portfolio

PACHA SOAP

We believe business can free people, so we stir up sudsiness in Hastings, Nebraska to help change lives around the world. With our profits, we empower people in developing nations to start self-sustaining, regenerative businesses. Ultimately, creating healthier communities by disrupting the cycle of poverty.

“When we started, we would load up my Honda and hit the road, just walk into stores and tell our story. It was definitely a learning experience. You have to have a thick skin to be an entrepreneur.”
-Andrew Vrbas, Co-Founder | CEO

FARMER’S FRIDGE

Handcrafted salads and snacks sold through kiosks made from reclaimed wood in multiple locations throughout Chicagoland.  Mission is to make healthy, fresh food accessible to a lot of people.

“I took a job as a salesman, logging thousands of miles on the road. I became aware of how hard it was to find real food. Fresh, clean ingredients that weren’t processed or chemically preserved, and didn’t cost a fortune. I was confident that if food like this was more accessible, people would eat it. That’s when I knew this could be a business. For the first location, I wore every hat-picking up the produce, assembling each meal using my own recipes, and stocking the fridge fresh every morning!”
-Luke Sanders, Founder | CEO

COCO 5

An all-natural, coconut water based, hydration beverage in six great flavors created by the head trainer of the Chicago Blackhawks.

“We made this product in 2010-2011 specifically for Chicago’s Blackhawks with no intention of going to market. Their head trainer was looking for a natural hydration product free from yellow dye, red dye, blue dye and some of the other chemicals that are in some of the leading sports drinks.”
-Scott Sandler, President | CEO

SKINNY SOUPING

All-natural, healthful, hot and cold soups that can be enjoyed separately or as a daily cleanse.  Created by Alison Velazquez, author of “Souping”.

“Both my personal & brand mission is to make healthy eating simple for others. Today we are doing that with our line of delicious soups that are packaged for on-the-go.”
-Alison Velazquez, Founder | CEO

TEA SQUARES

Tea infused energy snacks made with natural ingredients including small-batch organic tea.

“My personal mission is to create products that enhance people’s lives while helping to mentor others to do the same. At TeaSquares, we create energizing snacks that fuel people’s passions and have a social mission is to fuel economic development in underserved urban communities.”
-Jordan Buckner, Founder | CEO

KISHR™

Kishr™ tea is brewed from whole coffee fruit berries, nature’s smartest superfruit.

“I grew up drinking this 1,000 year old beverage as a little girl. Recognizing that it was very little-known outside its country of origin, Yemen, I knew that it had to be shared with the world. I set out to do just that and started Kishr™ tea while I was in Business School at the University of Chicago Booth. At the time, I knew that the coffee fruit was the richest source of antioxidants. What I’ve learned since then, is that components of the coffee fruit have been reported to support a key neuroprotein essential for healthy brain function, memory, and mood. Even today, I continue to be amazed by the numerous benefits that are still being discovered about this powerful little fruit.”
-Rowida Assalimy, Founder | Board Member

TempoBev

TempoBev offers a flavorful and fun alternative to unhealthy soft drinks and sweetened teas consumed out of convenience. TempoBev hopes to encourage you to break free from the habitual soft drink purchase and take another step forward towards a healthier lifestyle.

“Tempo is a line of organic and unsweetened sparkling teas crafted to provide a healthy & uplifting boost of natural energy, with zero calories and no added sugars or sweeteners. We combine the revitalizing benefits of premium teas and the vibrancy of international spices to create a functional and flavorful beverage. Tempo sparkling teas put you in control of your daily rhythm, with just the right amount of functional nutrients to keep you energized, elevated, and focused throughout your day.”
-Ryan Crane, CEO

FRUITBELT

Inspired by the orchards of Southwest Michigan, Fruitbelt is a tart soda made from pressed apples and other varietals, organic honey and bitters that give it a lush, tart-sweet taste that’s easy to love.

“Michele Gazzolo (at right) is a writer, entrepreneur and denizen of Michigan’s Fruitbelt who decided she couldn’t live without a sparkling fruit and bitters tonic and the only way to always have it was to make it.

Beth Denton (at left) is a farmer, beekeeper and self-taught chemist who figured out the science of making a fruit and bitters tonic because she thought the Fruitbelt deserved its own drink. Now it has one, and a fine drink it is. Here are Michele and Beth in the orchard, flanked by Fruitbelt Tonic.”
-Michele Gazzolo & Beth Denton, CEO

Element [Shrub]

Hand crafted shrubs & shrub sodas made with apple cider vinegar for mocktails, cocktails & cooking.

“We started making shrubs as a way to provide my wife with a healthier, non-alcoholic drink while pregnant with our first child. We use organic apple cider vinegar as the base for everything we make and blend it with whole, fresh fruit and different herbs and spices to create unique sweet and savory flavors (think Honeydew Jalapeno, Blood Orange Saffron etc.) that make incredible spirit-free drinks, craft cocktails and also are great for salads and marinades.”
-Charlie Berkinshaw, Founder | CEO

Lil Gourmets

LIL’ GOURMETS

Lil’ Gourmets is a unique baby food company that creates flavorful, nutritious, organic meals designed to expand a child’s palate and teach them that vegetables are yummy.

“I decided to start Lil’ Gourmets after I could not find any baby food that I wanted to feed my son. Everything was too bland or too sweet and all over-processed. I left my career at Kraft Foods to help transform the baby food industry. My products are highly unique, address key dissatisfiers, and prove that we do not need to sacrifice taste or nutrition for convenience. They are fresh, nutritious, delicious, organic, low-sugar options that use spices to help develop healthy, adventurous eaters.”
-Shibani Baluja, Founder | CEO

BizzyCoffee

Bizzy Coffee

Bizzy is a shelf-stable, single-serve, organic coffee shot crafted for busy people. Available in 3 flavors: original, vanilla and caramel, the coffee shots contain only coffee, water and natural flavorings. There’s no sugar, no calories and no preservatives.  Excellent for people on the go. Bizzy can be enjoyed as a shot, or added to water for a regular, delicious cup of coffee.

“My roommate and I were too busy to make cold brew coffee and didn’t want to pay the outrageous price at a coffee shop so we started Bizzy Coffee.”
-Alex French, CEO

“Bizzy coffee was created for busy people.”
-Andrew Healy, Co-Founder | COO

The Zen of Slow Cooking

Founded by two busy moms, Zen makes wonderful, single use slow cooker spice blends that are crafted in small batches and packaged with care. Zen is a for-profit company with a social mission to help adults with developmental challenges find independence in life through slow cooking and meaningful work.

“My business partner, Jane McKay, and I created our premium Slow Cooker spice blends with the intention of bringing people together over a delicious home cooked meal. We believe that the slow cooker and it’s Millennial cousin the Instant Pot (multi-cooker) can be vehicles for change. As a social impact business, we employ adults with developmental disabilities to help package our blends. Our connection to our social mission was driven by my desire to create a business for my own son, Doug.”
-Meg Barnhart, Founder

Slice Natural

Dormitus and Spiral Sun Ventures are relaunching the Slice Soda brand as a better for you all-natural soda later this year. You may remember Slice as a line of fruit-flavored soft drinks that were introduced in 1984 and discontinued in the late 2000s.

“It all started with our desire to create a better sparkling water that tasted great and had enough sweetness to help us kick our soda habit. We wanted a perfect balance of bubbles and sweetness while minimizing the sugar. That’s what we wanted, that’s what we did. We acquired the trademark rights to a great abandoned brand from the 20th century and reinvented it with our 21st century more health conscious customers in mind.”
-Glenn Backus, Ian Abbott, Joe Gioconda and Mark Thomann,  Founders

10th Avenue Tea

10th Avenue Tea is an instant Macha tea powder in a convenient portable shaker. Sprinkle some into a cup of hot or cold water to make a fast, delicious, healthful beverage.

“We are shaking up the tea industry. Our goal is to provide a convenient, delicious beverage that doesn’t have wasteful packaging that usually ends up in our landfills or oceans. ”
-Ann Foley & Morgan Walsh, Co-Founders

Base Culture

Base Culture offers Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, and Paleo certified frozen baked goods (single and multi-serve), bars, granola and almond butters.

“You never know what’s going to happen…if you are honest and vulnerable…you put yourself out there…a lot of people appreciate that and will help you. ”
-Jordann Windschauer, Founder | CEO

Parks & Nash

Delicious, chef-created, instant bone broth soups, designed to provide the nourishment your body needs.

“Our mission is to improve health and well being by providing specific foundational nutrients that were are deficient in due to our modern, hectic lives.  We have combined generations of natural food knowledge with the latest techniques in healthy food preparation to offer convenient, healthy, shelf-stable bone broth based meals and soups. ”
-David Crooch, Founder | CEO