Trailmix has always been one of the best attended Boise Startup Week events, and you may be wondering how we plan to pull off a virtual food pitch competition this year. Well, we’ve been preparing for a while now, and we’re excited to finally show you what we have in store!
Throughout the past two years, our judges have gathered in conference spaces around food-laden tables to hear pitches and taste competitors’ fare. During this year’s event, pitches will be showcased live, and the judges will join virtually to discuss the with contestants their businesses and their pitches – and yes, they will have samples on-hand!
Our presenting sponsor, Albertsons, has been instrumental in pivoting the Trailmix competition including screening entrants, judging the final round, and, of course, securing prizes such as cash and shelf space at Albertsons Broadway Market. Thanks to Albertsons and our other event sponsors, these contestants are ready to eat it up!
Let’s meet the contestants!
Douglas Williams is the owner of Dot’s Soul Food, based out of Spokane, WA and the first of our Trailmix finalists. Dot’s Soul Food provides such great tasting products as the delicious white barbeque sauce from a Southern family recipe, originally created by his mother, Dot. Consumers brag about this sauce being a necessity for all of their foods – everything from chicken to salads and pastas. Dot’s Soul Food is looking to growing their product line in the future and expand their product’s geographic availability. Douglas is very passionate about his business and is excited to be a part of Trailmix.
Jenni Bourdon is the owner of Wild Heart Sipping Vinegar based out of Tenino, WA. Wild Heart Sipping Vinegar offers a delicious and diverse line of cold-aged blended vinegars. Also known as “shrubs,” her sipping vinegars were initially made with the intent of being a delicious component to the craft cocktails offered in the tasting room of her family’s distillery. While their vinegars are wildly popular at Sandstone’s Tasting Room, they also appeal to consumers from all over the country. Wild Heart Sipping Vinegar can be found at a variety of Pacific NW storefront locations as well as many farmers markets throughout Washington. Jenni is very excited to share her passion for Wild Heart Sipping Vinegars with everyone!
Dan Smith is a founder of Recipe 33 based out of Fife, WA. Recipe 33 came about when a team of MBA teammates at the University of Washington built on the idea of signature infused almonds as a business. The infusion is crafted to maintain a clean skinned nut, which allows consumers to enjoy the almond without dirtying their hands with residue, as can happen with most flavored almonds. Recipe 33 currently offers four different almond flavors which can be found at Whole Foods, Amazon, and New Seasons Market, among other storefronts. Dan is very excited to share about Recipe 33 during Trailmix!
David Wishnick, Co-founder and CEO of Nutraberry, is a Trailmix finalist from WA. Since 2014, Nutraberry has combined nutrition, health, and environmental sustainability benefits into its upcycled, delicious tasting products. Simply put, Nutraberry’s upcycling operations reclaim unused agricultural by-products from berry farming and turn them into nutrient-rich, shelf-stable oils and powders that are used in healthy, functional foods, baked goods, and cosmetics. Nutraberry’s all-natural powders are prebiotic, due to their high polyphenol content. Additionally, they are high in fiber, making them great additions to smoothies for maintaining gut health. Nutraberry is a win for consumers by creating greater access to healthy choices, a win for the environment by reducing food waste from landfills, and a win for farmers by making our food ecosystem more productive.
Matt Bishop, Co-founder of Iron Mule, Inc., recently launched Direct Access Coffee as a brand built upon transparency and a new way of getting coffee from the farm to the consumer. Direct Access Coffee enables farmers to sell their coffee directly to grocers and end consumers in a manner more akin to a farmers market sale than the way coffee is traditionally traded. The result carry sizable financial benefits for the smallholder coffee farmers who are often the most disadvantaged in this trade. Direct Access Coffee aims to build a long-term sustainable sourcing model, while delighting coffee drinkers with its high-quality regional offerings and blends. Direct Access Coffee is available now with select grocers and through online markets. Matt is excited to share with everyone how this brand better impacts the world.