Specialty Food Entrepreneur Scales Up
“The Food Venture Center has played a vital role in the growth of our business. To have a state of the art commercial facility accessible to us with a staff that is always there to help has been a game changer."
Warrick and Ashley share a passion for sailing, for adventure, and for excellent food. As a chef, and an RN, they know good and healthy food when they see it. Their story - from a whirlwind and cross-continental romance to the birth of their food business venture - took them from exciting locales like Paris, Australia and Spain all the way to Hardwick, VT. And their products reflect their global wanderings - from North African Chermoula to Ginger Soy Infusion - they can create the flavors of the world in their line of condiments.
In 2013, Wozz! Kitchen Creations was born in Bethlehem New Hampshire, and the Vermont Food Venture Center. As one of the Vermont Food Venture Center's longest business clients, the Wozz! team began by making just a few of their marinades and condiments in the kitchens of the facility. Four years later, and they visit Hardwick every week - renting out a kitchen all day to crank out the bottles, jars and tastes of their unique business.
But it's more than just being a consistent client that makes Warrick and Ashley such a wonderful food business. Their craft continues to improve - since 2014 they have been winning national awards and commendations for their condiment lines. The New York Specialty Food Association's sofi awards are one of the top honors in the specialty food world. Just last year, Warrick and Ashley - working together by hand in our shared use kitchens - have successfully been awarded:
- 2017 Outstanding Cooking Sauce - -Cambodian Coconut Peanut NYC sofi™ Gold Award Winner
- 2017 Outstanding New Product - -Cambodian Coconut Peanut NYC sofi™ Best New Product Award Winner
- 2017 Outstanding Condiment - -Balsamic Fig Mostarda NYC sofi™ Silver Award Winner
- 2017 Outstanding Vinegar - -Spiced Beet Finishing Vinegar NYC sofi™ Bronze Award Winner
They also believe that the VFVC has helped them to accelerate:
"Building your own commercial facility when starting out is tough for most small food producers, the overhead just isn’t feasible and you want to test the market and your products before making such a significant investment – The Food Venture Center allowed us a place to test products, grow our batch sizes, learn how to operate in a commercial production type of environment and now we are looking forward to taking the next steps forward – graduating from the facility into our own space. It will be challenging but the knowledge gained from the last 4 years at the center has give us a solid foundation to build on. We owe a huge thank you to the staff! From assisting with business to business relations to sourcing ingredients to accepting deliveries when we are not on premises…I don’t know how we would have accomplished our goals without their continued assistance. Connor has gone above and beyond in the operations side of the business to ensure client success.”
Their story of success and developing their business step by step is a wonderful example of how the Vt Food Venture Center can help support successful entrepreneurs as they grow. To learn more about Wozz! check out their website.