WOONSOCKET – OURgrain, a firm that turns beer brewers’ spent grain into flour, beat out four other budding food production companies to win the inaugural Food Business Plan Competition held Tuesday evening at Millrace Kitchen in Woonsocket, sponsored by NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley.
For first place, OURgrain took home a $100 Visa gift card from Dean Bank. Second place was awarded to the “Ish” Food Truck and Guido’s Food Concession Stand took third.
Pitching their business plans to a panel of judges including representatives from Millrace Kitchen, Dean Bank, the R.I. Small Business Development Corp. and Pilotworks Providence were five local entrepreneurs:
Nicole Gresko representing OURgrain, a MassChallenge Finalist company
- Patrick M. Beck from New England Grass Fed producing 100 percent grass-fed beef jerky and summer sausage grazing sticks
- Stephanie Richardson representing the “Ish” Food Truck serving Polish and Jewish fare
- Wayne O’Brien from Guido’s Food Concessions, a firm which prepares healthy food options for fairs
- Jesse Jackson III representing Fedora Doughnuts, a specialty doughnut company
Each of the five entrants will receive written feedback on their business plan.
Calling each of the entrants “entirely viable,” in a statement, Dennis McCarthy, northern Rhode Island director of the SBDC, said the competition was “very close.”
Tamara Burman, NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley health, business and culture activator, said in prepared remarks she was “excited” by the success of the inaugural business plan competition.
“I believe it will continue to grow every year and continue to develop our robust food and innovative small business community right here in Woonsocket,” Burman added in her statement.
NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, formerly The Woonsocket Neighborhood Development Corporation, is a nonprofit community development corporation which has worked with residents, businesses and communities since 1987 to enrich neighborhood life and make affordable housing opportunities available throughout Northern Rhode Island.