Cheers to Small Business Saturday!
Samuel Adams is celebrating 31 years of brewing, and despite our success, our Founder and Brewer Jim Koch hasn’t forgotten how hard it is to start and run a successful small business. That’s why in 2008, Jim created our company’s philanthropy program, Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream.
Brewing the American Dream provides craft food, beverage, and brewing business owners with the two essential ingredients for success and that Jim didn’t have when he started brewing Samuel Adams Boston Lager in his kitchen: financing and real-world business advice.
This Saturday, November 28th is Small Business Saturday and and we encourage you to join us in in stepping out to shop local and support small food and beverage entrepreneurs across the country.
One unique aspect of our program is providing small business owners in the food and beverage industry access to mentoring and real world business advice. One way we do this is through our Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch Room Competition, which we began in 2013.
One Thursday, December 3rd we will wrap another year of hosting our Pitch Room Competition. We had a record number of applications from small business owners around the country to participate in our four Regional competitions held in Chicago, San Diego, Boston, and Brooklyn. Participants had the opportunity to get real world advice from over 25 expert judges in the industry including representatives from Giordano’s, Crest Beverage, Legal Sea Foods, Food and Wine, and Etsy.org. UPDATE: Congratulations to our 2015 Pitch Room Winning Business: Chic-a-Peas!
Join us in celebrating craft food and beverage business owners across the country on Small Business Saturday and learn more about the Pitch Room finalists who will compete in New York City on Thursday, December 3rd, for the chance to win a $10,000 business grant from Samuel Adams and extended mentoring and coaching from our team. We wish these passionate entrepreneurs the best of luck and hope you stay tuned to see who wins!
Right Bee Cider:
Co-owners and married duo, Katie and Charlie Morgan have taken Chicago by storm, creating a unique, unfiltered, dry cider that is currently on tap at 30 bars and restaurants around the city. The founders and sole employees have done everything themselves since the beginning including brewing, bottling and selling the cider they describe as a true “labor of love.”
Felix’s Famous Cookies:
Laura Castillo formed her family-owned company in Mundelein, IL inspired by her son Felix’s passion for his grandmother’s “pan de polvo” traditional Mexican cookies. The family began baking and selling “Grandma Toni’s” homemade cookies shortly after she passed away in 2011. Felix believed he could make Grandma Toni’s cookies famous and, in keeping with another family tradition, they donate a portion of profits back to local non-profit organizations. Felix’s Cookies are baked in a commercial kitchen near Chicago and shipped across the United States.
San Diego Finalist:
Dana Stenzel’s Sweet Fire Pepper Jelly a combination of old school freshness and bold ideas and flavors. She founded the business on the principle that fresh ingredients produce the best flavors. All of the recipes are created at home and shared with family and friends before they are brought to consumers. Dana prides herself on her products being all natural, preservative free and great tasting! Her jellies are made and sold in her home community of the Palm Desert.
White Lion Brewing Co.:
Owner Ray Berry and Head Brewer Mike Yates worked together to launch the first craft brewery in Springfield, MA. White Lion has been a leader in this growing craft beer market hosting the first Valley Brew Fest this year as a convening of local brewers and craft beer fans. Ray and Mike are focused on the impact that White Lion’s success can have on the City of Springfield and look forward to continuing to play a part in making the area a destination for craft food and beer fanatics.
For Ryan Cahill, his business, Aveyo Life, is about more than creating a healthy, delicious avocado-based vegan mayonnaise; it’s a commitment to changing the food industry for the better. He and the Aveyo family are creating brand and movement that endorses well being as an entire lifestyle. Aveyo produced and based in Scituate, MA.
New York City Finalists:
Chic-a-Peas: (OUR 2015 WINNER!)
When co-owners David Levi and Darren Shlisky set out to create a healthy, tasty snack food they questioned every premise behind all of the healthy snacks in the grocery store aisle. Their Chic-a- Peas are made with the highest quality natural ingredients and boast incredible nutritional value. Available in a variety of flavors including Sea Salt, Falafael, Salsa, and BBQ Chic-a-Peas are sweeping the market and are appearing in a growing number of northeast retailers.
Owner Liz Gutman of Brooklyn-based Liddabit, is committed to using as many local and seasonal ingredients as possible to create fresh, delectable, responsibly-made sweets for consumers to enjoy. Inspired by mass market candy-bars, but with a mission of making them with the highest quality ingredients, their products are delicious, unique, and made with artisan pride. Liz and her colleagues sell out of Manhattan’s famed Chelsea-market and online.
Wild Card Winner Finalists:
Tom and Jenny’s Candy:
Husband and wife co-owners, Tom and Jenny Thekkekandum, arethe winners of our Second Annual Pitch Room Wild Card Competition held in partnership with Entrepeneur.com. Jenny, a Durham, NC-based dentist with a sweet tooth, saw how hard it was to find natural, healthy treats her family and patients would love. With th help of an award-winning chef, Jenny and Tom cooked countless batches of decadent candies until they found the perfect taste. Tom & Jenny’s candies use an all-natural, plant-based sweetener in their products. This reduces both cavity-causing bacteria and enamel-eroding acidity.