Brookfield Woman Named Finalist in Food Entrepreneur Challenge

June 20, 2014

Sometimes it takes years to get a recipe just right. This year’s finalists showed a determination and creative culinary concepts that impressed the Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge judges. This challenge to find Wisconsin’s next great start-up and early stage food entrepreneurs is sponsored by Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), Reliable Water Services, a local provider of commercial water heaters, boilers and water softeners, and FaB Wisconsin, an industry network for the food and beverage cluster in Wisconsin.

Early-stage finalists include:

•Jackie Valent Lucca – Brookfield, Wis. – Love Dust® – A line of international spice blends (MSG free, gluten free, no artificial ingredients) that add global flair to everyday foods; accessible to both the novice cook and the experienced foodie. Challenges include determining how to launch the product and distribute to local and regional outlets as well as marketing the product with limited funds.

•Austin Ashley, Hallie Ashley and Zac Mathes - Viroqua Wisco Pop! –Craft brewed soda featuring fresh fruit juice, pure Wisco honey, & genuine herbs and spices for a real Wisconsin brew. Offered in three distinct flavors Ginger Brew, Door County Cherry Bomb, and Root Beer. Currently available in 40 locations throughout Viroqua, Madison, and Milwaukee. Challenges include meeting single serve demand and increasing production capacity., WI. –

•Robyn Wright – Dousman, Wis. – PoSaNa Organics-PoSaNa Organics- Selling organic, gluten-free cooking and baking mixes using nutrient-dense almond and coconut flours. Offering unique, healthy, and delicious bakery items such as Deep Chocolate Almond Flour Cupcakes (sweetened with pure maple syrup) with Rishi Masala Chai-infused butter cream frosting. Challenges include securing funding for working capital, expansion into co-packing, and labor costs for the new bakery division.

Start-up finalists include:

•Mary Pellettieri – Milwaukee, Wis. – Top Note Tonics – Biz concept: non-alcoholic aperitivo sodas featuring top note flavors such as lemon, orange, vanilla, clove and ginger. Delicious as-is but also great blended with spirits. The goal is to see Top Note Tonic on high-end restaurant menus as well as having it packaged as a carbonated soft drink.

•Jennifer Goldbeck – Cedarburg, Wis. – Packaged European Buttercream – Biz concept: create a shelf stable delicious vanilla buttercream that is unlike the canned frosting found in the grocery aisle. It will be easy and quick for the home baker to reproduce and customize. Goal is to create a packaged product available at grocery and specialty stores.

•Nicole Meredith – Milwaukee, Wis. –Wilhemena’s Pies – Biz concept: Create a variety of handcrafted gourmet pecan pies in original flavors such as Great Lakes Distillery’s Kinnickinnic whiskey, Butterfinger pecan pie and coffee pecan pie. The goal is to sell at farmer’s markets, sell online and eventually own a food truck dedicated to selling pies throughout the greater Milwaukee area.

Start-up and Early Stage finalists will compete for the grand prize in a Food Network-style judging event at MATC’s student-operated 6th Street Café located at 1015 N. 6th St. on the Downtown Milwaukee Campus on Thursday, July 17th at Noon. The event is open to the public.

The grand prize winner in each category will receive $2,000 in seed money from Reliable to start their business; comprehensive entrepreneurial consultation package from MATC; a private meeting with food industry executives serving on FaB Wisconsin’s advisory council and funding and growth consultation with financial specialists at MW Growth Partners.

Judges for the contest include:
•Kurt Fogle, executive pastry chef, SURG Restaurant Group

•Jan Kelly, owner and chef, Meritage restaurant

•Angela West, co-founder/publisher, Alcoholmanac Magazine

•Lynn Sbonik, co-owner, Beans & Barley Deli, Market & Full Service Café

•Eric Olesen, co-owner and president, O&H Danish Bakery of Racine

•Jen Ede, publisher, Edible Milwaukee magazine

•Daphne Jones, owner, Glorious Malone's Fine Sausages.

•Rakesh (Ryan) Rehan, owner, Café India

“These finalists stood out as having unique and appealing concepts that we felt could really succeed in a competitive marketplace,” said Kurt Fogle, contest judge. For more information, visit Reliable Water Services at

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» New Berlin West girls basketball team improves to 2-1 11/30

» Pelikan named New Berlin West girls' Most Valuable Swimmer 11/29

» Ice Force skaters split two games in Beloit Memorial Showcase 11/29

» Missing man returns home, New Berlin police say 11/28

» 10-year-old girl dies after freeway crash in Dane County 11/25

» Some library services to be unavailable in Muskego, New Berlin 11/24

» Muskego-Norway board to discuss potential $55 million referendum 11/24

» New Berlin seniors set record in number of young-old wrapped in warmth 11/24

» New Berlin police ask public's help to find missing man, 69 11/24

» Archbishop coming to Muskego area to install priest Dec. 6 11/23

» Seven New Berlin skaters join Greendale Ice Force co-op boys hockey team 11/23

» Muskego-Norway explores establishing alumni association 11/23

» Experience, depth make New Berlin Eisenhower boys basketball team contenders 11/23

» Coach Pat Detmer sees improvement for New Berlin co-op wrestling team 11/23

» New Berlin West boys basketball team will have their hands full in rugged West Division 11/23

» New Berlin Eisenhower swimming team names Paige Carter MVP 11/23

» Muskego schools may expand high school credit for middle schoolers 11/23

» Muskego schools approve 1.62 percent raises for nonteachers 11/23

» Hot-shooting New Berlin West girls basketball team romps in season opener 11/22

» Coach Heft sees good things for New Berlin boys co-op swimming team 11/22

» New Berlin West girls crush Burlington in basketball opener 11/19

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Rotary Club of New Berlin donates $2,200 to schools' music program 11/16

» New Berlin West girls bring defense to basketball court again 11/16

» Muskego's Lakepoint Church to hold grand opening in 1st permanent home 11/16

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Local Business Directory