ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Two local businesses have made the cut alongside 19 other global competitors in the 2022 Grow-NY Food and Agricultural competition.
The annual $3 million start-up competition provides funding and support for the best beverage, food, and agriculture innovations around the world. In addition to mentorship, the 20 finalists are competing for seven monetary prizes: Four $250,000 prizes, two $500,000 prizes, and one grand prize of $1 million.
In return, winners agree to making a positive impact in the “Grow-NY” region, which is comprised of 22 counties in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier.
In the running from the Rochester is plant-based kitchen Sweet Pea and manufacturing cannery Craft Cannery.
Sweet Pea, located at 777 Culver Road in Rochester, provides healthy, nutritious meals for pickup or delivery.
Customers can choose meals a la carte, or bulk order up to 28 meals for a single week. From a whole grain pasta with porcini mushrooms and caramelized onion truffle sauce, to fake “chorizo” and black bean enchiladas with Spanish rice, sweet pea offers a variety of healthy, complex options.
They offer weight loss and nutrition coaching, in an effort to help customers make a sustainable, long-term switch to a plant-based, whole foods diet.
Bergen-based Craft Cannery makes products for grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, local artisans and farmers markets, and more. They are one of six USDA-certified manufacturing canneries in New York State.
They follow the recipes provided by their customers, and can create orders both big and small. They specialize in things such as sauces, dressings, oils, marinades, teas, soups, meat sauces, meal-in-a-jar (such as chili).
From Australia to Singapore to Sri Lanka, 385 startups hailing from 52 countries applied to the competition.
“These entrepreneurs are innovating the exciting new foods and agricultural products of tomorrow, which will not only grow the industry and address consumer demand in these areas, but that will also enhance environmental sustainability,” State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said. “I look forward to the final awards being made this fall and seeing these cutting-edge products reach our marketplace.”
Craft Cannery, Sweet Pea, and the other competitors will be traveling to Syracuse for the final round of competition in November.