CHICAGO — Eight startups have been selected to participate in Food Foundry, an accelerator program by Relish Works and Gordon Food Service in partnership with 1871. Participating companies will receive $75,000 in venture capital funding, access to national foodservice business resources, distribution and supply chain resources, curriculum and more.  

Previous cohorts supported food technology businesses. Food Foundry has expanded the program to include food product companies with a focus on health, sustainability and social impact.

Startups chosen for the fourth cohort include:

  • Confetti Fine Foods, a maker of vegetable and mushroom chips using rescued produce
  • Down to Cook, a producer of versatile plant-based meal starters
  • Just Date, a maker of organic sweeteners such as date syrup and pomegranate molasses
  • Misfit Foods, a supplier of chicken sausages and ground beef mixes blending humanely raised meats and vegetables
  • Mr. Bing, a brand of condiments and cooking ingredients inspired by modern Chinese cuisine
  • San Franola, a maker of cereal and snacks
  • Stellar Eats, a creator of baking mixes with minimal ingredients
  • Tomato Bliss, a producer of soups featuring heirloom tomatoes and global spices

Food Foundry will provide workshops and mentorship to help cohort members navigate the foodservice channel. The program will culminate in a showcase in May.

Additionally, three entrepreneurs-in-resident join Food Foundry to support the latest cohort: Heather Saffer, founder of Dollop Gourmet; Erika Boll, founder of The Toasted Oat, Inc.; and Andy Sauer, founder of Hilo Nutrition.

“Innovation is at the heart of everything we do at Relish Works,” said Mandy Tahvonen, vice president and managing director of Relish Works, a Chicago-based innovation hub. “We are thrilled to watch the growth and success unfold, through close collaboration between our newest cohort of Food Foundry companies, and our colleagues and food industry leaders at Gordon Food Service.”