Our AccelerateHERdc annual pitch competition has evolved into a seasonal grant program!
Our Goal: identify, incubate and accelerate minority-owned, sustainability oriented local food businesses!
We founded our AccelerateHERdc business pitch competition back in 2018 to identify, incubate and accelerate local, lady-led, sustainability oriented small food businesses. To improve access to that funding and support, we have evolved AccelerateHERdc from an annual competition into a grant program.
Our goal: to enhance access to capital and meaningful mentorship, with a specific focus on supporting female founders of color.
Grants in the amount of $1,500 will be awarded seasonally (in January, April, July and October). In addition to grant funding, awardees will receive mentorship from Danielle Vogel, the Founder of Glen’s Garden Market, as well as other key members of the Glen’s Garden Market Team.
The AccelerateHERdc Grant Program is open to female food business founders, including those founders, who identify as female.
Ashleigh Pearson created Petit Soeur after many years of work in the restaurant industry. She studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris where she was inspired to combine French technique with American traditions and decided to launch her chocolatier business right here in DC! Her creations, such as her buttery and crisp sables, or luscious chocolate bonbons, are all made with real ingredients, never cutting corners. Ashleigh will be joining the Glen’s family this late fall until Valentine’s Day as our Chocolatier in Residence!
Made in Arlington, Virginia by Thereasa Black, this oat milk-based, date sweetened gelato was originally created as a healthier alternative for her daughter. Free of cane sugar and full of essential vitamins and minerals, it’s a nutritious sweet treat! Thereasa is basically a superhero; she’s a single-mom, a lawyer, a recently deployed active-duty naval officer and now a gelato-making business-woman! She plans to use the grant money towards a plant-based milk chocolate bar.
Eee and Zee Arenas have a passion for lemonade and making a social impact. The produce they use to make their unique flavors comes from women-owned farms where they take the produce that’s less aesthetically pleasing and turn it into a beautiful beverage. LemonadeLove is our 91st launch, the 55th women-owned business, and the 21st minority-owned company!
Pauline Idogho was on a quest to make a healthy yet flavorful beverage for the “sober curious”. Lightly sparkling and made from all natural ingredients, her one of a kind mocktails are fit for everyone! Mocktail Club donates 1% of all sales towards clean water access in emerging countries.
2019 AccelerateHERdc Winner:
Eat Chic Chocolates
Lotta Andonian founded Eat Chic Chocolates in 2016 and has been creating handcrafted chocolates, filled with small-batch nut and seed butters, ever since! Her commitment to social and environmental responsibility is reflected in every aspect of her business, from her supply chain to her packaging. Lotta uses organic, fair trade chocolate with mindfully sourced ingredients to support sustainable farming practices and her packaging is made with recycled material.
Eat Chic’s ethical production standards and delicious vegan, gluten-free and soy-free chocolates were recognized with a Good Food Award in 2018.
2018 AccelerateHERdc Winner:
Little Wild Things Farm
Our first AccelerateHERdc winner, Little Wild Things Farm, is proving that environmentally responsible farming is possible in urban landscapes! By transforming underutilized space in Washington D.C. into farms that produce soil-grown microgreens, shoots, and edible flowers, they are playing a vital role in turning our local food system into a more sustainable one.
They also support other small businesses, including one that was launched at Glen’s! Little Wild Things collaborated with Cultured Kombucha to incorporate their edible flowers into a seasonal kombucha flavor!