Halo + Cleaver

Origin: CO/MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Halo + Cleaver?

Halo + Cleaver makes the most flavorful zero-added-sugar sauces on market. We clean up traditionally “dirty” sauces like BBQ sauce and Ketchup using naturally sweet ingredients like apples and pineapples in place of sugar or corn syrup. We are the only brand that uses Green Banana Flour in our Ketchup, a functional and upcycled ingredient with a unique sustainability story. All three of our products are Whole30 Approved, Keto Approved, gluten free, plant based, and non GMO. Halo + Cleaver is co-owned by St. Louis natives Matt Richard and Rob Garwitz who share a passion for clean eating. The company’s mission is to empower current and future generations to live long, healthy, and fulfilled lives.

Company Leadership

Matt Richard

co-Founder

Matt is a St. Louis native with a passion for natural foods. He is a food scientist by trade and spent years developing sauces and dressings for big brands like Panera Bread Company. Matt is also a competitive barbecue pit-master which inspired some of the recipes for Halo + Cleaver. He has his MBA from Olin Business School and an MS in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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Rob Garwitz

co-Founder & CEO

Rob is a proud St. Louis native who shares Matt’s passion for natural foods. He started his career in sporting goods working for Nike, Inc. for six years in sales and marketing before pivoting to the food industry. Rob has his MBA from Olin Business School and serves as the CEO of the company. He has been married to his wife, Emilie, for 7 years and has two children, Eleanor (3) and Will (1).

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Mighty Cricket

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Mighty Cricket?

Mighty Cricket is a next-generation protein company building a clean protein supply to sustain the world. Discover Mighty Cricket’s high protein oatmeals, protein powder supplements, and chocolate bars all made with sustainable proteins at MightyCricket.com.

Company Leadership

Sarah Schlafly

owner

Sarah Schlafly is a “cereal” entrepreneur—cricket cereal, that is. Her inspiration for Mighty Cricket was born out of a problem that bugged her: the harmful effects of industrialized meat. Before founding the clean protein company, Sarah worked as an accountant, chef, cooking instructor and digital marketer for a national food brand. She was awarded Inc. Magazine’s Military Entrepreneur Special Delegate, Feast Magazine’s Rising Star, and St. Louis Business Journal’s 30 Under 30.

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Mississippi Mud Coffee

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Mississippi Mud Coffee?

St. Louis-based Mississippi Mud Coffee is a wholesale production company specializing in organic coffees and cafe-inspired beverages. From its beginnings in 2004, roasting coffee on the banks of the Mississippi River, the company has honed and perfected its craft with an uncompromising commitment to freshness and flavor, developing new products and expanding distribution nationwide, earning a loyal following and a name that is synonymous with some of the best coffees available anywhere.

Company Leadership

christopher ruess

president

Company Founder Christopher Ruess’s success in the coffee business is fueled by extensive experience in the wine industry, coupled with his achievements in design, digital marketing, management and communications. In addition to his work with Mississippi Mud Coffee, Chris has served as Director of Marketing and Sales for Crown Valley Winery; Director of Development and Director of Marketing for the Vino family of companies; and Owner and President of Ruess + Ruess Marketing Communication Group.

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Chandler Branch

CeO

At the forefront of Chandler Branch’s career is proven success in fundraising, planning, management and communication, for programs and events in the US, Russia, France, Portugal, the Netherlands and Costa Rica. He has served as President & CEO of the SDG Music Foundation (2002-2011); Executive Director of Art Saint Louis (2011-2020); and CEO of Mississippi Mud Coffee (2020-present). Chandler is a member of the 2016-17 class of FOCUS St. Louis’s Leadership St. Louis program.

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Core and Rind

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2021 | Status: Active

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What is Core and Rind?

Core and Rind created plant-based, dairy free, shelf-stable Cashew Cheesy Sauces. They have whole, real, plant-based ingredients, all of which you can pronounce! Create comfort foods like creamy macaroni & cheese, smothered veggies, gooey nachos or any of your favorite cheesy meals. Core and Rind sauces are clean label, shelf-stable, paleo, vegan and keto friendly. The founders, Candi and Rita, spent years developing Cashew Cheesy Sauce to make your journey to health easier and tastier. We are proudly women-owned.

Company Leadership

rita childers

co-Founder

Rita Childers earned a Journalism degree and has a background in writing, marketing & trade shows. She handles marketing, new sales outreach and product development for Core and Rind. She’s passionate about changing the food system and getting healthier options into people’s hands.

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candi haas

CO-founder

Candi earned a Business degree and has a background in customer service, sales & event coordination. She handles sales, customer service and oversees production at Core and Rind. She’s passionate about changing the food system and getting healthier options into people’s hands.

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PLANETARIANS

Origin: CA | Grant Awarded: 2019 | Status: Active

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What is PLANETARIANS?

PLANETARIANS is a food tech company, developing sustainable ingredients. First PLANETARIANS’ product – Sunflower protein – helps plant-based companies to offer allergen-free (unlike Soy) and affordable (unlike Pea) solutions to the market. How we do it?- Instead of protein extraction that leaves a lot of nutrients behind – we use all inherent ingredients. PLANETARIANS’ process was tested at the University of Minnesota, scalability tests resulted in investment from manufacturing partner Cereal Docks. PLANETARIANS ingredients won AgFunder Innovation Award 2019 and scored investments from Barilla’s venture arm Blue1877 and Amadori.

Company Leadership

Aleh Manchuliantsau

CEO

Inventor (7 patents granted) and Serial Entrepreneur, started 100%FOOD, Usarium, MOBYS. Being an expert in Lean Startup methodology, Aleh run open innovation projects for Aeroflot and Google.

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Big Heart Tea Co.

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2018 | Status: Active

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What is Big Heart Tea Co.?

At Big Heart Tea Co. our mission is to ethically source the highest quality ingredients and produce the best tasting teas to improve the health and well-being of those we serve. We help emerging food and beverage companies source all natural, high quality ingredients direct from small farms around the world to help them: REDUCE time searching for the ‘perfect’ ingredient; ELIMINATE travel budget; VERIFY ingredient quality supported by industry testing; and IMPROVE brand value with unlimited marketing assets from our portfolio. We provide the rich ingredient story so that our customers can do what they do best. We care. We care about people. We care about community. We care about the environment. We also care to make the world a better place. It’s a new way of doing things. We just like to call it… having a Big Heart.

Company Leadership

Lisa Govro

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Big Heart Tea Co.’s founder, Lisa Govro, has been working in the tea industry for multiple years and identified the market need first hand while sourcing transparent ingredients for her world famous tea, Cup of Sunshine.

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Start Right Foods

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: Re-Plant | Status: Replant

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What is Start Right Foods?

Fueling your morning with complete protein can help kickstart a healthy day. From decreasing unhealthy snacking to preventing body fat accumulation over 12 weeks, studies that included Start Right Waffles™ as part of a protein rich breakfast show that protein has the power to transform your diet. Our healthy and delicious waffles are packed with complete egg and dairy proteins and contain the necessary fiber, fruits, and vegetables to form a well-rounded breakfast. They’re not just delicious, they’re gluten-free, and have no added sugar. Make sure to choose Start Right™ every morning to tap the true power of protein!

Company Leadership

Kyle Rood

President

Kyle earned his degree in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2011, and holds a Masters Degree in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Kyle has a background in bioengineering and has been working in the startup world for the past several years, co-founding Talariant, a 2014 Arch Grants Recipient company.

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Clint Matthews

Chief Executive Officer

Clint earned his degree in Atmospheric Science from University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005, and holds a MBA from University of Missouri-Columbia, College of Business. Clint is a natural entrepreneur and business developer with a background in retail sales.

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Riley’s Premium Pet Products

Origin: MO | Grant Awarded: 2016 | Status: Active

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What is Riley’s Premium Pet Products?

Riley’s Organics is a provider of organic dog food products. Their line of products are made in the U.S. with USDA Certified Organic ingredients, and their packaging is 100% recyclable.

Company Leadership

Grant Weber

Founder

Grant has extensive experience founding and managing rapid growth in early stage businesses. He also holds an MBA and a degree in Economics and History. Riley’s® Organics is a trusted line of human grade USDA-certified organic dog treats with proven acceptance and growing national footprint.

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Molly Weber

Director of Marketing

Molly is a veteran in the marketing and communications industry. She is passionate about brand building and a champion for consumer insights. Her strategic guidance has led to successful product launches on four different continents, and stewardship of over 30 CPG Brands from multiple Fortune 500 companies. Her pet industry knowledge was honed over many years working on Brands for Mars, Inc Petfood. She was a VP, Director of Account Management at D’Arcy Worldwide in the US and in Europe.

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We champion extraordinary entrepreneurs to create positive change – for St. Louis and for the world. Join us by applying to our Global Startup Competition, becoming a financial supporter, volunteering your time or amplifying our message.