Minneapolis - Ooyoo is the creation of a husband-and-wife team, Ahreum Kim and Nick Ng. It is a representation their values around culture, family, creativity, community, and nourishment. Inspired by their travels and Korean culture, Ooyoo taps into new flavors and traditions to bring an all-purpose spread that everyone can enjoy.
Grant Purpose: purchase equipment to help increase production capabilities
Minneapolis – Apasa means reciprocity/fellowship in Hindi – values that Founder Shalini Gupta draws on to shape the transparency and linkage between land, farmers and the food that sustains us. Maker of a flatbread free of toxins but also freshly made with whole grain stone milled flour and high oleic oil.
Grant Purpose: consultant work on product improvement and processing equipment.
Minneapolis – Big Flower Botanicals Founders Jennifer Trebisovsky & Justin Banda seek to expand their CBD lemonade experiment to encompass more CBD food products. The goal - pairing products to pain to people with topicals, beverages and tinctures. They want to demystify CBD and help it become a resource for wellness.
Grant Purpose: source larger quantities of CDB ingredients and increase volume.
Roseville – Founder Charles Lovejoy started out in bars and restaurants as a bartender. Twenty years later – he has his own brand of Bloody Mary mixes - in multiple flavors and sizes for bars, homes and more. Honored last year as a General Mills recipient of their Good Works Project, LBMM’s products are not only good – they come with a “do good” promise too, donating proceeds to support homeless youth and education.
Grant Purpose: new product development (esp. flavor profiling, labeling, and packaging for the new product).
Minneapolis – Route to India’s ancient super seed snack (puffed water lily seeds), affectionately called Yoga Pops, is a labor of love, collaboration and passion for founders and life partners Nalini Mehta and Anita B. With a brand mantra of “Mindful Munching,” RTI combines personalized wellness, Ayurvedic principles and snacking.
Grant Purpose: purchase equipment to strengthen and automate the production - increasing yields 6x more than current levels.
Richfield – Social Mixers believe flowers don’t just belong in a vase and herbs are more than garnish. Its botanical syrups are blended to create perfect beverages for all occasions and health benefits. The goal: a natural craft beverage ingredient company with product lines that are accessible to all, and includes bitters, shrubs/drinking vinegars, and infusion kits of dried herbs and fruit.
Grant Purpose: purchase 4-bottling hot filling machine to increase unit production
Excelsior – Founder Henry Kisitu’s Jajja Wellness tonics originated in his Ugandan grandmother’s kitchen. She was an African herbal medicine woman, worked as a nurse, and knew principles of Chinese medicine. Today, Jajja Wellness has an expanded line of tonics, loaded with natural, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, the top sellers come directly from Grandmother’s and African indigenous recipes.
Grant Purpose: Secure co-manufacturing contract with a reliable co-packer in the Midwest region.
The Micro Grants Program supports micro CPG food businesses in Minnesota that are owned by entrepreneurs of color, women, veterans and/or individuals demonstrating socio-economic barriers to equitable participation in business – especially the packaged food industry.
Possible Uses of Funds
Micro-grants of up to $5000 will be awarded. The uses for micro-grants are flexible and open – but we are looking for proposals that have specific and pre- identified uses that can propel the business to the next level – “whatever that next level” may mean for the business. This may be to help address a unique challenge in the industry for the business or a one-time and critical business opportunity that a micro grant of up to $5,000 can have an important and critical impact.
NEW for 2023!!!: Grants may be used for branding/marketing, planning and specific - impactful coaching needs.
Ineligible Activities/Grant Uses: Funds awarded may not be used to cover standard and ongoing business operational costs, such as costs associated with staffing, rent or brick-n-mortar expenses, utilities, etc.
The Application Approach
To minimize the burden on applicants in our approach to allocating resources, especially in the communities where resources are already limited, we work hard to adhere to these principles: simple and user-friendly; open, inclusive and responsive to business/community needs; do the most good or have the most impact on the business; and steward well the funds from our donors.
A diverse, community-based committee with individuals who have experience in small businesses, grant reviews and/or the food and beverage industry will review the grant applications and help decide grant awards.
The application is a simple fillable PDF, downloadable below, and asks for a short narrative to three specific questions about your business. Completed application should be about 3-4 pages. Submit your application to: firstname.lastname@example.org, no later July 19, 2023. Download and Save the fillable application form before you start working on it. All parts of the application must be completed. Incomplete applications will not be acceptable.
Key Dates For The 2023 Cycle
Application Opens: April 19, 2023
Application Closes: July 19, 2023 - CLOSED!
Application Review: July-August 2023
Grant Decisions & Announcement: September 2023
Grant Agreements & Disbursements: September-October 2023
Red Wing - Cannon Valley Butcher's Block (CVBB) is a growing meat and butchery company. Founder Sarah Scheub, started CVBB three years ago because she wanted to share the magic and reality of food production with her community. She believes when you have a hand in producing and harvesting the food that nourishes your body, you can begin to honor the life that sustains you.
Grant Purpose: jumpstart CVBB’s plan to build a grain feed storage infrastructure.
Minneapolis - Founder Florence Karp (also known as Chef Flo-K) was born into a food business, growing up with her mother having a Buka (restaurant) in Nigeria. Later, she ran her own catering business in Nigeria. Today, Chef Flo-K manufactures delicious Afric Sauce, an authentic, traditional African sauce and supplies restaurants, wholesale industries, public and private food institutions.
Grant Purpose: enable a co-manufacturing partnership to meet large volume demands.
Owatanna - Founder Abel Tekeste, created Hiwet Products to introduce culturally-inspired teff-based products. Teff, often associated with the flatbread Injera, has a wide range of applications. With Hiwet Products, he hopes to highlight the versatility and value of this “wonder grain.” Hiwet Products is named after Abel’s grandmother—an entrepreneur who introduced him to agriculture.
Grant Purpose: support the development of teff-based pasta and nutritional bars.
Brooklyn Park - Founder Junita Flowers, started with cookie recipes that have been in her family for decades. Inspired by the Founder’s personal journey, Junita’s Jar has a goal of building a national distribution and profitable cookie company that will spread a message of hope to all, and in particular to women and girls experiencing domestic violence.
Grant Purpose: enable the ability to explore and secure a co-manufacturing partnership to meet high volume demands.
Minneapolis - Founder Gustavo Romero Veytia and his wife hand made tortillas with heirloom Mexican corn and a comal. During the pandemic, they made meals accompanied with the tortillas and delivered them to homes. Today, Nixta makes the same tortillas, packaged for resale at local stores, on top of running their own tortilleria and Mexican takeout.
Grant Purpose: support a plan to purchase a commercial vacuum sealer that will extend the shelf-life of the packaged tortillas.
Maplewood - For Founder Beauclarc Thomas, healthy living has always been important. Through Pure Ginger for You, he and his team cold press organic ginger juices blended with the fresh vegetable ingredients that are bottled and shipped to local stores. The ginger juice blend provides a revitalized and invigorated feel.
Grant Purpose: enable higher scale of production by acquiring additional juicing equipment.
Minneapolis - Founder Rachel Banken, crafts loose-leaf herbal teas from foraged botanicals found on local farms and forests native to Minnesota. Well Rooted Teas infusions of herbs, roots, leaves, fruits and berries nourish the body and are grown and harvested in a manner that promotes the health of our environment. Rachel believes in the healing power of plants and provides 10% of her revenue to environmental sustainability initiatives.
Grant Purpose: purchase and establish a more efficient and effective drying process in tea blending.
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