused on Oregon’s dynamic food & beverage sector and was the culmination of a robust three-month education program tailored to food & beverage entrepreneurs. This sector is a growing part of Oregon’s economy, leveraging Oregon’s agricultural resources and food-loving culture.
The winners in each category include:
A Cajun Life by Our Life Foods (Portland) – WINNER, STARTUP / DEVELOPMENT STAGE INVESTMENT
A Cajun Life took home the investment prize of $155,000. A Cajun Life scaled from a part-time food cart in Damascus, Oregon to four restaurant locations before pivoting to a packaged goods line featuring rice and bean dinners, spices, and more.
Honey Palette (Portland) – WINNER, CONCEPT STAGE PRIZE PACKAGE
Honey Palette took one of two top prize packages for the Concept Stage category, which included shelf space at Green Zebra, Market of Choice, and New Seasons Market along with legal services, leadership coaching, complementary co-working space, and branding/marketing/packaging consulting. Honey Palette is a Paleo bakery that makes desserts sweetened with honey and free from gluten, grains, soy, dairy, and sugar.
Proud Label, LLC (Portland) – WINNER, CONCEPT STAGE PRIZE PACKAGE
Proud Label, LLC took one of two top prize packages for the Concept Stage category, which included shelf space at Green Zebra, Market of Choice, and New Seasons Market, legal services, leadership coaching, complementary co-working space, and branding/marketing/packaging consulting. Proud Label, LLC makes nutrient-rich and versatile plant-based dipping spreads.
“This was our first ever Angel Food Conference and we were excited by the energy in the room,” said Maggie Finnerty, executive director and president of OEN. “We believe in the potential of this sector, the diversity of the entrepreneurs who are developing delicious new products, and the jobs and revenue they will cook up for Oregon. We’re grateful for everyone who helped make Angel Food happen and we can’t wait to taste what happens next!”
Six companies competed for prize packages in the Concept stage category:
- Honeybee Sparkling Lemonades & Syrups Startup – Andrea Wade
- Honey Palette – Laney Sisun
- La Casserole Gourmet – Affouet Price
- Mindful Proteins – Sean Penrith
- Proud Label, LLC – Laura Taylor
- The Hazel People – Joey Jaraczewski
Three companies presented in the Companies to Watch category:
- Josie’s Best Gluten Free Mixes – Josette Johnson
- Liv Foods, Inc. (LivBar®) – Wade Brooks
- Riff Cold Brewed – Steve Barham & Paul Evers
Three companies competed for investment in the Startup & Development Stage category:
- A Cajun Life by Our Life Foods LLC – Chris Fontenot
- Swift Cider – Aidan Curry
- Swiss Rosti – Stephen Caldwell
A panel discussion was moderated by Jon Maroney, Partner at Oregon Venture Fund, and included panelists McConnell Smith, Senior Associate at VMG Partners, and Jake Kindrachuk, Manager at Village Family Capital.
In addition, founders from six established local brands took the stage to share their experiences. They included Christy Goldsby from Honey Mama’s, Shannon Oliver from Red Duck Foods, Ben Jacobsen from Jacobsen Salt, Jaime Danek from Humm Kombucha, Jill Keuhler from Freeland Spirits, and Michelle Cairo from Olympia Provisions.
About Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN)
OEN, a nonprofit in the State of Oregon, is one of the first and largest organizations dedicated to improving Oregon’s economy by supporting startups from every industry across the state. A member-based organization with a 28-year history, OEN is the heart of Oregon’s entrepreneurial community. OEN helps entrepreneurs start up and scale up by connecting them to the people they need to know, the programs and education they need to grow, and the capital they need to scale. Its mission is to drive innovation, facilitate job creation, and put Oregon on the map as a center for entrepreneurial excellence. Learn more at oen.org.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN)