Prepped Showcase: Serving Up Food Entrepreneurship

The Prepped Showcase on May 19th exceeded all expectations and was a milestone in the growth and success of the entrepreneurs in the program. The event was held at New City Church in Downtown Phoenix, was attended by 175+ guests, seven of the Valley’s top chefs and food industry leaders, including Larry ‘LoLo’ White from LoLos Chicken and Waffles, Tim Salgado from MATCH at the Found: RE and Eric Henderson of Upward Projects.

Chef Pedro Ortiz plating up his food.

Chef Pedro Ortiz plating up his food.

21 entrepreneurs participated in the competition by providing samples to the audience and pitching their business to the judges. The food businesses ranged from Taco trucks with locally sourced ingredients, to hickory smoked BBQ and Ceviche catering companies, to a Native owned coffee cooperative. Three “Rising Stars” were given for $2,000 each and one overall showcase award winner was awarded $5,000. The Rising Star Awardees were:

• Terre Botanicals, herbal infused salts and sugars for cooking
• Chef Krystal Fitness, plant based baked goods
• Wings Like Eagles, catering sweet and savory chicken wings

The Overall Showcase Winner was Tukee’s Tamales, cultural Mexican cuisine with a loving customer base in Ahwatukee. See them receive the award here: http://bit.ly/2qXEvoj

The judges were impressed by the quality of the food, the passion of the entrepreneurs and the strength of their business model. One of the judges, a successful restaurant owner, said that if she were going to invest, she would invest in them without hesitation. Overall, the judges were moved by the drive and talent of the whole group and expressed their support for the program and its goals.

Many community partners attended the event and were blown away by the talent and potential that they witnessed. Because they attended the showcase, we have been able to concretize partnerships with three new organizations/companies. Many of the entrepreneurs and the showcase guests expressed gratitude for the event:

Chef Martin Ramos

Chef Martin Ramos serving his food to judges.

“Thank you so much for everything. This program has changed many things about the way I envision my business for the better. It’s been a blessing to be part of #Prepped.” –Martin Ramos, El Oyster Cevicheria

Chef Krystal Harris speaking with Showcase guests.

“Thank you so much everyone we are extremely thankful and full of joy for this experience. Prize or no prize it has been an amazing ride for everyone who was involved! I cannot wait to pour into someone else! Who is next?!!!!!”
–Krystal Harris, Chef Krystal Fitness

“The Prepped Showcase was such an exciting and cool event! Congratulations to everyone involved. The food was delicious, but the event itself was very well-coordinated and we all felt happy to be witnesses to the success of the business owners and the growth of these Valley businesses. The community outreach is just phenomenal. This is exactly what ASU should be doing!”
-Jessica Lehmann, MS, RDN, Barrett Honors Faculty, Nutrition & Health Sciences Program, College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University

Thank you to JP Morgan Chase for supporting us in this important work of supporting diverse entrepreneurs!

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