ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — RealEats America is celebrating a $1 million cash infusion after capturing the first prize this week in the Grow-NY competition hosted in Rochester.
RealEats founder and CEO Dan Wise joined us in-studio for our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation Friday to discuss his company’s vision and its big win.
“RealEats is a company that makes it simple for people to eat real food,” explained Wise. “Our first innovation or our first product is a line of meals that are ready real quick delivered to people’s homes and super healthy.”
Wise described the Grow-NY competition as an amazing experience. “We really enjoyed it. It was an intense competition. We had some amazing competitors out there, so I’m humbled that we were the ones that won in the end, but obviously very, very grateful for it. We pitched our hearts out. We talked a lot about growing the business out of Geneva and the number of jobs that we’ve been able to create in Geneva. We have a mission to make it simple for people to eat real food and to build a healthier food future and there is really no better place to be than in that region, one of the richest agricultural food sheds in the country.”
The $1 million first prize from Grow-NY will greatly benefit RealEats. “We have a lot to do to build this business and one of the things we’re going to do is bring on some new teammates,” said Wise. “We found some great employees in the region and in Geneva, in particular, we have an amazing team out there. We’d like to expand that team. In addition to that, we’re going to be creating some new innovations that will also make it simple for people to eat real food. I can’t tell you exactly what those are yet, but we’re working on a bunch of things that are going to be terrific. And yeah, we’re going to continue to grow out that facility that we’re in so that we can accommodate the additional capacity and the additional demand for our product.”
Wise said Geneva and the Finger Lakes region is the perfect location for RealEats to thrive and grow and it was a natural fit when he launched the business venture. “First and foremost, it’s where the real food is so we’re in a highly dense agricultural region and that’s a big, big factor for us. But more than that, it was about the community there. It was about the local, regional and state governments. They’re incredibly progressive, incredibly forward-thinking in terms of the future. So whereas you could look to the past in the region and remember where the real food comes from – you know, from the farms, from the farmers – we can also look to the future and we can see the innovation that’s happening in the region. I’m at Cornell Agritech for instance. We’ve really worked well with them and been able to collaborate with them, but also with the city of Geneva, Ontario County, and New York State. I don’t think that there are more progressive governments in the country that really understand entrepreneurship and where the future’s going in terms of food.”
To learn more about RealEats America – visit the RealEats website.
To learn more about Greater Rochester Enterprise – visit the GRE website.