The fourth annual 60-second pitch slam at Naturally Boulder Days in October brought out natural product entrepreneurs hawking everything from agave-sweetened sodas and spiced nuts to African-made grocery bags and breast cream. But it was three young moms who wowed the judges, walking away with one year of national brand management—valued at $180,000—donated by Organic Food Brokers, sales presentations to all 11 Whole Foods Market regions and key national distributors, as well as a detailed review of their production and marketing plans.
Christine Mackstaller, Samantha Sturhahn and Angie Mielke, Ph.D., founded Denver-based Sticky Fingers Cooking to promote sustainability, nutritious living and strong family bonds through parent/child cooking classes. The Sticky Fingers pitch centered on plans to take their philosophy out of the kitchen and into the grocery store in the form of "Un-T.V. Dinners," healthy meal kits packaged with recipe ideas and mealtime activities. The Sticky Fingers crew is approaching its success as it would any other new recipe. "We're so excited to have such a wonderful set of resources available to us," Sturhahn says. "We're going to start by asking a lot of questions and breaking it down into some easy, practical steps."
Naturally Boulder Days was established in 2005 to promote the growth of businesses producing natural and organic products in the Boulder, Colo., region. The two-day event attracts more than 400 participants from the natural products industry who take part in educational seminars and networking opportunities. About 30 entrepreneurs participated in the pitch-slam, which was judged by a panel of experts that included Greenmont Capital Partners' Hass Hassan and Todd Woloson, Sylvia Tawse of The Fresh Ideas Group, Liz Myslik of The Zam Group and Buddy Ketchner of Sterling Rice Group.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIX/number 12/p. 8