Bringing a focus on healthy eating, kale chip snack company Kulture Superfoods took home $5,000 at Trout Tank: Food Frenzy, presented by Denver-based restaurateur and airport concessionaire Mission Yogurt, Inc. and the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center on Dec. 1 at The Denver Post amphitheater.
Kulture Superfoods owner and founder Mike Milakovic and the other contestants, which included Komotodo Sushi Burrito, Just BE Kitchen, Petey Bird and Mac ‘N Noodles, presented their business plan to investors and lenders, as well as a panel of judges comprised of restaurateurs and industry experts: Mark Berzins of Little Pub Company, Pat Miller of Gabby Gourmet, Chef Dana Rodriguez of Work & Class, Rod Tafoya of Mission Yogurt, Inc. and Chef Alex Seidel of Fruition and Mercantile Dining & Provision.
“At Kulture Superfoods, we make the most delicious dehydrated kale chips on the planet,” Milakovic said. “They are the cleanest, healthiest and best tasting superfood snack you will find anywhere. We are working to expand our product list in the future with other dehydrated superfood snacks, while always maintaining the highest quality ingredients and processes. We are a brand built on high standards, and we love to educate our customers on why these ingredients are so important for their health.”
Komotodo Sushi Burrito took home the People’s Choice award, which included a membership to the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and a year of free classes at the Denver Metro Small Business Development Center.
“We were highly impressed with all of our finalists, but Mike and Kulture Superfoods presented an excellent business plan and valuable products, and he did so with enthusiasm and energy,” said Denver Metro SBDC Executive Director Abram Sloss. “We are proud of the work he’s doing in our Denver community, and we’re happy to offer him an opportunity to make a larger impact.”
For Tafoya, president and owner of Mission Yogurt, Inc., funding innovative restaurateurs is a personal passion. Twenty-five years ago, Tafoya started with one small restaurant concept that has since grown into more than 20 concepts across three international airports.
“I am proud to partner with organizations like Denver Metro SBDC to support these local entrepreneurs in their food and beverage industry endeavors,” Tafoya said. “This kind of event is really one-of-a-kind, and I’m honored to help Kulture Superfoods expand its business.
“I want to extend a big thank you to the Denver Metro SBDC and Mission Yogurt for putting on an amazing event, and for giving ‘the little guys’ like me a chance to shine, and an opportunity for success,” said Milakovic.
The Denver Metro SBDC, an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, launched Trout Tank in January as a pitch event to connect entrepreneurs with potential funders. The Food Frenzy edition will mark the first industry-specific Trout Tank. Learn more and register to attend at www.trouttank.com.